Thought provoking games: Idea's and Brainstorming

Split from the "villains who need their own games" thread, I was inspired by the discussion over terrorism and Islamic and Middle Eastern peoples being consistantly depicted as "terrorists" or "the bad guys". In that thread I suggested creating a game where the main protagonist is a Mujahideen during the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan, or a game where you were an agent of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence and counter-terrorism agency. Either game would have to be done very tastefully and intelligently to avoid offending certain groups, but such a game could I think be very thought provoking and very educational, as well as fun.

I'd be glad if others had idea's of their own that they could share, for thought provoking or scandelous games. Not stupid idea's, like "U play a scuicide bomber and the object is to kill as many people at once and u get points lolol" thats just offensive and in poor taste. I'm looking for something that genuinly cries out for expression, but perhaps isn't because of the politics attached to the issue. Feel free to be as indepth as you like. I'll get the ball rolling with some game pitches of my own.

Mujahideen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan

Setup

You play as an average civilian turned freedom fighter in 1980's Afghanistan, in a "Full Spectrum Warrior" style strategic-squad shooter with a focus on guerilla warfare. The Soviet union has arrived in your country and assasinated the previous ruler, President Nur Muhammad Taraki (a man regaurded as a tyrant for his heavy handed enforcement of sweeping social reforms, and usurper of Prime Minister Daoud, who had in turn usurped King Mohammad Zahir Shah in 1973). Taraki was a socialist and ally of the Soviet government, but the Russians decided his way of governing had inflamed the populace too much and liquidated him to ensure the security of the socialist government. Rather then being lauded as hero's for removing Taraki however, the Russians are regaurded as foriegn invaders and despoilers and are unable to pacify the populace. Disparate rebellious cells who had been fighting the Taraki government for years unite to repel the invaders. Meanwhile the American CIA is fanning the flames and supplying the Mujahideen with financing and weaponry in order to wage an indirect war on the Soviet Union and draw it into it's "own version of the Vietnam Conflict".

Factions and Benefits

Your character is the promising young leader of a cell. Your alliegances are yours to decied- after a few successful missions, different factions within the Mujahideen will call upon you for your loyalty, altering your missions (sometimes inteirly) and various ingame benefits you recieve in the game. Allying yourself with the CIA and their promises of democracy will win your cell more advanced weaponry and equipment, at the cost of working for the duplicitous American's ends. The traditionalists in Mujahideen- religeous fundamentalists and conservatives as well as others opposed to social reform challenging the old traditions in Afghanistan- give you the blessing of being driven by a divine mandate; you are a holy warrior fighting for the church of Islam and it's rights and priveldges that it has held in Afghanistan for many many years, and as a result your cell members are driven by a ferver unfound in others resulting in higher morale for them and the assurance they will never 'break'(more on that in a bit). Then there are the Nationalists, individuals driven to see the return of Afghanistans rightful government, the expulsion of the foreign invaders, or even the ressurection of Afghanistans monarchy. Alliance with them gives you the support of the people, the everyman, and access to special caches scattered through levels and safehouses during the course of the game and missions which contain weaponry, fresh ammunition, medical supplies and other necessities offered to the patriotic fighters.

Morale

Your cell is far from being made up by green recruits- you've been fighting a guerilla war against President Taraki's regime for years. However, your training is what you've been able to learn from deserters from the army, local militia's, and on the job practice. Your not as equipped or drilled as a soldier from a first world country. As a result morale plays a very important role in the success of your squad. Successfully completing objectives, killing enemies, aquiring fresh ammunition or weaponry and medical treatment all increase morale while taking damage, becoming suppressed (as in Full Spectrum Warrior or Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30), failing in an objective or running out of ammunition for a weapon. As morale drops beneath a certain point, your squads firing accuracy degrades as the stress of the situation. Should their morale drop completly, they 'break' (in a mechanic similar to Dawn of War) and will stop fighting inteirly and may freeze up or flee from a combat situation temporarily. Effective management of your squad will require keeping their morale high by posistioning them correctly to prevent lengthy suppression, minimizing the fire they take, and succeeding in missions and side missions.

Faction

Deciding which faction to ally with is not a one time choice, but rather a constant and cumulative decision. You can take a mission from a particular faction and earn their benefit. Moreover, the more you 'stick with' a faction, the more that benefit improves; consistantly working for the CIA grants you access to progressivly more advanced equipment, consistantly working for the Traditionalists grants you ever increasing morale to the point your men may become fearless, and consistantly working for the Nationalists gives you the ever greater support of the people- more and larger weapon caches, or even NPC support in the midst of levels. Or, alternativly, you can play the field to maximize the benefit to yourself, but eventually one of the factions will eventually ask you to make a play against the other- and outright attacking that other faction WILL lose you their benefit so you must deciede where your loyalties go in the end- or you could forgo the interfaction fighting and focus purely on fighting the Russians.

You know in UK schools we don't call it 'brainstorming' any more because (and this is a true story) it sounds too much like a term for taking illegal substances.

Cool concept, it actually sounds like a good game.

Decoy Doctorpus:
You know in UK schools we don't call it 'brainstorming' any more because (and this is a true story) it sounds too much like a term for taking illegal substances.

Probably because the best Brainstorming sessions are fueled by illegal substances.

TsunamiWombat:

Decoy Doctorpus:
You know in UK schools we don't call it 'brainstorming' any more because (and this is a true story) it sounds too much like a term for taking illegal substances.

Probably because the best Brainstorming sessions are fueled by illegal substances.

Dude... dude....lizards.. fucking lizards everywhere... and like... portals

I have this idea that's like Sim Industry. It's mine therefore you can't have it.

Why don't they ever have a game where you play as a terorist?(Side missions in other games excluded)

ObnoxiousTwat:
Why don't they ever have a game where you play as a terorist?(Side missions in other games excluded)

Because the flak they would get is tremendous. However, there is. Insurgence, a Halflife 2 Modification (recently picked up for official support by Steam), lets you play as an Iraqi insurgent against the American forces in various real life battlefields with real life equipment and realistic gameplay.

I can't be arsed writing a big wordy full explanation for it.

But I had an idea for an RPG or some other game with a linear storyline, that once played through, the protagonist would be aware of all the events that happened (Maybe is a Deja Vu sort of sense, or maybe in a "what the hell? This is just the same thing happening again... Am I an a video game or something?" way, I haven't decided)
Anyway the protagonist then tries to right all the bad things that took place in the first play through, and slowly through each play through gets closer and closer to a perfect storyline where everything bad is avoided.

Also I like the idea of a game centered around a crab in his daily search for sustenance on the beach. Eating stuff, fighting off challengers, running away from dogs and toddlers. All that stuff.

Decoy Doctorpus:

TsunamiWombat:

Decoy Doctorpus:
You know in UK schools we don't call it 'brainstorming' any more because (and this is a true story) it sounds too much like a term for taking illegal substances.

Probably because the best Brainstorming sessions are fueled by illegal substances.

Dude... dude....lizards.. fucking lizards everywhere... and like... portals

And that was how Half-Life was created (Vortigaunts look KINDA like lizards...)

Idea #2: Mossad
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mossad

Setup

In this Splinter Cell-esque tactical espianoge action game (Kojima doesn't have a bloody copyright on the idea!), you play an agent of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence and counter-terrorism agency. Tasked with keeping Israel safe and destroying the enemies of the Jewish people, you live in a world of secret assasinations and covert operations that the public is either permissive or ignorant of. It's a mad, bad world and your the one who stands in the dark alley, ready to do violence on behalf of your nation and innocent people everywhere. The question is, how far will you go to do it?

Moral Questions

Many games try to have a moral system, this tends to range from saintly to satans landlord. In the world of Mossad, things are a bit stickyer, grittier. Lets say you've been tasked with bringing a Nazi warcriminal to justice. You KNOW this man was a Nazi during World War 2, responsible for the merciless extermination of unknown numbers of innocent people, part of a machine of irrevocable hatred and evil. But what do you do? Do you sneak around his Argentinian estate quietly, collecting evidence and then extracting so an official arrest can be made? Do you enter silently and quietly kill the man, punishing him for the crimes he tried to flee from? Or do you enter guns blazing and execute the man, his hired guards, and anyone who gets in your way then level the building on your way out? Each action has benefits and consequences- taking prisoners quietly makes for better publicity (as in, none at all) and more intelligence for future missions from questioning said prisoners, giving you more detailed maps and information on the dispensation of enemy troops. Assasinating the target wraps up the issue nicely, especially if done subtly- this strikes fear into enemies in future missions as you slink ghostlike from objective to objective, resulting in more panicky and less professional behavior from guards and sentries. Anhillating everything may make your superiors unhappy with you for bringing unwanted attention on your activities, resulting in access to fewer hightech gadgets and equipment for your insubordination, but it also sends a clear message to the enemies of Israel- fewer mercenaries will be willing to work for your enemies, resulting in fewer sentries in future levels though a hightened state of security and preparedness from your enemies.

You may also be asked to assasinate people in the middle of missions without explaination (need to know basis...). They could be strangers, or they could be contacts who've helped you with previous operatons. Do you obey your orders without questions and please your superiors, or let these individuals live with probable consequences for future missions?

It's all about the choices. In a world full of fear, will you use terror to your advantage? Or will you try to ride a white horse and risk ineffectuality?

Well, I've been leaving some rather long-winded responses in the "villains who need their own games" thread that can basically be summarized as "I want a game where the Nazis and Arabs aren't mindless, faceless, fundamentally evil beings, simply based on the fact that they are shooting at you and you are American."

So yeah, that's what I'd like to see. A game where you play as the standard villains and see where they're coming from. A game where the atrocities and depravity that the "good guys" are always guilty of at some point or another are not conveniently swept under the rug. A game where our social and political assumptions are questioned and undermined.

Good morning blues:
Well, I've been leaving some rather long-winded responses in the "villains who need their own games" thread that can basically be summarized as "I want a game where the Nazis and Arabs aren't mindless, faceless, fundamentally evil beings, simply based on the fact that they are shooting at you and you are American."

So yeah, that's what I'd like to see. A game where you play as the standard villains and see where they're coming from. A game where the atrocities and depravity that the "good guys" are always guilty of at some point or another are not conveniently swept under the rug. A game where our social and political assumptions are questioned and undermined.

I have in mind a WW2 shooter from the perspective of a regular army german soldier, unaware or unapproving of the actions of the the SS and the upper echelons of Command. I can't think of any mechanics that would make it anything other then just another WW2 shooter though... as for Arabs, see my Mujahideen idea.

 

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