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An Open Window is an experimental MOD for Half-Life 2, Episode 2. In this project I will attempt to bring the concept of different realities to life in a realistic scenario. Instead of being another Shooter, AnOpWi centers around the role of the player and his/her experience, emotion and memories. By interacting with the world the player will define his own reality within the story. For this project I chose an open development cycle, which means I will update very frequently and share every step I take in the process of creating this game. Next to the regular media updates, I will also share my thoughts on the different areas of game design in the form of articles. In every article I will also ask for your opinion with the Question of the Day. This MOD also functions as a knowledge base for new and experienced designers.

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Welcome to a new update of AnOpWi. This post is a continuation of my last article; a rather deep and difficult piece about quantum mechanics, philosophy and psychology. Today I'd like to show you what that means to the project.

Posted by Hezus on Mar 6th, 2011

An Open Window: Project Launch Day +36
Welcome to a new update of AnOpWi. This post is a continuation of my last article; a rather deep and difficult piece about quantum mechanics, philosophy and psychology. Today I'd like to show you what that means to the project.


In most games, the role of the player is clear from the start. In some role playing games you have the option to customize your character and chose an alignment but from this point your role is rather static. This is because a game can't cover all possible actions the player wants to take. A game with full freedom is practically impossible. However, it's possible to design upon predictions. I'll try to illustrate this with a fictional scenario.


Imagine being a player in the park. There are a few benches, a playground, an ice cream cart and someone is playing fetch with a large dog. You can walk around and interact with these objects. Meanwhile, the game is set up to keep track of your actions and adjust the reality according to those. It will compare these actions to a few stereotypical pre-programmed roles. If you run off to the playground and go down the slide, the game will sway the reality to the reality of a child. This will make the ice cream cart more noticeable and you will expirience fear when you get to close to the big dog. If you instead sat down on the bench and read the newspaper, you are considered a grown-up and you will not fear the dog.

Naturally, the system can't include and exclude the quadrillion possibilities a player could have. However you can use stereotypical behaviour to assign roles to players. The more roles and options are integrated into the system the more it will guarantee different outcomes every time you play the game. The example above is simple but with a story and timeline, which AnOpWi uses, you will be able to see one story from different perspectives, in a different time and reality but within the same map.

I hope this update sheds a light on the idea behind the MOD. I'm thankful for all comments and messages I've received so far, so don't hesitate to leave some behind below this article or comment on the QofD!

Question of the Day:
Should developers strive to open up as many possibilities as practically and technically possible?

Post comment Comments
Cake_
Cake_ Mar 7 2011, 3:19am says:

Ok. 2 things.
1 (Good): This is a great great thing, the reality changing is brilliant.
2 (Bad): If this mod dies... many people would be sad (at least I would - I'd love to see a mod like this!)

Question answer: Yes, but that would take up a lot of space!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Fuck_you_Bill
Fuck_you_Bill Mar 7 2011, 3:55am says:

I like it, it reminds me mods Aspec.

+1 vote     reply to comment
thefoofighter
thefoofighter Mar 7 2011, 7:59am says:

AofD!!
Of course Games devs should open up as many corridors and possibilities inside a game. Problem most have is making it realistic and worth the effort. Making a game is easy but making a good game that people will remember is hard and alot of the time it is hit and miss for developers.
To design a game with as many possibilities as possible would be hard but worth the effort if it can be pulled off.
Its similar to having an alternate realities or a parallel universe where a choice you make branches down a different path and so on so forth. Your ending may be the same but the path you get there by most certainly isnt.
I have yet to experience a game that can convey it effectivly
But i live in hope
And i like your posts
Keep it up
regards
Foo

+2 votes     reply to comment
DarkRaidor
DarkRaidor Mar 8 2011, 2:48am says:

Escpecially in open world games and RPGs, every possibility should be opened up and explored. Of course, over time games will build up upon each other so that more and more possibilities in development are opened.
Here's a good article to read, in a somewhat related topic.: Gamefront.com
I think it shows a good interpretation of the subject.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Hezus Author
Hezus Mar 8 2011, 12:41pm replied:

That's a very interesting article. I also agree that something innovative still has to be fun to play. That's the reason why Valve decided to cut the Hydra monster, for instance.

+2 votes   reply to comment
BillionLioe
BillionLioe Mar 8 2011, 7:57am says:

I would say yes, developers should make many small details in oder to make the game world more "flexible", but the bad thing is i guess, the amount of time, effort and disk space that is consumed for it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Hezus
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