Look what I've found over at the Game Producer Blog:
Imagine there’s bunch of goblins guarding a treasure cave. Each goblin would have motivations, such as these:
- Need for food (avoiding hunger)
- Shelter (avoid rain for example)
- Being safe (for example, sticking with a bigger group or perhaps running away)
- And so on…
Now, our hero arrives near the treasure cave and thinks for a moment about the situation. In our typical RPG, you’d usually draw your sword and hack’n’slash em.
But what if we could instead have AI that reacts to different stuff. For example, hero could leave food near and make noises that attract goblins to check out the noises. When goblins go check noises (that would be programmed in a common “guarding behavior” AI), they would see food… and hungry goblins would remain there to eat the food. Others might instead return. If there wasn’t any food, all goblins would return back.
Or what if hero uses a rain spell: it starts rain and it causes goblins to scatter: some go find shelter at nearby trees… some perhaps would go back to cave.
Really, there is not much I can add to this post, other than the fact that I really love the idea and would be interested in implementing the idea in some game. As a matter of fact, Dwarf Fortress, does something similar (though not in a RPG setting).
Edit: And now even with the proper link.
A big part of Lovecraftian-style horror involves the fact that humans perceive the world in a certain way, with certain assumptions based on what we can empirically observe and judge. However, this brand of fear postulates there are immortal beings in existence that contradict these assumptions on such a fundamental level that they cause our perceived reality to break down, and drive humans crazy upon seeing how insignificant we are in the universe. Glitches in games can be seen like this, where something goes wrong with how our universe is supposed to function, and we can temporarily glimpse the unfathomable void beyond the programming.
This is not only relevant since I have an interest in creating deeply disturbing horror games and because I just love self-referentiality in practically every medium; it also provides some more food for thought about an experiment I might be producing for Fantoche: A game that purposefully undermines the implicit trust we give the game as a system.
Apparently, this has been done before:
Remember Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem? Some of the best scares from that title came from breaking the fourth wall. The controller would mysteriously disconnect as your defenseless in-game avatar was slaughtered by a group of enemies, your head would blow up when trying to cast a spell, and sometimes the Blue Screen of Death would appear (despite the fact that you were playing on a GameCube).