Game worlds are more beautiful than ever before, and the attractiveness of photo modes and their enemies-free adjustments shows that we are keen to interact with them without guns or fists
Watching all the excitement about the newly released Marvel’s Spider-Man on social networking sites last week, one of the most interesting things is how much people enjoy the game’s parts that are not about fighting the bad guys. I’ve lost the number of tweets that I used to say: “I just want to swing in the streets, I love the feeling of grace and freedom; I’ll do it all day if I can.” But of course they can not, because there are bad people to punch.
However, the game has a picture mode that has proved very popular. My Twitter schedule is filled with pictures of the Spider-Man taking Silphy’s photographs in front of the Statue of Liberty, lounging near the flags of pride and crucifixion in front of the Chrysler building under the glorious sun. Like GTA V, Tomb Raider, Horizon: Zero Dawn and 12 other great adventure titles, people like to put pictures because it gives them the chance to be creative according to their own conditions in the game world, and allows us to now have an almost instinctive desire to share photos on Internet.
In some respects, however, it is unfortunate that modern video games tend to include photography only as an optional side-by-side, rather than as a central interactive element. Taking pictures is an interesting game mechanic because it instantly contains one button to unlock a weapon (even sharing the same verb: “to shoot”), but it asks the player to interact with the aesthetic environment, instead of just using the perimeter as a place to slay. You can take pictures in Spider-Man but it’s mostly used as a side activity to tag the game map – your central role is a bad demon, which is good because you are super heroes after all.
The 3D gaming industry has struggled to find a satisfactory central mechanic not to hit or shoot people. Aside from sports, puzzles, and driving games – especially in the motion picture and narrative adventure – there is seldom any serious sustainable alternative to beating the waves of victims who produce computers.
This was understandable to many of the history of video games. Killing is a binary action – you press the fire button and make contacts with your enemy: this is the perfect interaction of the program and the design when you have limited graphical and spatial precision. But now, in an age of huge, visually stunning 3D environments inhabited by characters that use performance capture and advanced mobile physics, places like places look like people. We have a great expressive depth at our disposal. But the killing continues. Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Lara Croft has essentially become a provider of death in this game. The concept of being a rotten human and an effective victim to the mechanical blood insult to the principle of motion game design. What about the sheer wonder of stumbling upon a hidden tomb?
We see from the independent sector – games like the rest of Edith Finch and Tacoma – that there is a desire for rich gaming experiences that do not involve fighting. PC Gamer has run a great feature on PC game editors who produce copies of great fantasy animations such as Alien: Isolation and Dark Souls while removing enemies, so that players can only explore and drink in the lavish work of art and design teams. There is also a GTA Online forum, a large group of people who use the beautiful environments created by Rockstar to design complex trick sequences.
There are a growing number of players looking for quiet contemplative experiences within the three game worlds. People who want to explore the streets of Watch Dogs 2 or the wrecked wreckage of Destiny without enemies or HUD (upper display) prompt them to appear or appear side-by-side. Why not at least provide the equivalent of the peaceful status of Maine Craft? Why do not you play games such as Uncharted and Tomb Raider with a conflict-free option? It seems that Ubisoft has seized this appeal with Assassin’s Creed Origins, providing an educational approach that not only demobilizes enemies, but also provides context and historical information. What a wonderful idea. The titles of Dishonored and Hitman also offer non-combat modes for professional players.
But in addition to all this, the attractiveness of image patterns, enemy-free adjustments and guided tours show that there is a desire among players in new ways to interact with worlds and stories. Could there be a huge fiction game with a big budget without violence? We have expressive personalities, huge worlds, wonderful dialogue systems, wonderful stories – can these things be combined in new ways? Even if it is just a reduction in the number of battles or deadly consequences? Maybe your character has a few pop-ups; maybe one or two people only kill the entire game. Would not that add so much to the emotional impact? Allen makes this person seem more realistic?
Do not assume that the gaming industry itself does not worry about this. Five years ago, Richard Limarshand, the chief designer at Uncharted 3, made a great debut at the GameCity Festival in Nottingham. In the end, one of the people put his hand and asked: “Nathan Drake was made in this sensitive ridiculous character, but so far, hundreds of people have been killed …” This was his response:
We are thinking about this very much. In fact [Amy Henegg] untested designer: her name in it is the name of the Valley of the strange narrative. Her theory is that because the performances have been very successful, this makes the problem part of the Uncharted game. In fact, if you play Uncharted 2 until the end, you’ll hear Amy call this issue when Lazarevic, the bad guy’s main one, tells Nathan: “You’re not different from me … How many lives have you taken today?” We’re always thinking of new creative ways to tackle these the problem”. ”
And they have to think about it, because how do we buy Nathan Drake as a sensitive, funny and beloved hero when he is also a member of society? But then, look at the Last of Us 2 presentation during E3 and the painful giant chapter between the emotional scenes of Ellie and Dina, the work sequences of the throat cut, and facial violence.
And please, this is not about censorship – I love violent video games. They will always be with us: you do not have to worry about that. But we feel that our talent, tools and technology as an industry – from time to time – we think of satisfying the interaction in different ways, to expand our vocabulary of actions entered. Sure, since people have just enjoyed swinging through the magnificent Manhattan skyline at Spider-Man, there is an alternative field: the big budget adventure games full of puzzles, characters and things to explore, but where the central means of influencing the world is not through fighting. Photography is an example (he has worked in diverse titles such as Polaroid House and Fatal Framework), but this is dialogue, diplomacy, ploy, narcissism, romance, kinship and investigation. When you think about it all, violence is actually an inaccurate and inaccurate way to extract joy from the environment. Violence is cracking game design.
Years and years ago, I wrote a feature for the official PlayStation magazine, where I posed as a young game designer and sent a series of odd design ideas to a number of top publishers. One of them was called Life Life, walking in a vibrant landscape, taking pictures of wildlife, stopping at small bars and inns for refreshments, exchanging notes with other pedestrians and making peace and beauty in the world.
Only one publisher came back to me. You received a message – an actual message – from a senior member of the company design team. They said they liked the idea, and they one day felt that such a game would work beautifully, and that although there were no design positions, I should not give up hope of working in the industry. That was the Rockstar company.
Frankly, if the creator of Grand Theft Auto is able to see the potential in a massive, non-violent, budget-intensive exploration game, it is certainly possible.