Using Miracles

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kiwee
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Using Miracles

Postby kiwee » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:18 am

Is it right to use Miracles as a form of magic in a game, such as healing etc...? because it makes the user in control over when it is used.
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HanClinto
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby HanClinto » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:42 am

I'm of the opinion that it is not.

Miracles are wrought by God. When we start trying to script miracles into our game, we're essentially writing God's lines. If the miracles are available for every request of the player (may it be for abuse or proper use), then that player is in a sense controlling God.

God doesn't work that way. We are His servants, not vice-versa.

So if we are hoping to communicate any truths about God to our players, I don't think that turning God into a "miracle vending machine" is the best way to do it.

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Re: Using Miracles

Postby LegaianLight » Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:31 am

I agree with Han. However, (and only if it's alright with you Kiwee for this topic to go down this road) if not miracles or prayer, then what could we use to "replace magic"?
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby kenman » Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:44 am

Touchy subject

Micracles or unexplained events have been scripted into fantasy type games for years. I beleive written correctly that they can be used. Used incorrectly that can be a big deterrent.
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby PFC » Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:51 pm

I agree with hanclinto also

I've been thinking about this also for a project.
Would it be better for certain "rules" or "laws of the game" to be in place within the game world where things such as healing or other "magic" could be replaced?
What I mean is like a character always inexplicably slowly heals when not attacked(perhaps the character is resting).
This would keep magic out of the picture, would not leave the player "controlling God" and could have some forms of tactics for the player to take advantage of certain "rules" such as retreating and waiting a while before reattempting to go into a situation where the character could be hurt

This could keep the rest of the game focused on God while leaving those things as being "just part of the game"

This would only work for some things though...

any more thoughts?
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby samw3 » Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:22 am

Why not have a game where the character has a burning bush type encounter with God who give him/her a mission and promises to do the miraculous mechanics of the game? The game play could become focused around the relationship between the player and "God" with enemies being pesky bugs. It would be hard to do to keep it authentic, but an interesting game nonetheless, and then the miracles would be legit. Kind of like the miracles moses initiated.
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby andygeers » Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:29 am

samw3 wrote:Why not have a game where the character has a burning bush type encounter with God who give him/her a mission and promises to do the miraculous mechanics of the game? The game play could become focused around the relationship between the player and "God" with enemies being pesky bugs. It would be hard to do to keep it authentic, but an interesting game nonetheless, and then the miracles would be legit. Kind of like the miracles moses initiated.


In principle I think this is an interesting approach that might have some mileage, but don't you think you'll run in to problems to do with the fact that miracles like those which Moses performed are always for a very specific purpose (in his case, so that God could show Pharaoh "that I am the LORD" and set off one of THE big turning points in the history of the world)? It seems to me that you'll end up implicitly giving the events in your game the same weight as events like the Exodus, when that was clearly a one-off.
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby byter » Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:00 pm

I think we get stuck on using magic because its a quick fix and its a system that is already well known. Its like everyone knows what it means to cast a healing spell or a level one fireball.

I would leave miracles out of the players hands in a Christian game. When Moses tried to perform his own little miracle out in the desert aside from God's will, it worked but it wan't a good thing.

PFC wrote:Would it be better for certain "rules" or "laws of the game" to be in place within the game world where things such as healing or other "magic" could be replaced?
?


I think this is a refreshing take, and a good way to substitute equivalent non-magic for magic. This is a little off topic, but there was no magic in I am Legend yet the realitiy that was present in the movie allowed for some supernatural abilities. But not just the bad guys. Because of what the infected people had become, the immune folks appeared to have abilities (resist magic, increased intelligence, etc.)

Also, if you keep your game from having strong dependencies on time, then resting and sleeping is a proven way to heal your characters. Movies have always used this time to bond the audience to the character. Too bad games don't do this as effectively. In the movies, you usually see the main guy written off or as the definate underdog after being beaten, rest, retrain, and come back & win. This is should be used during game play more.

Another problem is with games where the enemies don't change or they seem to freeze in time while your not around. This makes actually spending gameplay in a healing process, boring and routine. Give enemies a life outside of their fight with you, and you'll enjoy the next encounter.
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby JeTSpice » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:29 am

There's several instances in the Word where miracles were performed by the power of God, but not necessarily His person--not Him weilding the power. The miracle-workers were indeed using the power of God in and of themselves, by God's decree. It was God's power, but He gave it to them, and they were using it for whatever they wanted, usually for noble purposes, but oft times receiving their rewards here on the earth.

I see no problem with healing characters in a game, nor with walking on water or any other miracle. It's a representation of the Bible.

What the player does with the experience of playing the game is up to the player, just like when the 70 returned rejoicing that all the demons followed their whims... and Jesus rebuked them. Did Jesus say "I'm not going to give you this power, because you will become haughty?" No. And even afterward, the Spirit was poured out on 3000. Do we think that all those people were just the purist folks who ever lived? But in these examples, even though men failed, God was glorified.

It's the responsibility of the Christian developer to set before his players the consequences of the choices in the heart, but he can't make those choices for the players. Some will foolishly glee at the thought of ultimate power.
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby Brandon » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:44 am

That's a really good point JeTSpice... actually your last sentence could be the overall theme of a Christian themed game ^^
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby Zookey » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:53 am

kiwee wrote:Is it right to use Miracles as a form of magic in a game, such as healing etc...? because it makes the user in control over when it is used.


Just use Magic--like CS Lewis did in Narnia---just make sure that somewhere in the story it is shown that either

A) the Magic is from a source symbolic of God (if it isn't set in this world)

B) the Magic doesn't enable people to become godlike

or invent your own term and go from there!
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby byter » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:15 pm

We all seem to agree that the use of miracles/God's power in games should be approached very carefully at least, and with much thought, or else Kiwee wouldn't even bring it up and none of us would care. Avoiding it if at all possible is my strategy..but I know everyone has a different take on it.

Maybe its a double standard, I think differently when its magic in movies vs. magic in secular games. vs. magic in Christian games. I guess movies like Narnia and LOTR, even :evil: harry potter :evil: as passive forms of entertainment, I don't really mind the magic. In secular games, it doesn't bother me either. Heck, I've definitely played my share of games that use magic and my character does. But controlling the occurance of miracles in a game makes me :shock: and :o .

I guess I need to hear a game concept that does this respectfully.

JetSpice, I don't remember ever reading about the 70 desciples before, but I found it in Luke 10. Pretty cool. But, It didn't seem to me that they were being haughty or failed. Maybe a little overjoyed and amazed. Jesus does however seem to say ''If you really want to rejoice, rejoice in the fact that your going to heaven, instead of the fact that you have command over demons in my name.'
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby JeTSpice » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:38 pm

Yeah, maybe haughty is too strong. It's a mystery why Jesus says "I saw Satan fall like lightning." There's two schools of thought: Jesus is saying "Watch out or you will fall like Satan did, when you weild such power." ...or... "I was there when the biggest demon of them all fell and you don't see me acting like you are."

Maybe a little of both. But most everyone agrees that the 70 were being rebuked for taking *joy* in their miraculous power, when they should be rejoicing in everlasting life.
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Re: Using Miracles

Postby ChickenSoup » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:12 pm

I don't think the player should be able to control miracles.

however, if it is a scripted part of the plot, e.g. the player's sibling/parent/friend comes rushing to his/her aid and says "I'm back!! I was lying in the hospital bed, and all of a sudden, I saw a flash of light, and my legs started tingling, and I could walk!!!" or something like that, it's more displayed as miraculous and inspired by God and not something the player can manipulate at will.
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