Wednesday, March 20, 2013

There is no 'negotiate' button

I see a blurb for the upcoming 'the last of us' game describes having to kill other opposing survivors 'even as they sometimes beg for their lives'.

Uh, why does the player have to do that?

Hey game devs who aren't reading my blog anyway, get ready for some difficult concepts that'd put you off reading further even if you weren't not reading already!

You're concept of mind is shallow. You can't imagine a player doing anything in your game that you wouldn't want to do. You want to kill all opponents so...that's what everyone else wants. Because your idea of everyone is pretty much a xerox of you.

No - why on earth do we have to kill them? Not only does this put a certain demographic off of buying games (have a look at Deus Ex and Batman Arkham Asylum/City - non lethal is either the option or the default), it's appaling at a story level, because you just can't let go of story - no punch them in the face and hold a gun over them till they zip tie themselves? Or till they roll over and knee against their spine you tie their hands?

Part of it is that it requires more code to have an enemy not just '0 hp=die'. Part of it is you think you're being edgy 'oh, these players with a bottomless hunger for murder - we'll show them - by really supply a bottomless supply of murder to them'. Oh grow up! The game 'Spec Ops - the line' did more to sour that bottomless hunger by being a mediocre shooter than in trying to gross it out by being super satisfying. It's like that simpsons epsiode where satan tortures homer by forcing him to eat endless donuts - uh, grow up, it's not any kind of torture.

This is like in farcry 2. The bad guys would actually go and help their friends, run out of cover, expose themselves to carry a friend to safety. But hell, could you negotiate with these dudes who clearly have some compassion and courage - no! It's like this broken artistic concept designers have, where they have promoted themselves to making a statement about morality - but they do so by taking the players capacity to make a moral statement away from the player (or to be exact, they never give the player a negotiation button).

I wouldn't mind if by random chance blunt force trauma eventually see's the non lethal take down target latter die of an anurism or something. Just sometimes, not every time (see: Grow up).

But you insult our intelligence by having brutal take downs and enemies who beg for their lives, WHEN IT IS YOU WHO ARE KILLING THESE DUDES, NOT THE PLAYER! You've set it up as nothing else being possible - actually the lesson against loving murder and violence - YOU need to learn the lesson first! Not the player, you! You're juvinile, trying to dictate a moral all you do is force someone else to commit what is your lust for video game murder!

Thanks for reading. I'm glad to have had this chance to ingratiate myself into the development industry!

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