continued from developer notes #1
Which elements to Model?
Determining which elements of Command and Leadership to represent isn’t easy. They are both fairly abstract concepts. How do you program into a game characters who may, or may not, be willing to follow you, the Player?
How, for example, do you portray the war induced stress and pressure that those characters are under?
You could, perhaps, have a selection of soundtracks that play on demand for a certain character. As his sense of humour progressively fades away he could be made to swear at you in an increasingly vocal and inventive manner. But would having a nebulous, computer generated character, casting aspersions on your mother and your ancestry be an enjoyable experience?
What would your wife or girlfriend say when they heard the high volume, barrack room rant of an unhappy, stressed, character? Would the crude bluntness of the language prevent you from playing the game only after your kids had gone to bed and were safely asleep behind closed doors?
Could you resist the urge to start swearing back at Colonel Rat face because he isn’t snapping to attention and doing what you ask? Is your relaxing couple of hours in the evening to become a stand up, full on, swear fest as you attempt to give back as good as you are getting?
It wouldn’t be long before you are being asked – more likely told – by your better half to take your computer and to go and play that disgusting game in the cold, poorly lit, garage.
With the dog. The dog would keep you company.
Clearly there are limitations in what can be achieved.
But if we take a step back there are a number of easily defined elements that could be modelled in a manner that didn’t involve you spending quality time shivering in the cold with your dog.
There is a Chain of Command. Superiors and Subordinates. Decisions. Delegation. Resources.
There are other, subtler, aspects.
Imperfect knowledge. The fact that the people you are dealing with have their own concerns and agendas. The inevitable politics as people lobby for scarce resources. The restrictions that operating within a hierarchy might place upon you. The Dark side of the war. The uneven, stop-start nature of Command where sometimes it rains and sometimes it pours.