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Auto-Testament Generation for God Games

Games like "Black & White" allow you to play God. But what if they also auto-wrote a religious testament as a "summary" of your gameplay at the end.
  (+69, -2)(+69, -2)(+69, -2)
(+69, -2)
  [vote for,

The idea here would be to have an Auto- Testament mode that would record a scriptural description of your actions when playing a God game. Ideally, this could be illustrated with illuminated text and screen captures if you wanted it to be fancy and it could mirror challenges from the game with sections in the book.

Okay, that's cute, but not necessarily cool in itself. What I think would be great is the fact that your "good book" would be filled with distortions, confusion over your intentions and wrong conclusions. Remember, you're a God. Sure, you can smite things and do other things, but I don't think in most games you come out and just tell your worshippers what to do and not to do.

So, they'll make assumptions. Sometimes they might be right (if you smite someone for doing something obviously bad), sometimes they might be horribly wrong. Say you are bored and you smite a random person walking by the shore. This could be turned into a commandment against eating oysters, a condemnation of his family line into slavery, or it could not be noticed at all. Similarly, events that are not your doing (say, a volcano erupting) could be interpreted as signs of divine will or intent in your testament and lead to things like human sacrifice, a ban against playing the bagpipes, or nothing at all either. I think it would be interesting if something seemingly straightforward in your mind got transformed into a radically different commandment, and I think a touch of the absurd (admonitions against the color blue, religious requirements to grow cabbages) would be best.

So that's my silly first idea. Obviously, it would require a bit more AI intelligence in trying to guess intent and modelling behavior... but if it were entirely realistic, sensible, and feasible it wouldn't be here anyway...

harrisj, May 12 2005

slightly related ReCreationals
[theircompetitor, May 12 2005]

The God's Must be Crazy http://andy.pudmenz...must_be_crazy_1_&_2
[Klaatu, May 17 2005]


       I really like it. [+]
contracts, May 12 2005

       I wonder what you would have to do to make it come out the way it did.
Shz, May 12 2005

       This had better have a plethora of "thee"s and "thou"s.
shapu, May 12 2005

       This is a pretty awesome idea.[+] Could there be several scripture pulling from the same god? I mean, if we're going to attempt accuracy...   

       Or, have mulitplayer mode, and everyone has different powers, and see how closely the scriptures can deduce the interplay.   

       I want a "send son" button, and leave it on autofire!!!
daseva, May 12 2005

       And lo! On the twelfth day of May a new star appeared in the firmament of the demibakery and it's name was HarrisJ. The bakers cried "See! It portents of a new form of game which shalt include Testament Generation. And that game shall be more interesting than the games that came before, yet without detraction from the gameplay." and there was much rejoicing and singing and offerings of bread.
wagster, May 12 2005

       //if it were entirely realistic, sensible, and feasible it wouldn't be here anyway...// Pretty much the reason why I joined, welcome to the 'bakery.   

       I love this idea, it would make a great multiplayer, so how would people know that you existed, eg, if a person was smited by the seaside as you suggested, people would just think that he went out for a swim and drowned, or something, or maybe even someone else would be held resposible, so how about appearing to the primordial people above a well and let them build temples etc in your glory?   

       Would there be extra points depending for how close you get to imitating an existing culture, or one long past? Or maybe the reverse, as in how far away from any religeon current or otherwise you get? Eg, you make your people believe that one day your child will be born with purple and yellow stripes.
froglet, May 12 2005

       Wow, I REALLY want this. Nice job on your first idea. Welcome to the 'bakery. +
-----, May 12 2005

       I think this wouldn't be too dificult to integrate into current game technology. There is already feedback in the form of economic and social change, as well as general denizen mood meters. All you would need is a good writer (I'm thinking Neil Gaimen) and some random number generators...   


       <mel brooks> "I BRING YOU THESE FIFTEEN" ...   


       "um... TEN COMMANDMENTS!" </mb>   

       did I mention that this is brilliant and I want it? +
ato_de, May 12 2005

       I'm smitten. have been for years...   

       mind you, he is a sinner :)
po, May 12 2005

       Top stuff, harrisj.
lostdog, May 12 2005

       What everyone else said.
calum, May 13 2005

       Why thank you everyone. I appreciate the feedback. One thing I forgot to mention is that the game should allow you to get your book in a nice little PDF format so you can print it up and rant about its teachings to strangers in the subway.
harrisj, May 13 2005

       For that I will give you a second (sadly metaphorical) bun.
wagster, May 13 2005

       PDF? really?   

daseva, May 13 2005

       Another silly idea is that the Auto- Testament mode could become a gameplay challenge in its own right (rather than an amusing byproduct of gameplay). The result is a bit of clumsy cosmic charades. I mean, imagine if you were given the task of telling your worshippers they should do something like "letting a field lie fallow for a year after several harvests" or even "don't eat pork", but all you have by way of communications are smitings, earthquakes, eclipses, or other big showy things to try to say something subtle. That's an exercise in patience and frustration I think (kinda like the game Lemmings...)   

       If you're curious, the whole idea was inspired by the lunacy when some bad natural disaster happens and someone claims it's a message from God. To which I always thought that maybe God should consider email or TV or faxing or sky writing...   

       And lo, an idea is born!
harrisj, May 13 2005

       Today's reading is taken from the BOOK of ERRATA, chapter 3 verses 1-26:   

       3.1 Contrary to Our Prophet's words in the Previous Edition, blessed are the Mink, for they shall inherit the Earth. We apologize to anyone whose behaviour was affected by this Error.   

       3.2 And lo, the Lord sent a Great Flood, and said to Noah, Bring forth two of every kind of animal EXCEPT PEOPLE. Of which I do NOT want you to save EIGHT. Good grief.   

       3.3 And the Flood was a way of saying, Keep the Noise Down.   

       3.4 And the Fireworks to celebrate the Tower of Babel went a bit Wrong, too. Sorry about that. It is the Word of the LORD that you put a Lightning Conductor on the next one.   

       3.5 And the Lord said, take the blood of a lamb and make it into Black Pudding. Do not use it as Paint.   

       3.6 And the Lord sent a vast number of Frogs, that the Israelites and Egyptians could Feast together on FROG'S LEGS and live peaceably together.   

       3.7 And he made the River Nile to run with RED WINE. If anybody had bothered TASTING it.   

       3.8 And the LORD saw that Moses looked a bit CHILLY, so he set a bush on fire that he may be WARM and CONTENTED with his lot as a humble shepherd. Thus spake the LORD: Well, that all got a bit out of hand, didn't it?   

       3.9 And later, in the temple, the LORD spake to his priests and pharisees, and said, these lightning bolts are tricky to aim.   

       2.10 And the LORD spake unto Job, and said: Sorry, did you say your name was JOB? Really? Not JEB, then. Not even as a middle name, Job Jeb something? Ah. Oh dear.   

       3.11 Pharoah called Jacob to him, and said, I dreamt that there were seven fat cows and seven thin cows, and the seven thin cows ate the seven fat cows but became not fat themselves, but remained thin. What does this dream mean?
And Jacob, being blessed in the sight of the LORD, spoke wisely and said, Great Pharoah, eat no cheese before you go to bed.

       3.12 And Jacob Atkins went forth and said unto the People, I have an idea for a diet.   

       Welcome to the HB, by the way, fantastic idea.Must stop now before I really do hit verse 26.
moomintroll, May 13 2005

       You will be a fantastic baker. I wish I could give this more croissants.
disbomber, May 13 2005

       ////if it were entirely realistic, sensible, and feasible it wouldn't be here anyway...// Pretty much the reason why I joined, welcome to the 'bakery.//   

       I disagree. I like to see ideas that are all that, here at the bakery. And there are plenty.   

       And I vote + on this one
zeno, May 14 2005

       Is there any way for the scriptures to reflect the player's hipicritical actions, tally them up and actually publish both (or more) of their "standards" so they contradict each other.
Cracked, May 14 2005

       Excellent. + from me. Creative, plausible and inobvious.
bristolz, May 15 2005

       ...and it was good.   

       And the Lord spoke, "And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply"   

       Thus, mathematics was born. [+]
Klaatu, May 15 2005

       Great, now I'll never crack the top ten.

And the lord Afro Assault said, "venture ye forth, and destroy all thou shalt see, for explosions are in the path of salvation."
And it came to pass that the explosions waxed strong, and many Shakespeares did explode.
And the multitudes, bearing heavy explosives, did look to the sky and cry out,
Father! O Father! The land hath been wrought dry with fire, how shall we survive?
And the lord Afro Assault said, "not my problem. Sorry."
AfroAssault, May 15 2005

       But why stop there? After the game is done and the testaments are generated, the game should flash forward 2,000 years or so to the New Testament, where you as Creator try to rectify all the damage done in your name. Or more likely, switch it off and laugh over the auto-Testament with your friends.
justaguy, May 16 2005

       Welcome to the bakery. (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, May 16 2005

       [moomintroll] I'm a born-again Christian, and your anno had me in stitches. I'm not quite sure if that was appropriate on my part... hilarious.
david_scothern, May 17 2005

       My pleasure :-)
moomintroll, May 17 2005

       Do not eat from the berry bush (smite)
Do Not eat from the berry bush (smite)

       Priests:"God forbids us to eat from the berry bushes"
Scientists: "That is utter nonsense. It has been scientifically proven that berry bushes are poisonous for your health".
Susan, May 17 2005

       back in high school, my fantastic calculus teacher ended up in the hospital and they gave us a very inept substute. His explanations and comments were so surreal that we wrote them down and published them in chapter and verse at the end of the year.   

       Our scriptures: The book of Perkins, Roger I
elfling, May 17 2005

       Substute: {sub'-stoot} adj. the state of being less than astute.
RayfordSteele, May 17 2005

       For the most part I avoid video games like the plague - but I want to play this one. Sign me up.
normzone, May 17 2005

       Jesus, my son would like this!
FarmerJohn, May 17 2005


// the whole idea was inspired by the lunacy when some bad natural disaster happens and someone claims it's a message from God. //

A relative of mine did a study of this. His subjects thought there were playing a computer game, but the points they earned were completely random. Nevertheless, all of them developed some theory of the game. Some of them (prophets, lucky ones) would share their insights with others (neophytes, unlucky ones). Had this gone on long enough, a savior would’ve appeared.
ldischler, May 17 2005

       This game reminds me of the movie "The Gods Must be Crazy I & II" <link>.   

       I regret I have but only one croissant to give this idea. If it is ever baked, I will be first in line for a copy.
Klaatu, May 17 2005

       <shuffles in with math sub story>
Mr. Mortenson (8th grade Algebra teacher) was sick for a week, so we had a sub. She was an older Asian woman with a thick Japanese accent. We were learning about polynomials that week.
When Mr. Mortenson came back the following monday, he didn't understand why we thought it was so funny to refer to them as "pahreenomeeurs."
AfroAssault, May 18 2005

       //(admonitions against the color blue, religious requirements to grow cabbages)//
A Nugganite, I take it?
Tabbyclaw, Sep 12 2005

       Wow, how did I never notice this idea?   

       Fantastic, [+]
Mr Phase, Jan 08 2006

       If this could be integrated into, say, a football management game, one could, at the end of a glory-laden score of years in charge of a previously lowly club, print out the auto-generated "Autobiography of a Manager" and leaf through it, reminiscing about players dropped, bungs taken and victories over Everton. Obviously, the Autobiography extension pack should have a "bitterness & bile" setting ranging from "I'd like to thank everyone" to Ian St John.   

       Anyway, apologies for the churn, but this is a fabulous idea, and [moomintroll]'s fairly non sequiturial anno is tremendous.
calum, Jan 16 2007

       Excellent (+). Sim-Prophets in the game who correctly predict your random whims should have churches named after them.
hippo, Jan 16 2007

       Of course, you should be able to read the developing testament as time goes by, and have the option at some point, to manifest yourself in human form so as to get to know your flock, and in so doing, become better able to explain previous actions, fundamental truths, and lay down a few general guidelines, in terms of parables and the like (a far more subtle form of communication when compared to thunderbolts, climatic disasters and forest fires).   

       All of this bit would be performed in a sub game, at the end of which, you'll be set upon by the people of your creation who will then nail you to something.   

       //PDF format// Also, shouldn't there be some kind of PTF standard?
zen_tom, Jan 16 2007

       This is an absolutely fantastic idea. Could you apply it as well to questing type games? Say, have a minstrel compose an ode or an epic poem?
Noexit, Jan 16 2007


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