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Serendipity Setting

Pesky aliens drift into laser fire.
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I was playing a game this morning (I should have been working but my brain wasn't co-operating). Several games in a row I died by flying the wrong side of an obstacle. It could have turned out alright, but a pesky pixelated alien fired his laser cannon at just the wrong time (or right, depending on which side you support). It turns out that I would have been safe the other side of the obstacle but that was not the path I chose.

The serendipity setting of a computer game would be a user configurable 'luck' value which, when high would make fortuitous events happen: aliens would drift into that speculative volley of shots you have delivered up the side of the screen, powerups would be delivered at useful times (and would be just what you needed) and just when you're hemmed in a narrow corridor of enemy fire, the alien would forget to drift across the top and fire that lethal bolt down the middle.

Conversely, when you fancy a bit of a challenge, you can dial down the luck and things that are supposedly random would go against you.

For a game to successfully do this, it would have to appear to be much simpler that it really was. Enemies would appear to be moving randomly not because they were but rather because they were programmed to appear so; the computer would have to have an understanding of the game so that it could give you the advantage and make it look like luck.

Turn the 'luck' all the way up to maximum and feel like you're using the force.

st3f, Nov 22 2005

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       //Turn the 'luck' all the way up to maximum and feel like you're using the force//   

       or enter X,B,B,A,X,X,X,B to get God mode.[+]
skinflaps, Nov 22 2005
  

       Nethack has luck, but you need to behave in certain ways to raise or lower it - it's not just a dial.   

       A lot of games have difficulty settings that you choose at the beginning; in an easy game, you find lots of tools and weaponry, and use it to dispose of relatively few monsters.
jutta, Nov 22 2005
  

       I saw this as being a little more subtle than a difficulty setting. The computer could possibly play out scenarios a couple of seconds in advance pretending to be you, then form an attack that would have killed you had you taken a slightly different path. I want the player to feel that they're fighting a skilled opponent only, at high luck settings, feeling that everything is going their way.
st3f, Nov 22 2005
  

       Ah, I see. You actually want to find the little pivot points where one might have to be lucky - a bullet aimed with a jitter of X actually missing, say - and affect them, rather than doing something in broad strokes and waiting for the user to just feel lucky about it. I think you're working at the wrong end of the cause/perception lever, but this _is_ the halfbakery.   

       This might give rise to a whole different karmic game stat - a character using luck to guard against unfortunate events. A glance at your luck bar tells you whether you should venture into high-risk situations.
jutta, Nov 22 2005
  

       I vaguely recall some Mac space game where you could earn luck by guiding your craft to run over--capture--a certain good luck object.   

       I remember thinking that it was very nicely rendered and addictive for certain guys I knew.
bristolz, Nov 22 2005
  

       Can you add this setting for real life as well, please?
sleeka, Nov 22 2005
  
      
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