Game Idea #49

This time my game idea is about using the pages of a book to create a murder mystery puzzle in which the readers can play the role of detectives and jury members. Here is…

Whodunit?

Whodunit? is a turn-based book reading game in which 2-6 players try to solve a murder mystery by being both detectives and jury members at the court.

Whodunit? comes in the form of a unbound book. Of a total of 52 pages, 5 pages per player are distributed at the start of the game.

All players are given some time to read the pages they received at game start.

In every round a player must then read the content of at least one page in his possession. This page is then discarded and the player who read it draws a new page from the deck.

Players can make a guess in regard to the murderer at any time, but this player must then explain in detail how he came to his conlusion by providing the evidence he collected. The other players act as a jury and decide whether they agree to a death penalty for the accused person.

They can then check whether they were right in their decision.

Game Idea #48

The Final Cut

In The Final Cut, you play an actor who is performing on a film set. Your goal is to deliver the required acting performances in as little “takes” as possible. If you forget the script for the particular scene or perform bad for any other reason, the director asks you to perform again, so long until he gets the shot he desires. Unless you perform in all scenes as is being demanded of you, the film remains incomplete.

The game ends when a) the crew runs out of raw film, b) the shooting schedule is violated (there is a limited number of shots that can be made per day), or c) when all scenes are completed within time and raw film constraints.

Your acting performance will be evaluated based on a “cutting ratio”, that is, the amount of shots you wasted with your bad performances compared to the minimum number of shots that were required to complete the film.

The interesting thing about The Final Cut as a game is that it points out the similarities between film-making and successfully completing a sequence of actions in a game. Whereas in a game like Medal of Honour: Allied Assault, failure sends us back to the previous save point until we succeed; upon failure in a film shooting, the director asks us to perform again, until he gets what he wants. This makes me think that we can liken the repetitious gameplay in certain games to the shooting action on a film set.

One thing that is highlighted through this, is the wrong idea of many game scholars in regard to the “linearity” of movies. It becomes apparent that it takes a lot of effort from a film crew to achieve what game scholars criticize as linearity. During shooting, the film is as undecided as a game. The second thing that is highlighted is the opposite: that games may look quite undecided, but that in a lot of them, we re-play in order to make possible (cut together) an “ideal story”. To me this is an important blurring of lines which renders the divide between games and narratives ineffective.

Game Idea #47

Time for a new game idea! My new game idea is inspired by a discussion on the nature of images and language. Letters are often considered as two-dimensional graphical elements, not capable of three-dimensionality. On the other hand, they are seen as a different representative system, and not associated with systems of visual representation, although they use the same basic graphical elements such as lines, dots, planes and even volumes. Therefore I like the idea to make a text adventure whose world is visually constructed through letters and words, a world that maintains the illusion of depth and can be navigated, something that uses in its representation of its world the words that are associated with objects, rather than depicting the objects themselves.

Here comes..

This is not a Word

This is not a Word is a “text-world” adventure. Its world is visually represented by letters, words and sentences that are discernible as objects. The way in which these letter-objects are displayed, changes, as we approach such object. For example if we see a “tree” and approach it, we start to identify the many “branches”, and if we get closer we see its “leaves”. Or we see a “river” in a distance, and as we approach it, we see the “water” flow, and the “fish” in it.

kaligrafi

By eliminating from or adding to the world certain letters, the way we perceive the environment changes, since without certain letters, certain “objects” can’t exist.

The game makes use of color, font families and other aesthetic parameters of typography.

The title “This is not a Word” is intented to be a pun on “This is not a World“, since I want to draw attention to the “artifical” character of any type of representation. It is also a reference to Magritte’s series of paintings titled “This is not a Pipe”, which approached the question of representation from the “other end”, yet being about the relation between images and language.

The game will be available in several languages, including dead ones. Having the game in several languages is a funny aspect, because it somehow seems not to make sense at all, but then I believe that it makes a difference because we also would look at different visual styles of representation and not merely of objects that have a same shape regardless of what languages have been used to give them their shapes.  And I’m very intrigued by the idea to use dead languages, especialy cuneiform. I somehow like the idea to see people recognize letters and words of dead languages as objects rather than text, because it seems to show how the representative values of certain combinations of lines and dots can shift culturally and historically, questioning our ways of seeing and the way cultures maintain or “forget” about distinctions that decide whether graphical elements qualify as “text” or “visual representation”. A Quipu version that uses “real” threads would be also highly interesting to use.

If we lose all letters in the game, what would we see? The world “as it is”, or “nothing”?

Game Idea #46

After some time, I’ve come up with a new game idea. This time it is an experimental game about perspective… here it comes:

Game Idea #46

Cubism

This multiplayer online game starts by presenting an object or human according to rules of classic perspective. However, as more players join the game, the number of vantage points multiplies and starts to “deform” the object/human that the individual player sees. Stylewise, the object/human starts to turn into some sort of cubist painting. As players navigate around the object/human, the changes in the vantage points are reflected onto the representation of both object/human and environment, which turns gameplay into the shaping of an interactive cubist sculpture-world that morphs in real-time.

The game has two experimental goals: On one hand, it is a technological experiment, challenging the capacities of current game engines and graphics programmers; on the other hand it is an experiment on reception, challenging the ways in which players “view” 3D representations, and their notion of interaction.

Game Idea #43

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a game idea. So it was about time to come up with something new. Here comes…

Game Idea #43

The Hand

The Hand is an experimental game that aims to raise questions about choice and authorship in video games.

The player finds herself as an avatar in an open world setting with a third person POV. She can choose items from her inventory to wear or to carry in her hands, she can pick up objects from her environment, she can walk around and explore buildings and space, she can approach NPCs and talk to them etc etc.

However, soon it will be understood that there is another “Will” present in the game: A huge hand, intervening by entering the screen from above if it doesn’t like the decisions the player makes.

The hand would push the avatar around in order to tell her to move on or to make her move into a certain direction, it would “adjust” the avatar to the track it envisioned the player to take, it would deny certain directions completely by blocking the way or it would grab the avatar and place it onto a certain spot in the game world.

But that’s not all: the hand would take away certain items from the avatar’s hand and put them back into the inventory, it would place other items into her hand, it would put back items that the avatar picked up from the environment and shoo the avatar if she continues to pick the same item again. It would get angry if we talk to NPC’s that it doesn’t like and shut our mouth so that the NPC can’t understand what we are saying.

Finally, if the player insists on doing what the hand doesn’t want her to do, she would simply “grab the controller” and move along the avatar by herself for a while. During the period in which the player is stripped from control, she could however “promise” not to do it again and with a bit of begging get back controls. If she fails to keep her promise though, the Hand would keep the controller for longer periods the next time or simply decide that it doesn’t want to play with us any longer.

More Protoyping Pictures from Saviors!

New Saviors! pics…

 

shot1

 

 

 

shot2

 

 

shot3

 

shot4

 

shot5

 

shot6

 

shot7

 

shot8

 

 

 

shot9

 

shot99

Update on Saviors!

On saturday, I built a first prototype of my search and rescure game Saviors! Today, after some search to find the right material, I built an advanced prototype and I hope that I will soon be able to bring it in front of a group of test players.

Here are a few pictures, enjoy!

Sav1

A building struck by an earthquake. We are missing many people and they are somewhere under this huge blocks of steel and cement.

Sav2

Sav3

 Sav4

Sav5

Sav6