Sometimes You Have To Make Up Your Own Rules

Video game developers take great care in creating rules and restrictions that define the gameplay of their virtual worlds, but sometimes those rules aren't good enough. In today's rule-breaking edition of Speak Up on Kotaku, commenter Pibbles explores the joy of playing under your own self-imposed strictures.

You know how sometimes playing games properly just isn't enough?

I've been thinking today (inspired by the story on Kotaku about the Skyrim Pacifist play-through) about how sometimes we go out of our way to play games in a way that they weren't necessarily intended to be and how these self-imposed rules can make games more interesting, present a new challenge, or bring people together in multiplayer.

If you're not sure what I'm talking about, let me give some examples. There's a few games I play with friends regularly. When we play FIFA it's an unwritten law that you're not allowed to pick your own team; you have to random it. Even if it means Barcelona are playing Crawley Town. We've got our own system of random, where you have to random the country, the league and the team, and you have one chance to respin but only one. It's the sort of rule you devise after a few whiskeys to bring a little extra spice to the game.

We play Marvel Vs. Capcom, and again, have to random. We play Mortal Kombat and if you don't manage to get the fatality right you're mocked and have to drink a shot. We play wrestling games and come up with a set move at the start of the game that is the only move you're allowed to pin your opponent with.

I suppose it's a fun system of getting more play out of our games. Playing them to death and then making up our own rules. I'm interested in what rules other people impose upon themselves in their games, be they single or multiplayer.

About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run.

Image: "MVC3 FTW" by Hugohugo


    Deus Ex (original):
    1. Pacifist. Kill nothing and avoid knocking anyone unconscious at all costs. This includes animals and robots (they can be disabled in such a way that you can re-enable them however, where possible).
    2. Escort. Pick an early corpse in the game (I picked Lebedev) and carry the body through the rest of the game. You're not done until you can drop the corpse next to one of the finishing locations near Page.

    Halo (3+)
    Must be snipers as a secondary weapon and random primary since we suck with snipers

    Original classes only

    Smash Bros.
    No pokeballs and every character must be random, if you get a character you are good with you have to start with 3 fewer lives

    BF3, no mortars is something i would LOVE to see.

    I suppose for my alt character in skyrim. no Stealing, none whatsoever

    Goldeneye 64: Don't use Oddjob unless DK Mode is enabled.
    Gears of War (Mansion Map): Pistols only, Outside/Perimeter is "No Fight Zone".

    And then other examples would be the 101 mods CS:S already has running on Live Servers.

    Really nice discussion topic :D. I've only tried No Killing on Deus Ex Human Revolution, but this "own rules" idea is one that Table Top Wargames use all the time to great effect. It's a LOT of fun to try this system!!

    Get up to the first "Michelle" mission in GTA IV, then make a run with the bike from the airport all the way to the third island to get the sultan rs. Then get back to the airport. Number of times attempted: several hundreds. Number of times succeeded: 1.

    Smash Bros Original: Winner plays Jigglypuff next round. We got damn good at Jigglypuff...

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