Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby balderduck » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:01 pm UTC

very interesting video
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Gelsamel » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:22 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:Remember when this was a thread about gaming? Yeah, six or seven posts ago. Tangents happen. They often need to happen. - ST
The analysis doesn't go too deep, and there's a fair bit that's already been covered in the thread, but I like the series and it has a new example I'll have to check out.


He used the word simulacra... to mean "simulation". And he went and used the word "simulation" anyway. D:<


Anyway, while those things certainly aren't "kill centric" they're basically saying we should use combat mechanics for non-combat stuff... so it would still be combat just... verbal combat, or whatever combat. I do agree that most games are fighting/killing/etc. based because it's an easy way to set up conflict and antagonism... so shouldn't we advocate more complex methods of converying conflict in the game rather than using the simple Us vs. Them Conflict/Antagonist/Protagonist generator that combat based ANYTHING makes? (Whether it be verbal combat, or what ever).

I'm partial to inner conflict myself, but given how poorly our "sandbox" "morality" games have been thus far I doubt inner turmoil is going to get a shot yet. And I think that's the key... making opposing rolls is an easy mechanic, but leads to combat, or combat like mechanics. More complex conflict mechanics past that gets exponentially harder to even create let alone work into a game.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby EmptySet » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:40 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Anyway, while those things certainly aren't "kill centric" they're basically saying we should use combat mechanics for non-combat stuff... so it would still be combat just... verbal combat, or whatever combat. I do agree that most games are fighting/killing/etc. based because it's an easy way to set up conflict and antagonism... so shouldn't we advocate more complex methods of converying conflict in the game rather than using the simple Us vs. Them Conflict/Antagonist/Protagonist generator that combat based ANYTHING makes? (Whether it be verbal combat, or what ever).

I'm partial to inner conflict myself, but given how poorly our "sandbox" "morality" games have been thus far I doubt inner turmoil is going to get a shot yet. And I think that's the key... making opposing rolls is an easy mechanic, but leads to combat, or combat like mechanics. More complex conflict mechanics past that gets exponentially harder to even create let alone work into a game.


You confront a sinister-looking Lizardman.

>>>> ATTACK

You ready your sword for a mighty swing!

You roll 15. At least, you think you do. Suddenly, you are overcome by self-doubt. Was it actually a 15, or did you misread it? It's kind of dingy in this dungeon and it's hard to make out the numbers... Oh gods, what if you've been reading your character sheet wrong all this time? Maybe you thought you were Lawful Good, but it actually says Awful Evil and you've been killing these innocent lizard dudes who are just out picking vegetables to feed their mate and hatchlings.

Your attack misses! You cut your own wrist for 6 damage. Or is that an 8? You're not sure anymore. You wonder if misreading the number would change reality.

You have contracted SOLIPSISM! You lower your sword and ponder whether the universe is a lie manufactured by your own senses.

It is now the Lizardman's turn.

The Lizardman is unaffected by your solipsistic mumblings! It gives you a strange look and mutters something in a language you don't understand.

The Lizardman picks A TURNIP from a nearby patch of dirt. The Lizardman now wields A TURNIP in its left hand. The Lizardman looks more sinister.

>>>>

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:37 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Anyway, while those things certainly aren't "kill centric" they're basically saying we should use combat mechanics for non-combat stuff... so it would still be combat just... verbal combat, or whatever combat. I do agree that most games are fighting/killing/etc. based because it's an easy way to set up conflict and antagonism... so shouldn't we advocate more complex methods of converying conflict in the game rather than using the simple Us vs. Them Conflict/Antagonist/Protagonist generator that combat based ANYTHING makes? (Whether it be verbal combat, or what ever).

I'm partial to inner conflict myself, but given how poorly our "sandbox" "morality" games have been thus far I doubt inner turmoil is going to get a shot yet. And I think that's the key... making opposing rolls is an easy mechanic, but leads to combat, or combat like mechanics. More complex conflict mechanics past that gets exponentially harder to even create let alone work into a game.
Conflict is going to be the driving force of a game - even in cooperative building games (Minecraft Creative, anyone?) you're still on conflict with the game itself and the environment and so on during your construction of the Earth. There are challenges and setbacks and so on, even when the challenges are almost entirely self-imposed. Combat is just a subset of Conflict, and as of now it's been the primary focus of video game conflict.

I'm curious as to what other mechanics you have in mind.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby cephalopod9 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:08 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Anyway, while those things certainly aren't "kill centric" they're basically saying we should use combat mechanics for non-combat stuff... so it would still be combat just... verbal combat, or whatever combat. I do agree that most games are fighting/killing/etc. based because it's an easy way to set up conflict and antagonism... so shouldn't we advocate more complex methods of converying conflict in the game rather than using the simple Us vs. Them Conflict/Antagonist/Protagonist generator that combat based ANYTHING makes? (Whether it be verbal combat, or what ever).
His analysis doesn't tend to go very deep, and here he just lays out the bare minimum of making a non-violent game. There's another episode, Narrative Mechanics that gives another, more interesting example.
Gelsamel wrote:I'm partial to inner conflict myself, but given how poorly our "sandbox" "morality" games have been thus far I doubt inner turmoil is going to get a shot yet. And I think that's the key... making opposing rolls is an easy mechanic, but leads to combat, or combat like mechanics. More complex conflict mechanics past that gets exponentially harder to even create let alone work into a game.
Do you mean inner conflict depicted in the characters, or games meant to give the player a since of inner conflict?
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Gelsamel » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:50 am UTC

Well, given that we're restricted to computer logic, even the more complex mechanics are just abstractions and intereactions of opposing rolls.

There are exceptions of course. Creative games like you mention can have conflict without opposing rolls (or they can if we're looking at physics creative games) and puzzle games and similar games (like story based puzzle games, a la Phoenix Wright) are some examples. But some would argue these types of games fall into the "not as fun as" category as combat games.

@cephlapod: Games that make the player feel conflict. The problem with such a game is if you're not given a pretty damn good sandbox where you can choose what you yourself think is the best course of action then the mechanics won't work to create conflict in you. It'll just be conflict through the normal method... ie. relating to the characters and their story. It won't be conflict by game mechanics, it'll be conflict by story/plot... which is fine. It's just we're talkin' game mechanics is all.

Edit: A suppose a game that uses mechanics rather than story to conflict might be say... a realistic torture simulation. So I guess it doesn't need to be a sandbox if the mechanics themselves are inherently conflicting. When I mentioned that I was thinking more of doing what you thought was right only to have that questioned.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Menacing Spike » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:08 am UTC

Eh, there was a Warcraft mod where every player filmed a movie with a camera unit in his corner of the map, and at the end you could see every movie. Strictly no conflict, but it was kinda fun.

There was a huge amount of time to get used to the controls, and I don't recall there being a vote system or anything.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Gelsamel » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:14 am UTC

Wouldn't the conflict be the same as in creative minecraft? Battling the camera and environment to record something cool? Perhaps something better than the others recorded?
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Joeldi » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:50 am UTC

I'm thinking what the OP would like to see more of is games that don't focus on "destruction" rather than the more specific term of "killing". But for this I see no problem with transferring tried and true combat mechanics over to non-destructive gameplay elements. Those game mechanics are fun, but having that fun when doing something other than simulated murder would be an improvement. Of course, coming up with all new mechanics that are just as engaging is even better.

If i'm trying to think of story-driven games without destruction at the centre, I can think of a few borderline cases. "Mario Party"s have very simple stories, and they are only a minor part of the games, but the story does progress as you play the one-player mode to possibly qualify the games as story driven. Unfortunately several of the games in the series do have some destruction in the form of boss battles. But it is only a minor mechanic.

Need For Speed Underground 2 (its the only nfs I've played, so I don't know about the others) is also slightly story driven. Probably moreso than Mario Party, and it's devoid of destruction as a gameplay mechanic.

That's all I can come up with from my own library, but I'm pretty certain that there are many story-driven-non-destructive games out there. Unfortunately, the gameplay is usually terrible and the stories little better. I'm of course talking about the plethora of games for the Wii and DS (and very likely the Kinect in the near future) made for the parents of young children to buy, and then have them played for all of 7 minutes.


...Oh, and if the developers wanted to, I think it would be a very simple matter to make a properly story driven Katamari game. I can dream...
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby minkis » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:51 pm UTC

Does anyone think that Doom was one of the main FPS that started the genre?

Anywho, All the puzzle games, such as Bubbles, Zuma, Bejeweled. Growing up, I had Oregon Trail (the original 1974 version, and the updated '92 version).
Also, I enjoyed games made by "The Learning Company" (which Wikipedia tells me also made Oregon Trail and Carmen Sandiego), especially the SuperSolvers, like Gizmos & Gadgets, Midnight Rescue, and Treasure Mountain.
Pretty much any game with these guys:
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:12 am UTC

Gizmos and Gadgets is one of the best games ever.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby setzer777 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:28 am UTC

I would say that the Sims is an example of a great non-kill-centric game (that doesn't use combat mechanics!) You could even argue that it's story-driven, though the stories tend to be created by the player. I think the last part illustrates a common theme - some of the most popular alternatives to games about killing stuff are games about creating stuff. Too much story can get in the way of the latter, where less story allows players to create their own narratives or set their own goals.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:09 am UTC

There is Demolition Company, in which you take on the role of a demolition worker and use cranes, jackhammers, sledges and so on to bring down buildings. It's a shame it apparently sucks, as I would play that.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Jesse » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:07 am UTC

I think there was a game called Blast Corps that was just about destroying buildings that were in the path of a runaway nuclear weapon so that it wouldn't be set off.

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:15 am UTC

Jesse wrote:I think there was a game called Blast Corps that was just about destroying buildings that were in the path of a runaway nuclear weapon so that it wouldn't be set off.


I remember playing that game on N64 when I was really young, either I was doing it very wrong or they explained the game badly and I couldn't figure out what to do. I was really young then so it's possible I just had no idea what I was doing.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby EmptySet » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:29 am UTC

I played Blast Corps! I recall it being insanely difficult once you got through the first few levels.

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Jesse » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:25 am UTC

It was the Backlash ones that were really difficult, where you had to drift into the buildings.

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Retne » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:02 am UTC

The game for me that instantly leaps to mind is a custom mapset for CS called kreedz aka KZ. The whole goal is platforming but sometimes it isn't. One of my favorite maps is story driven about you dreaming. You start out running from the cops and trying to get to work to exploring an isolated nature area. I've probably logged more hours KZing than any other game(even the mmos I've played). Granted it does get competetive between other people trying to get to the end of the map the fastest but I always enjoyed the exploration aspect.

I'd really love to see a game more focused on exploration of interesting areas. I don't want to be forced to take pictures of the landscape or anything silly like that. I'm not quite sure how it would work out gameplay-wise. Somehow I get the feeling anything I do come up with would be colored by my KZing and would be some sort of spin on a platformer. So anyone have any ideas on how exploration could be turned into a full blown non-kill game?

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby setzer777 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:58 am UTC

Retne wrote:I'd really love to see a game more focused on exploration of interesting areas. I don't want to be forced to take pictures of the landscape or anything silly like that. I'm not quite sure how it would work out gameplay-wise. Somehow I get the feeling anything I do come up with would be colored by my KZing and would be some sort of spin on a platformer. So anyone have any ideas on how exploration could be turned into a full blown non-kill game?


The first thing that popped into my head was a mountain climbing game. It would be a combination of platforming-esque physical challenges and resource management (supplies, oxygen level). If that's too specific, a general theme of trekking and surviving through extremely harsh environments would be interesting.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby poxic » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:13 am UTC

Level one: walk down a street without getting run over. (Easy mode: sidewalks.)
Level two: walk through a downtown park without getting mugged. (Hard mode: at night.)
Level three: no-rope-needed mountain climbing. (Bonus points: carrying a bike, then ride it down.)
Level four: Swamp trekking. (Hard mode: alligators.)
Level five: rope-needed mountain climbing.

Followed by pairs glacier climbing, assisted Mt Everest climb, solo Everest climb... hmm. Could be fun. :wink:
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby mmmcannibalism » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:19 am UTC

poxic wrote:Level one: walk down a street without getting run over. (Easy mode: sidewalks.)
Level two: walk through a downtown park without getting mugged. (Hard mode: at night.)
Level three: no-rope-needed mountain climbing. (Bonus points: carrying a bike, then ride it down.)
Level four: Swamp trekking. (Hard mode: alligators.)
Level five: rope-needed mountain climbing.

Followed by pairs glacier climbing, assisted Mt Everest climb, solo Everest climb... hmm. Could be fun. :wink:


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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Shivahn » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:27 am UTC

Retne wrote:I'd really love to see a game more focused on exploration of interesting areas. I don't want to be forced to take pictures of the landscape or anything silly like that. I'm not quite sure how it would work out gameplay-wise. Somehow I get the feeling anything I do come up with would be colored by my KZing and would be some sort of spin on a platformer. So anyone have any ideas on how exploration could be turned into a full blown non-kill game?


I'd play the crap out of a game that lets me explore different planets.

Like you start out with a galaxy map and can only go to systems within whatever parsecs. Then you choose one, then you explore each planet within the system. And each planet has special properties. Kind of like Star Wars planets. And you dig and explore until you find enough whatevers to build a spaceport and then you can fly to anything within whatever parsecs of THAT place.

Basically I'm picturing Master of Orion fused with Minecraft. To make things more interesting, planetary weather and such happens, so you may have to build a shelter before the snowstorm hits or whatever.

I dunno. The more I look back on the idea the more it sounds kind of dull, but I'm sure it could be made into something fun.

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:43 am UTC

I love character creators. If APB released their character creator with a huge database of items or what ever as a stand alone program I would so buy it!
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Lucrece » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:28 am UTC

Maybe videogames have become more mainstream and merely reflect an expanded audience, and that audience that has become the new market happens to have a taste for violence as entertainment.

Yes, there have been violent games-- always. However, the people interested in them now outnumber those with non-violent interests, and that's just how markets shift.

As for a non-killing oriented game I really liked? Animal Crossing.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Menacing Spike » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:45 am UTC

Farmsville!

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Retne » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:19 am UTC

Both of those ideas sound awesome to me! I would play them both quite a bit. I like the idea of alien worlds just to get some interesting geography. All I know is I would buy both of those games so hard and fast it would make your head spin.

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby novax6 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:48 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:
Yes, there have been violent games-- always. However, the people interested in them now outnumber those with non-violent interests, and that's just how markets shift.


Eh, I still don't quite believe that. Where are you getting these numbers from?
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:45 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:Farmsville!

You totally kill all sorts of innocent wheat.

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby SurgicalSteel » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:04 pm UTC

It was the cry of the carrots! For you it is harvest day, for them ... it is the holocaust!
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Josephine » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:06 pm UTC

Despite what the players do a lot, Dwarf Fortress has the capacity for this. For that matter, so does the Sierra citybuilding series.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:08 pm UTC

For you, the day Bison graced your farm was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Harvest Day.

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:10 pm UTC

I guess most fighting games don't technically involve killing, since your opponent is generally alive at the end of a match.

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby llamanaru » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:10 pm UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:It was the cry of the carrots! For you it is harvest day, for them ... it is the holocaust!

... Damn you! Let the rabbits wear glasses! Save our brothers!" Can I get an amen?

Ahem...

Detonate is a pretty good non-killful game in the same vein as Demolition.
Also, is super meat boy considered non-kill-centric, what with you never actually killing anything apart from the occasional boss?

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby EmptySet » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:53 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:
Retne wrote:I'd really love to see a game more focused on exploration of interesting areas. I don't want to be forced to take pictures of the landscape or anything silly like that. I'm not quite sure how it would work out gameplay-wise. Somehow I get the feeling anything I do come up with would be colored by my KZing and would be some sort of spin on a platformer. So anyone have any ideas on how exploration could be turned into a full blown non-kill game?


I'd play the crap out of a game that lets me explore different planets.


Have you tried Noctis?

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby minkis » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:24 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:I'd play the crap out of a game that lets me explore different planets.


Reminds me of an educational game:
The Magic School Bus: Lost In The Solar System
Of course, this game is for younger kids, and doesn't go into the detail you are talking about...

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Lucrece » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:14 am UTC

minkis wrote:
Shivahn wrote:I'd play the crap out of a game that lets me explore different planets.


Reminds me of an educational game:
The Magic School Bus: Lost In The Solar System
Of course, this game is for younger kids, and doesn't go into the detail you are talking about...



That, Carmen San Diego, Reading Blaster, Putt-Putt, and Pajama Sam were my childhood memories XD.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Shivahn » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:26 am UTC

EmptySet wrote:
Shivahn wrote:
Retne wrote:I'd really love to see a game more focused on exploration of interesting areas. I don't want to be forced to take pictures of the landscape or anything silly like that. I'm not quite sure how it would work out gameplay-wise. Somehow I get the feeling anything I do come up with would be colored by my KZing and would be some sort of spin on a platformer. So anyone have any ideas on how exploration could be turned into a full blown non-kill game?


I'd play the crap out of a game that lets me explore different planets.


Have you tried Noctis?


No, but I will have tried Noctis!

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby Retne » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:32 am UTC

Gonna try Noctis as soon as I get home from work. Hopefully it's fun. :)

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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:00 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:
Retne wrote:I'd really love to see a game more focused on exploration of interesting areas. I don't want to be forced to take pictures of the landscape or anything silly like that. I'm not quite sure how it would work out gameplay-wise. Somehow I get the feeling anything I do come up with would be colored by my KZing and would be some sort of spin on a platformer. So anyone have any ideas on how exploration could be turned into a full blown non-kill game?


I'd play the crap out of a game that lets me explore different planets.

Like you start out with a galaxy map and can only go to systems within whatever parsecs. Then you choose one, then you explore each planet within the system. And each planet has special properties. Kind of like Star Wars planets. And you dig and explore until you find enough whatevers to build a spaceport and then you can fly to anything within whatever parsecs of THAT place.

Basically I'm picturing Master of Orion fused with Minecraft. To make things more interesting, planetary weather and such happens, so you may have to build a shelter before the snowstorm hits or whatever.

I dunno. The more I look back on the idea the more it sounds kind of dull, but I'm sure it could be made into something fun.


Sounds like a 4X game without the eXterminate part. So a 3X game. You could still make it an interesting game if you had to compete with other empires without being able to use military force.
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Re: Non-kill-centric games. (I know...that's not a word)

Postby EmptySet » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:27 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Sounds like a 4X game without the eXterminate part. So a 3X game.


I'm sure there are plenty of triple X games already, though they might not be quite what you were thinking of.


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