Tuesday, June 1, 2010

When game cyclic events get larger and closer to real life cyclic events

From an interview on guild wars 2

It’s important to clarify that the event system is cyclical in nature. Events will occur again in the game world; they go in cycles where chains of events cascade out based on decisions and actions taken by the players. These events change the world when they occur, but it isn’t a change that lasts forever in the persistent world, it’s a change that lasts as long as the event chains in the area continue along that path until they cycle around into other events, all driven by player actions.
 Now, part of my intellectual mind says to me this is effectively simply another scale of orcs standing around, picking dasies. Something the guild wars guys aren't fond of

You then get a quest which says, "Kill 0/10 ogres" and you proceed to kill a bunch of ogres standing around in a field picking daisies. Since every player in the game needs to be able to do this quest, the ogres will never actually threaten the character's home - they will just eternally pick daisies in the field. The ogres aren't actually doing what the quest says they are - the game is lying to you!
I mean, aren't the orcs dynamic? Can't you interact with them, kill them, and hey they are cyclical dynamic events too - coming back in one minute. Aren't they just as much dynamic events, simply at a smaller scale (side note: Actually reading this again it looks like the GW2 guys primary concern is that the orcs aren't attacking the farm, but nm)

But the funny thing is, real life is a set of cyclic events which are at a larger scale. Go hunt and kill a rabit - another rabit will 'respawn' over time, after the others have had babies. Whether from day to day, or the seasons, are cyclic events. Forests regrowing after being cut down is a cyclic event. All of these happen at a much larger, more complicated scale and longer time span. But they too are cyclic.

So I think that's why GW2's dynamic events have appeal (atleast to me), as opposed to the "over the standing there doing nothing and comes back in a minute orc" from above.

Although perhaps no one else see's the orc and GW2 dynamic events as merely the same thing but at different scales, so I'm arguing about something I just see. Oh well.

I'm thinking of writing up some stuff on more naturalistic cyclic events - where monsters respawn by the old fashioned way - breeding and rearing young, and such (remember how you imagined monsters before they just appeared outta thin air)

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