12 March 2009

You can think and you can fight...

In an effort to make this post overly long, I will explain moral stances.

Individual emphasis
Social emphasis
Authoritarian ideology.

Each can differ, a social stance at the national level can equate to an 'individual' stance at the international one. There's at least one more dimension, maybe described as 'broad' vs 'restricted', but probably better described at one end as 'gracious'. It's kind of a game to be able to describe a certain culture or attitude...

- Sunni arabs might best be described as 'ideology and individual, highly gracious', while Shi'ite might be described as 'ideology and social, somewhat less gracious'. I'm still trying to learn even the basic letters of the abjad, due to lack of time to focus on it >.<
- finally might be able to classify the Japanese culture! if you say, primarily individual with a balanced shift along the social+ideology line, highly gracious; if ideology is the best way to describe a certain uncompromising attitude. Used to be more focused specifically at the national level in the past, but since WWII have reached a broader definition of the social or group level..

Other ones are easy and I won't describe them again. Mutual benefit with other cultures means accommodating their moral emphasis which is an inclusive operation, but there is another situation that people may encounter that has a more destructive effect which I won't describe here. There is a way to avoid its destructiveness, tho at some cost.

I don't remember Riverbend ever using section headers, so I won't either. These are all conclusions with precedence only from being the most recent, so they could be wrong.

Names, like everything else, are focused on the overall objective. Sometime I'll revise other recent thoughts and put them here, like what that objective is. In this case, it means that the system used in the previous environment is nearly enough. Enough explanation, omg!!

Same tribe is GREEN in normal areas. Those in the same group are a LIGHTER SHADE OF GREEN in all areas, well assuming this doesn't get changed. Enemies are RED in all areas. Names don't show up always, but depend on distance, direction, occlusion, grouping, selection and mouse behavior, and possibly size and movement. Very possibly names don't show up at all unless selected or other interactive criteria like mouseover. This injects initial uncertainty into encounters, but more importantly it injects the idea that names (and hostile or friendly stance) are, in fact, something only on the level of gameplay interactions and the interface, and not an intrinsic part of a character's specific identity towards you. Names also relates to flagging, below.

'Books'... omg. This is where I need my notes, something very hard to explain. Book of Fire, Book of Wind, inserted into a game. Subtle hints... more on this later! This is the overall strategy, where a game becomes more than a game, as so many would like to be able to claim. It isn't a competition.

There is no need to be unkillable by other players at a low level, if you do not scale the power disparity and don't give reasons to encourage bad behavior. Community makes a game, but a game makes the community. Combined with other things, this isn't a problem. Similarly, since there's no way to make it really work the way it should there is also no need to prevent combat in cities. It just ends up ruining things instead. Someone who is going afk just needs to LOG OFF! Power disparity has historically been one of the major problems here, but with the theme of 'overall objective' the interference from unflagging is both unwanted and, in the scope of other intention stance display issues, hard to deal with, so just avoid it entirely. There are two more zones in a world: ambiguous PvP, where friendly players turn yellow except possibly when you are attacking them (those attacking you would still be yellow), and friendly kills would mark you as a murderer and possibly give points in the 'dishonor' concept if that infamy/dishonor tiered system were implemented and extended to same-faction lower-level players; and free for all PvP, where friendlies would be red (only when selected, remember!) and would not give any detrimental debuffs for killing.

Last here is camera, which becomes exceptional. Three views, and a tip: the tip is navigating targeting chains, the hotkey for 'Get Target of Target' and the hotkey for 'Get Previous Target'. ('get/set focused target' may or may not be desirable)

The first view is the standard one, with the normal interactive UI, lots of abilities, and much information displayed about you and other entities. This may have just a single name displayed in the environment, that of your current target; or possibly more interactive methods up to 'Everything within a certain distance' altho this might just be bad.

The second view is the cinematic action view. You can switch into it yourself, and it will display your target's well-being and status, your target's target's well-being and status, both near the center of the screen in a clutter-free format, and via a SECOND method will suggest your own current status and the number, size, and direction of changes to same; a gradiated scale on the side of the screen darkening or flashing relative to the seriousness of your condition, and graphical effects indicating the size of changes such as intensities of flashes of coloured light depending on health direction (beware seizures :S). Any abilities you use will briefly appear with a magnified icon indicative of that ability, with sound effects being complementary to and not replacing the visual feedback. Debilitative or helpful status effects on yourself should be suggested directly on your character, and should not need additional text or icon feedback in this view for you to react to them. Certain situations may allow you to enter this view from the perspective of another player or entity. Other situations could allow the display of this view from fixed points. For example, if there was a need for dramatic gladiator matches for the greater glory of a republic, 'spectator' screens or controllers might dynamically switch to new viewpoints by clicking on actors (with the target and target's target being the one selected by that character themselves) and even on static, otherwise-invisible 'camera objects' or by using quick shortcuts to access any of these dynamic or static viewpoints. A publicized match might have a camera controller for each team, each striving to show the most dramatic actions and perspectives of the fight. This view would show all player names at all times by default, and someone could do a quick switch to this stylized 'combat view' to get a quick fix on the hostile or friendly composition of an unknown crowd, or scan for someone's name.

The third is the screenshot, or display view. This is an advanced interface that does not print what is directly displayed to the screen. Instead it prints a variation based on what is selected in that interface. So you might switch to screenshot view, which has a quick array of transparent icons, one of which is to show or remove all player names, another of which is to switch to max graphics settings, with even more advanced options possible like greater camera control or even ones meant for video productions, like doing a defined and savable/progammable smooth rotation or movement of the camera over a certain amount of time. Any screenshot or camera 'run' does not show the screenshot options interface in the shot.

aaaand that's it, im going to bed =p

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