Kelgray and Beyond

int game_engine(void) {

Video Game Ideas

Going back to school to study some real software development at SAIT and having trouble finding games that I’m interested in, I’ve been thinking a lot about different game ideas that are beyond the scope of what I would be able to create without a full company behind me.  Talking specifically about roleplaying games which happen to be my preferred genre, I’ve been thinking about the lack of good RPGs that are on the market today, and the holes that can be filled in that area.

One main realm that RPGs have yet to fill well is superheroes.  The closest we’ve come so far other than the MMO City Of Heroes and City Of Villains, but MMOs are real RPGs.  At least not in my opinion.  Don’t get me wrong, I got nothing against Massively Multiplayer online games, I just don’t think of them when I think of having a world that you actually have a significant impact on.  Besides, the sort of equalizing that is necessary to make different people who play a different amount of hours each week makes MMOs often very slow and tedious.  So a single-player, probably first person game that is focused on superheroes.

At first it seems like it would be difficult to do without it becoming an action game.  Spiderman 2 and 3 already cover the almost-rpg action game genre about as well as GTA does for driving games.  However, I think that it’s exactly the juxtaposition of that fact that could make the game great.  Kind of like The Tick was for action cartoons (even moreso the live action series).  It’s sort of looking on the other side of superherodom, the real life side where we see the heroes that aren’t so important, and the day to day lives that they lead.

I use The Tick as an example, though I think that it would be important for the game itself to not be based entirely on the series as the first rule of any good RPG is that you can make your own character, personality and all.  But imagine a next-gen RPG that takes place in The Tick’s world.  You’d have to do things like pay rent, maybe have a fling or two with other super-heroes.  You’d so some actual detective work (over the top Sherlock Holmes style of course) in order to find out where the bad guy is or what he’s up to.  You could use different skills to escape fiendish traps and foil evil plots.  Most importantly, you could start out as a sidekick, gain experience and items to level up your character, start solving crime on your own and possibly even gain your own sidekick (though I firmly believe that RPGs are best kept to one player so the sidekick should be an NPC, but that’s just me), and work towards many storylines and goals.

It would definitely have to be a complex system in order to make different characters with different powers equally playable, while at the same time making the game a different experience for each type of character you play.  However, with game companies reaching the sizes that they’re at now, and with the resources that they have available with current processing power and the abilities of the next-gen consoles, I think it’s entirely possible to make a cult-classic.  Unfortunately in order for that to happen, it would have to be done really well, which would mean having a major company backing the project, and unfortunately there are no major companies that are currently showing any real promise in the area of cRPGs.  Bethesda seems to be the only company that’s had any success in recent years with cRPGs.  Whether or not they could pull it off I’ll keep my nose out of for the sake of keeping the argument about it to a minimum, but regardless, it doesn’t seem to be the sort of game that they’d be interested in making.

Ah well.  Maybe by the time I’ve got my piece of paper that tells people that I can program there’ll be some new contenders on the market who’ll be willing to listen to my ideas.  There’s always hope.

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September 4, 2007 Posted by | Bethesda, Computer Programming, Games, programming, Roleplaying Games, RPG, Television, The Tick, TV, Videogames, xbox | 6 Comments