Saturday, April 7, 2012

Game Desgin

 So a while ago I talked about a random idea I had, it originated from my brain causing a collision between batman and the assassin’s creed game.

Now since then I've been toying around with making a game using this idea, I was originally planning on trying to use the editor in star craft 2 (but that thing is kind of intimidating, and online tutorials exit but they're pretty big and unwieldy looking from what I've seen) while I should just bite the bullet and start learning it (especially since I want to be a programmer later) I wanted to focus more on developing the game itself, not learn a specific set of tools.  To make delaying all the more tempting a recent kickstarter allowed a shadowrun game to be put in production, and the developers are already saying a robust editing tool is a major feature of their planned game. add the facts that the core game play of the game and art assets depicting a dystopian future fit my concept a lot better, and well you get the idea.

OK that ended up longer then I'd hoped, anyway despite nothing concrete coming up I have spent time thinking about how I want the game to run, what the players place is among the factions will be, the major themes of the game.  First thing this did is cement the idea that "the batman side" will be a group of people, rather than an individual. This should allow me to set up some conversations to both show the groups philosophy and show some problems with it. Most importantly I've been trying to balance the philosophy and actions of the groups to allow me to create moral ambiguity and put the player in a position to tip the scales towards the faction they support. I'm still trying to work it out, and since I haven't come up with new names I'm currently using their inspiration as working titles.
the Templar, group has been the easiest to define, murder, infiltration theft, all on the table for them, though they tend to focus on infiltrating groups with influence (both government and crime lord) and making sweeping changes and spreading propaganda, allowing them a great deal of control. Their direct actions will be the easiest to condemn, but I'm going to try and show a world falling apart (with the city/small country being at some sort of apex) and they'll have the plan and recourses to pull the world out of it.  Basically "the ends justify the means".

the assassins, willing to kill, and experts at spying and gathering Intel, but in theory a very strict rule to not harm innocent people (with the problem being whether or not some people qualify as innocent, for example, guards hired to protect a target, the guards are just doing their jobs, but their combatants protecting their main target, in this case the death of the guards would be acceptable but would prefer to be avoided).  They’re doing this for a pretty noble cause, to allow freedom and free thought among the population, letting humanity as a whole determine their future instead of an elite minority. I'm also toying with the idea of making them apathetic towards the plight of people around them, their only concern, is this one issue I think I may be able to justify this by showing that they don't like the actions they take, but resort to them solely for this big issue.  If these guys win very little in the world would change. 

The batman group, their actions are the most moral, never ever killing or using lethal weaponry. They do play fast and loose with stuff like breaking and entering and stealing, but only for investigation purposes (only stealing what appears to be evidence).  I also want to try to pull the futility of their efforts that I see happen in batman stories (they catch a criminal the criminal only escapes and causes more harm) I'm also thinking I might throw in a bit of escalation, that despite their attempt to do good, meaning that a continuation of their action may lead to all out war, and a nearly apocalyptic level of breakdown of society.

I need to balance these factions around a lot more, and ideally I would like them to more closely reflect each other, making them seems as though only one or two ideas in their core philosophies spawned the differences.  I also need to close the gap between the assassins and the batman's as I don't want a compromise of well "why don't we just kill the crime lords" to be a seemingly viable solution that I don't present.  I may end up giving the player that option, but putting the war outcome under it.

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