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!!!

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Halo Wars Marches to Stores in…March.

8 12 2008

Bungie and Microsoft announced the official U.S. release date for March 3rd, 2009.  This is actually a push-back from the original date of February 26th (which is still the launch date for Japan) and the 27th (Europe), but it’s still good news as it’s not that much of a delay.  

Whether or not this is an appeasement to those who typically get shafted in later release dates for major western franchises, who knows, but it’s nice to see them get something a little earlier, especially Europe.  

Finish The Fight.  Or actually, youre beginning it.

Finish...er, rather, Begin the Fight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halo Wars is created by Ensemble Studios (the teams who brought you Age of Empires), so they know what they are doing when it comes to console (and PC, for that matter) warfare strategy games.  While I’m personally looking forward to this release (OtakuDad is a big fan of games like AoE and StarCraft/WarCraft), I’m even more curious to see what kind of people end up buying this game, if many do at all.

Obviously the Halo fanbase to date, has been big console FPS fans, and asking those twitch-gamers to switch to something more methodical and strategy-based may be a stretch to the “every-year-I-get-the-new-Madden” crowd that typically consumes these types of online shooters.  

On the other side of the coin, hardcore strategy types will likely give Halo Wars little notice, as there are many other worthwhile titles in that genre, Blizzard’s Starcraft 2, not withstanding.  

Still, Ensemble knows its Real Time Strategy games, and they’ve done quite well in the past porting that typically PC experience to consoles, so I think we’ll have a lot to look forward to.  I’ll definitely be reviewing this game in March (and earlier if I can get my hands on a review copy), so look forward to that in the future.