Thursday, February 20, 2014

Competing to Give the Best Escape

Ironic that I wanted to be a game designer when I took my college course but ended up not wanting to play computer games. Computer games takes hours and hours to play and enjoy. I admit the high can be very addicting but the problem is that if there is no end to the fun there is no control for those of us with very poor impulse control lolz (an argument with the wife about why she plays SIMS and I don't play any computer games anymore).

If games were an activity like a Tabletop RPG then things are a bit different. It reminds me when our team got Battlefield (it was on SALE) so that we can practice our maneuvers for airsoft. Computer Games are still the best training for reflexes when I consider my other options and constraints. What is very different about Tabletop games is that it Ends every Session and the GM with "responsibilities" (lols) has to really budget his time when preparing for the games. This leads me to a different kind of computer game.

So a move is worth millions and people spend a small amount but many people watch it. A computer game is worth a lot more, has some physical requirements and can be worth a ton of hours. Some mmos allow people to give up a huge chuck on their life... not judging if thats what you think (I don't their circumstance and when you consider how depressing some situations are it gives some perspective). Still thats the thing, the Per Hour Reward gets better and better for games. If a game will give you a place to be someone you want to be for a good chunk of your life its time well spent... The problem begins when games are competing to give you that escape for the maximum number of hours.

When games compete to grant the best escape, diminishing returns and competition has some very interesting and unusual circumstances. Sorry for using movies as a comparison, so a movie is (these days) 2-3 hours long and a franchise that goes for two to three instances and then there are the Mini-series that are getting popular - epic shows that give 10-16 hours of stimuli and escape. Then there are RPGs with the improving graphics that can give you a good chunk of your life and a story of your own... Speaking as someone who played Oblivion to get lost and explore, not really caring about the plot, and before that Dagger Falls, Mount and Blade, and Dark Lands.

I'm all for escape, convenient escape that is. The games I play and run is that for me, but I also want more immersion and its cheaper going digital. So another Niche, one too small and unprofitable for anyone to pursue would be a digital tool to escape, build worlds, explore other worlds etc... I guess thats what I hope out of blender game engine or ogre (there is ogre with python which is hopeful). The online Tabletop medium systems pretty much is the early version of this, and hopefully things more immerse.

I guess as I get a clearer Idea of this I'll try to make some white paper about this and make my tutorial exercises work towards this goal... lols yikes forgot the hardware cost for this (i will eventually need to learn to run a server to help in setting these things up and help in the rendering lolz.

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