April 19, 2009 4:00 PM |
[Every day during GDC, Everybody Dies creator Jim Munroe blogged for GameSetWatch discussing the creative process for the GDC-related text adventure he'll be building for us. Here's a post-GDC update, following Monday's, Tuesday's, Wednesday's and Thursday's and Friday's entries during GDC.]
Skeletons are scary. I'm about 60 hrs into making the GDC text game -- which should be done in the next couple of weeks -- at this point.
There's a bunch of randomly generated convention-goers wandering around the Moscone Center, annoying and impressing each other, talking about things they know about and things they know nothing about, and as the player character you can stand there and watch it happen or jump in.
But because I haven't written more than one or two actions/behaviours for each situation, they still feel pretty robotic. I just try to keep in mind something Raigan and Mare told me -- when they were making N, adding the animated ninja at the end of the process immediately made it much more fun. Up til then it'd just been a physics simulation.
So I'm still keeping the faith. I think social interactions will be compelling in a text adventure context because prose can communicate a haughty look or an adoring gaze way better than the most advanced 3D model with the most talented face puppeteer in the business.
I've also been thinking about the creative authorship that goes into the creation of systems.
I've created plenty of systems in the various communities I've been a part of -- the latest of which is the Artsy Games Incubator, which is currently being run by Miguel Sternberg.
For me making this game (which I'm calling a social simulation) has been recognizing that every variable decision is an expression, of a creative or opinionated type.
Sure, extroverted characters are more inclined to talk to people and make friends -- but they're also inclined to talk about stuff they're completely ignorant about, and thus make enemies too.
One part in my previous game, Everybody Dies, asked the player to decide if he wanted to threaten a racist with a knife or turn the other cheek. There were no game-altering consequences either way, and partially this was because I was uncomfortable with judging the player and dictating behaviour.
It's the same way I would feel super-bossy telling someone that they had to make a game in six weeks, and that these are the tools you should use to make it.
But I had no problem setting up the AGI, hanging out a shingle, and signing people up to do just that. Setting up a system allows people who are engaged by it to participate, and if they don't want to they don't have to. It's not the only game in town.
[Jim Munroe will be demoing the beta of his GDC-themed interactive fiction game at the next Hand Eye Society Social this Thursday, if you happen to be in Toronto.]
Categories: The Making Of GDC: The Game