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True "Open-ended game"

You are held hostage in a mall for 2 hours. Do anything you want.
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Every game developer's dream is to make the legendary game where you can do anything that comes to mind and the world responds. The problem is the game would take so long to make. For example, you would have to write a basic story. Then a variation of the story when your avatar kills the King. Then yet another story path when your avatar marries the King and so on. Imagine doing this with every decision in the game. It's an impossible project!

But what if the game had a two hour time limit. You are being held hostage in a shopping-mall (don't ask how this is possible because that is still something I have to figure out) and you can do whatever you want. You can attack the force holding you in, you can escape multiple different ways or just sit tight and wait it out. There is no "winning" or "loosing". The game would be a 3rd person action/adventure game and the big focus would be on interacting with other hostages. Groups of people would form who have the same views of what to do in the situtation they are in. Do you be a group leader, follower or just stay neutral? Do you attack the others groups or just stay in your section of the mall? There's no right or wrong.

Understand that just because you are limited to two hours, doesn't mean the game is short. You can just start a new file and use a completely different play style to see what the outcome is. Similar to Civilization IV. In it a game can end after a few hours but then you start a new game with a different country and a different goal and there you go! It's almost like playing a whole different game!

billybob5982, Jun 15 2006

Spore http://video.google...30420559198&q=spore
This game goes a long way towards doing what you want. Of course it still has its limits but still - it looks pretty cool. [fridge duck, Jun 15 2006]

[link]






       Sounds like the movie "Dawn of the Dead" would be a good starting place. The original was pretty good but the remake was great, and is exactly the scenario you describe.
bungston, Jun 15 2006
  

       where's safe?   

       the pub!
po, Jun 15 2006
  

       Ah, yes, "Sean Of The Dead".
normzone, Jun 15 2006
  

       sp: "Shaun of the dead"   

       [billybob]: remember that designing a game isn't necessarily abou the size of the plot/scenario. These days it is more about designing the *rules* for interactions. So games like "The Sims" and "Spore" (as pointed to by my beautiful assistant [fridgeduck] ) are based on a set of rules and in theory, can happily continue for two hours, or two months, etc. and not need new plot.
Jinbish, Jun 16 2006
  

       [phlish] There's rules and there's rules.
zen_tom, Jun 17 2006
  

       wow, [fridge]. That link is just... wow.   

       I'm gonna need a faster computer.
moomintroll, Jun 17 2006
  

       First, I'd like to thank you all for your comments.   

       Second, I want to clarify something. This game idea came to me when I was thinking of a point in my life where I wish I had done something different. I always wonder what would have happened if I did. This game concept allows you to do an event over and over, each time in a different way to see how the end result would differ.   

       And I also want to respond to what Jinbish said. The Sims 2 is my favorite game and I'm really excited about Spore. But my game would be a different genre than the Sims. It's not a god game where you control everything. Rather, it's about what I mentioned above. What's similar between the games is there are no linear objectives.   

       And finally, I want to put it out there that I've never seen Dawn of the Dead. But thanks for bringing up that my story is similar because if it is, then I might have to change it. The reason I wanted people to be held hostage is so the boundaries on the map are realistic and the reason I chose a mall is because it would have a punch of different items you can pick up and use.   

       And, thanks for helping me evolve my idea!
billybob5982, Jun 18 2006
  

       This reminds me a little of the movie Groundhog day, and of a similar "Xena" episode ("Been There, Done That"). In both, heroes live through the same day repeatedly amidst a world of people who don't. After a while, familarity with the inevitable events and characters' histories allows the hero to act as an expert in lots of detail situations; they get better, get to their results faster. There still is a single desired outcome (stopping the repetition), though. The game in those two movies is about composing details picked up from parallel storylines into a whole, not about just following any one story line.
jutta, Jun 18 2006
  

       The "Dawn of the Dead" reference doesn't fit with the two-hour time limit requirement.   

       Anyway, I don't see how if the character is a hostage and you're stuck in a mall you can really have a whole lot of freeroam. Most of the other characters, to be realistic, would have to be crying in puddles of urine at gunpoint.   

       Also, you obviously don't understand how this kind of game has to be built. No, you can't write every plot turn imaginable, so you craft the game to respond on its own. You allow the NPCs to rate their opinions on matters based on how things affected them (someone murders their wife, they dont like bad guys even more than before) and let them say things that are expressions of that, kind of like madlibs.   

       Still, bun it is. Seems like the wrong catagory go.
ironfroggy, Jun 19 2006
  
      
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