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judicial death squad

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  • Brandon Van Every
    Had an idea today, triggered by a headline in the newspaper. Some 23 year old not very bright looking white man brained some similarly aged white woman in his
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 10, 2010
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      Had an idea today, triggered by a headline in the newspaper. Some 23
      year old not very bright looking white man brained some similarly aged
      white woman in his car with a paving stone. He's facing first degree
      murder charges. I didn't read the article but I assume it's some kind
      of lover's quarrel. It made me wonder at the evolution of
      reproductive fitness and crime. Infidelity is a pretty old motive for
      murder. I wonder how much biological component there is to this.
      What's definitely changed over the centuries is our social attitudes
      towards acceptable responses, anywhere from stoning the woman to death
      to que sera sera, tough luck dude you're a chump go find someone else
      and be happy.

      I think the woman's father was interviewed. He couldn't say on camera
      what he'd like to do to the man, and hoped the man gets what he
      deserves. I pretty much agreed although without the emotional
      investment. Looking at the man's photo I thought, "What an a**hole!"
      and that he probably should be strung up. Which leads to the game
      idea.

      We spend an awful lot of time righteously killing people in games,
      usually for noble nationalistic causes. Justice is meted out on the
      battlefield Rambo-style, against nominal terrorists, sometimes James
      Bond criminal syndicates, drug cartels, etc. There's not a lot of
      evaluation in all of this though, it's pretty much "Let God sort 'em
      out." What if instead you're running a courtroom that performs
      executions? Could be all kinds of levels of law in all sorts of
      different eras, or pick something modern and topical if that saves
      development resources. How different would a British colonial court,
      a Stalinist show trial, a Chilean death squad, and a modern US
      District court be? The treatment of outcomes wouldn't have to be
      entirely realistic, it could be metaphorical. The electric chair or
      hanging noose could be right there in the court. I guess that's a bit
      of the "Running Man" flavor, for those of you who remember your
      sci-fi.

      It would be an interactive crime drama of sorts, with much of the
      focus on the courtroom and deciding the jurisprudence. With the
      jurisprudence bending according to the level of lawlessness of the era
      being portrayed. This stuff is all over prime time TV so I think
      there's definitely a market for righteously wasting people. Might be
      a little scary how much people want to grind the bad guys up. "You
      feel lucky, punk?"


      Cheers,
      Brandon Van Every
    • Gerry Quinn
      From: Brandon Van Every ... I m not getting where the *game* is here! - Gerry Quinn
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 10, 2010
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        From: "Brandon Van Every" <bvanevery@...>
        > We spend an awful lot of time righteously killing people in games,
        > usually for noble nationalistic causes. Justice is meted out on the
        > battlefield Rambo-style, against nominal terrorists, sometimes James
        > Bond criminal syndicates, drug cartels, etc. There's not a lot of
        > evaluation in all of this though, it's pretty much "Let God sort 'em
        > out." What if instead you're running a courtroom that performs
        > executions? Could be all kinds of levels of law in all sorts of
        > different eras, or pick something modern and topical if that saves
        > development resources. How different would a British colonial court,
        > a Stalinist show trial, a Chilean death squad, and a modern US
        > District court be? The treatment of outcomes wouldn't have to be
        > entirely realistic, it could be metaphorical. The electric chair or
        > hanging noose could be right there in the court. I guess that's a bit
        > of the "Running Man" flavor, for those of you who remember your
        > sci-fi.

        I'm not getting where the *game* is here!

        - Gerry Quinn
      • Brandon Van Every
        ... 3 ways I could see getting a game out of this: - following clues at crime scenes to determine innocence or guilt. That makes it a logic puzzle. However,
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 10, 2010
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          On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 1:20 PM, Gerry Quinn <gerryq@...> wrote:

          >
          >
          >
          > From: "Brandon Van Every" <bvanevery@... <bvanevery%40gmail.com>>
          >
          > > We spend an awful lot of time righteously killing people in games,
          > > usually for noble nationalistic causes. Justice is meted out on the
          > > battlefield Rambo-style, against nominal terrorists, sometimes James
          > > Bond criminal syndicates, drug cartels, etc. There's not a lot of
          > > evaluation in all of this though, it's pretty much "Let God sort 'em
          > > out." What if instead you're running a courtroom that performs
          > > executions? Could be all kinds of levels of law in all sorts of
          > > different eras, or pick something modern and topical if that saves
          > > development resources. How different would a British colonial court,
          > > a Stalinist show trial, a Chilean death squad, and a modern US
          > > District court be? The treatment of outcomes wouldn't have to be
          > > entirely realistic, it could be metaphorical. The electric chair or
          > > hanging noose could be right there in the court. I guess that's a bit
          > > of the "Running Man" flavor, for those of you who remember your
          > > sci-fi.
          >
          > I'm not getting where the *game* is here!
          >


          3 ways I could see getting a game out of this:

          - following clues at crime scenes to determine innocence or guilt. That
          makes it a logic puzzle. However, it may not be easy to figure everything
          out exactly, so much like in real crimes, it becomes a morality puzzle on
          top of that. How complete or incomplete do you judge your understanding of
          the facts to be, and do you hang a man for that?

          - having a quota for the number of people you need to slay, due to the
          pressures of a dictator, an angry lynch mob, or a democratic electorate
          screaming for blood. Could be so many years that you survive as a judge
          before being shot by your boss, blown up by the mob, or lose your election
          for being "soft on crime." This kind of gaming would explore the political
          dimensions of meting out capital punishment, totally apart from actual
          innocence or guilt. It would resemble a resource management problem in many
          other games. It would also offer the option of despotic roleplay if you're
          so inclined.

          - getting to snuff people. Sad to say, if the death throes are sufficiently
          graphic, that's a reward for many players right there.

          I would also note that judicial mechanics were part of "King Of Dragon Pass"
          in many instances, although that certainly wasn't the focus of the game.
          Typically you're presented with a problem that your "Ring" or village
          council has to resolve somehow. You choose who sits on the "Ring" before
          these problems come up. The stats of the members of the Ring determine what
          kind of information you get about the problem. For instance, if you have
          someone who is strong in Custom then you'll get better legalistic advice
          about what the general populace expects as a resolution. If you've got
          someone who's strong in War or whatever it was, you get better military
          advice, and so forth. Having a Jester type would give you some
          out-of-the-box options to consider, like blaming your Jester and then
          throwing him off the Ring temporarily, or claiming it's part of his
          religious duty to be offensive.

          KODP didn't stay focused on the "courtroom," however. It was just 1 element
          in a broader sweep of RPG events, although the "courtroom" stuff was indeed
          a major element. The point of the game idea I'm advancing, would be to stay
          focused on the "despotism" of capital punishment. It's intended to be ugly,
          a bit of a black comedy. The main authorial message is, why should we be so
          blase about killing people in games? Let's get into why we really think
          we're supposed to be killing people.


          Cheers,
          Brandon Van Every


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • LingMac
          ... A variant on this one has been tried by Capcom s Phoenix Wright series. Problem is... it s Capcom we re talking about here, so the writing is EVEN WORSE
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 10, 2010
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            Brandon Van Every wrote:

            > 3 ways I could see getting a game out of this:
            >
            > - following clues at crime scenes to determine innocence or guilt. That
            > makes it a logic puzzle. However, it may not be easy to figure everything
            > out exactly, so much like in real crimes, it becomes a morality puzzle on
            > top of that. How complete or incomplete do you judge your understanding of
            > the facts to be, and do you hang a man for that?


            A variant on this one has been tried by Capcom's Phoenix Wright
            series. Problem is... it's Capcom we're talking about here, so the
            writing is EVEN WORSE than you've come to expect from the gaming
            industry as a whole. In practice, it's a collection of logical
            non-sequiturs, plot holes, rail-roading and trial and error gameplay
            at its finest.

            The day someone makes a PROPER game based on this premise, I'll be
            first in line to buy it.
          • BGB
            but what about the high quality and original writing as often found in the Megaman franchise?... it is like, Capcom has Megaman, much like Hasbro has
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 10, 2010
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              but what about the high quality and original writing as often found in the Megaman franchise?...

              it is like, Capcom has Megaman, much like Hasbro has Transformers...



              ----- Original Message -----
              From: LingMac
              To: gamedesign-l@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 2:27 PM
              Subject: Re: [gamedesign-l] judicial death squad



              Brandon Van Every wrote:

              > 3 ways I could see getting a game out of this:
              >
              > - following clues at crime scenes to determine innocence or guilt. That
              > makes it a logic puzzle. However, it may not be easy to figure everything
              > out exactly, so much like in real crimes, it becomes a morality puzzle on
              > top of that. How complete or incomplete do you judge your understanding of
              > the facts to be, and do you hang a man for that?

              A variant on this one has been tried by Capcom's Phoenix Wright
              series. Problem is... it's Capcom we're talking about here, so the
              writing is EVEN WORSE than you've come to expect from the gaming
              industry as a whole. In practice, it's a collection of logical
              non-sequiturs, plot holes, rail-roading and trial and error gameplay
              at its finest.

              The day someone makes a PROPER game based on this premise, I'll be
              first in line to buy it.




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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