The Rise of the Systemic Game -

The Rise of the Systemic Game

Game Maker’s Toolkit
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From Breath of the Wild to Watch Dogs 2, we’re seeing a boom in so-called “systemic games”. What does that mean, how do they work, and what makes them tick?

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Aleissia Laidacker – Systems Are Everywhere | GCAP 2016

Raphael Colantonio, Harvey Smith – Empowering the Player in a Story-Rich World | GDC 2013

Why Dwarf Fortress started killing cats – Here’s A Thing | Eurogamer

The uncertain future of games like Deus Ex and Dishonored | PC Gamer

Find Out More

Nels Anderson – How Systems Will Save Us All! | Full Indie 2014

Harvey Smith, Randy Smith – Would the Real Emergent Gameplay Please Stand Up? | GDC 2004

Nintendo – Breaking Conventions with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild | GDC 2017

[ZIP] Clint Hocking – Designing to Promote Intentional Play | GDC 2006

What Works and Why Emergence | Rock Paper Shotgun

Nick Popovich – A Thousand Tiny Tales: Emergent Storytelling in Slime Rancher | GDC 2017

Mike Sellers – A Systemic Approach to Systemic Design | Sweden Game Arena 2015

Games shown in this episode (in order of appearance)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, 2017)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions, 2015)
Kingdom Come: Deliverance (Warhorse Studios, 2018)
Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment, 2012)
Watch Dogs 2 (Ubisoft Montreal, 2016)
Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal, 2014)
Monster Hunter: World (Capcom, 2018)
Spelunky (Derek Yu, 2012)
SteamWorld Dig 2 (Image and Form, 2017)
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog, 2011)
Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego, 2010)
Assassin’s Creed: Origins (Ubisoft Montreal, 2017)
Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North, 2013)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions, 2014)
Call of Duty: WWII (Sledgehammer Games, 2017)
Prey (Arkane Studios, 2017)
Hitman (iO Interactive, 2016)
Dishonored 2 (Arkane Studios, 2016)
Deus Ex (Ion Storm, 2000)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo, 2011)
Rain World (Videocult, 2017)
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (Arkane Studios, 2017)
Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft Montreal, 2008)
Mafia III (Hangar 13, 2016)
SimCity (Maxis, 1989)
The Sims (Maxis, 2000)
RimWorld (Ludeon Studios, 2013)
Dwarf Fortress (Tam and Zach Adams, 2006)
Thief: The Dark Project (Looking Glass Studios, 1998)
System Shock 2 (Looking Glass Studios, 1999)
Gunpoint (Suspicious Developments, 2013)

Music used in this episode

Please, Don’t Touch Anything OST, blinch

k. Part 2 – 01 untitled 1, animeistrash

Other credits

The Sims 1: Gameplay #1 (No Commentary) | sibaem

METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN Decoys Confuse Guard | rcua1884

Zelda: BOTW (Fire In The Hole) | Nassi

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  1. If think this misses the point. Having a specific rule for the interaction of systems just impose another system on top of everything. The point is to have a framework that doesn’t make it necessary to impose special systems. Like physics engines.

  2. The most glorious gaming moment I ever experienced was in Elderscrolls IV: Oblivion. I threw the Adoring Fan off a cliff and just walked away and went back to adventuring. I forgot all about him. An hour later, I'm being accosted by a crew of bandits, and getting my ass kicked. Suddenly, the Adoring Fan comes charging in from out of nowhere and jumps into the fight. I laughed so hard, I nearly fell out of my chair. He was immediately demolished, but the distraction gave me some time to recover some health and charge back in to kick some ass myself.

    A brilliant example of emergent gameplay if I ever saw one.

  3. There is a Link inbetween all of your games Kappa

  4. One great example oh this is the ways you can kill The Wither Boss in Minecraft
    1.kill it in combat make you feel brave
    2.use bedrock to suffocate it easy but feels less rewarding
    3.use hundreds of bees makes you feel like a very smart being
    4.use invisibility this makes you feel smart cause you outsmarted wither and makes you feel brave because u literally wore no armor in front of freakin wither because of invisibility
    and offcourse there are many different ways to kill or die from wither in Minecraft

  5. Finally, someone put a name to the "rube goldberg" effect in video games!

    Some of my personal favorites:
    Rain World (!!)
    Catacomb Kids
    Dying Light

  6. Rimworld: so your base's defense is all range based? So bad this meelee based raid came during a heavy fog.

    Dwarf Fortress: Cats dying of alcohol poisoning.
    Rimworld: Puppies with cirrhosis

  7. I've always wondered why I loved Watch Dogs 2 but hated GTA V. The system interactions in Watch Dogs 2 really made the game, I was just never conscience of what was happening.

  8. My favorite part about these kinds of games is when something unscripted looks more cinematic than what is scripted

  9. Something I noticed when I was playing dungeon and dragons with my friends (as dungeon master) was that making ennemy incredibly strong but also describing a lot the environment they would immediately think about ways to beat the monster but using their imagination rather than the rules of the game. The best moments are when I get away from the game's rules and just react to all the crazy plans they want to make. And I always try to make them dramatically fail while still letting them react

  10. It is an amazing vídeo, you are the best one. I am able to find elements of Mario ferreira dos Santos' philosophy (Well characterized by the equally brilliant philosopher Olavo de Carvalho) in this vídeo. I can't express how amazing is this sensation.

  11. I'm surprised you didn't put prototype
    Lose mutants by leading them to military territory and vice versa
    For a 2009 game, I think it was pretty advanced

  12. One of the examples of immersive gameplay I've seen is Genshin Impact. In that game, the 7 elements can all interact with each other, like pyro (fire) burns dendro (nature), changes the element of anemo (wind) to pyro, causes an explosion with electro, and vaporises hydro (water). This lets all sorts of interactions happen like freezing a lake over to cross it without risking drowning, or using electric attacks on a wet floor to affect everyone standing on it.

  13. The Dishonored series also has a lot of those systemic interactions!

  14. Bugsnax is fairly systemic, with lots of snax and tools able to interact with each other and plenty of room to screw around and make creative solutions. But one thing that feels like a problem to me, is that there doesn't seem to be a PLANNED method for everything. That might be fine as long as there ARE methods, but the fact that Flamin' Cheepoof can (based on my research) only be captured using weird ass-backwards nonsense definitely made my creative solution feel less rewarding. (And it had to be carefully planned nonsense, not like the Cocomites where if you f*** around enough you'll get them eventually.)

  15. that wasn't the intended solution to the botw electricity puzzle?

  16. if they would stop trying to make immersive sims a linear story game and just made them the sandboxes they're meant to be, it would be much better

  17. is portal (2) a puzzle systemic game?

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