Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Games I Desire to Bring into Existence: An Aging Hero

As progress on Reconstructing S31 continues smoothly, I would like to use today's post to share an interesting idea I had recently. On my long drive to "Camp Game" I spend most of my time on the freeway dangerously daydreaming rather than paying attention to what is happening around me (I am just that good) and this time spent has proven to yield interesting ideas. Basically, I am interested in a game who's main character starts out as a young child and grows throughout the game until he faces death in his old age. While I am sure this has been done before (Jason Rohrer's Passage is the example that comes to mind, but that game is of a much smaller scope than what I am imagining), I believe the way I want to present the concept is unique. It would be used in a long game, maybe around 50-60 hours of length (I picture an RPG in my mind currently, but the idea is genre neutral for the most part).

The really interesting thing is this; pace the game so that in the beginning the player feels the joyful youthfulness and curiousness of the main character as they are both new to the mechanics of the game and all sorts of opportunities seem possible. But as the main character ages and the player gets used to and more accustomed to the intricacies of the game they both start to share their jadedness. Soon the player starts to see the game as a cold, deterministic set of mechanics as the main character struggles with doubts and the evils found within his world. I also think that a story that spans the entirety of a person's life would fit well within the time frame most games present (+10-30 hours). Regardless of the story, however, relating the main character to the player in a parallel manner such as this could lead to some interesting design decisions.

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