The Villian in games

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Russ Williams

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Jun 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/17/98
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Brandon Van Every wrote in message <6m5c7f$cch$1...@guysmiley.blarg.net>...
>What do you think of the role of the Villian in most
>computer games?

Poorly done, usually.

>Frequently he seems to be a prize at the end of the
>game, a big resource to slash one's way through,
>and/or an excuse to interpose meaningless obstacles
>between the player and the finish line.

Yup.

>What of those villians in old Vincent Price movies, that
>think, play organs, have diabolical minds, and do
>cleverly upsetting things to you as you try to advance
>your goody-two-shoes cause?

You missed out 'and have Peter Lorre as a henchman'.
Bad guys need some underling to scare and to provide
exposition for the plot.

>What about the psychology of getting inside the good
>guy's head, making him subvert himself? And finally,
>what about heroes that are going to lose, because
>that's the story?

A bit depressing, really. It's not much fun to get used to
playing a character and then have them get killed off.
Realistic, but not much fun.

>Anyone know of any games out there that engagingly
>explore these issues?

Games with cool bad guys? Not really.

>To my mind, this doesn't mean a "linear" game, but rather
>a seemingly live adversary that's actively foiling your plans.
>If no game has yet done the genre justice - and even if it
>has - what do you think it would take to implement such a
>game?

A lot of time, AI and statistics. It would be *damn* cool,
though.

The problem is that it would be pointless in most games -
there's only really one way to complete it, so you can't
really have a battle of wits with your foe. You'd need a
very open game structure, highly non-linear, so the player
can do different things and have the enemy respond
accordingly. Trouble is that this is likely to turn into a
real-time strategy game.

---
Russ

Brandon Van Every

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Jun 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/17/98
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e robson wrote in message <35874da7...@nntp.tsoft.com>...
>
>It's an interesting point. "Hero vs. Villain" is really just a subset
>of "Protagonist vs. Antagonist", probably the most common
>narrative base. Turning the antagonist into a villain, rather
>than an equal with a different objective, is a way to make
>the conflict easier to stomach, morally...


Yeah but it's more fun to make villains who aren't so much different from
the supposed hero. The villain can reveal the hero to be an anti-hero.


Cheers,
Brandon Van Every

Bryant Berggren (Vox Ludator)

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Jun 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/17/98
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On Wed, 17 Jun 1998 10:51:29 -0700, "Brandon Van Every"
<vane...@blarg.net> wrote:
>Yeah but it's more fun to make villains who aren't so much different from
>the supposed hero. The villain can reveal the hero to be an anti-hero.

More fun for you, perhaps. Some people may *like* playing heroes. I
deal every day with moral amiguities -- it's nice to step into a
situation once in a while where I'm *definitely* on the side of the
angels.

--

Matthew T. Russotto

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Jun 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/18/98
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In article <3587821d...@news.theramp.net>,

Bryant Berggren (Vox Ludator) <vo...@theramp.net> wrote:
}
}More fun for you, perhaps. Some people may *like* playing heroes. I
}deal every day with moral amiguities -- it's nice to step into a
}situation once in a while where I'm *definitely* on the side of the
}angels.

Ahh. And here I was all set to propose a set of games loosely based
on a popular movie series:

Game 1)
You play a reactionary terrorist, participating in a vain attempt to
re-establish a monarchy. You recieve training from one of the last
of the old soldiers, and with that training, destroy a space station
belonging to the legitimate government.

Game 2)
While continuing to assist in the terrorist operations, you recieve
further training in the old ways of combat. You cut your training
short to assist your terrorist allies (including your love interest)
who are on the verge of capture. You are met there by the
government's chief enforcement officer, who is also a master of the
old ways. He engages you in single combat, and wins -- but gives
you a second chance to join the legitimate government and quickly
attain a high position in it. Together, the two of you kill the
present leader and take over the government.

Game 3)
You double-cross the man who gave you everything (fair enough, as he
was planning to do the same to you), and split the government into
warring sects. Taking advantage of the disturbance, your old
monarchist allies, led by your old flame, stage an full-scale
insurrection -- you must defeat them as well.
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

Fred M. Sloniker

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Jun 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/18/98
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On 18 Jun 1998 02:58:44 GMT, russ...@wanda.pond.com (Matthew T.
Russotto) wrote:


>Ahh. And here I was all set to propose a set of games loosely based
>on a popular movie series:

[snip]

> who are on the verge of capture. You are met there by the
> government's chief enforcement officer, who is also a master of the
> old ways. He engages you in single combat, and wins -- but gives
> you a second chance to join the legitimate government and quickly
> attain a high position in it.

You forgot to mention the enforcement officer's revelation of the way
the terrorist was manipulated into joining the cause on a quest to
avenge his blood relative who was, in fact, alive and well. (:3

I take it you agree with Jason Fox that farm-boy was a wuss for not
taking that deal?


Mirco Siercke

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Jun 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/18/98
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Weird Beard (WEIRD...@prodigy.net) wrote:
: Infidel and Zork Nemesis are both very interesting villian-wise. I agree
: that too many villians are prizes, but this is the only possible thing in
: non-linear games.

What about those "creatures" games that use neural nets? Making them little villains might be interesting. Of course you'd have to play the game about 100 times before the villian learns to even duck when you try to stick your sword through him...

And after 10000 times he's be so superior you couldn't beat him...

Matthew T. Russotto

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Jun 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/18/98
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In article <6ma50m$44i$1...@news-1.news.gte.net>,

Fred M. Sloniker <laz...@gte.net> wrote:
}On 18 Jun 1998 02:58:44 GMT, russ...@wanda.pond.com (Matthew T.
}Russotto) wrote:
}
}
}>Ahh. And here I was all set to propose a set of games loosely based
}>on a popular movie series:
}
}[snip]
}
}> who are on the verge of capture. You are met there by the
}> government's chief enforcement officer, who is also a master of the
}> old ways. He engages you in single combat, and wins -- but gives
}> you a second chance to join the legitimate government and quickly
}> attain a high position in it.
}
}You forgot to mention the enforcement officer's revelation of the way
}the terrorist was manipulated into joining the cause on a quest to
}avenge his blood relative who was, in fact, alive and well. (:3

Left it out deliberately -- gotta leave some plot points for the game :-).

}I take it you agree with Jason Fox that farm-boy was a wuss for not
}taking that deal?

Hard to say. On the one hand, it seems clear the offer was sincere.
But on the other, it's just as clear that had he accepted, he would
have forever had to watch his back, and eventually would have had to
either betray his benefactor or be betrayed in turn by him. With the
terrorists, at least it's only the one side he has to worry about.

OBIF:

You are on a circular ledge overlooking an apparently bottomless pit
in a floating city. Your right hand and weapon are gone, having been
chopped off by your enemy. He is currently blocking a catwalk to the west, the
only passage to this ledge.

Your enemy says "Come with me, and we will rule the galaxy as father and son"

What now, farmboy?

>

(of course, a game which allowed either decision would really be two
completely different games from that point on)

John Francis

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Jun 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/18/98
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In article <6mbbj1$f...@netaxs.com>,

Matthew T. Russotto <russ...@wanda.pond.com> wrote:
>
>OBIF:
>
>You are on a circular ledge overlooking an apparently bottomless pit
>in a floating city. Your right hand and weapon are gone, having been
>chopped off by your enemy. He is currently blocking a catwalk to the west, the
>only passage to this ledge.
>
>Your enemy says "Come with me, and we will rule the galaxy as father and son"
>
>What now, farmboy?


I object to the assumption embodied here in the use of the term "enemy".
Perhaps you should use the more neutral term "adversary".

(The .sig made me do it :-)


--
John Francis jfra...@sgi.com Silicon Graphics, Inc.
(650)933-8295 2011 N. Shoreline Blvd. MS 43U-991
(650)933-4692 (Fax) Mountain View, CA 94043-1389
Hello. My name is Darth Vader. I am your father. Prepare to die.

Brandon Van Every

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Jun 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/18/98
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Matthew T. Russotto wrote in message <6mbbj1$f...@netaxs.com>...


>
>OBIF:
>
>You are on a circular ledge overlooking an apparently bottomless pit
>in a floating city. Your right hand and weapon are gone, having been
>chopped off by your enemy. He is currently blocking a catwalk to the west,
the
>only passage to this ledge.
>
>Your enemy says "Come with me, and we will rule the galaxy as father and
son"
>
>What now, farmboy?


give middle finger with right hand


Cheers,
Brandon Van Every

Weird Beard

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Jun 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/18/98
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Brandon Van Every wrote in message <6mcgdq$550$1...@guysmiley.blarg.net>...


>>Your enemy says "Come with me, and we will rule the galaxy as father and
>son"
>>
>>What now, farmboy?
>
>
>give middle finger with right hand


Hmm...both Luke And Darth can make things float, right? So why can't Luke
just make himself float away? It's seems simple enough, since all he'd have
to do is concentrate on himself, which seems alot easier than concertating
on some lifeless rock with no feelings.

Also, in one of the movies, Darth pulls a "dirty trick" and *throws* his
lightsaber. Why don't we see more of that?

Perhaps there's some ancient traditions governing saber fights, some of
which even Vader wouldn't violate?

With advances is FX techniques, maybe we'll see some of the questions
answered someday.

Weird Beard
weird...@prodigy.net

"Never pay more than $20 for a computer game" -- Guybrush Threepwood: The
Secret of Monkey Island

Weird Beard

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Jun 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/18/98
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Spider and Web has a *very* interesting villian (actually, not so much a
villian as a protaganist. He's probably a guy you'd really like if you me
him at a party). Not to give too much of the plot away (see below if you're
interested in a few particulars), be he's physically present in the same
room as you for over half the game, though you hardly ever see him.

Weird Beard
weird...@prodigy.net

vay' DaneHbogh yIchargh
(Conquer what you desire)
The Klingon Way: p 149


This space *would* have been intentionally blank if I hadn't put *this* here


Basically, you play the part of a spy. A spy who has been caught and is
being interrogated. As part of the interrogation, an Inquisitor (I always
picture him as a bald man with a beard and mustache for some *bizarre
reason*) is making you relive the steps leading up to your capture, via some
sort of high-tech virtual reality machine. Eventually however you do escape
and make a difference.


Frank Filz

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Jun 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/19/98
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In article <6mckj3$5ll6$1...@newssvr04-int.news.prodigy.com>, Weird Beard
(WEIRD...@prodigy.net) says...

>Also, in one of the movies, Darth pulls a "dirty trick" and *throws* his
>lightsaber. Why don't we see more of that?
>
>Perhaps there's some ancient traditions governing saber fights, some of
>which even Vader wouldn't violate?

It's known as the ancient tradition of "a good story"...

Frank Filz


Brandon Van Every

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Jun 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/19/98
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Weird Beard wrote in message <6mckj3$5ll6$1@newssvr04-


>
>Hmm...both Luke And Darth can make things float, right? So why can't Luke
>just make himself float away? It's seems simple enough, since all he'd have
>to do is concentrate on himself, which seems alot easier than concertating
>on some lifeless rock with no feelings.


Luke isn't as good at it as Darth, and besides, they'd just *both* start
floating. Offer for galaxial domination keeps repeating itself as they do a
merry-go-round around the wind shaft....


Cheers,
Brandon Van Every

Link

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Jun 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/19/98
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Mirco Siercke wrote in message <6mb7u5$5en$1...@claire.desy.de>...

Heh, unless YOU are able to learn from HIM. :)

- Mike


Roger Carbol

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Jun 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/19/98
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It's more likely another ancient tradition of saber fights: It's
a bad idea to throw away your weapon.


.. Roger Carbol .. r...@shaw.wave.ca .. I am your neice, Luke

Weird Beard

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Jun 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/19/98
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>It's more likely another ancient tradition of saber fights: It's
>a bad idea to throw away your weapon.

No. He threw it away and it came back.

Den of Iniquity

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Jun 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/22/98
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On Thu, 18 Jun 1998, Weird Beard wrote:

>Hmm...both Luke And Darth can make things float, right? So why can't Luke
>just make himself float away? It's seems simple enough, since all he'd have
>to do is concentrate on himself, which seems alot easier than concertating
>on some lifeless rock with no feelings.

Presumably for the same reason you can't, no matter how strong you are,
grab yourself by the scruff of your neck and haul yourself up to the
ceiling.

--
Den


Brandon Van Every

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Jun 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/22/98
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Joe Mason wrote in message <358F2ADD...@execulink.com>...


>Weird Beard wrote:
>>
>> Hmm...both Luke And Darth can make things float, right? So why can't Luke
>> just make himself float away? It's seems simple enough, since all he'd
have
>> to do is concentrate on himself, which seems alot easier than
concertating
>> on some lifeless rock with no feelings.
>

>Well, you could pick up a rock with your hamd and throw it, right? Now
>pick up yourself with your hand and throw yourself. Still seem easy?


Yes, actually it's trivial. You ever done a cartwheel or a hand plant?
Admittedly you have to throw other parts of your body as well, if you don't
want to land on your ass. Maybe the issue is how *well* Luke could float
himself away....

Anyways, in Empire Strikes Back there's no indication that Luke had
sufficient ability to levitate himself for extended periods of time. He
levitated several rocks and Yoda, then got distracted by ripples in the
force sent by Vader. Doesn't say much for his long-term ability to
concentrate, as far as clearing himself of the Bespin shaft.


Cheers,
Brandon Van Every

Joe Mason

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Jun 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/23/98
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Weird Beard wrote:
>
> Hmm...both Luke And Darth can make things float, right? So why can't Luke
> just make himself float away? It's seems simple enough, since all he'd have
> to do is concentrate on himself, which seems alot easier than concertating
> on some lifeless rock with no feelings.

Well, you could pick up a rock with your hamd and throw it, right? Now
pick up yourself with your hand and throw yourself. Still seem easy?

Joe

Kjetil Aavik

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Jul 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/11/98
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Vader had a light boomerang(tm)?

-Kjetil

Kjetil Aavik

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Jul 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/11/98
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How about Luke making his lost hand come flying back up,
grab him by the hair, and lift him up...

Brandon Van Every wrote:
>
> Joe Mason wrote in message <358F2ADD...@execulink.com>...

> Yes, actually it's trivial. You ever done a cartwheel or a hand plant?
> Admittedly you have to throw other parts of your body as well, if you don't
> want to land on your ass. Maybe the issue is how *well* Luke could float
> himself away....
>
> Anyways, in Empire Strikes Back there's no indication that Luke had
> sufficient ability to levitate himself for extended periods of time. He
> levitated several rocks and Yoda, then got distracted by ripples in the
> force sent by Vader. Doesn't say much for his long-term ability to
> concentrate, as far as clearing himself of the Bespin shaft.

-Kjetil

Brandon Van Every

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Jul 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/11/98
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Kjetil Aavik wrote in message <35A7788D...@online.no>...

>How about Luke making his lost hand come flying back up,
>grab him by the hair, and lift him up...


Too much Addams' Family. How about Luke cuts off the rest of his arm with
his own lightsaber, and proceeds to pummel Darth Vader with the bloody
stump? Hmm, sorry, too much Monty Python. Luke gnaws on the fingers of his
own dismembered hand, freaking Darth Vader out? No, too much Stephen
King....


Cheers,
Brandon Van Every

Russell "Coconut Daemon" Bailey

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Jul 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/11/98
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> Too much Addams' Family. How about Luke cuts off the rest of his arm with
> his own lightsaber, and proceeds to pummel Darth Vader with the bloody
> stump? Hmm, sorry, too much Monty Python. Luke gnaws on the fingers of his
> own dismembered hand, freaking Darth Vader out? No, too much Stephen
> King....

"Cold roast beef."

Russell


Brandon Van Every

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Jul 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/11/98
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Kjetil Aavik wrote in message <35A777FA...@online.no>...

>
>Vader had a light boomerang(tm)?


As opposed to the heavy boomerang, used to take out small aircraft. There
was nothing light about the light boomerang....


Cheesr,
Brandon Van Every

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