Game Design

Interesting Game Ideas: Creation and Destruction

Game Idea:
Creation and Destruction

Maintain the Balance by keeping good and evil in equal parts.

I don’t remember how I conceived of this idea, but basically I thought, “What if there was a constant battle between Good and Evil, and whenever that balance was tipped too far to one side or another, chaos resulted? What if it was actually harmonious for Good and Evil to exist together?”

Possible Game Here?
One possibility is that there are a certain number of angels and demons. Perhaps their relative numbers are important. In that case, your job is to make sure that any increase or decrease on one side gets matched on the other. If an angel is born, you must find a way to spawn a new demon. If a devil is slain, you need to do something that results in the destruction of an angel. You might even be able to convert one to the other. An angel is a pure being, so if it does something wrong, it becomes a demon. There is no halfway with these beings. It’s all or nothing. The death of two demons could be balanced out by converting one angel into a demon.

What if the population wasn’t as important as the number of good or bad works they do? Perhaps the proximity of a being to more densely populated areas will result in more activities of the being’s persuasion. An angel in downtown New York will result in more good works than an angel in a rural community. A demon in a sports stadium can wreak more havoc than one in a remote mountain cave. The strategic placement of various beings can help to tilt the scales towards Good or Evil. Perhaps it isn’t the placement of the beings themselves so much as the converting elements mentioned above. Either way, the point is that the effect on the human population from the actions count the most.

Perhaps you take the role as a warrior for one side or the other. Maybe the balancing element is a problem, and both sides want to settle the score once and for all. You can recruit humans to your side. Their actions can influence their peers, so finding charismatic humans is very important, but you’ll also want a strong will to avoid losing them to the other side. Actual battles might take place between the humans since the angels and demons can’t do anything directly. On the other hand, if they could fight each other directly, maybe the battles take place on the shoulders of the individual humans.

What if Good and Evil had to join forces? What reason would they have to do so? Would there be some third force, such as Non-belief? Would they need to work together to convince Humanity that they still exist? Can they still do so without fighting each other?

I think Good vs Evil is a very familiar topic to most people. While some games, like Populous or Black & White, cover the story in similar ways, I think there is more that can be done with it.

6 replies on “Interesting Game Ideas: Creation and Destruction”

What if Good and Evil had to join forces? What reason would they have to do so? Would there be some third force……..

Piers Anthony had a book series where Death, Fate, Nature, Time and War were actually offices held by mere humans. These humans were Neutral in the scheme of good and evil. There job was to maintain balance over humanity not letting evil (which followed no rules) and good (which could not act either way because they were good) sway humans done the wrong path. Surely there is a game there somewhere.

Epic: Do you remember the name of this book series?

GB: Sounds like another good idea. I’m liking this “Interesting Game Ideas” series.

Have you ever seen the movie “The Prophecy”? Your idea reminds me a bit about the theme of this film. It’s a pretty interesting concept and an age old theological subject — which means that it could grab a lot of attention.

epic: You know, to this day I have yet to read one Piers Anthony book, even after learning about him through this really cute girl I met online over five years ago who I later found out had a picture of Kate Winslet up instead of her real picture but she claimed that people always say she looks like her so…anyway, I need to read more. It’s fun learning that some of my ideas are actually invented and used elsewhere, but I really need to learn more about what is out there so I don’t accidentally propose something that has already been done.

Jon: No, I haven’t seen it yet (/me adds it to his list), but I did watch Constantine and want to read the comic it was based on.

Jon: The first in the series is called “On a Pale Horse”…The Incarnation (sp) Series.

GB: Your idea is good; There are many game ideas that could result from this classic, no ancient, struggle of good and evil. I’ll bet there are a few ways to make a good game with it. Beside, Piers borrowed from already established works and built a story around it and had a #1 best seller.

To really make something like this interesting, you’d have to have only indirect influence over the game. Say, for instance, you’re God. Satan, one of your angels, out to cause chaos. Another of your angels, Gabriel let’s say, set out on his own without you to enforce order. You’re now annoyed at both of them, but the rules you set up in the beginning of time say that you can’t interfere with the world directly, only through agents.

So you have to find some way to keep either Satan or Gabriel of getting the upper hand and plunging humanity into horrid chaos or stagnant order, without actually doing anything directly. You’d have to, say, nudge a particular city to build a large palace (increasing order), while give a vision to someone to assassinate a leader (increasing chaos). Meanwhile, there’s always Gabriel creating too much order and Satan creating too much chaos. Think Sim Religion. 🙂

You’d have to be careful to make the game have a purpose, though. You have to balance for… what? Do you get points for cities that are “balanced”? What kind of money does God get for doing whatever it is he does? 🙂 You have to be building TO something, even if, as in SimCity, it’s just a cooler looking city. That’s the big challenge.

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