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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Things to do with computers inside of computer games

    Sometimes games will let you walk up to a computer... and smash it.

    And sometimes they'll let you use the thing.

    Maybe there's a hacking mini-game where you float in cyberspace.

    Or maybe there is a meta-game portion where you're navigating the OS for clues. Maybe the game is navigating the OS.

    Will you describe the most interesting/fun things you can do with computers inside of games? PC preferred but consoletoy acceptable. Video if possible.

    To start off, I present

    Digital: A Love Story

    Described as interactive fiction, the game progresses by navigating a mock computer BBS system, such as were used by dial-up back in the 80s an 90s before the internet was ubiquitous.

    Random review

  2. #2
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    Whenever anyone talks about "computers in computer games", the first thing I think of is B.A.T. (and its sequel), which were Amiga/ST/PC RPGs. The main character has an actual programmable (scriptable) computer (called a B.O.B.) on them, which can be freely scripted to perform a limited set of tasks, responding to player and world state (so, for example:

    IF INJURED
    DISPLAY INJURED
    ENDIF
    RESTART
    END

    is a simple B.O.B. script to indicate to you when you are injured.

    (There's not a lot of video of B.A.T. around, but http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSfDG9GyD-A shows the B.O.B. "implanted wristcomputer" interface around 4m37 seconds in)
    Last edited by aoanla; 01-02-2014 at 09:52 AM. Reason: arggg, spelling

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    You could play the original Maniac Mansion on Ed Edison's PC in Day Of The Tentacle which was a clever way to fill in the background story for those who didn't play it back in its day.
    - If the sound of Samuel Barber's "Adagio For Strings" makes you think of Kharak burning instead of the Vietnamese jungle, most of your youth happened during the 90s. -

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    I don't know if it counts but there's a Minecraft mod whose name escapes me right now that adds a computer complete with disk drives and other bits, you can program devices like automated mining bots with it (I think it uses Lua).

    Call of Duty Black Ops had an Easter egg where you could play Zork.

    Then of course there's the computers in Fallout 3 and Deus Ex that can unlock areas you might not possess the lockpicking skill to access, reveal some of the backstory and/or other cool stuff (is it me or could you remotely control gun turrets and bots in Deus Ex?).

  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node fiddlesticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neema_t View Post
    (is it me or could you remotely control gun turrets and bots in Deus Ex?).
    There might be a mod which lets you do that, but in the vanilla game you can only switch turrets off or change their targeting parameters. Bots can't be controlled at all, as they're not tied to the computer system.

    As for the topic at hand, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines lets you use computers to read emails and occasionally open doors. And while it's not quite the same, System Shock 2 had the MFD Game Player, which could be used to play minigames.
    Last edited by fiddlesticks; 01-02-2014 at 02:57 PM.

  6. #6
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    I second the mention VtMB, the computer system firmly placed the setting in time, and definitely provided a feeling of interacting with the computer.

  7. #7
    Network Hub Peter Radiator Full Pig's Avatar
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    Dues Ex did it well, i spent quite a bit of that game just reading emails. Its the first one that comes to my mind.
    Vampire as well, hacked every computer I could.

  8. #8
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    Project Gotham Racing had an arcade machine which let you play Geometry Wars. Its popularity is what caused Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved to be spun off and arguably caused a resurgence in twin-stick shooters.

  9. #9
    Shadowrun: Sega Genesis - The game I always come back to when I'm in the mood to play inside a computer inside a computer.

    From Wikipedia: "In tone with the Shadowrun pen-and-paper universe, certain characters can also explore the Matrix, a global computer network that can be accessed through cyberterminals. It is there that the player, in a third-person perspective, can hack networked systems for various purposes. However, in order to do so, a series of intrusion countermeasures must be dealt with, the difficulty of which is proportionate to the system being attacked: the high-end systems of law enforcement and influential corporations will be significantly more difficult to break than that of a nameless hotel. The cyberdeck carried by Joshua can be used by any shadowrunner and, like real computers, has a variety of statistics, such as memory, storage, and loading speed. These can be improved individually through upgrades or all at once by purchasing a more advanced model. Primarily, the cyberdeck's use, aside from entering the Matrix, is to hold various utilities to hack the networks properly (such as Masking, Attack, and Analyzing programs) and to save data downloaded from the Matrix itself.
    While inside the Matrix, the interface changes. The shadowrunner who entered it is replaced by a persona, the character's reflection in the cyberworld, which navigates the network. Networks are made up of a series of nodes: geometric shapes representing different facets of the system, such as the CPU or data stores. Each node has a different function: the CPU, for example, can cancel system alerts and crash the entire system. The difficultly of defeating a particular node is determined by its color. Each node is (usually) protected by intrusion countermeasures called IC (pronounced "Ice"). These are designed to forcibly dump the persona from the system by various means, sometimes resulting in the decker taking physical damage in the real world, to the point of being incapacitated. IC appear as different figures covering the nodes and have different effects depending on their type. Matrix runs consist of stealing or erasing data, or crashing a system via the CPU. During corporate infiltrations, the player can use internal cyberterminals to shut off the building's security, making the run easier. In addition to its role in shadowruns, the Matrix can be used as a direct source of income by pilfering data from systems and selling it. Files sell for a semi-random price based on the system of origin and difficulty rating of the node the data was stolen from; a single file can sell for as much as 12,000 nuyen, or turn out to be completely worthless."






    This JULIA game looks pretty intriguing as well - http://www.juliathegame.com/mission/
    Last edited by cardinaldirection; 03-02-2014 at 03:23 PM.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    Quadrilateral Cowboy is Doing Things With Computers: The Game, but it's still a little while before we can get our hands on that.

    Bioshock 2: Minerva's Den features a computer that you can play a space shooter on.

    I quite liked Far Cry 2's aesthetic choice of using an old computer for the buy menu.

    I can't think of many other games that feature computers that let you do more than read someone else's e-mail.

  11. #11
    Network Hub Wheelz's Avatar
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    I believe the Dystopia mod for Half-Life 2 let you navigate a 3D "virtual" world inside the computers, where you had to hack firewalls and destroy terminals etc. It was very tron-like from memory.

  12. #12
    Network Hub Ernesto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aoanla View Post
    Whenever anyone talks about "computers in computer games", the first thing I think of is B.A.T. (and its sequel), which were Amiga/ST/PC RPGs. The main character has an actual programmable (scriptable) computer (called a B.O.B.) on them, which can be freely scripted to perform a limited set of tasks, responding to player and world state (so, for example:

    IF INJURED
    DISPLAY INJURED
    ENDIF
    RESTART
    END

    is a simple B.O.B. script to indicate to you when you are injured.

    (There's not a lot of video of B.A.T. around, but http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSfDG9GyD-A shows the B.O.B. "implanted wristcomputer" interface around 4m37 seconds in)
    That sounds nice.
    Scripting and adapting a custom HUD as you progress would be great. HUD customization in general is a good idea and far too less implemented, imho.

  13. #13
    Network Hub icemann's Avatar
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    A few that spring to mind:

    .hack (occurs in the entire game series) - Your in the "computer" when you start the game each time, and when you log out of the fictional mmo "The World" that the game takes place in. Back at your PC desktop you can read up on current news events, watch tv shows, listen to music, change your desktop background, post and read posts on fictional online forums, play card games etc.

    S.I.N - You can use the computers in this game to use a fully functional DOS that you can use to browse directories of the computers, run programs etc.

    System Shock 1 - The computers in this game are all within cyberspace which is a world where you fly around flight sim style, floating towards things whilst being able to fire energy shots at enemies. Whilst in there you can collect logs, passwords and unlock various things in the real world.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neema_t View Post
    is it me or could you remotely control gun turrets and bots in Deus Ex?
    You could in Invisible War!
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node L_No's Avatar
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    Not computers per se, but Doom 3 had a few interactive screens (you could click on buttons).
    Want to add me on Steam? Steam name: Mr. Gert

  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node Velko's Avatar
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    Not computers per se, but computergameception...

    Saints Row IV
    : basically the entire game takes place inside a computer game, which is a funny thing and also leads into some marvellous sequences like spoilers: that part where it turns into a 2D sidescroller.

    Mass Effect 3 had this strange part where you were running around in virtual reality, IIRC?

  17. #17
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    Uplink, The hacker sandbox

  18. #18
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    darwinia! save all the computer mans!
    - Tom De Roeck.

    monochrom & verse publications

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  19. #19
    Space Station 13 is prett great for this. Among other things, you can:

    -send emails to other crew via their PDAs
    -remote detonate other crew via their PDAs
    -hack vending machines to get free stuff
    -hack vending machines to propel burritos at a velocity sufficient to knock over and injure the next unlucky person to use them.
    -play as the Station's AI core and descend slowly into madness.
    -Learn to use DWAINE, an operating system reminiscent of DOS.
    -Using the lab terminals, an experienced DWAINE user can experiment on artifacts/hapless crew and issue orders to the station security robots.

    There's much more that can be done beyond that.
    Last edited by Snargelfargen; 03-02-2014 at 11:41 AM.

  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velko View Post
    Not computers per se, but computergameception...

    Saints Row IV
    : basically the entire game takes place inside a computer game, which is a funny thing and also leads into some marvellous sequences like spoilers: that part where it turns into a 2D sidescroller.

    Mass Effect 3 had this strange part where you were running around in virtual reality, IIRC?
    Saints Row: The Third had a bit inside a server too (it even turns into a text adventure at some point).
    Want to add me on Steam? Steam name: Mr. Gert

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