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How to make believable communities in games? Looking at Gothic and Fallout

BingMag.com <b>How</b> to <b>make</b> <b>believable</b> <b>communities</b> in <b>games?</b> <b>Looking</b> at <b>Gothic</b> and Fallout

One of the reasons for the popularity of role-playing games is the ability of games of this genre to create believable worlds in which people seem to have lived before you arrived; Worlds that have structural subtleties and problems that are reminiscent of the real world.

But building a world that is both interesting and accessible can be challenging. On the one hand, This world should not be so complex that the player does not know what is happening; On the other hand, one should not create a world that relies so much on a single concept that makes that world seem one-dimensional.

I think many games suffer from one of two problems. For example, the political struggles in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind were so complex and confusing that I personally never realized what was happening. The whole gameplay was so sloppy and messy that I could no longer care about it, and eventually my focus shifted to other aspects of the game.

BingMag.com <b>How</b> to <b>make</b> <b>believable</b> <b>communities</b> in <b>games?</b> <b>Looking</b> at <b>Gothic</b> and Fallout

Dragon Age: Origins, on the other hand, was so focused on fighting the Darkspawn that no other incident seemed to matter, and it was not long before he lost interest in the game world as a whole. I gave.

What is the solution to this problem? The player has to create a world that is deep and engaging, but at first glance it is simple enough for a new player to understand; That is, a world that immediately engages you with the central action of the game, but leaves much to be desired.

I recently found out that two of my favorite world-building games use a similar trick: These two games are Gothic and Fallout: New Vegas. Specifically, I call this strategy The Three Camp System. In this article, I intend to introduce this system and explain why it works. This system is a very clean solution to many of the problems posed by role-playing games, and by Looking at its mechanism, we can learn a great deal about role-playing game design. It is for worldliness according to which you build the game world community based on three main groups or camps. Each of these three groups must be vital to the social, economic, and political structure of the gaming world, and the player must have multiple opportunities to interact directly with all three groups, either in sub-quests or in large portions of the quests. Original.

Let's take a look at How Gothic and New Vegas use this system.

  • How does Gothic save open world games from the vortex of repetition?
  • In Gothic, these three groups are called The Old Camp, The New Camp, and The Swamp Camp. Old Camp is the most powerful game group. The group has a quarrel with the king over the ore trade, and controls the largest mine in the entire game map. This privilege makes them unrivaled in power and wealth.

    BingMag.com <b>How</b> to <b>make</b> <b>believable</b> <b>communities</b> in <b>games?</b> <b>Looking</b> at <b>Gothic</b> and Fallout

    The new camp is a smaller group that It has parted ways with the old camp. Their plan is to blow up the magic shield created around the game map and keep everyone trapped inside a colony and escape. They have no friendly relations with the old camp. The members of the new camp cultivate rice to feed their bellies and also exchange this rice with other camps. But other than that, if the opportunity arises, they sometimes loot the old camp warehouses.

    BingMag.com <b>How</b> to <b>make</b> <b>believable</b> <b>communities</b> in <b>games?</b> <b>Looking</b> at <b>Gothic</b> and Fallout

    Finally we have the lagoon camp. They pray for salvation at the door to The Sleeper, the god they worship, but most of the time they are just resting and smoking in the swamp grass. They exchange swamp grass with other camps and try to promote generosity and cooperation with each other.

    BingMag.com <b>How</b> to <b>make</b> <b>believable</b> <b>communities</b> in <b>games?</b> <b>Looking</b> at <b>Gothic</b> and Fallout

    But so far I have covered only half of my theories. Now we have to look at How the player interacts with these three groups.

    You start the game as a newcomer and a weak person, and the first goal that is set for you is to join one of these three camps. . Upon entering each camp, you will get an overview of the prevailing culture and behavior among the camp members, and it will not be long before you realize the relationship between each other. How it is.

    Each camp has a number of quests that you must complete to become a member. After joining one of these three camps, you will be involved in adventures during the game, during which you will interact with all three camps.

    You will help the lagoon camp to perform their religious rites and in The new camp will be put on the agenda in the rice fields. Each of these quests will teach you more about life in the camp.

    You can also find out about each camp simply by touring each camp and chatting with their members. For example, the guards of the old camp ask for money to protect you, and if you talk directly to the religious leaders of the lagoon camp, they will get hit.

    Everything that happens in the game tells you something about the world, that's why Game developers never have to give you long texts and dialogues to introduce you to this world (so-called Exposition Dump). This is a great example of the old adage "Show; Show, do not tell.

    • "show, do not tell"; What is the meaning of this famous term in the world of writing?

    Now let's turn our attention to Fallout: New Vegas and see How this game implements this system.

    The three game groups are New California Republic (NCR), The Legion, and Mr. House; Mr. House is such an important figure that he can be considered a separate group alone.

    The new Republic of California is the closest equivalent to "government" on the phone. They insist that if the power is in their hands, the telesoon will be a better place and they want to take control of the Mojave Desert. They occupy a large part of the playing area, probably the most important part of which is the Hoover Dam, because it supplies the entire power supply.

    BingMag.com <b>How</b> to <b>make</b> <b>believable</b> <b>communities</b> in <b>games?</b> <b>Looking</b> at <b>Gothic</b> and Fallout

    The Fascist Legion is a group of slaveholders who seek to conquer the Mojave Desert through violence and terror. They are not as powerful as the new Republic of California, but they have plans to capture the Hoover Dam; A plan that, if it comes to fruition, will greatly increase their power.

    BingMag.com <b>How</b> to <b>make</b> <b>believable</b> <b>communities</b> in <b>games?</b> <b>Looking</b> at <b>Gothic</b> and Fallout

    Finally, we come to Mr. House. House is a powerful businessman who owns the New Vegas Bar. With the help of his robot army, he controls the area and gains more power by upgrading the capabilities of his robots. He may be just one person, but his power is so great that he can compete with the new Republic of California and the Legion.

    BingMag.com <b>How</b> to <b>make</b> <b>believable</b> <b>communities</b> in <b>games?</b> <b>Looking</b> at <b>Gothic</b> and Fallout

    New Vegas introduces these groups to you using independent quests instead of focusing on the central storyline. By doing quests for each group, you help them get closer to their goals and get a different ending.

    Following each of these paths gives you a different view of the game world; The people you meet and the things you see will change depending on the group you join, and you will understand How the game world looks to them.

    Of course, this choice also has a side effect, and that too. It is that your perception of the other two groups that you have not sided with will be lower, but instead this choice will make you really feel like you are a member of a particular group.

    Encourages you to play the game a few rounds and in this way each time you get a new perspective on the game world.

    Of course, it should be noted that New Vegas has other groups that are on their way There are three main groups in the game: the Brotherhood of Steel, The Boomers, and The Followers of the Apocalypse, but I do not think they have enough power or influence to act as the Fourth Camp. Or fifth.

    What distinguishes the three main groups is that they have enough power and influence to Affect the entire Mojave Desert. But most of the time, the other groups are in charge of their own work and their focus is on achieving their own goals, goals that are much smaller in scale than the three main groups. You can also interact with these groups and become more familiar with them through their quests, but their presence in the power struggle does not make a difference between the three main groups.

    So far, explain the system of three competing groups. We gave and checked How this system is implemented in the context of these two games. Now it's time to look and see why this system works better than similar systems.

    The main question is: what are the characteristics of a world with three main groups that allow its creators to have such a believable society? In its context?

    The most common alternative to this system is a two-group system. Is a competitor. This system is implemented in most video games:

    • Living Creatures vs. Dark Dragon Sponsor
    • Horde vs. Alliance in Warcraft
    • Link against Gannon in the legend of Zelda

    and in general, good against evil. Of course, there may be few who look at this system through the eyes of a system of two rival groups, but this is exactly the nature of this system: the efforts of the two groups to gain power and influence and to ignore and eliminate anything in the context of conflict between the two. The group does not fit.

    My problem with this system is that society has never been so black and white, and placing a great battle at the heart and center of an imaginary world will never seem realistic. Usually, when the story is about such a battle, one of these factions will be portrayed as a good faction, and this battle will be reduced to a clash between honorable heroes and ugly monsters.

    Of course, such a story. It has its place, but it is not in line with our experiences in the real world. What feels like a vacancy in these games is the very important third group. The third group is basically a group of rejected and strange people who do not care about the conflict between the first two groups or at least have their own opinion about the reason for their conflict. Hoover, because this is not the only issue that matters in this world. In a world where only two factions are fighting, it is much harder to add detail to the game world.

    But what happens if we add more groups to the equation? If three groups are better than two groups, what is the problem with four or five groups?

    Unfortunately, by adding more groups, problems arise. One of the strengths of the three competing groups system is that there is a lot of time to explore the relationship between the three groups; When we have three groups, we have three different types of relationships that can be discovered. The relationship of group 1 with 2, group 1 with 3, and group 2 with 3. In a world where the focus is on two groups fighting each other, we can only explore a relationship: a 1 on 2 relationship. However, the scale of this relationship is so small that developers can fully expand it and players can fully understand it.

    However, by adding more groups, the number of possible relationships There is an exponential increase between them. Simply by adding the fourth group to the equation, the number of possible relations increases from 3 to 6. If we have five groups, the number of possible relationships between them increases to 10.

    In games where the number of important groups is high, the political situation in the world becomes very complicated, the authors have ample opportunity to They will not have it, and players will not have enough brain cells to cope with this sloppiness.

    So when game developers feel like making a game in which 12 political families are competing with each other , They have conquered the peaks of intelligence, what they do in practice is to create a tortuous network that no one can understand.

    It also takes a lot of effort to prune a group. It must be considered. Each group must look alive and believable, have a fundamental impact on the game world, and be interactive to the player. Making each of these groups believable takes a lot of effort, and adding each group puts more time and effort into the game developer.

    I think building four groups for the game world - if the narrative really needed four groups - Be - not the worst idea in the world, but most of the time it's not really worth it. If the number of groups exceeds four, you are actually causing yourself trouble.

    I think many game developers have a misunderstanding about the factors that make an imaginary world believable. Many of these gamers resort to grand and flashy solutions such as history books and the details of turbulent political battles, but if the groups and individuals with whom the player interacts are dull and unattractive, all this research and effort will go nowhere./p>

    History should not be imprisoned in the past, but should happen in front of the player's eyes. Politics should not take place in the Senate, but should affect the lives and mindsets of all the characters you meet in the gaming world.

    There are several ways to achieve this, but the three-group rival system is one It's the best way. This system allows political/historical games to come out of the pages of books and into people's lives, and you too will have the opportunity to experience them up close. Experience the ever-watchful eyes of the house; This system allows you to see the generosity of the lagoon camp as a virtue and fear the power of the old camp. Thanks to this system, these games put you at the heart of the accident; So always remember this advice: show; Do not say.

Source: Gamedev Adventures YouTube Channel

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