Itís time for another written at night, poorly edited blog! Hooray! Today, I wanted to focus on how bored I am with work. I work with statistics, so naturally, I spent almost eight hours a day thinking about videogames, then I get to come home and play them. I came up with a few video games pitches that I think would be a cool or interesting idea. Unfortunately, I donít know how to code. I wonder if you can set up a Kickstarter for a college education to learn how to create a video game pitch....But that seems like almost Pitchford levels of optimism, so I just wanted to throw out some Pitches Fer you!
Game Idea 1: Super Crazy Flippy World (Working Title)
It is important to note that the "working title" part is actually the subtitle. Get that shit right on the box art. BAM. Anyway, I was thinking how you could take a mechanic that normally sucks and people hate, and turn it into a really cool game. This actually seems like it would be a good way to design games, if you donít want to just spit out whatever modern war shooter game. Unless modern war shooter game was the crappy mechanic, then you would just create Spec Ops again.
I settled on the lives system, then more specifically, death. Meat Boy and Hotline Miami both show that these donít have to be a detriment, but very rarely is it used as a mechanic. My idea was that whenever the player kills an enemy, that enemy goes to the dead side of the map. Whenever the player dies, the player goes to the other side of the map. If the game used ammo and powerups, these could also transition. This would lead to a Dark Souls like situation where you would have to fight your way back to where you were last time, only to die again and start over. Unless the player decided to kill themselves on dude one, and skip the whole level.
To balance this? The boss gains power that is inversely proportional (statistics, remember?) to the amount of enemies killed. So you can skip the whole level....if you can beat a boss at ten times normal strength. Or, if a certain boss is too much for you, you can line up all of the chumps and get really good at clearing the level to take on Mega Ultra Baby instead. A self righting difficulty system, and a place for small, annoying, suicidal enemies? Mission accomplished!
Pitch Two: Multiplayer The Walking Dead
Every game needs multiplayer, am I right? Haha, no, I am just screwing with you...sort of. I was playing The Witcher, and there was a scene where all the characters decided to split up and search the countryside. My first thought was ďHow wonderfully drollĒ. Then I realized this could be an amazing set up for a game. Consider the following (or donít, look man, you can stop reading whenever):
The decisions that you made in The Walking Dead are all on you. When you decided to put an M 80 in your deceased fatherís eye socket to distract the horde of zombie wolves, that decision only affected you. Also, spoiler alert. But how would your actions differ if you they made an impact on your friends?
The setup is a 4 player, asynchronous, cooperative, moral dilemma. Each player gets 1 week to complete their chapter. Any player who does not complete the chapter is assumed dead. No communication can be made between the players until the end of the week, where they can relate their decisions, and any justifications....to be received at the end of the next week. In the meantime, the decisions that one player makes affects the others, and word may spread about his/her heroism/dickery. You may only hear that they light the orphanage on fire...but only they knew that it was because thatís where the horde of super mutant squirrels were being harbored. I imagine there would be a loyalty meter, where you could disavow the actions of your fellow players, carrying negative consequences, or trust that there are on the same path that you are despite what their actions may show. After a set period of time, the players would converge, and if decisions lined up to find the magical mcguffin/unite the bloods and crips to fight the hipsters/save the world from annihilation by a wave of moderately attractive librarians, they could take on one final quest, with all surviving players present.
It should be possible to make scenarios modular, so that there are 30 or so possible Ďactsí and individual can play through, and then maybe 5 or so finales.
Game Pitch 3: MRTS
The most clothes she has ever been seen wearing
This game is Dragon Age meets Brutal Legend meets Eve Online. Now as much as I wrote that to get a look of disgust (please PM me your webcam caps from 3 seconds ago, it sustains me), it was a cool idea. Stay with me here: If you could get past staring at Morrigans pair of overflowing chalices, there was one cool system in there, so I read. The default option for your NPCs is to be dumb as bricks. They would rather fight to the death than have the audacity to eat one of your snacks and heal yourself....unless you go into menu hell to tell them to do so directly. You could set a certain amount of logic for the AI to follow (health < 50%, flick off the enemy attacking you. Maybe think about healing, too).
Next, I was thinking about why I donít like RTS games. I realized it is because I donít understand what the critical path is, a core component. Much like pro MVC3 players understand which assists enable which combos, the RTS, as I understand, is about knowing which path to take your build down. You start at the same few steps - drones, mines, barracks, upgrade, Nuke, and usually by this time I have figured out what a pylon is...it isnít like a stocking at all! Who knew? Then, if you have identified your opponent as a moon man, you build more atomic koalas or something...look RTS games are not my thing.
So what if we skipped the bullshit, and just got down to the core of it? Take a game like Star Craft, and identify what your build is. When GAS > 100, build Zergs. If enemy = Terran, building 3 = Ultralisk facility (oh sure, google, call bullshit on faclility, but donít call me out on Ultralisk? I thought you were in California, not Seoul.) I think it would be really interesting to have a Meta Real Time Strategy. What would be the advantage? In Starcraft, you can play one game in, say, 20 minutes. With a MRTS game you could play hundreds, maybe thousands of games, at once, in a twenty minute time span. The game would simulate your armies actions against any available players at your skill level, and immediately determine which strategy is superior. As games like Magic the Gathering show, there can be environments where a single build is dominant, but there are often many builds that can beat the dominant one, but lose to Ďrogueí builds. This creates a cycle of tweaking the strategy to get the best percentage against the field.
I just want to emphasize that I donít want to play this game, I just want to watch it all go down. So I guess thatís where the EVE online part comes in.