When I first created a blog here on destructoid I wrote an article about how I would make a game if I were in charge. I was planning on making it into a series, but then I realized it was a bit pretentious of me to tell actual developers how I would have made their game better. So I quickly scrapped the idea. But now that Dr. Boa and some community members have started up the game making conversation, I thought I’d throw in my ideas for a totally revolutionary awesome original IP.
I want to start by saying that it bugs me sometimes how it seems that developers start with a gameplay mechanic and then write the story around it. I do understand how this was necessary in the past, but I feel that we can create an immersive enough environment to be able to structure it around the narrative and still make the gameplay fun and engaging. That said we are going to make a narrative (and some possible gameplay).
The idea for this game is directly taken from a comic I wanted to write (and still may) based around some of the unintended mythology of destructoid. I will not go into it too deeply because if I do write it I don’t want to spoil it. At it’s heart it is a pulpy noir detective story set in a retro-futuristic world like the one in sky captain and the world of tomorrow. Collette is the femme fatale, Neiro is a maniacally robot building scientist, Hamza is an evil puppet master of grotesque horrors, Chad is I don’t know what yet but I’m sure he’s amazing, and Jim Stirling is some crazy british fop who’s deadly with an umbrella. He could also be the mastermind.
Hell yes giant robots
The protagonist is a detective of course, and to make things interesting he only has a six shooter (outside of a couple scene specific instances). Now you may be thinking that is a horrible idea, but this is supposed to be as cinematic and emotionally engaging as possible. One thing I remember hearing about the allure of bond is that he is just one man with a horribly underpowered pistol and his wits and he is always in danger. That is what you are, you have your wits and your pistol and that is it. This game will be heavy on sleuthing, but I want it to be as organic as possible. I always hated that in many adventure games you had to do specific things in a specific order or it wouldn’t work. I want it to be that you can solve the puzzle in any order. Hell you can even cheat and jump straight from step 1 to 37. The NPCs should react to this too, not in a rewarding way but in a how the fuck did you work that out so fast way, maybe even make future puzzles and events more challenging (for if this is during a replay).
As far as gameplay there will be a varied set of activities. It will be divided into sleuthing activities and action activities with the following action activities a must. There must be one follow that car chase scene with the cabby bothering you while you are sticking your head out to get a shot. There must be a fight in a blimp, on top of a blimp and hanging from a rope ladder beneath the blimp. Notice I said and not or. There must be at least one intense chase scene where you are being chased by a monster (the gun will be useless except to throw at it). There must be a fight in the destructoid robot while moving and one while you are running alongside the robot across rooftops while it is stomping a path through the city. Now remember these will all be done with only a six shooter, so that should ratchet the intensity factor up a couple notches. The idea is to go for quality of the action encounters and not quantity of the people you have to kill.
As an inspiration for how well this could work please watch the following video. I have never played this game and only heard about it from this site. I am aware that this is pretty much the only highlight which is why I haven’t tracked it down, but this to me is the way a narrative based gameplay should be.