#GodsWillBeWatching game analysis

This post is my response on #rgMOOC co -op {week two}

Gameplay:

Gods will be watching” is a survival game, available on the web for free. The storyline unfolds in the bleak future; the year is 2257 A.D. Essentially the player assumes the role of Sgt. Burden, who along with a group of field specialists comprise a research group (registered as part of the Everdusk Company for the Universe Knowledge).

They venture towards a unhospitable planet called Sineicos in search of evidence regarding the paralyzing Medusea virus; alas they are attacked and all their research work is stolen. On the verge of despair the group must find a way to repair their damaged radio in order to transmit an alerting message to the orbiting station which will enter the planet’s communication radius within 40 days.

The group consists of the following members, each tasked with a certain activity, though all actions are controlled by the player:

  • the psychiatrist.
  • the soldier
  • Marvin, the dog
  • a robot, named Br4n -Don
  • an engineer
  • a doctor
  • Sgt. Burden

Each click assigns only one activity – apart from the aforementioned tasks the player can choose to check food rations, ammo or medical supplies storage data. Respectively that also consumes “clicks”. There is a variable “click limit” for each “day”, so the player needs to choose his actions wisely. Typically, game difficulty climaxes each time the group loses a member, so again caution needs to be exercised.

Analysis:

Though hardly an eye candy, this relatively tricky survival game demands time and constructive strategic decisions in order to keep the group alive. Behind the curtain lies an elaborate manipulation of human priorities and basic instincts.  I personally tested my skills the first time, deeming keeping the fire burning and food supply rations high as imperative; the result, was having people going mad from not talking to them. Survival instincts kicked in or would have in most player cases, since the scenario is toying with primal needs – can one really keep them in check at the same time? Food and heat certainly made it to the top of the list but within a group – lest one is savage – communication and social interaction should go hand in hand with primitive desires. Not only a current but an ongoing social concern is to experiment on whether the human being is indeed Aristotle’s ” social animal” by nature or – pun intended – a mere animal, aiming for the survival of the fittest, as the law jungle (in this case the planet) has it.

Interestingly so, the game features another implicit social directive. At the end of the game the title changes format: “Gods have been watching”. Is it the author’s intention to reassure participants that there is a God in this universe? One is profoundly astounded by the measure fate intervenes with human lives delving deeper into the changed sentence context. St. Burden does everything humanely possible to inhibit everyone in his group from going mad; still, there is no finite recipe or, well, the algorithm is really hard to find, if there is any. Thus, the group members disappear one by one, as the player  embarks on different game strategy approaches each time. Universally the laws of nature and fate are far superior than any human intervention. Not even the robot can save the day…

Gods deem that the group is damned in the wilderness of Sineicos. Real life on the other hand seldom gives you “clicks”, so make sure you use your only token wisely.

Retrieved 12 August 2013 from http://www.ludumdare.com

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