Gear Brawl: Robots, Rumbles, and MoralityA Thesis analyzing Moral Choices in games, done by Bryce Williams
Thesis Issue“What‟s the exact problem?” Games as a whole (digital games more of note in this generation) have constantly struggled with implementing a true attempt or feeling that the player has a choice in the outcome of his character, primarily through decisions in his „life‟. This has ranged from alright implementations in RPGs and analog board games, to much more lackluster attempts. Thus the question itself is: can morality itself be implemented well in games, as well as be a worthwhile mechanic?
Personal Thoughts“Why do you care about this?” I tend to think about various aspects of games a lot, usually dealing with either how players view certain mechanics or developments in them, and how that reacts to the general view or society around it; be it sales, customer response, or future developer support. I feel that, among the many issues digital games struggle with as a growing medium, this one is extremely notable and I feel I should at least bring it to light, if not try to tend to it in my own way. I also feel that using an out-of-reach, but still relatable setting still gives the player some understanding of the surroundings, and focus more on the meaning behind the game actions. Robots, automatons, and the like have always been an interesting thing to me since I was little – not just cause of the way they look, but because of the social situations their mere existence bring up. Examples would be the political intrigue of the Gundam series, or I, Robot. I really would love to bring these topics into a game setting, and see how they could be used to make a game progress.
Personal Thoughts Pt. 2“Why should I care about this?” Game analyzation doesn‟t really happen much – it‟s usually only done by people who are already making games or interested in game development. I‟d love for this to be a game for someone to replay multiple times, gunning for a different „thought process‟ or idea, and getting different reactions and endgames. As we get closer to an age where digital products and androids/robots become a larger part of our lives, we should start building a better idea how they should be used, the pros and cons behind their implementations into society, and if they would even help us in the long run. I hope for this game to be a fun take on that, while still tackling the topic on for people to jump into and think about.
Personal Thoughts Pt. 3“How will this solve things?” Analog games are, objectively, not as commonly seen in the public eye as digital games, but are far better a method to talk about social mechanics and concepts. It gives the player to interact with the people around him in a much more interesting fashion than playing online would. Robots are currently only seen as either being pets or servants – is there any possible use or implementation for them in society, that we haven‟t thought of yet merely cause we haven‟t had a reason to? Is there a right or wrong use to using a robot for your own needs? Primary reason: The game, while primarily being fun and easy to jump into, is helpful in getting the thought juices flowing on automation use in the near- future, as well as use of morality in games (and to robots).
The Project Demographic – 14 to 18, interested in futuristic settings/concepts A Card Game/Card + Board Game involving robots and morality. The aim is to win a tournament you have been requested to enter – which involves building a robot of your own from scratch. The method and means are yours to decide. Basic card playing – each player goes around the table taking turns. Two main Phases – Build and Battle Phase Build Phase involves finding parts to build your robot with, as well as situations that change your alignment with the world around you, and your access to places Battle Phase is the tournament itself, where you fight 3 other robots (the people playing against you) for supremacy.
Precedents Technical Precedents Analog Games – Arabian Nights, Dominion, Neuroshima Hex Cards Against Humanity (in distribution) Visual Precedents Robot Combat Games – Virtual On, Armored Warriors, Danball Senki http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRje9MVEZf E/ Animation – Gigator, Gundam, Macross Customization, Models also a big influence
Narrative/Game Progression In the near-future, androids are slowly becoming more common place, but many still question their use. You have recently been given a large amount of money from a mysterious benefactor to enter a robot tournament. The robot you build and how you get the parts for it is up to you. Gameplay Progress: Pick Pieces from various locations > Trade/Steal/Use them to do a turn in that situation > Combine Parts to make Robo-Parts to make a robot > Fight in Tournament and Win Situations incite the morality aspect of the game – You can choose 3 different reactions to a situation, each raising your Good Side/Bad Side of your Alignment Bar (Amount is set, which side is voted by the opposing 3 players), which opens up different Situations you can get into (which changes what kind of parts you may find) Turn Progression (Possibly) Build Phase: Draw Cards, Situation, Combine Battle Phase: Effect, Move, Attack/Defend
Visual Map Color denotes thought process over the last few weeks Concept of game started with what I wanted to make, then led off to what I could say with it From there, narrowed down to what I wanted to say, and how that could change the existing mechanics
Card Example and Explanation Two Major Types of cards – Pieces and Robo- Parts (Robo-Part Card shown) Pieces are what you find everywhere – junk, parts in store, among others Pieces combined make up Robo-parts (A Tire and a Chain can become a Mace) Robo-Parts combine to make Robots, which you then fight with
Production Ideas/Process Focus on Card Game only for the moment – Board Game would be nice, but requires a lot more focus on board movement “balance” as well as designing how it looks on top of the cards Card Game could work in multiple locations as well, even if it might involve having 2 decks for it, which is much less than optimal Distribution – while very far off – would be to have a free print-out version online, and a properly produced card (or board) game version for printout Robo-parts tied to actual plastic pieces, so players can build a small robot character (Lego-like)