Sunday, May 27, 2007

Infinity: The Quest for Earth +

I'm all for deep features, but I'd like to point out that in my earlier comments I wasn't hoping for "non-violent" gameplay -- my complaint was (and is) that everything I've seen about Infinity from its developer's comments to the vast majority of comments on its forum leads me to think it's going to be focused almost exclusively on competitive play.

Again, I've got no complaint against competitive play per se. I even think it could be appropriate for that to be a major form of gameplay in Infinity.

What I object to is making yet another game where 24/7 competition in all facets of gameplay is the game. That's bad enough for any game; IMO it's worse for Infinity because no other game will have the billions of procedurally-generated worlds that are absolutely perfect for an exploration-focused core gameplay system. Having all those worlds and using them only as collectable loot tokens in another hypercompetitive zero-sum-mentality game would -- again, just IMO -- be a horribly wasted opportunity.

Which is why I said before (and echo eventhorizen now) that I hope Flavien builds his code to split out the gameplay from the world physics/graphics engine. Maybe that way someone, somewhere, will be able to create the exploration-focused game that this remarkable engine deserves.

All speculative, of course; this is a game that hasn't been released (and, as an independent project, may never be released). But I don't believe it's unreasonable speculation given the public statements I've read since word of Infinity first emerged. Pretty much everything discussed has been about competition. I see no reason to think that exploring new worlds will be anything but a second-class citizen: gameplay that exists only to service socio-economic competition.

If I turn out to be wrong, I'll admit it. Publicly.

But I'm not expecting to have to do that.