Gaming Massively

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Iain Banks has a series of science fiction books in which one of the social groups (empires) is called The Culture. The basic element you need to know for this post is that most of the governance comes from a group of artificial intelligences - beings specifically created to govern justly and efficiently, with those at the highest levels having almost godlike knowledge. Many of the plots involve people interacting with these robots, and trying to outwit them. I had thought this introduced a rather interesting option for a sort of 3rd path for gaming. Not PvP, nor PvE, but rather Player versus Really Well Informed Gaming Company Employees. Thus you are interacting with a real person, so the events never happen the same way twice. This could be part of any other overall game - in fact, it already happens, but generally accidentally - the game designers leave a hole accidentally, and people exploit it. But what if that were part of the game - what if there were intentionally left exploits. It would be tough - as a designer you would have to be sure to insulate these gaps so they didn't break the game as a whole. Then people could play the game straight up, or try to exploit, with XP (or something) being rewarded for successfully beating the system.


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