What Is Your Dream Game?

26 02 2009

I think that there comes a time in every gamer’s life where they’ve contemplated the game that they would make, if given the budget, staff, and freedom to do so.  Of course, many of these ideas are half-baked, because you obviously don’t have the staff, the freedom, and most importantly, the budget to get that game made anyway…so why bother detailing your personal dream game?  

But with the advent of the iPhone and iPod Touch, Microsoft’s XNA initiative, and many avenues for flash gaming on the PC front, homebrew gaming is alive, well, and flourishing in staggeringly increasing numbers.  Many people who simply had a great idea, are finding ways to cheaply and profitably create and market their games to a mass audience.  

I’ve often wondered what kind of game I’d like to create.  Of course, over time it’s changed.  When I was younger, it would have been a Mario clone, of course.  An epic platformer, where the main character (some hybrid of Mario, with a Bionic Commando-style grappling arm) would traverse levels with trapeze-like grace, and that speed of platform traversal would be as important as health and powerups.  

When I got older (junior high and high school) and got into PC gaming, I wanted to create the next Starcraft-style RTS.  I wanted an (of course) epically-gigantic list of creatures and vehicles to create, and a complex world of trading, resource harvesting, and strategy on par with the world’s best table-top strategy games like Axis and Allies, or Shogun (rebranded as Samurai Swords, I just learned…click for more detail)  My ideal game would have involved the cyberpunk movement, as I had recently read William Gibson’s Neuromancer (my favorite novel, to this day), and thought the world had enough complexity to merit a street-grid based RTS (with RPG elements, in terms of leveling characters, unique stat-bonus items, and story elements)  including thugs, fixers, wireheads, and large, intimidating corporations.  (I actually still really like this idea, by the way…)

Now, as I’m older still, I see the value of short-burst gaming.  I’m not ditching my Bioshocks or my Resident Evil 4s, or the like, but I’m finding great joy in titles like Rock Band, which can occupy a couple songs, or an entire evening, Portal, which is perfect for snack-sized gaming, or even super-casual fare over at Kongregate.  I think that if I made a game these days, it would have to be profitable, of course (finally having to make money for a family, that is) and therefore find the iTunes App Store to be most appealing.  However, try as I might, I can’t come up with something original enough to break through the noise.  I don’t know if that’s a function of age, or simply a matter of “nothing is new under the sun”.  Either way, it’s a bit saddening.  So I’m wondering…

Have any of you awesome readers have come up with any (epic or otherwise 🙂 ) game designs or ideas that you’d be willing to share.  Please comment!!!




2 responses

26 02 2009

I remember being maybe 9 years old out shooting baskets in my driveway and just mulling over a fun fighting game that my parents might even let me play; they didn’t let me play the average Mortal Kombat game. I thought the cast of Nintendo characters would work for my mom, as they are generally cuddly and colorful. The health bar thing would have to go, and crumpling in painful death was just too graphic, but it would be fast-paced and exciting, so I wouldn’t care. So my dream game was is the game they made soon afterwards and I’ve been playing ever since: Super Smash Bros. I just wish they had given us Diddy Kong before the third game!

26 02 2009

Wow, very prescient of you, man! I totally believe you though. I had a movie/play idea in college (I’ve got a friend who can vouch for this, by the way), that was all about a guy, who leads a team of people against a computer virus that’s taking over the physical world. It was called “The Matrix” (I swear that is true, and that it was well before the Matrix film came out!).

Not that it’s the same exact plot or anything, but yeah, I know the feeling when you’re like “This would be a great idea” and then they come out with it…

I was thinking after I wrote this piece, that the first idea, about a platformer where speed and “trapeze-like grace” were as important as health and power-ups…that’s Mirror’s Edge! I never imagined it would have been first-person, but yeah… that game totally has that feel where the flow is almost more important than the story. Cool how good ideas are universal in many ways!

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