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Being some-body

Re: Being some-body
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2011, 07:19:54 pm »

Well, I think children still need that hook so they can identify with whatever they've chosen as, "I'm this guy," but maybe that was a bad example.

My point is that human beings seem to have a nearly unlimited capacity for, and a natural predilection to anthropomorphize animals, objects, even forces of nature.  As such, if you can find the right hook, almost anything is fertile ground as an avatar that the user can project their ego onto.

As to the original point, though, I'm sure what you found is right, that you do need to be something.  The only way around that I can think of is to use something very abstract, like the aforementioned forces of nature.  Such an avatar could be very minimal, or even not visually represented if the player was still able to explore and come to certain expectations about their limitations, sphere of influence, maybe have some consistent visible side effects to their actions, something that adds up to something that the player can identify with something they know.
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Re: Being some-body
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2011, 11:16:12 am »

I understand what you mean. Black & White does something along this vein, and the upcoming From Dust appears to do so as well. This is not a universal solution, though, not in the sense that many games without a clearly defined avatar present themselves. It's a solution that only fits a certain specific story. I don't think I can make a game about being an old lady by letting the player play the wind. Smiley
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Re: Being some-body
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2011, 11:26:08 am »

I don't think this is a rigid rule, though. I think the talents and skills of Auriea and I combined with the current state of technology and interfaces are better suited for creating landscapes with figures in them and having the player inhabit one of those figures. But I'm sure other people with different talents and skills and/or further evolution of technology and interfaces can allow for the creation of interactive experiences without a direct representation of the player as an entity in the game world. It's more a personal preference than an axiom. But maybe it can be a helpful concept for other developers in similar situations.
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