Brainstorm with me!


#1

I’m coming close to finishing my first game, Memento Mori. I’m about 75% done with it, and I should be completely finished by the end of the year (hopefully). I’m thinking about what I do next. I have broad ideas of what kind of game I want to make, but I can’t narrow it down. So I’m posting here in hopes that other creative minds will tell me more about what they want to see and what sounds promising. Here’s what I’ve got in mind!

  • Memento Mori was horror, and I want to diversify, so that counts horror out.
  • I love sci-fi and cyberpunk. One of the settings I’m looking at is the near future, a decade or so after modern times.
  • Loads of games deal with fantasy, and I’d prefer doing something new. Fantasy isn’t my cup of tea.
  • I would love to come back to the open-ended, exploratory stuff I did with Memento Mori.
  • Something with factions, allegiances, and a divergent storyline. The plot of Memento Mori was broadly fixed, and the main choices are in the details and how you choose to do things. This time, I’d love to make the storyline shake up more based on your choices.

Tell me, what other kind of games would you like to play? What ideas do you have?


#2

We’re apparently lacking in realistic games with no fantastical/sci-fi elements to them. Yet there’s a number of people who ask for those sorts of games.

So I’ll first say, have you considered setting your next game in the present day instead of in the near future?

BUT! I’ll admit, I don’t like realistic games… erm okay that’s a lie. I do kind of like them. BUT sci-fi/cyber-punk is far, far more appealing to me. I think if it’s something you love that’s what you should write. Are you thinking dystopian? Apocalypse? Post-apocalyptic? Space-based? Robots! Aliens? Some other form of sci-fi?


#3

Check the email I sent you mate.


#4

… actually, a game that’s the best of both worlds could work. dealing with a realistic theme but in a sci-fi setting (which is the part of cyberpunk that appeals most to me anyway), something like that! i think that could be fantastic. the caravaneer series, while not interactive fiction, was part fairly realistic travelling business simulator and part rpg, set in the future. it doesn’t need to be that… dry (it wasn’t boring, but the subject matter is unappealing to many, i imagine) of course, but it’s an example that has elements of what we’re talking about.


#5

(post withdrawn by author, will be automatically deleted in 24 hours unless flagged)


#6

Thinking about your next project is a death sentence to your current one.


#7

@KingOfLosing I really don’t think that’s the sort of suggestions you should be making for games.

While I do believe that games should be able to cover any subjects that other forms of literature do, I don’t think you can just casually suggest topics of suicide. It feels thoughtless Which isn’t to say that it’s not a game that you yourself shouldn’t write, if you’re so inclined. Just don’t go suggesting it to others.


#8

I’ve had a fairly happy and sheltered life so I think it would just be disrespectful to people who have actually suffered such tragedy to presume how they would deal with it.

I was thinking something like Inception, Elysium, In Time, Ex Machina … all movies that start in a world very similar to where we are now, and yet with one drastically different change. That’s what I mean by near future - a semi-plausible world.


#9

Aha! Got you. I’ve only seen two out of the four on that list.

A bit like Choice of Robots too then?

So do you have any ideas of what your one change/gimmick will be? What sort of themes interest you?

How do you feel about Gameshows of DEATH??? Like Battle Royale, Hunger Games, The Running Man (movie) etc?


#10

I haven’t played CoR so I don’t know, but maybe. I don’t know, really. I haven’t thought too much about this next project, so I’m not particular on anything. I would like to do a sort of detective story - a sci-fi murder mystery would be very cool.

As for the ‘fight to the death’ idea, I think most people would immediately accuse me of ripping off THG, since Battle Royale is hardly well known and The Running Man is almost 30 years old.


#11

I liked Minority Report, with its “what if you could predict crimes before they happen, would it be ethical to arrest people for the crimes they hadn’t committed yet?”

So! Now you’ve the question of who is your detective hunting down? Does the first murder they investigate draw them into a grand conspiracy, in which they must then choose sides?

Bladerunner, incidentally, one of my favourite games. I loved the investigative work, loved how you could choose your side and how that impacted the endings.


#12

Not to get too metaphysical, but how about a story set inside the video-game of the future? A super-involved MMO where you use virtual reality gear to move around and play various different games in roughly the same world-space, but splice it with stuff happening in the real world for balance?

That’s not a great explanation, let me try again…

Imagine technology moving forward some thirty years, TVs are about as good as they can get right now, so realistically the next big step is VR or something similar, right? MMOs are popular right now because they let players live in a different world filled with people who are alive and reactive. Games like EVE Online and Second Life take it a step further, establishing virtual economies and player-created content to allow human beings to live in a way the real world could never allow. Extrapolate that technology and in a few decades you have the ultimate evolution of the MMO. Imagine playing a game where you drop into a sci-fi shoot-em-up, ranging across a battle-scarred world. You get bored, so you open up your menu and call for a lift. You get picked up by a spaceship and asked what you want to do now. You decide you feel like a fantasy game, so the spaceship flies you to another planet, you change into your fantasy account and suddenly you’re seamlessly in a whole new game. As the spaceship took you to your destination, you realized there were other ships fighting, trading, building stations along the route. All the different types of videogame there could be have been combined into one enormous game.

This game might have more than a billion regular users, as it would be a one-stop shop for every possible type of photo-realistic gaming entertainment that would leave every other developer in the dust. People would spend most of their lives plugged into the game, companies would run conference calls on asteroids orbiting an artificial gas giant, business owners would make hundreds of millions trading virtual goods and buffs. It would be an economic force like no other, a true 21st Century Utopian vision.

You would play a regular user, just enjoying him/herself making a simple living trading virtual stocks you win from playing the games with your team.

The plot?

One day, one of your team-mates receives a mysterious mail that he assumes to be spam, he opens it and his avatar seems to fizzle and explode right before your eyes. You think nothing more of it until you log out and try to contact him. You learn he was found dead in his home shortly after he opened that email.

Someone has found out how to kill people remotely.

Nobody will believe some snot-nosed gamer punk.

Its up to you and your crew to get to the bottom of an international conspiracy that could destroy the entire (virtual) world.

… Or whatever…


#13

@FairyGodfeather the trope of a protagonist quickly getting drawn into something bigger than them is something I enjoy. This idea does sound promising. Yay! I now have a base for the story: a talented detective over their head, uncovering a massive conspiracy. Now to build off that …

@Moreau I understand exactly what you mean … and funnily enough, I had a very similar idea once upon a time. A sort of ‘virtual space’ RPG where the protagonist is a player who gets ‘locked into’ the game, with a few others, and they have to escape the game before the servers reboot, erasing their data permanently. The problem with that is it’s better suited to a traditional book than a gamebook …


#14

I just finished watching The World’s End and was brought to mind of the what you said about the world similar to ours, but with one major change.

Your premise sounds fun. Now I’m wondering what the conspiracy is going to be.

@Moreau You should do your idea! I’m sure people would love it.


#15

Ugh.

Fiiiine… I’ll do it after dinner…


#16

Help me out here guys. I have a stat dependent on the player’s corruption level (as in, choosing to accept bribes, etc), but I’m not sure what to call it without implying the player is ‘wrong’ for having a different set of morals. I’m going with clean/corrupt right now, but do any of you have a better idea?


#17

instead of “corrupt” why not shady?, or you could go with something like “a bent cop” vs “straight cop” or ethical vs unethical, as it might not be “bad” to take a bribes but it unethical for a cop. for instance you could be the hard bitten shady cop that get the job done, not matter the rules compared to the good straight cop that almost caught the “bad” guys.


#18

Something like By-the-book and Pragmatic? Pragmatism would be a polite way of describing someone morally flexible enough to take bribes, I guess.

Perhaps just a morality meter with Rigid at one end and Flexible at the other?

Teleological Ethics versus Ontological Ethics?


#19

I already have idealistic vs pragmatic, but I want to detach that from morality. I think I might just go with clean/shady.


#20

How did you detach Idealism from morality?