New to Beyond Casual? – start from part 1!

Part 4: The Clone Wars!

Star Wars: - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

We like our own kind.  
Our minds favor our offspring, which look similar to us, our family and clan. This was curved by billions years of evolution – where natural selection favored finding mates, and safety. Thanks to genetic engineering we will soon need to face the social meaning of human cloning – and it might be scary. Thanks to motion tracking algorithms and computer graphics – we can enjoy our clones today!

Let’s first classify the cloning experience to two groups:

  • ·         Collaboration experiences’ getting empowerment from multiple copies of yourself that work together
  • ·         Identifying experiences’ seeing a version of yourself you can identify with
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Collaboration experiences

"1942" Video Game  (1984)
In computer games – this type of cloning is nothing new – and you can find it as a collectible bonus in many old scrolling shooters. Once you collect it - you get more bombers/spaceships/other-collection-of-unrecognizable pixels (Back in the old days we called it graphics). all those fly with you, shoot with you - the odds just changed for the good guys!

In AngyBotsNI, this is demonstrated by raising your left hand for a second. You can create as many clones as you want. You can dance with them. But teleporting to a level with enemies, multiplying yourself and shooting together gives a tremendously powerful emotional experience – that might be somehow connected to our primates’ ancestors.
You see many copies of yourself working with you and it is probably a similar to the experience of any clan of primates hunting together, or fighting for survival.


Identifying experiences

Total Recall (1990)
Some years ago, I worked in a company that developed a video conference solution. During the development we had two PCs connected, sharing video streams. One time – due to some horrible buffer management problem – the video stream reached about 3 minutes delay. At some point of time – someone entered the room and told me something that made me worried and disappointed. He then left the room and my eyes were drawn to the screen. I saw the video of myself sitting happily… I knew something bad was about to happen and I felt sorry for myself when the whole scene repeated before my eyes again. 
Yes – it’s too easy to identify with yourself!

The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
But it’s not limited to your exact self. Anyone having kids sometimes had similar feelings – seeing these little versions of ourselves battling world of reality. It can be when you see them experience social difficulties, or encounter hard challenges at school. It is extremely hard to remain calm with it gets to violence.
The identifying effect was vastly used in the cinema too – but can we do anything to recreate it in computer games?

Imagine a game in which your whole motions are constantly recorded. Sometimes you could spawn a clone of your avatar that will follow your past movements.
Some ideas:

  • Imagine this is a controlled feature – when you can decide to spawn the clones at a specific gesture. You can then use this as a tactical move in battle or puzzles (Such as Portal)
  • It can also happen automatically when your avatar dies – you have a chance to join your clone in his last battle, see yourself get beat or maybe even change the outcome!

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I can't find AngryBotsNI anywhere. The OpenNI Arena link doesn't work. Could you please provide an alternate download link?