Dear Developers - Let me make a home!

So true. My 9 year old plays Minecraft over any other “A” rated game. Mostly what he does is build homes, castles or adds on weirder and more creative rooms.

I love the idea of being able to build, decorate and furnish my own house in games. I too would love for more games to support it.

Minecraft is indeed a good case in point for how lots of people will build themselves a “nest” in a sandbox game.

In multiplayer, I must agree with Shellfishguy on Star Wars Galaxies. Being able not only to build and decorate a house (selected from a variety of sizes) but also a social hub like a cantina or guild hall were excellent features which brought the players together. You learned to know your neighbours and the community pulled together to make the town a better place. And, all the while, people were always coming up with new ideas to make the house look great and make it their own.

Compared to that, zoned housing like EQ2 or even LOTRO feels a bit limited. But the loss in freedom also ensures that urban sprawl doesn’t cover the wilderness. Maybe freeform zoned allotments so you could still personalise your housing zone might be a nice middle ground. But you wouldn’t get the same passer by traffic you got in SWG towns.

One thing is for sure, I miss the pleasure of placing and designing my house and of meeting good people there.


I’m a fan of a lot of hard core gaming genres including turn based strategy and city planning games but I have to say, this is the kind of thing I’d sarcastically suggest Activision release for their current / next COD game.
I have zero interest in building a base for my game character. There was a time when I would drool at Robin Hood or Ghostbusters playsets, but that was before I discovered girlz.

Just adding my input as a gamer, I think this will not appeal to the majority out there. It might be cool for a few thousand people, enough to get a bit of DLC into production.

Minecraft seems to disagree with you, sir :-)

That said, its all anecdotal data of course, but I find it interesting that freeform games with little gameplay structure are as big a hit as they seem to be. Lots of smaller indie games are trying out that way as well currently, and they seem to be the forerunners of whats going to be hot these days, while the big development houses who usually have 3-5 years of design->development->product cycles are of course slower to catch up.

Interestingly, I also remember Civ1 as the first game I did this in, with the big building you could build where you selected the style for each placement - so much fun!

The girls reference is just you being an ox, though, and I really don’t understand why its necessary.

The Sims series also seems to disagree with you. A large part of that gameplay is the house building/furnishing.

I’m not sure I completely understand the original poster’s point, if you want to build physical places like Minecraft I guess that’s ok. As someone who isn’t a big fan of Minecraft I’ll leave that to others to debate. I do, however, love games that allow you to create, improve, and kit out your character’s home. Whether it’s the gang bases in Saint’s Row, Jimmy’s dorm room in Bully, the assassins’ chapter houses in the AC series or Shepard’s room in the Normandy, I find a lot of pleasure in putting together a little hideaway for my player characters.

Already in the works: Castle Doctrine by Jason Rohrer.

it was meant to convey how old I was at the time I was interested in playsets (<13). Not meant as a veiled insult!

yeah but the sims is more casual isn’t it? It’s not an action RPG.

UO had the best player housing ever.

It was great from the beginning, even though houses were being constantly robbed, and I really liked what they did to expand on it in the second age. I had a neighborhood thief named Kenny, who would hide next to doors and wait to steal someone’s key for literally days. Then, much later, I had a kick-ass pyramid that I designed using the tile editor, best in-game house I’ve ever had. My guilds also had various castles and towers, and defending them and using them for meeting places really fostered a sense of community.

I think UO houses worked really well for three reasons. First, there was tons of customization so it really felt like your home. You could tell who probably had piles of crap on their floor in RL and who was a neat freak. Second, they were actually really functional because storage was important. Third, you could get to your house instantly, and get from it to where you wanted to go instantly. This is where a lot of housing doesn’t work. I’ve played several MMOs with pretty decent housing, except you had to walk twenty minutes to get to it. Screw that, I’m using the bank.

Just that it would be awesome if we could have exactly what you are asking for, just MORE in games today. I honestly don’t know anyone (Except for mashakos since he’d rather play with girls) that doesn’t love the ability to costumize your own home in games. That, and outfitting your character is one of most fun things to do.

Its interesting that big AAA games have begun to have this more and more, like in Assassins Creed 2, where you could do a lot with an entire town - Unfortunately, it seems that AC3 was a bit rushed since clearly they meant to include that part there as well, but simply ran out of time. Like they did in Dragons Age - Your mansion was also to be customizable, but they ran out of time.

OK, I wasn’t sure if the Minecraft reference meant that you wanted to build an entire home brick by brick like a Lego set. Which sounds kind of cool but it’s a little more detailed than I, personally, would look for. I do think a lot of games have added this “home base” mechanic, like the GTAs have had for a while, also Kingdoms of Amalur which I have been playing recently. It is satisfying being able to put together a base over the course of a game.

all niiight loong

Just wait till you are my age…then you’d rather have a nice sandwich ;-)

oohh - Kingdoms of Amalur has home as well? Now I have to have it!

You can get several houses in Amalur. It’s crazy man!

Oooh interesting. Not sure I like the “players can house a wife and child in their homes and try to protect them from fellow encroachers while targeting someone else’s family” though :(

But you really can’t do anything with them. By a few extensions with gold and that’s it. They really don’t have any impact on gameplay.

I’m not following you, what kind of impact are you looking for? I’m talking about homes or bases you can fill with crap, what else is there?

It would be nice to be able to design buildings and homes that appear in Sim City 5. That would be an interesting DLC (I mean if anyone on QT3 will actually play Sim City 5). Would that add more value?

In Amalur, there’s a house in a swampy little village that I think you get as a reward for defending the village from monsters sent by a witch IIRC. It would have been very nice if that storyline had been expanded. Maybe buy the house, fund some defenses for the village (fences, gates) Build a forge for a blacksmith to create equipment for the villagers, etc, etc. Kind of like a tiny version of Hinterland where you save the village from the surrounding monsters which culminates in killing the witch and turning the few houses into a profitable town. Amalur had great potential but was just like any other generic RPG where the towns/villages/castles were just areas to run meaningless grinding for experience so you could move on to the next meaningless area to grind.

That’s just my opinion. I like to have an impact on places/people beyond saving them from monsters but ultimately leaving them in the same sad/useless situation they were in the first place (except having a new neighbour who’s never around but has a really nice house full of sh*t).

OK I get where you’re going. That probably would have been cooler, and in fact they kind of did that with the Dead Kel dlc.