Friday, September 25, 2015

Virtual Realism

I recently attended a game development conference and was dazzled by the technology and, more importantly, how easy it is. First time game developers can marshal whole armies of animated characters, space ships, superheroes or whatever. Of course, you still have to come up with a story and rules, but once you do, the tools are ready.

But the hottest trend in gaming is virtual reality. There are now goggles and complete helmets that let you move around in a computer-generated world, turning your head to see different parts of the scene as you walk through, oblivious to real world objects in your path.

That’s the virtual part. What’s missing is the reality. The games using this technology generally involve incredibly developed men and women, wearing the most revealing armor imaginable, pursuing each other, for lustful or vengeful purposes, through medieval landscapes, wielding maces, axes and swords. What’s real about that?

So I’ve decided to design a real virtual reality game. It’s still a work in progress, but I have a few levels roughed out.

Level 1

The player has to navigate a dimly lit, hazard-strewn landscape in order to dress in work clothes that aren’t too discordant, without stubbing his or her toes.

Level 2

Players travel from the the start to the center of competition, trying to dodge each others aggressive and erratic movements, and to avoid delays from jack-knifed trucks, road construction and drive-thru donut shops.

Level 3

Here all the players congregate to try to complete tasks, while the villain, known only as Management, launches more, increasingly onerous tasks for each player to accomplish.

Once a player earns 100000 points, he or she achieves Management status. Then the player must fire tasks at other non-Management players, while at the same time dodging those from the new villain, Upper Management.

Of course, there are still a few rough edges to work out, but I think you can expect this to rocket to the top of the charts, or whatever computer games do.

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