Isn’t “dynamic” just a fancy word for “random” anyway? :)
“Dynamic” usually means “what the player does has an influence on how the game unfolds.”
I always connect it with Sierra’s unreleased Navy SEALs game from around 1999. The game was supposed to have a flexible mission structure that responded to how you’d played. (If you parachuted into a jungle to take on a rebel base, and mistimed the jump, the mission might become reassembling your scattered team.)
It’s also used to describe flight sims (like Domark’s Harrier games from the early '90s) that are attached to ground campaigns. The idea was that your missions didn’t exist in isolation and had an influence over events on the ground.
Randomness or apparent randomness has been around in games for a looong time, but I can’t recall seeing it used in a modern FPS. Can you tell us just a little more?
Peter, I love ya, man, but I think you’re a bit off on the meaning of ‘dynamic’.
Something that’s dynamic is simply something that changes. Undying is not dynamic: the monsters spawn at the same place every time and do the same thing. NOLF2 is dynamic: guards can behave differently when you replay the same level.
Diablo’s levels are dynamic. They’re randomly generated when you enter a new world. Baldur’s Gate’s levels aren’t dynamic. They’re fixed hand-made worlds.
Good god, man, now you’ve really lost it!
Dynamic campaigns in flight sims are simply campaigns that are generated on the fly and that can have different outcomes. They don’t have anything to do with whether a unit is in isolation (Sid Meier’s F-117, which always worked solo, had a dynamic campaign) or whether it’s related to a ground campaign (the new IL-2 expansion has dynamic campaigns for air-to-air fighter careers).
Anyway, Nosferatu is dynamic in the sense that I mentioned: the layout, creatures, and treasures are randomly generated each time you play. This isn’t unique in first person shooters (Soldier of Fortune 2 had randomly generated maps and there are mods for Half-Life that accomplish the same thing), but it’s certainly rare.
Where would a west-coast North American get ahold of a copy of Nosferatu?
Voltaic, I’m not sure what the distribution plans are for Nosferatu. iGames is publishing it after Savage, but I don’t see any sort of release date on the EB site. The press release implies it’ll be a Halloween tie-in of some sort. The game is complete, though.
What you’re describing sounds much less like a game and much more like a “life-long-commitment-to-an-alternate-fictional-universe” program. While that certainly has its own appeal, it’s not what most consumers buying games are looking for.
In regards to identity transfer in a game, it’s something we’re implementing in the upcoming Tribes game to a small degree. Instead of controlling a single character throughout the game, like you would in a D&D campaign, you’ll play through scenes as different chacaracters, much like you would experience a movie or book.
Not only does this help add depth to the story and the telling, it creates a reason to care about your characters I’ve never experienced in shooters before. I’ve often given the example of playing through a mission where 2 characters gets separated. You play one of the characters, exploring a mostly empty base, looking for a key to open the gate. As an experienced gamer, no amount of external pressure (“The world will END if you don’t find that button soon!”) will motivate the player to actually care or hurry. They’ll look through every locker, open every closet, and check grates for secrets. That’s just how games are. But here’s where we twist it. Once you unlock the gate, you are taken back in time to play the other character. While you watch the person you just played wander off into the base to search for a key, wave after wave of enemies attack. In the corner you see a counter that shows how long you took searching for the key. Every time you curse how long that guy took to find a key, you’ll be cursing… yourself. That’s something I’ve never experienced in games, and something I think that can only be achieved if we separate the gamer from the character. [This is just an example - the game has a different situation.]
BTW, the concept of identity transfer in games can be found in an ancient (286 era) strategy game about feudal Japan, where the finding of brides, and the creation of offsprings/hostages was key to perpetuating your dynasty. A player would continue playing even after the leader of the dynasty was killed, as long as there was a bride or heir. Anyone remember what this was called? There was RTS-like gameplay of soldiers battling in rice paddies, and missions to rescue kidnapped women from bandits to make them your bride, and options for assasination and subterfuge. Really cool game.
Sword of the Samurai. Not just really cool, but still on my hard drive. Of course, as a game of that era, it takes up a ludicrously small amount of drive space.
The mechanic of “dying, but becoming your own heir” is one that I wish more games would adopt. One of the problems I always had with Civ-style games was the suspension of disbelief that “I” was in charge fro 6000 years. In SotS, there was a constant, interesting tension between going for immediate accomplishments on a risky battlefield, or building up your stats moe safely – at the expense of aging. The heir’s stats would always be less than what you’d built your previous self up to, so you had to make at least some real accomplishments within each generation.