Sunday, October 19, 2008

9795: Robots!

I got this crazy sweet game idea I want to share.

It starts off as a simplistic multiplayer shooter where your placed in an arena against one or more human opponents.

Everyone has a robot factory. These robots start off with simplified programming.

It could be extremely simple, introducing the player to the game.

For example: "Go to metal, pick up metal, bring back to base, create new robot, repeat"

And the players shoot at each other, with the new robots doing nothing but creating more robots until there is no metal.

The AI is up to the player. To keep things balanced, there should be a system where the more complicated the player makes his code, the more advanced of players he's matched against.

So, you could start off with programming that any new robot creates a gun, attaches it to his arm and follows the player.

With really simple "If, then, shoot at," commands, the player can get right in to the game, and get as creative as he wishes.

"If enemy spotted, shoot at enemy." or "if taken 50% damage, run to factory"

The idea came to me when I thought about AI and how I don't really care about single player games because I know the AI was programmed by the creators to simply shoot at me until I kill it. It's purpose is to make me feel challenged but eventually die.

In a multiplayer shooter, the other players intentions are to defeat you, plain and simple. It creates for a more intense experience. So why not a game where the programmers face off against each other. The player taking on the role of the programmer.

This opens up a very different form of gameplay. One where every game gets more and more complex.

Imagine you've played for a while. You discovered how to make your robots build a wall, and create some cannon or something to attack your opponents factory.

Your opponent took an entirely different approach, having his robots work in squads to intercept any collectors of metal.

Before finishing the cannon, due to lack of metal the opponent defeats you. So you go in, and program ways to protect the metal. Once you've advanced enough, you get to the next tier.

Balance issues may be a big problem with a lot of freedom, I think the game in itself would be an interesting experiment.

Thinking about the AI getting more and more complex reminds me of evolution. I thought to myself, maybe that's why life was put on this planet, just to see how complex it could get if it was competing against each other to survive.

I think it's a great game idea and if anyone steals it, don't forget where you got it from. There's more where that came from.

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