Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .

My Video Game Idea That Takes Place on An Island

Saturday, June 07, 2014

this entry brought to you by tool, "h"

I think one of the primary problems with video games is that, in one form or another, even if you're in first person or third person, you generally solve all your problems by shooting them. I don't think that there's anything necessarily wrong with this, but once you've played a certain amount of games, the actions available to you start to seem limited. Something is going to be antagonistic towards you, and you will shoot it, or the game will not progress. And its not that I want to get rid of the shooting altogether, its that I want a video game that is more complex than "press the R trigger to win".

The game begins with the player character landing on an island. Maybe its a traditional jungle, maybe its a forest, maybe its an alien world. The point is it's open, and you can go anywhere, like in Far Cry. On the island there exists a monster, something cunning and will hunt you, like the Alien, or a Velociraptor. There are 25 of them that you have to hunt down and kill. Each one requires exactly five shots to the head to kill. You start the game with exactly 125 bullets, and you will never get any more. Now obviously if you shoot the monster but miss the head you can still kill it, but it will take more bullets. This means unless you have 100 percent accuracy, it will be completely impossible to shoot all of them. There are also smaller, much easier animals to kill that will wander around the island, and any bullets that you waste on them also means one less of the monster you'll be able to kill.

So what that leaves you with is trapping. The game would have an intuitive, easy to use trap making system, where you could perhaps gather resources and make different kinds of traps. There might be simple systems to attach things to trees, and physics systems to make things fall. Maybe you could, for example, build a simple damn at the top of a hill and pile rocks there, and lure a monster there and drop the rocks on it. Things like that. You will have to worry about where the wind is blowing, as your smell will carry down hill, and your character will need to eat at least once a day to maintain stamina. But you can also use this to your advantage, by setting up a trap, killing one of the lesser animals you would use for food, and set the carcass where you would want to lure the monster and set off the trap.

I've had this idea for years, and with the recent surge in survival games lately on Steam that have come since Minecraft, I think more and more that this game could work. Perhaps the biggest boost in confidence with the game, however, was Bioshock, which had the Big Daddies, a giant hulking monster that there were a finite amount of. At the end of the game you could pretty much hold your own against one (although they were still a problem when there were multiples), and at the beginning they meant one thing: run, because they were beasts that would demolish you without effort. But there was a period in the middle where you got powerful enough to fight them, but only by the skin of your teeth. I remember the first time I managed to kill one of them. I had to throw down a series of trip wires set to explode, hide on top of a table, throw electricity into a pool of water I knew her would stand on, and still had to empty my gun on it, barely surviving, and when it finally toppled over, the exhilaration was immense. The second time I fought one I hadn't set up traps, but relied on spur of the moment circumstances, making it fight other bad guys and setting them all against one another and taking shots as I threw whatever I could at everything.

This is what I want the entire game to be like. I want a situation where the gamer has just started playing the game and is trying to get a feel of things when he suddenly gets surprised and has to unload on the monster, killing it quickly because it only takes a handful of shots, only to realize later the consequences of those wasted bullets. I like the idea of someone carefully setting up traps and killing one and bursting with enthusiasm, only to realize there was a second one he didn't know was there and has react quickly. I would love to see Youtube videos of players in the late game, only six or seven bullets left but five monsters still out there, and hearing him or her take stock and say, okay, how doi I do this?

I think one of the most interesting aspects to a game like this is most players will dispatch the monsters with a combination of traps and shooting to death, but I love the idea that there will be players who try to become sharp enough shooters that they don't miss a single shot and kill every single one of them using only guns, and there will be people who want to go through the game killing every single one without firing a single shot. I don't necessarily need a game to be completely nonviolent to be different enough, but I think adding to the vocabulary to how you can handle any situation will really make games more interesting, and its been fun seeing games, over the years, at least in the indie scene, trend more and more in this direction.

with love from CRS @ 3:33 PM 


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