Friday, 10 October 2014

The Doctor Who Cloned Me - Episode 3 - Designed for Penetration

To be fair to Duke the lasers aren't explicitly called out as a security system in the game but I honestly have no idea what other purpose they would be intended to serve and the trope is pretty well established in gaming anyway.

In games, especially video games, security systems are designed completely differently from real systems. They are designed to be penetrated and often this isn't even handwaved. No effort is spent to justify why on earth you would keep a man sized gap in your laser array, your duct system to be human sized and navigable, all of your windows alarmed save for the roof entry, etc.

In real life security systems are built according to a mix of priorities, ease of implementation, price, convenience of use, expected risk of burglary etc. They aren't expected to be impenetrable, just to deter most attackers. I guess I would like to see at least some attempt to explain these gaps, perhaps the security system fails in an interesting way when you cut the power, the backup generators aren't quite up to spec hence why some of the lasers only work periodically. Or maybe there are just more of those convenient red barrels (which inexplicitly bother me less) allowing me to blow a gap through since I am not interested in stealth. Something with a clear and obvious cause rather than just pure coincidence.

The idea I mention in the video, having created the security system and monitoring from an operating budget is really only something that can work in a role playing game A place where the GM has the luxury of time and reactivity, I don't think most game designers and devs have the time to do that kind of thing given that level sections and mechanics can easily end up on the cutting room floor and if the players get stuck you can't just have them come up with something different to do that night. Video games are pretty much always going to be more limited in options and tools at players disposal.

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