A challenge for game designers.

In 1995 film makers Lars van Trier and Thomas Vinterberg released a set of rules known as Dogma 95 or the Vow of Chastity. It basically is a way to make films without fancy special effects, complex camerawork or CGI. Instead film making should be more like traditional drama, and the technical paraphernalia should be reduced to a minimum.
Directors who took the Vow of Chastity would become "brothers" in a new movement called Dogme (the Danish spelling of "dogma") 95 and their films could be certified as "Dogme" films.

Similiar to that, Dogma 2001, is a Vow of Chastity for game designers. Like the art of cinema during the last couple of decades, the art of writing a game has been partially lost in the last 10 years.

The first goal of Dogma 2001 is similar to Dogme 95's, to reduce the emphasis on technology so that the game designer will tend to concentrate on the game itself: gameplay, rules, the user interface, the game world and the player's role. Obviously computer games use technology by definition, but that doesn't mean they have to be designed around it.

The Dogma 2001 Vow:

1. The design documents shall contain no reference to any object which is installed inside the outer case of the target machine. Input devices and the monitor screen itself may be mentioned in discussions of the game's user interface. Minimum acceptable machine specifications shall be determined by the programmers during development.

2. The use of hardware 3D acceleration of any sort is forbidden. Software 3D engines are not forbidden, but the game must run at 20 frames per second or better in 640 x 480 16-bit SVGA mode or the nearest available equivalent.

3. Only the following input devices are allowed: on a console machine, the controller which normally ships with it. On a computer, a 2-axis joystick with two buttons, or a D-pad with two buttons; a standard 101-key PC keyboard; a 2-button mouse.

4. There shall be no knights, elves, dwarves or dragons. Nor shall there be any wizards, wenches, bards, bartenders, golems, giants, clerics, necromancers, thieves, gods, angels, demons, sorceresses, undead bodies or body parts (mummified or decaying), Nazis, Russians, spies, mercenaries, space marines, stormtroopers, star pilots, humanoid robots, evil geniuses, mad scientists, or carnivorous aliens. And no freakin' vampires.

5. The following types of games are prohibited: first-person shooters, side-scrollers, any action game with "special attacks." Also prohibited are: simulations of 20th-century or current military vehicles, simulations of sports which are routinely broadcast live on television, real-time strategy games focussing solely on warfare and weapons production, lock-and-key adventure games, numbers-heavy role-playing games, and any card game found in Hoyle's Rules of Card Games.

6. All cinematics, cut-scenes, and other non-interactive movies are forbidden. If a game requires any introductory or transitional material, it must be provided by scrolling text.

7. Violence is strictly limited to the disappearance or immobilization of destroyed units. Units which are damaged or destroyed shall be so indicated by symbolic, not representational, means. There shall be no blood, explosions, or injury or death animations.

8. There may be victory and defeat, and my side and their side, but there may not be Good and Evil.

9. If a game is representational rather than abstract, it may contain no conceptual non sequiturs, e.g. medical kits may not be hidden inside oil tanks.

10. If a game is representational rather than abstract, the color black may not be used to depict any manmade object except ink, nor any dangerous fictitious nonhuman creatures. Black may be used to depict rooms in which the lights are not switched on.

"Finally, I acknowledge that innovative gameplay is not merely a desirable attribute but a moral imperative. All other considerations are secondary.

Thus I make my solemn vow."

Innovative ideas are missing in games these days, and even if game designer only follow some of these rules, we might see games that come close to such classics as Jumpman, Wizball, Elite, Nebulus or Paradroid in the future.

Source: http://www.gamasutra.com

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