Yet Another Graphomaniacs Compendium
Sunday, September 14, 2003

First and Third person in strategy games.


Elite is a first person - strategy game; the premise is that you are an individual trying to make your way in a hostile universe. Decisions are made at the level of individual action. What to buy, what to sell, where to flee. Civilization is a third-person strategy game. You make decisions at the level of an empire: where to build cities, where to farm, where to mine, which technology to research, which units to build, where.


The first form makes for a more compelling game than the second. Why? The descions are obvious life-and-death decisions that affect a single individual. The way they change the balance of the game, the options they allow and deny you are immediately obvious. Wheras with the second kind of game you are managing large collections of units, more like Chess or Go. This increases the level of abstraction of the game - which can be satisfying if you like the more strategic, fluid kind of game. However this is arrived at by making the fantasy that the game-player buys into less immeditae and credible. As with all mediums, fantasy, imagination and the suspension of disbelief are important. This is why there are lots of games about driving Formula One cars, and dammn few about driving trains...

posted by John Connors at
Sunday, September 14, 2003

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A miscellany of topics that intersest me: deaf culture, game design, politics as soap opera, the cyborg condition and the experience of learning to hear again. Other topics presented are speculative fiction and imaginary cities. There are appearences of snippets of work in progress, public rants, pointless posts and Mish the Mouse.




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