This weeks game idea has been inspired by the Game Career Guide challenge “Marketing Bullets“, where you had to submit three selling points to be put on the back of the retail box for a traditional WWII FPS. As I tried to differentiate the game from competing products (that was what the challenge asked for) I throught that it’d be cool when the soldier we control is daydreaming when he travels through the environment or rests at certain spots in the game world. The idea came from movies like Jacob’s Ladder and The Thin Red Line, in which the heroes involved in the war are actually questioning human nature, violence and war and see visions during the process which can be both very poetic and very scary. This also comes a bit close to the first of the Max Payne series, in which our character had comicbook-style visions that were explaining the backstory and plots in the game, while also trying to deepen the character. However in this my idea, I rather want to create a feel that is close to the stream of consciousness technique in literature: So I want cutscenes to be superimposed onto the actual game screen in sections of the game where the player is not involved in combat. Joining a group of soldiers that sit in a corner, staring at the sky or other “trigger frames” would start the daydreams and continue them until the player “wakes” himself by moving the mouse. The visions could vary, but they would be related to a puzzle that the soldier tries to solve: Maybe they will give clues about the shocking truth that the character we play was used in a military experiment without his consent and that he is actually already dead, and that all that he is playing through as he tries to solve the puzzle are his last visions as he is trying to be saved in a hospital by surgeons… without success though… as it is the case in Jacob’s Ladder.
Well, this weeks game idea is, as you see, not very structured. It just tries to present a feature that could help distinguish a WWII FPS from the rest of the competition. And maybe another difference is that it is not really pro-war, although it engages you into combat.
I think I will give the idea the title Jacob’s Ladder for now.