quinta-feira, 14 de maio de 2009

What can videogames teach us II

You guys probably don't remember, but I started writing a column I tentatively named "What videogames can teach us", of which you can read the first instalment here. Please scroll down that page for the English version of the post. :-)

Today I'm gonna talk about a dear game of mine, Sid Meyer's Pirates, and in my case I'm going to address specifically the PSP version.There are several mini-games on it, but the one I'll give more attention to is the Swordfighting mini-game. This mini-game is triggered by several events, either on a tavern chasing someone, or on high seas when boarding another ship, and several others.

It tipically envolves a duel with swords, but pistols can be acquired to give the player an advantage in the beggining. There are two distinct phases to a combat, one where the player tries to hit his adversary with his sword (or, in this case, a choice of rapier, cutlass and longsword, all of which affect your combat and way of fighting, one allows for faster attacks, the other for stronger attacks, and the last one is on the middle ground). Each opponent tries to get the other through a combination of low slashes, high chops, and mid-stabs, with the possibility to defend with dodges, jumps and parries.

There is a red and white bar at the top of the screen, and for each succesfull hit, the opponent is driven back a step, until he hits a spot where an event is triggered and an opportunity for additional damage is met.

When one of the contenders hits the end of the red bar, he's lost the duel.

In my opinion, this can be translated as a conflict resolution system for a not so traditional roleplaying system.

The characters each had an Initiative skill, that could be improved by objects. The initiative skill was used less to determine who went first, and more to determine if one could guess the other's strike, thus earning him an advantage. The roll would be modified by the relevant position on the "red bar", which would indicate an abstract position on the combat stage. The further one drives the opponent, the easier it becomes to guess his movements. Also, the choice of sword would modify this, with the rapier being light and fast, and the cutlass being slow and cumbersome, albeit powerfull.

The players then choose either to attack or defend, and again high, low or middle, but in secret. This could be done by putting tokens on a card, for example, or using different coloured dice for each type of attack and defence. Then, after revealing their cards, the players would roll dice and compare results. Perhaps each character could have different skills for the different attacks and defenses, for a nice tactical twist. This could be either a dice pool, or the sum of skill plus die roll.

Just by looking at the chosen attack and defence modes would indicate success or failure; the dice roll would be to indicate either a penetrating attack, in the case of a successful defence and the attacker getting a higher result, or a riposte, with a successful defence resulting in a counter attack. This is also where the initiative would factor in, as the character with higher initiative could chose to change his attack or defence. All the other options are self explanatory, I think.

This makes for a very different conflict resolution system, that can be used for all kinds of conflict. I can easily see this adapted for social combat, for example.

Try it out!

2 comentários:

camilorpg disse...

Realmente os minigames podem tornar uma partida mais bacana.

Mas os videogames também podem ensinar outras coisas. Gostaria de convidar você para ler meu post a respeito em http://camilorpg.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/o-que-o-nintendo-wii-pode-ensinar-ao-rpg

E um outro convite, este você não há de recusar: um apanhado de seu BBZ no meu blog, confira em
http://camilorpg.wordpress.com/2009/05/23/uma-casa-seis-concorrentes-um-zumbi-%E2%80%93-quem-saira-vivo

Se houver algum problema, é só pedir que eu retiro este post do ar.

Rui Anselmo disse...

Oi Camilo, sem problema nenhum! Adorei os teus comentários e ideias. Como está a correr o teste por aí? Tem havido muito seguimento? Eu estou um pouco parado para seguir outros amores (o 101, por ex), mas facilmente pego no BBZ novamente e publico tudo num pdf bonito com imagens.

Um reparo: eu imaginei o BBZ como sendo o derradeiro jogo de conflitos entre personagens. Não para mostrar cenas sangrentas entre eles, mas para mostrar até onde vão as confianças e alianças. Como diz o ditado "eu não tenho que correr mais depressa que o zombie, eu só tenho que correr mais depressa do que tu". O jogo pode ser divertido se jogado para o sangue e as traições, mas a ideia original não era essa.

O teu post sobre casualidade abre uma porta para a reflexão sobre mmorpg's, que não perdem tempo a ensinar ao jogador como se joga, ele simplesmente desenha o personagem com as ferramentas disponíveis e parte logo para a aventura, aprendendo o jogo enquanto joga; no rpg perde-se imenso tempo a ler, assimilar, aprender e ensinar um jogo antes de se poder jogá-lo.

Obrigado pelos comentários, e espero que esteja a correr tudo bem com o BBZ!