Thursday, 3 February 2011

God Games - What Are They?

Here's some research into what a 'God Game' usually involves, as well as information into the more successful games within this genre, exploring their fundamental and visuals, helping to ground a basic knowledge for constructing my character within these constraints.

A subset of Sim Management, the God Game places you in the role of a magical deity, lording it over your faithful brethren. Usually, the primary resource generated and spent is "Mana", which is a store of mystical energy generated by the collective worship of your believers. God Games definitely take the Commandment to heart: "Thou shalt have none other gods before me" and invariably a God Game is all about your good LORDLY self smiting rival deities and their misbegotten minions, whilst paving the way for your own True Believers. They can be a lot of fun: anything that lets you conjure up tornadoes, tidal waves, personalised bolts of lightning, and other terrible plagues - or miracles - generally makes for a fine afternoon of idle entertainment.

Some examples of the works in this category include:

Black & White Series
Part God Game, part player psychology test, part character study, part Tamagotchi. Lionhead Studio's first game pushed the who God Game thing to the next level, while you were again a Deity lording it over an archipelago of islands, the game's most notable feature was the giant creature you had to look after and train up. Depending on how you treated it and it behaved, it would morph between an angelic, colourful creature or degenerate into a red eyed, smoldering, spiked monstrosity.

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Populus Series
You play the part of a minor deity lording it over a tribe of believers. Your power is determined by the amount of Mana their devotion generates for you; the more believers you can grow, the more powerful you can become. You can raise and lower land, create gardens out of swamps, and best of all, mightily smite those little sprites with your own divine plagues, floods, fireballs and lightning bolts. The objective is to populate and conquer a string of maps, changing the landscape to facilitate your growing people. At the same time, a rival God, with their own population of heathens, are trying to gain supremacy over you. Your duel with your Godly opponent is waged on and by your followers; there is no direct conflict between Deities themselves.

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Doshin The Giant
On the tropical island of Barudo, there is a giant that appears out of nowhere. He grows larger by absorbing the love and hate of the villagers. He can take two forms, the Love-Giant Doshin and the Hate-Giant Jashin. The giant can only move while the sun is out. When the sun sets, he disappears for the day

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Spore
Spore allows the player to develop a species from a microscopic organism to its evolution into a complex animal, its emergence as a social, intelligent being, to its mastery of the planet and then finally to its ascension into space, where it interacts with alien species across the galaxy. Throughout the game, the player's perspective and species change dramatically.

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Some really interesting aspects within some of these games, I can start to imagine the possiblites of adapting a Legend of TEZCATLIPOCA whilst taking on the characteristics of this genre.

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