Thinking of New 3d Gameplay Concepts

As I use Blender I often come up with 3d Game ideas and whatnot.

In computer development it’s all about the data and the way data is used etc. 3d software gives us endless opportunities to come up with creative ideas. I was thinking of concepts of game development, in this case 3d action game storylines. At the time I was watching the series Day Break which is quite good by the way. As I watched the show I drew a slight connection between the story process of the TV series and my thoughts for a computer game storyline. I thought that the thing that makes Day Break so interesting is it’s outlay of events over time. Every clue is revealed to the main character over time. All of the crucial clue elements are evident at one time or another as the show progresses from point to point.

A 3d action games development of story elements can be broken down into data. This data ranges from the 3d object elements to the structure of the game engine, sound clips, textures, etc. I thought why not create clue based games that have a pattern of a storyline similar to the script for the series Day Break? Most 3d action games use scenarios in which the characters win a game by battling opponents and defeating enemies. This seems to be a limiting approach for 3d action games. Game developers have barely scratched the creative surface of using 3d action game world environments.

Why not create games that allow players to guide different characters through a series of events in which all available ongoing player interactions determine the course of the game? Various clues could be present as players pick characters and paths of actions based on their exposure to game elements. To make things more interesting maybe a first character could be chosen from a group of characters at a bus stop scene, etc. Maybe one would assume that a character standing by a car is not actually waiting for the bus. This character is chosen because the player thinks that he has car keys etc.

As this story progresses maybe a player picked the old woman sitting at the bus stop just out of curiosity. Later in the game the old woman is siting in her apartment watching TV. Her door opens and her granddaughter walks in. The player then jumps to the granddaughter character and ends up out in a restaurant. In this same restaurant the guy that was standing by the car at the start of the game in now your waiter. You watched earlier as he got off the bus in a rush while quickly putting on his vest uniform. This could go on and on with a player using different characters that started out at the beginning of the game to play the game through. As game clues are introduced mid game the player adapts to each situation of game play elements.

I also thought that such game play designs could also have a mode that allows players to wander and explore the game world. In this way they could attempt to familiarize themselves with the game environment.

Imagine in this same earlier discussed game play scenario a bird had perched in the old womans window. The player jumps to the bird. The player flies around the top of the city. Screen data indicates that the bird is hungry. You much fly around to look for a food source. You visit and explore warehouses, office complexes, shopping centers, schools, etc. You finally end up at the restaurant picking up crumbs from under the curbside dining tables. The game indicates that this again is a character jump point.

You can chose to stay in your bird state or jump into another available character. The office complex that you explored earlier had an open window. You entered that window and read some data on a laptop which on the desk. Later on as you continue playing the game this data on the laptop screen may come in handy. And oh yeah, as a bird you have freedoms and you also have dangers. These dangers are not always apparent, power lines, cats, a kid with a sling shot, etc. You get the idea?

This type of game play approach could apply to any 3d action game scenario. Any more ideas?:eyebrowlift2:

Such similar open ended concepts are already being put to use, GTA has an open ended environment, Spiderman for the PS3 will also have an open ended environment, but they only have the control of one or a few characters.

What you’re saying is an open ended game with no goals and you can switch to any character, this could be somewhat similar to the upcoming game Spore’s open-endedness.

That reminds me of a Frank Herbert short story I read once about a “thought alien” that could do the same thing. It was published in a book called “Eye.” I think it was called “Murder Will In” Go read it, if only to obtain a point to your new game idea. It’s a good short story anyway. It might help.

Well open ended yes, but a definite goal or conclusion. Just many creative ways to reach that conclusion. Like I said the process of 3d action game play is a bit stale. The 3d environments look cool. Great characters, physics etc. The way all of this stuff acts out is very predictable. It’s like the only imaginative process of the game is the look of the environment etc. not the game play.

I’m looking at this also from the standpoint of a 3d artist. Imagine what’s possible even exploring 3d game design with a more limited development environment in Blender. Rather than taking a straight line of approach to the creative process why not wander here and there? Eventually you can come to the same conclusion even if there are many paths to choose from. A game developer can have fun while examining and exploring each perspective of game play on many levels.

If a city is two big for first game level project environment why not make it a house or a room? 3d is all about exploring artistic creativity from many environmental perspectives. Why not take a birds eye view of a 3d environment at one point?

I’ve been playing 3d games for more than a minute. I’ve seen many concepts. “Prey” caught my eye recently in this respect as far is “inching” into new 3d action game play perspectives. More creative 3d action game play options have yet to be explored. Games like Far Cry seem to focus on exploring different elements of the tech of the game engine rather than a creative story. The world of 3d action gaming is a bit generic creatively at the moment. I’m wondering how Project Offset will “play out”.

I was checking out the Demo of “Portal” on YouTube. I kinda like that concept. I wish that it were more than a technology concept.

Like you said, there are some open ended games out there. It’s just that the actual game play doesn’t let you approach one thing or another from that many perspectives. You want to put yourself into the game as your play it from your own vantage point. Our computers are getting more powerful for 3d action games. More can be done and explored in one area or another development wise.

Thanks I’ll have to check that out. More creative fuel for the creative energies.:yes:

I think Crysis is pretty open ended (at least the Jungle levels) You have a whole island to explore and you get to pick your own route, like you can go on the road or hide in the brush.

I was just thinking about my first post. At point of game play a the bird character it would be cool to engage in an “danger” action sequence. Say the bird character flies around rooms inside an old abandoned building. You hear doors and windows slamming shut. This little kid character is running around trying to lock you inside. The next thing you see is the impact of a pebble knocking over a paint can. Now you have to fly around dodging this kid with a sling shot. You can apply many different strategies to evade the kid while you search for a way out of the building. At the same time you’re running out of energy. You need to feed. The kid may leave a crumb or two behind here and there for your power ups. You also have to rest at points and hide.

I’ve never played a game with a character like this bird. Imagine what perspectives the other afore mentioned characters could offer in a game like this. What if you choice to stick to one character throughout this game? How would you continue to play the game as this character based on it’s limitations or strengths, etc?

Crysis is open ended. But I have a feeling that it will break down to the old FPS setup. It’s cool to see physical effects and all. But what about more complex character interaction, etc? From what I’ve seen from the demos it’s just point and shoot as far as game play perspectives go. I would like to see 3d action games move beyond this type of gameplay. Maybe more options for advanced game play action strategies, clues, teamwork, puzzles, player improvisation, etc?

Programming does involve data, but it also involves logic. It’s fine to say you can create the data (read: art assets) for this game that you’re proposing, but the logic for it would be incredibly complex (read: ridiculous).

If you scale down the dynamicness of the game, and make it more like a movie than a game, it will be much more feasible.

You might be interested in the work of the interactive story telling crowd (Chris Crawford, et. al.). Google storytron.

You may be interested in reading the text of Wil Wright’s recent keynote speech at SXSW. He touches on many of the subjects brought up here and I reckon there’s few people with a better grasp of them than him -

Yeah the logic would be complex for a game like this. I’m always looking forward with ideas like this. I know that our computers are getting faster. The programing languages and physics are getting better. So maybe ideas like this are not so far fetched anymore.

Some of the stuff could be dumbed down for a smaller more real world test in Blender. Just to get the process going.

I’ll check out the information on interactive story telling. Thanks for mentioning this.

A friend informed of Spore a while back. I see it as a bit of an experiment in game logic, etc. at this stage which is good. We need these types of test to see what’s possible for game engines, etc. Some of these principles may work in many other areas of 3d tech. Take particle dynamics for example or parametric modeling. Now imagine automatic forest, plant and landscape formations based on principles like these. Good stuff.

I had mentioned that my game play idea took place in a city environment. From what we know as far as 3d tech now we can create complex looking game environment using normal maps, alpha maps, etc. Manual natural looking logical placements of objects like roads, street lamps buildings, etc. in a 3d city can be a big task. If we had a 3d development system similar to the one in Spore we could let our computer layout the items in a 3d city.

I could see our computers busy calculating 3d layouts with tech like this. Even quad cores are not enough for work like this.

“Dark City”. Anyone remember the cg of that film? Yeah that’s what’s needed here.:yes:

In the future I could see many of our 3d task being handled by logic driven processes. Where we feed 3d elements whether hand textured or sculpted here and there. Then we direct the 3d creative process in one way or another through our software interface. LSCM mapping is a good small example of a type of logic driven 3d uv mapping process.

How about using the GE as an interface to a classic adventure game setup…instead of typing 'walk west", you guide your character to walk in that direction or for collecting objects and interacting with things. Such engines are available in python ( PAW for one ). The game engine would simply be the interface.
Non-player characters could be driven with an aiml bot like “Grokitbot” (based on pyaiml) for halfway decent conversations. Tags can be inserted in aiml code to drive npc actions including facial expressions and gestures.
I don’t have the know-how or knowledge to explore this…yet.
who knows? Maybe it could lead to a system of making ‘scripts’ for GE actors which would then do the actions on their own.
just an idea

A long running play in Los Angeles, Tamara, had as stage a Victorian house. The actors moved from room to room, there was play action going on in all rooms of the house simultaneously, and the audience went from room to room as they pleased, either following an interesting character to see what happened next, or going off to see what else was going on. Needless to say, no one could “see” the entire production in one visit. Not quite sure how you’d make something like this interactive, though.