Game Idea #49

This time my game idea is about using the pages of a book to create a murder mystery puzzle in which the readers can play the role of detectives and jury members. Here is…


Whodunit? is a turn-based book reading game in which 2-6 players try to solve a murder mystery by being both detectives and jury members at the court.

Whodunit? comes in the form of a unbound book. Of a total of 52 pages, 5 pages per player are distributed at the start of the game.

All players are given some time to read the pages they received at game start.

In every round a player must then read the content of at least one page in his possession. This page is then discarded and the player who read it draws a new page from the deck.

Players can make a guess in regard to the murderer at any time, but this player must then explain in detail how he came to his conlusion by providing the evidence he collected. The other players act as a jury and decide whether they agree to a death penalty for the accused person.

They can then check whether they were right in their decision.

Game Idea #48

The Final Cut

In The Final Cut, you play an actor who is performing on a film set. Your goal is to deliver the required acting performances in as little “takes” as possible. If you forget the script for the particular scene or perform bad for any other reason, the director asks you to perform again, so long until he gets the shot he desires. Unless you perform in all scenes as is being demanded of you, the film remains incomplete.

The game ends when a) the crew runs out of raw film, b) the shooting schedule is violated (there is a limited number of shots that can be made per day), or c) when all scenes are completed within time and raw film constraints.

Your acting performance will be evaluated based on a “cutting ratio”, that is, the amount of shots you wasted with your bad performances compared to the minimum number of shots that were required to complete the film.

The interesting thing about The Final Cut as a game is that it points out the similarities between film-making and successfully completing a sequence of actions in a game. Whereas in a game like Medal of Honour: Allied Assault, failure sends us back to the previous save point until we succeed; upon failure in a film shooting, the director asks us to perform again, until he gets what he wants. This makes me think that we can liken the repetitious gameplay in certain games to the shooting action on a film set.

One thing that is highlighted through this, is the wrong idea of many game scholars in regard to the “linearity” of movies. It becomes apparent that it takes a lot of effort from a film crew to achieve what game scholars criticize as linearity. During shooting, the film is as undecided as a game. The second thing that is highlighted is the opposite: that games may look quite undecided, but that in a lot of them, we re-play in order to make possible (cut together) an “ideal story”. To me this is an important blurring of lines which renders the divide between games and narratives ineffective.

Game Idea #47

Time for a new game idea! My new game idea is inspired by a discussion on the nature of images and language. Letters are often considered as two-dimensional graphical elements, not capable of three-dimensionality. On the other hand, they are seen as a different representative system, and not associated with systems of visual representation, although they use the same basic graphical elements such as lines, dots, planes and even volumes. Therefore I like the idea to make a text adventure whose world is visually constructed through letters and words, a world that maintains the illusion of depth and can be navigated, something that uses in its representation of its world the words that are associated with objects, rather than depicting the objects themselves.

Here comes..

This is not a Word

This is not a Word is a “text-world” adventure. Its world is visually represented by letters, words and sentences that are discernible as objects. The way in which these letter-objects are displayed, changes, as we approach such object. For example if we see a “tree” and approach it, we start to identify the many “branches”, and if we get closer we see its “leaves”. Or we see a “river” in a distance, and as we approach it, we see the “water” flow, and the “fish” in it.


By eliminating from or adding to the world certain letters, the way we perceive the environment changes, since without certain letters, certain “objects” can’t exist.

The game makes use of color, font families and other aesthetic parameters of typography.

The title “This is not a Word” is intented to be a pun on “This is not a World“, since I want to draw attention to the “artifical” character of any type of representation. It is also a reference to Magritte’s series of paintings titled “This is not a Pipe”, which approached the question of representation from the “other end”, yet being about the relation between images and language.

The game will be available in several languages, including dead ones. Having the game in several languages is a funny aspect, because it somehow seems not to make sense at all, but then I believe that it makes a difference because we also would look at different visual styles of representation and not merely of objects that have a same shape regardless of what languages have been used to give them their shapes.  And I’m very intrigued by the idea to use dead languages, especialy cuneiform. I somehow like the idea to see people recognize letters and words of dead languages as objects rather than text, because it seems to show how the representative values of certain combinations of lines and dots can shift culturally and historically, questioning our ways of seeing and the way cultures maintain or “forget” about distinctions that decide whether graphical elements qualify as “text” or “visual representation”. A Quipu version that uses “real” threads would be also highly interesting to use.

If we lose all letters in the game, what would we see? The world “as it is”, or “nothing”?

Game Idea #46

After some time, I’ve come up with a new game idea. This time it is an experimental game about perspective… here it comes:

Game Idea #46


This multiplayer online game starts by presenting an object or human according to rules of classic perspective. However, as more players join the game, the number of vantage points multiplies and starts to “deform” the object/human that the individual player sees. Stylewise, the object/human starts to turn into some sort of cubist painting. As players navigate around the object/human, the changes in the vantage points are reflected onto the representation of both object/human and environment, which turns gameplay into the shaping of an interactive cubist sculpture-world that morphs in real-time.

The game has two experimental goals: On one hand, it is a technological experiment, challenging the capacities of current game engines and graphics programmers; on the other hand it is an experiment on reception, challenging the ways in which players “view” 3D representations, and their notion of interaction.

Game Idea #44

After several months of silence, here come a new game idea. This time I want to present an idea that gradually reveals to the player that the his identity and the world he believes to be real is only a construction. The goal of the game is to create an experience ala the feature film The Truman Show, where the character discovers that everyone around him just poses to animate a world that is basically invented for an audience. Here comes

Game Idea #44

The Truman Show

The Truman Show is the code-name for a game in which we control a character that gradually realizes that his own identity and the characters/environmental setting that he is surrounded with are not his real life but that they are constructed to entertain an online gaming audience. Eventually, the character will seek for the exit from this world to find out who he really is.

At the end, our character will find the data room of this universe. As he deletes the files, the world will be stripped of its textures, NPC’s will turn to poligons, and everything will turn into grey planes and volumes. At the end, our character remains completely alone on a dark screen. He has then the option to dissect himself as well.

Another ending would enable him to turn on everything that he deleted and go back to continue the live the lie, for he has no other life.

I imagine a scene in which the character realizes that he is controlled by the player. He will try to unplug the connector at the back of his neck and the player will “feel” the character through his controller shaking. Once the character is unplugged he will walk violently onto the screen that seperates him from us and try to smash it and swear at us. He will then runaway until he’s being caught by an “agent” and “repaired”.

Game Idea #43

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a game idea. So it was about time to come up with something new. Here comes…

Game Idea #43

The Hand

The Hand is an experimental game that aims to raise questions about choice and authorship in video games.

The player finds herself as an avatar in an open world setting with a third person POV. She can choose items from her inventory to wear or to carry in her hands, she can pick up objects from her environment, she can walk around and explore buildings and space, she can approach NPCs and talk to them etc etc.

However, soon it will be understood that there is another “Will” present in the game: A huge hand, intervening by entering the screen from above if it doesn’t like the decisions the player makes.

The hand would push the avatar around in order to tell her to move on or to make her move into a certain direction, it would “adjust” the avatar to the track it envisioned the player to take, it would deny certain directions completely by blocking the way or it would grab the avatar and place it onto a certain spot in the game world.

But that’s not all: the hand would take away certain items from the avatar’s hand and put them back into the inventory, it would place other items into her hand, it would put back items that the avatar picked up from the environment and shoo the avatar if she continues to pick the same item again. It would get angry if we talk to NPC’s that it doesn’t like and shut our mouth so that the NPC can’t understand what we are saying.

Finally, if the player insists on doing what the hand doesn’t want her to do, she would simply “grab the controller” and move along the avatar by herself for a while. During the period in which the player is stripped from control, she could however “promise” not to do it again and with a bit of begging get back controls. If she fails to keep her promise though, the Hand would keep the controller for longer periods the next time or simply decide that it doesn’t want to play with us any longer.

My Latest Article Up At GDAM: An Advertising Approach to High Concept Pitching

You can read my latest article on High Concept pitching at Game Design Aspect of the Month (GDAM). The article will be published in two parts, so don’t forget to check back in a few days to read the second part.

Btw, GDAM is still looking for writers who would like to contribute a short (500-1000 words) article about the topic.

There is also just one day left to announce the topic for January, so stay tuned!

Game Idea #42

You will remember that I failed from my self-imposed challenge of coming up with 52 Game Ideas within a year. However, my decision was to keep going and add new ideas to the list as they come. After a quite long break, here is finally a new game idea. Enjoy!

Game Idea #42

We Built This City (WBTC)

WBTC is a city and road construction set that can be used to create a simulated city environment that can host a variety of games simultaneously.

Urban Racing Boardgame Prototype_2

Sample Mission Brief for a class of up to 30 students:

Form groups of up to six players. Use the WBTC set and any material of your choice to build a city around a certain theme (China, ghosts, lunar city, mafia, film festival etc…). Connect the cities to each other when their design is finished to have a group of city districts, however limit players access to the districts of their friends. Play a racing or exploration game with a reputation system in which for each new level of reputation a player’s freedom of travelling expands into a new city district. The player who finishes the quests in all city districts wins the game.

Urban Racing Boardgame Prototype_detail_2

Urban Racing Boardgame Prototype_detail_3

Game Idea #41

Game Idea #41


In Parachutes, your goal is to perform one of the roles in an combined effort to form a figure with a group of fellow parachuters during your free fall. Your goal is to get into position, connect, and disband without causing a disaster (like failing to come into position and connect, disband orderly, and open the parachute in time and safely.

After each new figure, a new, more complicated one will be unlocked, with more fellows, lower altitude (lesser time), windy conditions and difficult locations like rock walls etc.

Game Idea #40

This is a game about fashion design which we were thinking about years ago with a little friend of mine who dreamt in those days that she’ll be a fashion designer when she grew up one day… Here comes…

Game Idea #40


In Catwalk you are a fashion designer that must create new pieces four times during a year, to show off at the important seasonal fashion shows. You are deciding the style and color, the hair and make-up style, the accessories and what not. Last but not least, you chose the models who will pose with your close and do the catwalk.

Depending on the like or dislike of the fashionistas, the stars and the fashionista, you will start to make money that you can spend on research for new textiles, fabric, processing technologies, styles, models etc. Will finally a Hollywood star appear with one of your outfits at the Oscar Ceremonies?