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What Genre Should Our Game Be?

Horror
Fantasy
Western
Historical
Sci-Fi
Modern
Mystery

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Author Topic: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!  (Read 30260 times)

Storm Rider

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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #50 on: 04 Mar 2010, 01:03 »

The problem is how you would go about fleshing out those characters in a Dead Rising context. What chance would you have to interact with them? You'd either have to have a significant proportion of the game occur before the zombie breakout, or somehow intersperse those characters with Frank before they become imperiled. The former would be difficult because where does the horror come from in the parts where the zombies aren't an issue yet, and the latter would be clumsy because in order to have enough characters to create meaningful situations where you have to choose between survivors, they'd have to create some really forced situations for exposition.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #51 on: 04 Mar 2010, 01:23 »

I think it can be done. The former is the optimal choice. I mean if we're being honest we can conceive of it like Assassin's Creed II, which a lot of people (ie fuckin' idiots) complained about in terms of "build-up", but I think that's the only way to do things. Half-Life got away with a rather sizable intro sequence in which nothing happened and there wasn't much in the way of tension building.

The main thing would be, really, to have the characters as party NPCs that can hold their own but are put in compromising situations from time to time, ala the Big Choice in Mass Effect. Or you could go somewhat radical and remove the PC from direct control. Think of the first two Aliens franchise films - Some of the tensest stuff happened when there were characters that went into dangerous situations while other characters stayed behind and maintained radio contact, giving orders. It was frightening because the viewer was in the supporting characters' position - you knew if shit happened, the guys in the shit would be beyond help. You can easily exploit that kind of thing as a game designer, if you can get your players into it. It's a gamble but it's one worth making I think. Think of the ending of ME2 but with more player input besides choosing who's doing what task. I think if done right that could really be something. Of course you wouldn't fill the game with such moments - you'd pace it out like a horror movie, with the team being whittled down over the course of the game before the final section of the game, where shit gets real and you're really under the gun, and big losses start to become inevitable.
« Last Edit: 04 Mar 2010, 01:27 by KvP »
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #52 on: 04 Mar 2010, 02:17 »

I guess I'm a fuckin' idiot?

To be fair I don't really get much time at all to play games so it's in 1 or 2-hour blocks which I'm sure made the "build-up" of AC far more excruciating than need be.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #53 on: 04 Mar 2010, 09:17 »

I think a much more simplistic and feasible mechanic in a game like Dead Rising would just be to let your character hear the survivor's while he's out in the world. Like, radio transmissions, or through walls, or screams in the distance, things that let the player know that these people are close and in imminent danger. Cries for help and conversations over radio frequencies, and if you don't get to a survivor in time you show a cinematic cut scene where they get ripped to shreds. Visuals like a father getting ripped away from his daughters arms as the zombies pour in through a gap in the barricade would be heartwrenching, to me anyway. In Dead Rising those little prompts that say "Oh hey, that guy died" did nothing to make me care about the person I didn't successfully save.

I also agree that the survivors being useless afterwards was kind of a downer too, maybe if you rescued people that could help you in some way, like people who were actually good at fighting, or scavenging for food, or fast and able to act as distractions would have been tops.
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Boro_Bandito

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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #54 on: 04 Mar 2010, 09:19 »

Also I'm going to end this poll in about 24 hours and reveal to you guys the next step.
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Ozymandias

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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #55 on: 04 Mar 2010, 09:20 »

Guys no backtrack.

We should make an Iron Chef CCG RPG.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #56 on: 04 Mar 2010, 12:00 »

I've done things like this a few times (the writing, not programming).  It's pretty fun.

I choose horror.  The horror genre has a history of really creative games that I really like.

the thing about games I find is that most games have a great beginning, then kind of run those ideas into the ground through the middle of the game, then try to make up for it with a cool ending.  We need to avoid that.

do the psychonauts thing of constantly introducing new fun stuff.
« Last Edit: 04 Mar 2010, 12:03 by Damnable Fiend »
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #57 on: 04 Mar 2010, 12:47 »

Guys no backtrack.

We should make an Iron Chef CCG RPG.

No really I just thought about this medium hard and it's awesome.

You have a deck of ingredients, actions, and spices, and choose from skills and sous chefs (who in turn have their own skills) at the beginning of each match.

You're given 60 minutes, which is basically your mana in Magic terms, with which you use your actions. Each match you are given a number of dishes you must complete and an ingredient that every dish must contain. Ingredients have a number of flavor attributes. You want to basically reach a balance of flavors for each dish by combining other ingredients using actions. Skills help decide how much time and how effective your actions are and sous chefs allow you to perform multiple actions simultaneously at the cost of possible less skill and more time taken.

Like I am so entranced by this idea that I think I'm gonna work this shit out anyhow.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #58 on: 04 Mar 2010, 15:31 »

How would a character creator in an Audiosurf-style game even work? I can't imagine that being anything other than entirely superfluous.

well, you can be a person, not just a username. with yr own chosen name, yr own appearance (physical appearance/fashion sensibilities)  and yr own tunes.
but hey that's just an idea from me. i come from a software development background. i'm not actually a developer myself.
« Last Edit: 04 Mar 2010, 15:33 by 20 jazz funk greats »
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #59 on: 04 Mar 2010, 16:46 »

Guys no backtrack.

We should make an Iron Chef CCG RPG.

No really I just thought about this medium hard and it's awesome.

You have a deck of ingredients, actions, and spices, and choose from skills and sous chefs (who in turn have their own skills) at the beginning of each match.

You're given 60 minutes, which is basically your mana in Magic terms, with which you use your actions. Each match you are given a number of dishes you must complete and an ingredient that every dish must contain. Ingredients have a number of flavor attributes. You want to basically reach a balance of flavors for each dish by combining other ingredients using actions. Skills help decide how much time and how effective your actions are and sous chefs allow you to perform multiple actions simultaneously at the cost of possible less skill and more time taken.

Like I am so entranced by this idea that I think I'm gonna work this shit out anyhow.

Would play this so hard.
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Ozymandias

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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #60 on: 04 Mar 2010, 17:29 »

Also like...you can easily turn it into a Chopped game!

No sous chefs, multiple mandatory ingredients!
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #61 on: 04 Mar 2010, 17:31 »

Yeah I would play that.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #62 on: 04 Mar 2010, 18:53 »

ya, but how do you make it so you're playing against someone?   maybe have cards that mess with your opponents dishes.  or cutlery.

broken knife trap card!   discard last dish prepared with chopped ingredients.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #63 on: 04 Mar 2010, 20:40 »

E. Coli card!

But what I have never seen is the development of proficiency in weapons, in the way your character initially sucks at shooting a bow (or is that shooting arrows?) but gets better the more you use it.

I used to play a game called Jewel of Arabia that would do this. I haven't played it in years though - I know it was like that with spells, at least, but I don't remember if it was with individual weaponry.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #64 on: 04 Mar 2010, 20:46 »

Well, I mean...I've seen tons of MUDs that do it. Also, Final Fantasy 2(the Japanese one).
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #65 on: 05 Mar 2010, 09:36 »

Alright guys, this round of voting has ended with a tie! Both Horror and Western received 5 votes apiece, so they are the winning genres. So here's the next step;

Write a 1 to two sentence pitch for a video game idea based upon the above (intentionally broad) categories. Because the game genre was tied for this round of voting, it can be either Horror, Western, or both!. It must be an RPG, and can but doesn't have to include Adventure elements in the pitch. Once your pitch is written, it needs to be nominated at least once by someone else, and then it will go into the next poll. Whoever wins that poll is the idea that we go with and start to expand on.

So get writing!
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #66 on: 05 Mar 2010, 13:30 »

Aww man, just as I got a nice idea for a fantasy setting. Someone once pitched an idea for a world where magic and modern technology coexisted. I thought that could work if you played the angle of life and spiritualism on one hand, and science and engineering on the other. It's a pity this doesn't fall under Western or Horror. I'll be back once I have something to fit those.
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Ozymandias

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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #67 on: 05 Mar 2010, 14:28 »

Blood Meridian.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #68 on: 05 Mar 2010, 14:48 »

So this doesn't inherently fit into the "western" theme but you could make it so.

I had a basic idea for a survival/adventure type game where you play as a small child (I'm thinking girl, but maybe you could pick your gender, I dunno) who gets seperated from his/her parents at an amusement park, mall, or some other location.

Your goal is to find your parents (or be found by them, I guess) but the catch is that the longer you spend alone, the more your imagination starts to kick in and everything gets a little more dark, a little more sinister, and people who are probably quite friendly begin to loose their human appearence and look a little more monstrous.
You'd have to deal with concerned people talking to you, security guards maybe trying to "catch" you etc. etc.


Maybe even make it a semi-roguelike in that the "level" is randomly designed so as to be different each time; naturally there would be a bunch of different endings you could get.

- you bravely soldier on and find your parents. everything is great
- you puss out, hunker down and your parents find you. everything is great, but your poor little mind may carry the trauma forever
- you accidentally die somehow. Your parents cry.
- you get abducted by a creeper. Your parents cry.

I dunno. It has potential.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #69 on: 05 Mar 2010, 15:16 »

I'm thinking of more of a Deadlands type dealio. Jesse James and his bandit gang continued to live on afterJesse James's assassination. Jesse, returning from the grave for some reason or another and slaughtered Robert Ford and several of the lawmakers in the area. You are of course one of several bounty hunters trying to take the zombie/wraith/ghost gang down.

More may come later, but I unfortunately am at work and a bloo bloo bloo.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #70 on: 05 Mar 2010, 16:02 »

in a small texas town, people start disappearing.  when the sheriff starts investigating, he goes missing, too.

as his lone deputy, you have to gather the posse and set about putting things right.  armed with your sixshooter and local gun hands, you pick up where the sheriff left off.

early victims have simply disappeared.  as time goes on, there is more disturbing evidence left behind.  as the population dwindles, the scenes become more and more grisly.

your search eventually leads to devil worshipers who've set up as a new church.  they've been using human sacrifices to gain powers and rewards from the devil himself.  some of those taken have even been corrupted to be used as vessels for demons to walk amongst the living undetected.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #71 on: 05 Mar 2010, 16:30 »

Aww man, just as I got a nice idea for a fantasy setting. Someone once pitched an idea for a world where magic and modern technology coexisted. I thought that could work if you played the angle of life and spiritualism on one hand, and science and engineering on the other. It's a pity this doesn't fall under Western or Horror. I'll be back once I have something to fit those.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #72 on: 05 Mar 2010, 20:42 »

Note discovered near the site of the brutal slayings of persons unknown, by wild dogs or some other sort of beast, on the third day:

They say that the darkest hour is just before the dawn. That ain't really true, but it sure is cold. Gets colder every second the sun ain't shining, see? But we wasn't complaining. Better 'n digging during the day, not that we could. With the new laws passed by the injun lovers back in congress, and the local sherriff practically a redskin himself, we couldn't afford to be spotted durin' daytime.

We were digging up one or two bodies a night, sometimes three, and patting the earth back before sunrise. Each one had a bit of something valuable on him; some gold or wampum beads, something like that. One-eye Morrison, he'd take what we got up back east to Dodge to sell it, way away from the interfering of the local law. We weren't worried about disturbing no heathen graves anyway. Maybe we shoulda been, though I say it can't have nothing to do with things.

What we was actually searching for was the motherlode. Black Jensen, he'd been out selling the injuns snake oil and got into an argument with their medicine man. The medicine man said something about an insult against the name of some legendary priest. Jensen got to asking about, and turns out that old injun was buried out here, probably with a fortune in gold and silver on him. Well, what thrifty christian soul could resist? Weren't gonna do that old savage no good where he's burnin' now.

Anyways, we found him bout half an hour before dawn. Just in time. And boy, we hadn't guessed wrong. He was wearing this cloak, all made up of little square gold plates, each with a funny little symbol punched in. Musta taken them savages years to make, and look at it just lying there.

So we gone and dug around him a little bit and tried to get the cloak off, but it was heavy, like you might expect, and the dawn was coming up fast now. So, curse it all, we thought, lets get the cloak off him any ways we can. So Doc Simpson, he got up his shovel and he hacked off the old chiefs head. Hard work it was, him being all mummified like some prince of egypt, probably on account of the desert heat. Doc Simpson said somethin' about the minerals in the ground, same as what makes the water round here poison to drink, but he's a man of science, even if he did kill that senators wife, and I ain't pick up much of his meaning.

It was just about as we struck off the head that we noticed the dawn suddenly dyin' back away. Someone remarked how curious it was, then, as the sun came up, we could see that there was a black disc slowly movin' across it. Doc Simpson said it must be the eclipse, though Curly said it was odd because it weren't noted in the almanac. Curly's folks were farmers back east a ways, and he never goes anywhere without that damn thing. Anyway, the sun rose, and this black disc rose with it, slowly cutting it off. We got a brief flash of the dawn, then nothing, just a weird half-light from the sun flickerin' round the edge, like a big ring of fire in the sky.

Doc Simpson said it would soon go away, but by the time we had packed the earth down and were heading back into town, it was still there. We was also hearin' some strange noises. Coyotes or some such, spooked by the eclipse, we reckoned. The horses weren't liking the weird twilight either, nor that it was still getting colder. Anyways, it were...


(The rest of the note is torn off)
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #73 on: 06 Mar 2010, 00:10 »

YOU ARE AT A SMALL CAMPSITE

IT IS DARK HERE

>
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #74 on: 06 Mar 2010, 00:29 »

Some kind of mix of kemon & Khar's ideas sounds good.  Deadwood meets Lovecraft as an Adventure RPG.  Frontier town with hardly any laws or organisation to begin with, then really fucking weird shit starts happening and no-one knows what the fuck is going on.  Stays dark one morning and no-one knows why.  Darkness has lasted a few days, then the Sheriff disappears, leaving you (the deputy) to deal with things.  Preacher goes crazy and starts speaking in tongues in the middle of mass, then is struck unconscious.  Some courier comes in on a delivery drunk as hell and shouting about dead bodies on the road between here & the place the message is from.  When you go out to see what he was talking about you find the note Khar wrote in the middle of a scene of absolute carnage.  When you and your posse get back to town half the townsfolk are missing and there's fresh blood smeared across their windows and doors but none of the people left in town has seen or heard anything strange.

Y'know, that sort of thing.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #75 on: 06 Mar 2010, 04:29 »

YOU ARE AT A SMALL CAMPSITE

IT IS DARK HERE

>

YOU ARE EATEN BY A GRUE?
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #76 on: 06 Mar 2010, 07:29 »

Soo . . . let's combine the top two suggestions.  A western horror.  It hasn't been done!
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #77 on: 06 Mar 2010, 09:51 »

Darkwatch. But admittedly that game kinda sucked, and an in-depth RPG western/horror I haven't heard of being done. I think it would cool for the game to be set up kind of like how Bloodlines was, with an overarching quest but also little side quests that take place over several hub areas.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #78 on: 06 Mar 2010, 10:02 »

Deadlands might was a Western/Horror, though to be fair it had small bits of sci-fi and steampunk like tech as well.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #79 on: 06 Mar 2010, 10:56 »

I had a basic idea for a survival/adventure type game where you play as a small child (I'm thinking girl, but maybe you could pick your gender, I dunno) who gets seperated from his/her parents at an amusement park, mall, or some other location.
Your goal is to find your parents (or be found by them, I guess) but the catch is that the longer you spend alone, the more your imagination starts to kick in and everything gets a little more dark, a little more sinister, and people who are probably quite friendly begin to loose their human appearence and look a little more monstrous.
You'd have to deal with concerned people talking to you, security guards maybe trying to "catch" you etc. etc.

This is the only interesting idea I've heard in this thread so far. Everything else sounds derivative of games that already exist. I'm imagining a child friendly horror game with crazy imagination effects. Like Eternal Darkness meets Rugrats.
Y'know, one day I might actually steal this idea.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #80 on: 06 Mar 2010, 11:02 »

Yeah, that sounds like a cool idea I'll admit, but I think there needs to be another goal besides you just trying to find your parents, like, maybe there's something else going down at the theme park that you unwittingly get mixed up in and have to stop, so you can save the day and your parents.

Also I'm not sure I'm down for "kid-friendly" horror. Like, anything that could scare a little kid isn't going to scare me, and anything that could scare me is probably going to leave a child catatonic. I think it would be great to be a child protagonist though.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #81 on: 07 Mar 2010, 11:11 »

No way, I like the objective not being "save the day". I also don't think "kid-friendly" and "about a kid" are the same thing!

I'm with Darryl, it is a fantastic idea.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #82 on: 07 Mar 2010, 12:42 »

Or you could just watch Spirited Away. Or Pan's Labyrinth. It sounds sort of like an amalgamation of the two (premise of the former, aesthetic of the latter)
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #83 on: 07 Mar 2010, 12:57 »

Well yeah and instead of playing Call of Duty you can watch Band of Brothers what is yr point?
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #84 on: 07 Mar 2010, 13:04 »

That Silent Hill crossed with a fairy tale doesn't really sound all that interesting to play. You're going to need to develop the premise to a deeper level, something beyond "get to your parents". Coming across something in the real world warped by the girl's imagination and running away from well-meaning adults (which you'd have to do, every time) are not going to sustain a game. At the very least you'd have to make the game more Silent Hill-y. Standard "maybe this isn't imagined" shit. Then you've got a game. Otherwise losing actually means winning in that you will be reunited with your parents when caught, unless every person you run across is a pedophile or a kidnapper of some sort. There - girl is kidnapped at carnival, gets away from attackers, has to evade them. There's a game. None of this Alice in Wonderland shit. Real stakes.
« Last Edit: 07 Mar 2010, 13:05 by KvP »
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #85 on: 07 Mar 2010, 13:16 »

You got like. Zero imagination.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #86 on: 07 Mar 2010, 13:31 »

Say what you will about it, people would play it for more than 2 hours. Really, there are no stakes in the original premise. There will definitely be a good deal of "normal gamer" frustration when they're faced with all sorts of unnecessary danger - players know that the goal of the game is to reunite with your parents. If you encounter security guards and such it's frustrating that you would "lose" the game when the loss of the game inevitably results in the optimal ending of the game. That's an actual game design problem. Likewise if you end up having the little girl (and it has to be a little girl, because little girls in peril are a cheap source of suspense) in actual danger you need a good reason why the player would try to get through that danger rather than turning around and returning to safety. It's like the character in a movie going down into the basement, over and over and over, but there's no real point in doing so, except that the killer is down there. "The game was designed that way" is not a compelling reason. You're really just perpetuating bad game design for bad game design's sake.
« Last Edit: 07 Mar 2010, 13:41 by KvP »
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #87 on: 07 Mar 2010, 13:37 »

I still think something like a "big scary monster" aka pedophile or kid-snatcher would have to be there, because KvP is right, it doesn't make any sense for a girl to be running away from everyone even if her imagination has kicked in because if she gets caught then she's either back with her parents or an authority figure who will eventually bring her to her senses, there's got to be some sort of goal in mind that she's got to accomplish and to evade getting caught for. Maybe she lost her favorite stuffed animal, or maybe there's some sort of mystery of some sort that she can solve. I don't think it becomes hackneyed and unoriginal just because there's a plot.

I still think the game mechanic of the world around you slowly becoming more bizarre is a cool idea. But I like there to be plot to my games. Also it has to be an RPG so there's got to be some sort of leveling or skill increase or something going on.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #88 on: 07 Mar 2010, 13:45 »

A mystery would suffice. The substance of it would depend on whether or not you want to introduce a supernatural or crime element to the story. If the girls' imagination is going to do anything beyond provide creative art design you need something that gives it bite, whether it be that the imagined stuff is in some way real, or the protagonist has a health problem (asthma or a heart condition) that makes fear or excitement dangerous.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #89 on: 07 Mar 2010, 14:18 »

A game based on a child's imagination. Is that possibly inspired by the bit in Bioshock 2 where you control the Little Sister? I like it, anyway. A carnival or circus seems like a sufficiently mysterious/dangerous environment where that might work. Perhaps the quest or the mystery that needs to be solved could involve another child. Listening to (or eavesdropping on) fortune tellers can stimulate your imagination and change the world around you.

If you're going to play the game as if everything you imagine is the real thing, I wouldn't let failure (returning to your parents) break the spell, that it wasn't real. You'll want to keep that illusion going for as long as possible so not to break the immersion.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #90 on: 07 Mar 2010, 14:48 »

How about a scripted version of the game you guys are talking about, with set pieces. Would kill replay value, but that doesn't really diminish the first playthrough.
First imaginary monster helps you out. Second one steals your items. Another saps health. Next one does nothing. One can be used as a platform. Not every 'enemy' would have to behave in the same way. Infact, that'd make a pretty boring game. Keep it fresh. They could all look equally terrifying. I'm sure that through the eyes of a child, many things are. But then you find that maybe something isn't quite as scary as you'd expect. Sometimes, you're gonna have to actually face the monsters.

As for the idea that getting caught would be ultimately more frustrating because the end result is the same as winning the game (being reunited with your parents), that idea is crock. It'd be a videogame. It'd fade to black and you'd get a game-over screen. Not the same result at all.
I'm not a fan of the idea of a pedophile you have to avoid. Seems lazy. Pedoholes are everywhere in the media these days, do they have to be in videogames too? Why even have 'real' danger? In what way does that make the game more interesting? From the perspective of the player, who knows everything isn't real, sure, it wouldn't be scary. But videogames tend not to be from the perspective of the player, but the respective protagonist. And the protagonist of this game does believe what she is seeing, and to her, it is terrifying. You'd better believe, than when I'm trying to jump on top of a giant robot dragon so I can hit a switch with my butt, that I find it exhilirating. You'd better believe that when I am surrounded by walking balls of dust and I'm down to my last spare 1-up that my heart is beating out of my chest. Videogames require the suspension of disbelief. Always have. Videogames never have, and never will make complete sense. The day they do, I will stop playing videogames entirely. Why can't the 'villain' be something more interesting, such as a disconcertingly large shoe? The protagonist has an overactive imagination, we can go absolutely nuts. Let's not pick something boring.
Okay, does anybody remember the TV show, Rugrats?
I remember Rugrats. The monsters were never real. They were always the result of overactive imaginations. We all knew that, but it didn't make Rugrats any less fun, and it didn't make the creepy episodes any less creepy. SWM posted a neat little idea and then there's comparisons to Silent Hill. I'm with Jordan. Zero imagination, the lot of you.
Why can't 'child-friendly' media be scary? I haven't heard a good reason why not. One of my biggest fears is still the Groke, from the Moomins. Sometimes, when it is dark, and the air is cold, I can almost see the Groke, slowly marching towards me. Saw the TV show as a kid, stuck with me ever since. You tell me that shit can't be scary, I'll tell you that you're full of crap.

I have a lot of weird beliefs. I have the belief that Nintendo consistently make some of the best videogames of all time. I also, for the life of me, can't recall the plot to any Nintendo game ever made outside of "rescue the princess". This is because the plot is secondary to the game itself. Who cares what the girl's motivation is, who cares why she is running away from everything in sight, who cares about the little bits that don't currently make any sense?
There's a cool idea here, run with it.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #91 on: 07 Mar 2010, 14:51 »

"Pedohole" was actually a typo, but that's such a good typo, that I'm going to leave it in there and draw attention to it with this follow-up post that points it out.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #92 on: 07 Mar 2010, 15:24 »

As for the idea that getting caught would be ultimately more frustrating because the end result is the same as winning the game (being reunited with your parents), that idea is crock. It'd be a videogame. It'd fade to black and you'd get a game-over screen. Not the same result at all.
Don't be thick. Gamers notice these things. Couple of examples - At the end of Fallout 3, there's a choice, either you sacrifice yourself, or the paladin who's with you. There's a button that needs to be pushed in a room full of deadly radiation. What Bethsoft failed to take into account was that most players, by the end, had taken on a companion, Fawkes, who was there when you made your choice. The funny thing was that just a few hours prior, Fawkes had done pretty much the same thing you were tasked with doing - he walked into a room full of deadly radiation and came out unscathed with a GECK. Players (and not just the Codex guys) were angry, because the developers had given you a false choice to manufacture drama. You had to choose to kill either yourself or the Paladin, when standing right behind you was a guy who was clearly capable of pressing the button without anyone dying. They blatantly presented the best choice to the player and left it out of consideration for no reason. They ended up correcting their mistake with the DLC, but it proved a point - you can't pull one over on the player like that without him noticing. If you're presented with a less severe choice (submitting to a security guard to reunite with your parents instead of playing through several hours of running around) only to have it snatched away from you arbitrarily, that's annoying. Players of your badly-thought out game will likely keep playing, but they'll be thinking "Huh, you can lose the game by winning. That's stupid." One of the cardinal rules of game design is that how awesome you think your ideas are is not nearly as important as how the player will experience those ideas.

Another case in point - In Modern Warfare 2, I believe (haven't played it) there's a sequence in which the player character is betrayed and shot to death in a semi-scripted sequence. I've read game forums where people have seen this coming, so they run away from the betrayers, only to be hit by a "magic bullet" that kills them dead, despite not being in the line of fire of any other character. That's a failure of game design - If you're going to force an outcome in a situation, you need to at least present it such that it's apparent that it's the only way it can possibly happen. If reuniting with your parents is the goal of the game, then you need to justify why a perfectly reasonable avenue to that goal - getting caught by a security guard - is the wrong choice.

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« Last Edit: 07 Mar 2010, 15:29 by KvP »
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #93 on: 07 Mar 2010, 15:37 »

Also
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I have a lot of weird beliefs. I have the belief that Nintendo consistently make some of the best videogames of all time. I also, for the life of me, can't recall the plot to any Nintendo game ever made outside of "rescue the princess".
Okay, here's the thing. Lots of games have no plot. Most of those games have gameplay. Doom didn't need a story because it was a first person shooter. Mario didn't need a plot because it was a platformer. A survival / adventure game needs a plot, because running around in a Silent Hill type game with no weapons and no real purpose beyond "look at our pretty environment design" isn't as viscerally stimulating as shooting things, or jumping on and around things to advance through a level. I remember playing Myst as a little kid and being completely mystified by the plot. It might as well have had no plot. It was incredibly boring. Your game is like that.

I don't know why I have to explain why it is that Nintendo games are fun without plots.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #94 on: 08 Mar 2010, 03:33 »

I really dislike scripted events, because I want to play the game, not be a passenger in it.  I thought they were done OK in Dragon Age, but there were still a couple that bugged me. 

I would definitely be annoyed at losing the game you guys are talking about due to being caught by a security guard.  After a couple of such events I'd probably stop playing it, because I just wouldn't care enough anymore.  It would be like sitcoms where a person will select the stupidest fucking option possible in a scenario just so it puts them into a "funny" situation.  Contrivances have no place in good storytelling.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #95 on: 08 Mar 2010, 05:49 »

My idea of a horror/western RPG:

You play an aged ex-vigilante, tormented by his own violent past. His dreams - when he could sleep at all - provided no solace, reliving each of the four murders he had committed in the past- honourless murders that he undertook in the dead of night for nothing more than a bit of cash, pulling the trigger before the victim had even awoken.

The game starts in the eleventh year of his life sentence. Withered and deathly ill, one morning he wakes up to find that he is alone in the prison. The game goes on from there, and as the plot is slowly uncovered, the player realizes that he has slipped into some kind of fever dream*, a disturbing nightmare world populated only by people had wronged in his life.

*maybe gone into a coma?

The first level/part involves escaping the prison, the next four 'levels' involve confronting the four people he had murdered, trekking through his increasingly demented psyche to find each one in order of the guilt he feels about them (ie. the first is just a murderous gunslinger, and the last a teenage girl). He expects to have to fight them, but they end up helping him, or at the very least pushing him towards a further goal.  

I figure the scenery and the artwork would get progressively surreal and disturbing as the game went on, from basically realistic in the prison to incredibly fucked up towards the end. Each victims level would be representative of the environment in which they lived, and their personality, etc. Throughout the game there would probably be cutscenes of him writhing on a bed or something, a reminder of the real life player character as he struggles with the illness, as the dream/nightmare version of the character works through the nightmare (the game).

As the game goes on, he realizes the only way to escape the hellish dreamworld is to somehow right the wrongs of his life. Later on in the game, after the fourth victim has 'helped' him, and he puts all their clues together it becomes apparent that the grand overarching antagonist, the 'villain' trying to impede his progress is actually himself, and that his journey leads to a confrontation with himself. At the very end of the game, when he confronts himself, he ends up killing this alternate version of himself (whether through dialogue or through combat, a la Fallout or PS:T depends on the player) and in doing so releases himself from the dream world. It turns out, however, that by killing the alternate him in the dreamworld , that the real him, the version who had succumbed to illness and gone into a coma was killed as well.

The last scene would probably be a 'flashback' to the bit of the game where he discovered that to escape the dreamworld he had to right the wrongs of his life - implying that killing himself was how the wrongs had to be righted.

[EDIT]  I realize this doesn't really say much about how it's a western... my idea was that all the characters populating the game (the people he had wronged, as well as the player character himself) would all be from the western setting, and that many of their individual conflicts (the wrongs he had done to them) with the PC would generally be related to the harsh ways of life on the frontier. The settings would also be western inspired (ie. I see the level for the gunslinger to be like the Max Payne drug level, but based around a saloon).
« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2010, 06:03 by Spluff »
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #96 on: 08 Mar 2010, 09:45 »

That's a failure of game design - If you're going to force an outcome in a situation, you need to at least present it such that it's apparent that it's the only way it can possibly happen.

This. It has never failed to annoy me when some RPG roadblocks my party into being defeated despite the fact that mechanically speaking I'm mowing through motherfuckers like it ain't no thang. The only reason I accepted Baldur's Gate II's opening premise is the simple fact that they never even showed your capture to begin with.
« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2010, 09:49 by Alex C »
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #97 on: 08 Mar 2010, 09:52 »

Also, it's too bad that you fucks voted for horror. We could have made a cheesy outlaw themed turn-based strategy RPG with recruitment options. The goal would be to assemble your gang, rob shit, get away, fight rival gangs, (the turn based stuff) get drunk, hire hookers, and ultimately die of syph, cirrhosis or tuberculosis (these could all be mini games). Sort of a Pirates! meets Fallout Tactics or Jagged Alliance kind of deal, except travel would have been an homage to Oregon Trail instead of a pirate ship. Instead, you guys are shitting things up with your surrealism and plots and shit.
« Last Edit: 08 Mar 2010, 10:02 by Alex C »
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #98 on: 08 Mar 2010, 09:56 »

Could still have a cheesy horror story.
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Re: Let's make a Game Design Doc, guys!
« Reply #99 on: 08 Mar 2010, 09:57 »

No. That would be shit.
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