Thursday, May 8, 2008

The truth that sticks

Another topic briefly discussed in the lecture that I found interesting was the concept of betrayal. Have you ever been betrayed in a game? I can honestly say that I find it difficult to come up with many examples where I have. Obviously there are times when another player could have clearly assisted you in something but didn't, but thats more a 'Good Samaritan' sort of situation.

Obviously there are plot twists and character changes in games (such as team balancing) where characters who are previously friends either become enemies (via narrative) or are pitted against you (forced via server settings). While this may be betrayal in a singleplayer mode or campaign involving NPCs, in multiplayer games it is not the same as given a choice, a player may actually choose not to. In multiplayer games, betrayal is not really something that is chosen, more a consequence of various conditions (for example, taking the lead in a racing game).

Probably the only instance of betrayal I have ever encountered in a multiplayer game was during a LAN in which we played Red Alert 2. Although you could form alliances at the start of the match, they could be broken later on during the game. It wasn't a big issue though, as changing of alliances usually required both parties to come to an agreement and that would not usually occur until both had substantial armies and defensive capabilities.

So will there be betrayal in our game? Most definetly. In a sense, our game is very much based around the idea of betrayal, what with the alliances and allegiance swapping involved. While most players will generally not team with the leader in becoming the King of the Hill in our game Crusaders, the breaking of trusts and alliances during the course of the game, even the course of an imminent battle, is quite possible. To describe a simple scenario, if a player arrives in an area occupied by two allied players and chooses to not engage, then the other 2 opponents can choose to attack. While attacking however, one of allied players could choose to sit out, or even support the invader, thus instantly severing the alliance and betraying their friendship.

On that note, I would like to leave the concept of betrayal with a short machinima video I created last Saturday afternoon, showing how betrayal can possibly be portrayed in game. It involves entities from WoW, compiled using a combination of a model viewer program, Fraps and Adobe Premiere Pro. Basically a blood elf rogue gets attacked by an undead warlock, something that is not actually possible in game as they are both part of the same faction.

Below: Nuked Elf - Green Fire

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