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Modular Computer Games

Hmm, thats enough real time strat, lets swich to first person
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This should surely by now be possible, and may be extremely profitable for a company that accomplishes it.

Truly modular gaming.

Example; A realtime land based strategy system as playable as say Red Alert, where if you choose to you can select a unit, zoom on them and it becomes first person shooter. (I think this as an example is baked but it doesn't stop there, oh no)

Next you interface in a system for 3D real time space battles, and you allow interaction between the land and space conflicts - say you could build a SDI system on the ground to support your ships in space. You could build and launch strike craft if the battle is in the air or launch landing craft to the surface if troops are needed there.

Again a first person fighter system could be added, to take control of one of your ships.

Next could be added a large scale strategy sytem, to allow direction of an entire galactic government, or a major corporation the troops for the other game parts are the employees of. And something a bit like 'elite' on the amiga to allow freebooter trading in such an environment.

This is the kicker. All of these interacting parts would be released as stand alone games. But when used in conjunction the whole would be far greater than the sum of its parts.

Each could be charged at full price and wouldn't depreciate quickly like add-on packs, also each would bring a new wave of consumers to the system, who would learn about the other parts - something that traditional add-on packs probably don't do.

Zircon, Feb 01 2002

Breach 3 http://www.theunder...e.php?name=Breach+3
[bookworm, Feb 01 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Rules of Engagement 2 http://www.theunder...les+of+Engagement+2
[bookworm, Feb 01 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

ASCI White http://www.llnl.gov/asci/
We've got the processing power. [quietguy, Feb 03 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

War Is Virtual Hell http://www.wired.co...01/virthell_pr.html
SIMNET, online wargaming infrastructure [BunsenHoneydew, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Habitat screenshot http://www.utc.edu/...p01/c64/habitat.gif
Front end to massively online world from the '80s [BunsenHoneydew, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

More Habitat http://hotwired.lyc...06_metaworlds3.html
in Wired article on Metaworlds [BunsenHoneydew, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Beyond 2 http://www.asbahr.com/beyond.html
Baking, an open-source virtual world backend allows arbitrary front-ends [BunsenHoneydew, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

iGames' "Savage" http://www.s2games.com/savage/
As mentioned by [JackAndJohn]. [jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       I've always thought this is roughly where Maxis was heading. Build a SimTower that's a building in your SimCity and worked in by one of the Sims, etc.
beauxeault, Feb 01 2002

       As the gist of the idea seems to be the ability to change Point Of View - Baked: Rainbow Six (and others, I'm sure). Though I'd prefer the flexibility of [Zircon]'s version.
phoenix, Feb 01 2002

       Omnitrend's "Breach" (squad combat) and "Rules of Engagement" (ship combat) did something like this.
bookworm, Feb 01 2002

       I'm sure I have heard this idea somewhere else... but I can't quite think where... maybe I'm imagining it...
RobertKidney, Feb 01 2002

       I know...its kind of got its foot out of the oven door hasn't it. What I think it needs is a baker with some chutzpah to come along, like the recipe, cook up a giant batch and market the tasty product well.   

       Carpe Diem 'n' all that
Zircon, Feb 02 2002

       Actually, this was exactly baked. I had a game called 'Caesar', which was sort of Roman SimCity. If you had another game by the same people <whose name I have forgotten; neither of the games were very good.> then instead of the incredibly feeble combat engine <three cylinder two stroke with an unbalanced crankshaft> in the original game, it would take the parameters and feed them to the other game and use its play instead. I REALLY wanted to like this game, so I bought the other one too, but it couldn't save it, alas.   

       Beauxeault: Maxis had apparently intended at one point to connect their games like this; build a city in SimCity, zoom in and fly a SimCopter over it, land and get into a car in Streets of SimCity, park, go into the Sims house. Apparently that idea failed, which seems kind of a shame.   

       Phoenix, the idea is more than just to change point of view, if I'm reading him right. Like I said to Beauz up there, it's actually different games in different sections. Like you fly a plane <Flight Simulator 2002> , land it at an airport, get into a car <Test Drive 5>, drive it through a city <Created in SimCity3000>, see someone being mugged, pull over, jump out and intervene <Duke Nukem 3D>. Burglary averted, you drive on to your home and go kiss your wife who then has a baby <The Sims>. Get up in the morning and drive to work, as the designer at an amusement park <Rollercoaster Tycoon>.
StarChaser, Feb 02 2002

       [Starchaser] YES!!! Thats what I'm getting at, and kind of wanted to provoke a debate on the possibilities of such a system. You put the gameplay side of it more elequently than I.   

       I was more thinking of a space/universe beased system, to allow that many more layers. You could still include all the stuff you sugessted though - a theme park in space might be a fun prospect. Maybe you could go back another level and ad a true GOD sim - stellar engineering, terraforming etc.   

       I think the marketing side is just as important to sustain the system's expansion. And the fact that each game must feel truely independant.
Zircon, Feb 02 2002

       If it was played on line you could drive through a city someone else was building - make their experience more realistic as there city has a real population... send them emails about pollution - that sort of thing... They might decide to bulldoze all the road around your car or something though... but hey you could get a flight sim and bomb their house... ok this could get silly... but if you had it set up like that it would be a good idea to only have human (or equivalent eg. aliens, robots) as gods would be able to really mess up peoples games...
RobertKidney, Feb 02 2002

       [StarChaser] / [Zircon]: "Like you fly a plane, land it at an airport, get into a car, drive it through a city, see someone being mugged, pull over, jump out and intervene. Burglary averted, you drive on to your home and go kiss your wife who then has a baby. Get up in the morning and drive to work, as the designer at an amusement park."
My point was that if I have to do it in that order, I'm not really playing multiple games, I'm playing one game that makes me do those things and provides the context in which I do them.
I imagined having a god-like role where I can play strategically or tactically - switching between the two dynamically - as I saw fit or as game events required. Give me SimCity and I'll build a city. Give me Civilization and I'll build many cities. When the barbarians attack, let me take over the role of a platoon leader (a la the Agents in the Matrix) and lead my men to war. When there's a riot on my streets, let me take the role of a policeman (or Chief of Police, whichever I prefer). Capability comes from the modularity of the game. Play comes from the ability to acquire different points of view (play as different characters). Just my thought.
phoenix, Feb 02 2002

       Phoenix, you're describing exactly the same thing...just a different point of view set in the game <'god' instead of 'first/third person'.> . Your description just uses different games. <Master of Orion to find planets, Civilization to settle them, Squad Leader to defend them.>
StarChaser, Feb 03 2002

       All we need in a big enough computer with enough processing power [see link-ASCI White], this game and a whole whack of VR glasses and, hello Matrix.
quietguy, Feb 03 2002

       One problem with this concept is that many of the simplifying assumptions which may seem annoying may turn out to be essential to the game. Yes, it might be nice if in the game Lemmings you could take over control of some of the individual lemmings rather than having them always act so [bleep]in stupid, but their stuipidity is an essential part of the game.
supercat, Feb 05 2002

       A multiplayer war game could use this style brilliantly.   

       A player is assigned (or selects) a rank. (Please forgive my ignorance of military hierarchy from here on.)Privates play a "Battlefield 1942"-style FPS, and receive their orders from Captains.   

       Captains play a "Rainbow Six"-style squad shooter, and receive their orders (are given targets to destroy/capture/defend etc) by Colonels.   

       Colonels oversee the area, "Command and Conquer"-like, directing forces to this or that area, keeping supply lines open, that kind of thing. They are commanded by Generals.   

       Generals take a much larger, "Risk"-style overview of the war, and move troops from territory to territory, deciding the size of force that their Colonels command. They could get summarised reports of the battles, like in "Championship Manager", and decide to bring in extra support, artillery, and so on.   

       [Addendum] This may either require a staggering amount of coordination among players to all be online at the same time, or the use of an equally staggering number of 'bots.
friendlyfire, Dec 18 2002

       If you read the Bruce Sterling article from Wired magazine, you'll see that something like this is baked for the US defence forces joint online wargames.   

       Personally, I think online is the best (only?) way to bake this puppy. Basically you are talking about an open world database with many different "reality rendering" engines acting upon it. These could also be different for each machine. You could have an engine that runs as a text adventure on a mobile phone, another engine for a Palm Pilot, Java-based web page, 2D "Habitat" style for a C=64, and a full-blown 3d-rendered engine for your PC/Mac/console.   

       The interface standards for connecting the engine to the world should be open-source, so you allow any developer to create an engine. Take it to Slashdot and bake it.   

BunsenHoneydew, Dec 19 2002

       Course you have to remember that while you're off doing other things, the rest of the game world would have to continue in order for it to be realistic. You can't be flying around, land at your base, plan and build it for several hours then take off and carry off where you left it. So there would need to be some complex stuff going on in the background to keep it all running i would of thought?
Laser Flannel, Dec 19 2002

       Just incase noone has mantioned this yet:   

       A version of this is baked and coming to store shelves (If not there already); iGame's Savage   

       <quote> Combining real time strategy and first person action, Savage delivers the next level in multiplayer gaming. Instead of sending mindless computer drones into battle, imagine organizing real human players on a crusade to conquer your adversary. Choose to be a commander, and you will play an in-depth RTS game, researching technologies, mining resources, and issuing orders to your units. Choose to be a warrior, and you will play an intense game of first person combat, wielding your weapon of choice to strike down the enemy.   

       Savage is designed so that neither RTS nor Action based play are watered down in any way. RTS fans will have all the control they are used to, such as: tech tree, resource management, and tactical strategy. In turn, the action-based players will play an in-depth fighting game with a heavy emphasis on battle dynamics. Although the two sides work together their roles are very distinct.</quote>   

       Basically what you want but only RTS and FPS are integrated.
JackandJohn, Feb 04 2003

       if you had a playstation 2 or pc hooked up to a multi disc changer and then the memory card/ hard disc could record info from one game and supply it to the next. i.e in strategy type WWII game you attck enemy with small group of elite troups.. zzpp.. medal of honour type game you carry out the mission... zzzp... depending on the out come of said mission in strategy mode you may decide to mount air attack... zzp... flight sim... zzp... tank...zzzp... u-boat etc.   

       all games of similar genre be made interconnectable or playable solo. Great.
etherman, May 19 2004


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