Locking in my game ideas
As I suggested in my last diary entry, I want to do something different. I've now got ideas for each theme candidate that I'm happy with. Some are more unorthodox than others, but all of them should challenge me in some way or other. I'm posting them now, in order to "lock myself in". (Once the theme is announced, I'm sure I'll be scared, and want to change to something in my comfort zone. By posting my game idea, I'm preventing myself from doing that.) So here goes, in order from least innovative to most innovative:
Mr. Fixit: Puzzle game where you have to fix machines by fitting the right pieces into the right places. It starts out normally enough, but as the game goes on, you have to be creative about where you pull the pieces from. By the end of the game, just like a real handyman willing to cannibalize anything around him for a quick fix, nothing is off limits.
Negotiator: A wide-open sandbox where all your attributes (such as health, attack ability) have to be purchased. You can either pay the (high) asking price, or find out what the seller wants and use it to convince them to bring the price down. The gameplay itself is not terribly innovative, but I want to use guided procedural generation to make a large game area to explore, and still make the challenge level and game duration right. While I'm at it, I'll try to make graphics (and if I'm feeling ambitious, audio) procedurally as well. Mechanics are very simple, possibly like Solar Winds: The Escape.
Mutate!: Inspired by Grow, in this resource-management game you control a quickly-mutating, cartoonish organism that interacts with its environment through a variety of appendages you cause to grow out of it, and appendages that grow out of those appendages. If possible, the game will be completely wordless.
Mysterious Stranger: Point-and-click adventure where you're the main character of a noir detective novel, involving pursuing a mysterious stranger. The clues you uncover are words that get integrated into your own narrative, changing the world around you. Like Today I Die, except that there's a timeline, and words you uncover late in the story can affect the earlier scenes. The story itself is very short, and you have to play it through several times and see several different endings to complete the game. If this works, I may also submit it to the Experimental Gameplay Project, whose theme this month is Story Games. (I may change the setting, since I have difficulty writing anything even remotely sexist, and it's hard to avoid that in straight-up noir, as much as I like the genre.)
More Criticals: Definitely the scariest for me. The idea behind this game is to learn to give and receive constructive criticism. Players will upload text, drawings, or recordings of them performing feats, like telling a joke or composing music. Other players will give criticism of the feats. The criticism itself is then scored. In order to decide the mechanics, I'll investigate what are the psychological barriers to giving and internalizing feedback, and find a way to gamify the confrontation of these barriers.
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