Multiple Entity Manipulation

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The player controls a number of game entities and through them can perform operations on objects in the gameworld. This control is often provided through a non-embodied cursor through which he can select his game entities to operate on with keyboard or menu based commands. The cursor is non-embodied in that game entities cannot manipulate the cursor (ie, cannot damage, kill, disable or otherwise change it) nor can it manipulate entities in and of itself (ie, it only selects entities to which actions that damage, kill, heal, etc. will be applied).

See also: Third-person Perspective, Targeted Camera, Roaming Camera


Strong Examples


Like many other real-time strategy games, Starcraft (Metezen and Phinney, 1998) provides players control over the game through a cursor arrow that can be used to select and manipulate game entities. The arrow itself does not constitute a unit itself, but provides the player a means of manipulating a number of game entities.

Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation

In Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation (Banpresto, 2002), as in nearly every other tactical RPG, you control your party by selecting them with a cursor. In here, it is a highlighted box; after you select a character, you gain access to a menu to determine what actions to take. After that, you can select a recipient of the action with the same cursor. The cursor cannot do anything itself, but simply lets the player select which unit to take action next.

Weak Examples

Tecmo Super Bowl

Tecmo Super Bowl (Tomie, 1991) allows players to control multiple entities (American football players) by cycling through all the players via a button press. However, the player can only direct a single entity at a time. Furthermore, cycling is only allowed when the player is playing as the defensive side. When the player is on the offensive side the player can only control the entity in posession of the football.

Relations with other elements of the Ontology





Metezen, C. and Phinney, J. (1998). StarCraft. Blizzard Entertainment, windows edition.