This week I plan to share my ideas for how to create a more authentic portrayal of the novel “Hunger Games” in Minecraft.
What seems to be the crucial element in the realization of a “Hunger Games” server is the player-versus-player arena. Why do I say this is crucial? Every #Hungergames servers we have tried has revolved around players fighting other players in order to survive and “win”. However, that appears to be the only thing that is like “Hunger Games”. I believe this is boring and is just an excuse to call everything #Hungergames when in fact, it is only PVP. So what could WE do differently?
For starters, we could have our own “Head Gamemaker”. What, or who is this person? In the book it is Seneca Crane, and then Plutarch Heavensbee. As “Head Gamemaker” they create the arena where the participants from the different districts will compete. Once the games begin, they control the environment with their team of controllers that can cause forests to combust instantaneously, creatures to magically appear or any other such activity. By doing these things, the Gamemaker insures that the different “tributes” will end up close to each other and thus fight – creating a “glorious show” for the residences of the Capital (or a depressing and distressing one for the districts watching their children die).
So what could we do? We are all technically “Gamemakers” in that we will be creating the arena. My suggestion is that we have live events. Of course, we could not always hold live events as we do have
lives other scholarly things to do–but the idea remains that we could host events. First, we would need to make sure that all “gamemakers” are in some sort of “creative mode” and perhaps invisible to players in “survival” mode. Second, we would create a sort of ceiling around our map — this ceiling would be made out of glass. We could see everything happening on the field from our high vantage point. Third, we would have levers or other devices we could switch on and off to: pour lava from the sky and burn the forest, release mobs, et etc. This would allow us to create a more realistic Hunger Game competition like in the “Hunger Game” novel. Additionally, each event a different member could rule as “Head Gamemaker” and make the crucial decisions.
But why should we only focus on this one aspect of the novel?
While speaking with Nic on this subject, I told him about one another though I had come up with and that we then expanded together.
The bigger Minecraft servers usually have multiple “lobbies” to hold many players: players might be in these lobbies to mingle, to choose a game, or are waiting for a game to end so that they may start. Why not have our lobbies named after the 12 districts?
When a player would log into our server they would be assigned to a district. From there they wait for their turn to be selected by the computer. When it is their turn, the chat would post a message, example:
Marie has been selected to represent district ____
At this point, another player could then respond with something like:
//I volunteer as tribute! OR //VAT
of course, then Marie would have the choice to begin her game or to allow the other player to volunteer.
Alright, so players can play around in different lobbies while they wait for the game to start, big whoop, what else?
Well, some players could also be placed within The Capital and be given thousands of diamonds. These players could then play as invisible players within the actual arena and dispense presents to their favorite tributes–like in the novel. The “tributes” would be teleported to a room where they could talk with the players in the Capital lobby and barter for help.
We could also give players access to different things depending on their lobby; swords, bows, fire, wood, etc.
Perhaps we could have a point system and once a player has won enough credits they can “pay” to be moved to the capital.
Another idea was that any player who actually died in the arena would die in the game: they would no longer be able to fight in the arena — perhaps they could be “reborn” as members of the capital? Able to visualize the events and help players out or spring traps, but essentially invisible within the arena. Or perhaps we could give each player 5 lives to play within the arena and then they are “dead” ?
These ideas had us asking new questions: would these new rules really create a true depiction of Hunger Games? would players actually feel the class distinction and the terror at losing? Would a war break out between the districts like in the film? Would the capital want to quealm it? What would we have to give players in The Capital to have them maintain other players and keep ruling? How many players would jump the boundaries or play and begin acting as security? What kind of game would this become? Would we moderate it or just allow player to rule it as they wished? Would we even have enough players for this to happen?
I am unsure. While this might create a more realistic portrayal of the books, it seems like a lot of time and energy. Perhaps all players want is to kill other players without consequences. To know that if they die they can play the game again. Perhaps they don’t care that the game is not really Hunger Games but just a small aspect of the book, or even just a ploy to entice more players into PVP servers. This idea would require a lot of cooperation to build, and then a lot of players to fill. We might want to look at servers such as Potterworld (http://www.potterworldmc.com/), a “Harry Potter” Minecraft server that has a staff of over 100 unpaid players that take on the roles of prefects, professors, scripters etc. As well as the hundreds of players that play as muggles and students. This server is interesting in that players are essentially playing at being students at Hogwarts: they must attend classes, do homework and pass exams in order to pass each grade and then graduate. Once they graduate, they can apply to become professors, aurores, deatheaters, or any other Harry Potter role. The fans maintain and keep this server alive — it is their investment and interest in the franchise that allows this server to function as it was intended. Without the fans, the server would slowly disappear.
If we were to create a “real” Hunger Games map, including the different districts, the class inequality, et ect, could we achieve what Potterworld achieved? Or would chaos reign right away as players decided to attack the Capital right away? Would we even obtain enough players to make this work ?
Perhaps for now, it is but a dream. However, I do believe that we should start by creating a way to control events in the arena, become Gamemasters and thus create “live events”. What think you?