Game ideas, darn it

Amen. Ya’ll are cracking me up with the “Here’s my game design: GTA + Pinball Construction Set + Pooyan!” stuff. That’s not a game design. Besides, unless you can actually make a game they’re as realistic as me meticulously planning what I’m going to wear* when I marry Hugh Laurie in a magical hot air balloon floating over Rivendell. And I can authoritatively say this as a world record holder for “Game Still Not Fucking Done Yet”, right behind Duke Nukem Forever and Grimoire.

[size=2]*A poofy red satin ballgown with a top hat and black Chuck Taylors. The preacher will be a talking purple unicorn, and the Ramones are going to play at the reception (dead ones included, although they will of course be zombies). Cupcakes will be served. Open bar. RSVP.[/size][/quote]

Will Mr. Laurie be clean-shaven or have a 3-day beard? Details are important.

Prince George : Marry? Never! I’m a gay bachelor, Blackadder, I’m a roarer, a rogerer, a gorger and a puker! I can’t marry, I’m young, I’m firm buttocked, I’m…
Blackadder : Broke?
Prince George : Well, yes, I suppose so.

He will be clean-shaven. I, however, will have a fantastically cultivated handlebar mustache.

Which games? Cause I can think of a few Codemasters games which had designers that needed lecturing.

Which games? Cause I can think of a few Codemasters games which had designers that needed lecturing.[/quote]
So where’s that forum, Charles? I’m a huge arm chair designer and I’d love to talk some games, existing and potential, with peoples…

I’m not going to bother unless there’s enough interest, because otherwise it’s just another dead forum in my dead forums.

What’s one more dead forum gonna matter then… :P

So we’ve got you, me and Brian.

I worked on Dragon Empires, mainly as the Community Manager, but also had my toes in world design, rpg system design and did a lot of quest design.

Hardly a great example, as DE death-spiralled and died 2 weeks after I left, but the point stands. I know there are no game angels, I just wanted to vent :D


So just talk, throw up a one paragraph treatise or idea and let the discussion flow. Ideas aren’t priceless, and they’ve likely been thought of before. Crazy ideas that would never sell are fine, but even better are ideas that would sell quite well.

Here are my pet pie in the sky ideas for the day:

  • massively multiplayer Starflight w/ procedurally generated, live universes. I have this idea completely solidified in my head, but the tech eludes me, otherewise I’d be on it.

  • text-based NFL general manager style game, similar to SIGames Football Championship, but for the NFL and based on real statistical data. Web based, fully simulated games (no play calling)

  • level-grind oriented MMFPS. It’s the obvious case of “take the level grind model and apply it to an MMFPS”. Make it loot and class oriented, with an emphasis on small team PvE and PvP via instances.

  • massively multiplayer GTA, but no one would have the balls to make this. Complete PvP with gangs and cops. Gangs claim territory by staking out ‘corners’, ‘lots’, and ‘parks’, and the more territory a gang has the more money it has to invest in hookers and drug dealers. Gangs compete (i.e. kill) other gangs for control of spaces, and players can play as factionless cops that do nothing but assault gang turf in an effort to reduce their holdings. Instanced “quests” include things like robbing liquor stores and bodegas; intimidating local cops; and looting gun stores for better armament.

There, those are my ideas for today.

Yup, good point, I’ll vent a couple of ideas when I get back from work later.

The MMO GTA is an idea I think we’ve all had at some point! But I like your conception of it, corners parks and lots. Nice one :)

But you’re right, who would be brave enough to make it :D

I’ve got so many ideas I could vent it’s not funny anymore. Problem is that I really do think that alot of them could be made into some exceptional games.

I got a RTS game figure out, a first person fighting game done right with the keyboard and mouse. Even a first person adventure/horror game.

Alright, here’s an idea that I wish I was able to implement in an engine that already exists. At one point I thought of doing it in BF1942 or even BF2, but terrain and gravity aren’t something you can really fuck with, I don’t think. It needs to be there. Which is contrary to my idea.

Basically, we’ll call it Battlefield 2500, a multiplayer game in the context of Freespace 2 mixed with BF1942.

Game starts with two capital ships at opposing ends of a jumpnode network.

Somewhere at random points in the middle of the jump network, there are two or three ‘resources’, which for the purpose of quick design, I figure will be abandoned space stations. The point of the game would be to capture and hold those stations (or obliterate your enemy).

All players start on their capital ship, as a guy with a laser rifle, in his space suit. There’s only one weapon.

Capital ships ( multiple gun ports, beam ports, flak ports, missile ports ) can launch scouts, fighters, bombers, and troop transports. Can be moved to a different waypoint via commander menu.

Fighters (1 pilot): self explanatory

Scouts (1 pilot): Provide location and battle data to capital ships. Less armored/armed than a fighter.

Bombers (1 pilot, 1 gunner): made for destroying capital ships, troop transports, or perhaps the objectives, if you can’t capture it.

Troop transports (1 pilot, 10 troops w/ gun ports): carries troops between capital ships and objectives.


Game starts, everyone is on the capital ship. First, scouts need to scout out the node network, since it is randomly generated each game. Scouted info serves two purposes: informs all ships about the map (and acts as radar for nodes you are not at), and prevents jumpnode collisions. Using a jumpnode has some chance of putting you in a general area, and without a scout, you run the chance of jumping in to another ship, which means collision and death for both.

After scouts have been sent out, fighters will escort a troop transport to the base you wish to try and capture. Or bombers can wage an assault against the enemy capital ship. Or fighters can defend something. At this point it becomes a full on crazy space combat sim.

When a transport reaches a space station, it must dock and break in to the station, which can take 15-25 seconds (or something). During this time, the ship is extremely susceptible to damage, so having fighters protecting them is a must.

Once out of the transport, the troops enter the station in zero g, as an FPS. They can choose a surface to be their ‘ground’, but it’s easy to detach and jet around. There will be an objective or panel within the station which captures it for your team, and enables defenses (both automatic and manual) which can be used.

Note that if the troop transport blows up while docking, troops can be ejected in to space. At that point, I highly recommend suicide, since you probably won’t be able to control your velocity with your suit thrusters, and it’s better than asphyxiation.

During this time, the designated commander can move the capital ship via a special commander window. Note that moving the ship can be extremely dangerous, due to jump gate collisions, among other things. But it can achieve a strategic advantage (especially when bringing beam weapons to bear on a situation).

Commanders can also set fighter/bomber wing designations and give orders. Of course, many players won’t follow the orders. However, there will be a global tracking system that judges how often you follow orders (it’s not hard to fulfill an order, usually it’s a matter of just going to the vicinity of the order’s location, or starting to attack a given large target. There’s no micromanagement, so pilots can excercise their own discretion). Based on how well you are known to follow orders, you will be given priority when attempting to acquire a ship.

Commanders are judged on their win/loss ratio, but aren’t judged as harshly if they lose due to people not following orders.

Erm… I think that’s most of it. I’d give my left nut to be able to sit down and make this game. If only I had the time and tech. Realistically, the biggest hurdles would be that A) it would require somewhere on the level of 100 players to be truly great, and B) it requires that players at least attempt to play intelligently. B is offset by the fact that it’s a game that would cater to a hardcore audience. A is the truly difficult part. Tech and coding wouldn’t be particularly difficult.

I’ll join in, since I’m trying to subscribe to the idea (it’s hard) that “if an idea is really good, you’ll need to ram it down their throats” rather than the “someone will steal it” school.

First off, I will say that unlike some of you here - I am actually going to do one of these. In the next 3-4 months I relocate to St Petersburg, where I will be opening a small (3-5 people) game studio.

Idea the first:

Fantasy RPG with a few unique twists. The first is that there’s an XCom style meta-layer… You’re not the character or the party, you’re the guildmaster. The party is basically disposable, but of course as it gets higher level, losing a party gets more expensive.

The presentation is going to try to bring you into a table top style gameplay as much as possible. The overland maps are handdrawn dual layer (one rough parchment style, one full color DM map that’s revealed as you explore it.)

When you accept a quest or interact with the overworld in any way, you’re basically doing it through a text/picture dialog, or in the case of shopping, etc - a more complex interface.

Dungeons are much the same - a hand drawn map that’s mostly blank. No 3d representation of the dungeons, and it’s essentially a text adventure with all sorts of interesting stuff like trapped chests, secret doors, the whole bit… UNTIL…

Combat - 3d turn based in the style of silent storm/SSI Gold Box.

Anyway, there’s one.

I don’t think any of this would be out of place in the Games forum. It’s about games, and it’s no more the writing of laymen than our* posts on games that actually exist. If the forum can survive all the WoW threads, a few posts on theory and design should be fine.

*I acknowledge there are some of us who are more than laymen, and it’s great to have you guys around, but most of us have very limited experience in the industry if any.

That’s a good thing, IMO. The industry tends to crush people in to spineless shills who can’t think for themselves anymore, talk about ‘the market’, and say “That will never work” a lot more than necessary.

I tend to enjoy talking about design with non-industry people more than industry people, a lot of the time.

Thus ends the thread.

I have had a couple of fun concepts. The first was one I pitched to Codemasters a year ago that made it through to final money-check (no money = game not progressed, aww!), and that was for a Xcom style game that was set in an Alias like world. Player controlled a small, intel-agency looking to develop technology and complete missions. Analysts, satellites, attack teams, research, etc.

The other is based on a principle I’ve thought about, and that is that most MMOs are either:

  1. 30 minute FPS’s where you are logged in and fully concentrated for a period of time and once you’re done there’s essentially no impact on the world.
  2. MMORPGs where the only way to play is to hop online.
  3. Some kind of RTS where logging in to play is required and you really want to log in A LOT to get anywhere.

Well I think this is kinda boring. There are other options.

My idea was sorta expoused in an earlier thread and revolved around the player building a medieval/fantasy village. The main gameplay elements were tycoon/SIMS style but with a meta-game that was multiplayer. The gamer would be controlling the lives and development of an individual village in a longterm tycoon fashion. At the same time, at a certain point the player would declare their citizenship in an online world where they had neighbouring villages, were part of a county, duchy and kingdom. They would have responsibilities to their locals as well as to their king and would have to play off these long term issues/goals/pressures with the shorter-term village issues.

Idea could be web-based, or full-on developed game.

Anyway. I would love games that streamed together more single player and multiplayer elements without that either-or feeling…

Charles, I really like your idea, but you don’t think the tech would be a problem? To both be a good space sim and a good fps? They are different kinds of engine…at least they are now.

And I think your biggest problem would be the same thing you get in BF, player ability/coorporation. But, there are a lot of things you can add in to make this both easier and the right way to go (meaning players will want to do it), so it MIGHT work.

Also, since we’re talking space, and the general layout of it wouldn’t change, wouldn’t playing the same “map” over and over get boring after awhile?

To be fair, Charles, I really like the idea, as I said. I’m not just being critical. I can imagine jacking into the capitol ship and running along whatever surface I got near, trying to get the defenders before they could something about it (maybe they could open air hatches?). Sounds like a mess of fun.

Backov, I like your idea too. Fantasy X-Com where you controlled a guild of adventures/mercenaries would be very cool. There would be a lot of parts to the game… the fighting system in particular would be a make or break for the game, since if I’m reading this right, you’d spend a lot of time in that part of it.