I spent some time today trying to think about my first UE4 project I’m currently calling “Police State”.
I’ve been reading and watching films about political regimes recently. Specifically I started with Noam Chomski, Russell Brand and “The Young Turks” on YouTube. Then I was reading a few of the classics, like Marx (I’m trying to watch a series of videos by a professor whose name escapes me but he is on YouTube teaching a class on reading Marx).
It struck me that I’m quite disillusioned about concepts like democracy and capitalism. They seem like they have been misappropriated for some alternative means than the original intention. I’m particularly unhappy with how the young people I teach are being burdened with the payment of debts incurred by my own (and previous) generation(s). Specifically the price of housing is now so out of whack that many young people cannot afford to live independently and I find that very unsatisfactory.
So what to do? I create games/teach creating games for a living! Well, I figured making a game is all I can do. Why not do that?
Hence this idea of Police State. A game about how a state might control its citizens. How that might be enacted and how it might feel. Taking the form of a first person (sort of) shooter. Which is frankly a bit easy-mode in Unreal Engine. But the concept of Police State has slowly wormed its way into my brain to the point where I can start coding some mechanics for an early prototype.
So here are the main features:
- “Role” based asymmetric multiplayer (i.e. teams and specific roles for players within them)
- “State” roles (media, police, intelligence agents, military)
- “Civilian” roles (protester, journalist, anarchist/militant,terrorist)
- Varied scenarios across the range of conflict levels from unrest to civil war
- Crowds of NPC’s within which the civilian forces can merge
- Different forms of conflict, from non lethal to lethal
The basic concept is that one side is tasked with a goal and the other side has to cause them to fail. The interesting part will be the mechanics of failure and the ways in which players take on roles and deploy the skills available to each role.
In future posts I’ll try and explain how I see each role functioning. But initially I will just work on prototypes of the various role-based mechanics and post work-in-progress videos showing them off.
Til next time!
I made a forum post on the indiegamer forums quite a while ago after an evening out. I forgot about it. But recently revisited the forums and found this golden nugget I’d posted. Man I’m deep sometimes. For your edification..
Some people will NOT care about, or like your game.
There, I’ve opened that can of worms.
Let me put it in context here. I was pitching my game to some guys at NVIDIA the other night. It was at a pub, they were more interested in the beer, they weren’t really bothered or paying attention. I did the pitch anyway because its best to get in the habit of selling your game to real people and watching their reactions.
Walking away from the beer-soaked table I was pitching from, with my crappy barely-able-to-play-a-video laptop, I realized something quite profound (for me at least).
THEY WERE NEVER GOING TO CARE.
That notion struck me square between the eyes. It was a fundamental truth that I simply had to accept. At some points you have to admit that SOME people, in SOME circumstances will NEVER give a crap about you, your game, your amazing idea, you’re brilliant talent etc. You could be a bloody god walking on water and they’d still shrug and ask someone to get another round in.
Accepting that notion that some people can never be won round is quite a freeing thing. Don’t take it personally because here’s the rub. They were pre-destined not to care, even before you arranged the meeting. Even before they turned up late to the pitch session, even before you watched half a dozen other people pitching to them with finished games that were ready to go on their platform. Some things ARE NOT MEANT TO BE.
Acceptance is hard. Its hard because you want to win them over. Its hard because you really DO care and you want others to care too. You want them to realize how stupid they have been and how shallow they are for not caring. But the brutal truth is that it is wasted effort. It is a battle not worth fighting. It is an unwinnable war in which the only winning strategy is to not play the game. Why? because some things ARE NOT MEANT TO BE.
So, if someone ever blows you off when you’re doing your best to demo your amazing game? don’t sweat it, it was not meant to be. If they act as if you just crawled from under a rock and would be better off trodden on? Don’t sweat it because IT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE.
Of course the real essence of this, is that unless you put yourself out there, you really can’t know for sure. So you open up yourself to the uncaring behaviours by your actions to engage with those who do care. You make yourself vulnerable to that rejection, but you have to have the grace to allow yourself the thought that should stick with you as you do any of this stuff. Sometimes IT IS JUST NOT MEANT TO BE.
Hope it helps. For the record, I do occasionally care. But not always.