Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Game Brainstorming: Trading Card Game

I suppose it is time for me to come out of the closet, and I might as well make my confessions on my blog. It is time for me to admit publicly that I have started playing Magic the Gathering. I always envisioned this type of game as too "geeky" for me, but in all honesty, I kind of enjoy it! But, the game tends to be dominated by men. And with good reason. The game has very masculine game play. It is all about killing your enemy as quickly as you can.

Magic the Gathering: Boros Reckoner
I think it would be enjoyable to build an online game with trading card mechanics that would appeal to the gals. It would be a sort of...parody game, where the goal is to make your opponent lose their "cool points" rather than "life points." Some of the traits that could be included might be "bitchiness" and "fierceness," while game mechanics such as "battalion" (where you get extra abilities for attacking with multiple creatures) could be replaced with "entourage." Well, it might not be the best idea around, but it could be fun. Besides, doesn't this image look like a PMS-storm!?

Magic the Gathering: Blustersquall

Game Brainstorming: Pinball

I have always loved playing pinball. I remember when Star Wars, Episode One came out, there was a pinball machine at our theater that had a holographic image in the back of the machine that was interactive based upon ball movement, and would show cut scenes.

I also remember as a child playing Pinball Quest on the NES. For me, the thing that made this game memorable was that it had different levels, and play progressed. It was more and more difficult to pass through each level.

If I were to design my ultimate pinball game, it would definitely have different levels. As you accumulate points, you could purchase or earn upgrades, such as bumpers that prevent your ball from leaving the table. There would be challenges, such as barricades you have to destroy by bumping into them over and over, enemy objects that shoot at your flippers and ball, vortexes that suck your ball in, bosses you have to destroy, dead ends, and wormholes that jump you from level to level. Eek this sounds like such a fun game to me!

I also would like to eventually turn it into a multiplayer game, where each player sits at their own computer, and the table is designed with two ends, kind of like an air hockey table. The physics could get...interesting, but the players could hit targets that destroy their opponent's flippers, and other targets that boost their own flipper defense. What do you think? Would you like to play a round or two of battle pinball against your gamer buddies?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Game Brainstorming: Adventure Game

When I was first introduced to "video games," I started by playing this fantastic little game called "Apple Adventure." It was a text-based adventure game, where the user interacted with the computer by typing commands, and the computer would then narrate the story as the user explored the world around.

Apple Adventure
Later, I got into several other adventure games, such as the "Escape the Room" games, as well as "Myst." One of my most recent favorites was "Tiny Bang Story" by Colibri Games. I love the way it combines world exploration with object hunting and puzzle solving. 

Tiny Bang Story
In drawing upon some of these as inspiration, last year I came up with the idea to have a word-based adventure game similar to "Apple Adventure," but utilize voice recognition instead of typing. This would allow the user to "play" such a game while driving. Imagine how much fun road trips could be!

Oculus Rift
More recently, though, with the invention of the Oculus Rift, I think this could be taken to a much higher level of gameplay. The story could begin similarly, with nothing showing on the screen, the story narrated to you as you interact verbally with the technology, giving commands to "explore" the area until you are able to light the scene. Once the visual dynamic kicks in, the game takes off! Exploration because multi-sensory. You can now walk around and find things to use along your journey. When combined with a gameplay glove (do these exist yet?), there could be things like a combination lock that you actually twist and turn to open, weapons you have to find to fight potential enemies, maybe directions to create some witches' brew...the ideas keep coming. What do you think, does an interactive adventure game hold any intrigue for you?