Back in October, Sleep is Death and Passage creator Jason Rohrer revealed The Castle Doctrine (opens in new tab) , "a massively multiplayer game of burglary and home defense." Though the prizes you'll pilfer sit in homes owned by players, you'll never know who you're burgling or who you're getting burgled by. Speaking to RPS (opens in new tab) , Rohrer stated all thefts in Doctrine are intentionally anonymous to send a message.
"When you leave your home, when you go to sleep at night, log out of the game, or you go out of your house to go rob somebody else's house, then your house is open to being robbed by somebody else while you're not there," Rohrer said. "Then you return to your house to see the results of that robbery."
Rohrer wants to underscore the kind of disruption an identity-less thief causes when intruding upon someone else's life, no matter his or her background. "I'm breaking into somebody's house and I don't know if it's a teenage kid, an elderly woman, or a little girl who owns the house in real life," he explained. "Someone's put work into this house, y'know? Someone's amassed this collection of stuff that they've spent a lot of time on, and when we violate it we're actually doing harm to a person in a real way. The moral ambiguity of the whole thing is at the core of what the game is about."
As a rather morbid method for encouraging emergent scenarios, players can house a wife and child in their homes and try to protect them from fellow encroachers while targeting someone else's family. "They're not controlled by anybody else," Rohrer said. "You want to protect them because they're unique. If they get killed, they're gone forever and you'll miss them, right?" Heavy.
Check out the rest of Rohrer's interview on RPS (opens in new tab) .