Game Idea #22

This week’s game idea was inspired by a debate on torture in games  on Raph Koster’s blog. I want to bring the player to a point where she is left alone with the heavy burden of a moral dilemma.  Here is…

Game Idea #22

Carcass

Carcass is an adventure game in which you are in the shoes of an Amnesty International volunteer who is sent to New Orleans to research a torture case in which a group of local  policemen are accussed to have mishandled and tortured a group of mostly black civilians. Your goal in the game is to investigate the case and bring those who are responsible in front of law and hopefully behind iron bars. 

There are a variety of puzzles and interconnected events that give you clues about how things happened and who was responsible for the violent acts. In the process, you become subject to hostile action yourself. You receive anonymous letters, you find your hotel room broken in and chased by cars etc. But there is more: some of your eyewitnesses will change their statements, official papers will get lost etc. You will enage into a variety of deeply touching and disturbing conversations with officials, eyewitnesses, local inhabitants, victims and the accussed.

The game ends at the point where there is no doubt that those accused have tortured the victims. All you need is a confession, someone to witness against them. But the spiral of silence can’t be broken…  Only a confession of those responsible will get them behind iron bars.

In the final shot/cutscene your avatar will come close-up to the camera and stares at you while the guilty but untouchables are sitting in the interrogation room in the background. Your avatar then exits the frame and you are left watching the guilty ones.

Game Idea #21

Game Idea #21 is about Diaphainein, a Cloud City. It is one of the visions I maintain about my favorite story in Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities”, the story about the portable city Sophronia. I imagine Diaphaeinein as a nomadic city, a wandering star, a cloud city that moves with the winds and hides  behind clouds to protect itself from the eyes of  too ambitious earthlings.

To connect this idea to another novel of Italo Calvino: I also imagine Diaphainein as the final destination of Cosimo, the hero in Il Barone Rampante.

Anyway, now let the game speak for itself. Here comes:

Game Idea #21:

Diaphainein

Backstory

The next time when you look up to the sky, be patient and look deep into the clouds. After a while your eyes will see in a way they haven’t seen before. Then you will notice a big cloud within the clouds. It has a slightly different shade and shape. Very gently this different cloud will come to the foreground. Then you will suddenly see the white ropes and white baskets attached to it. And the big white magnificient balloons… Ah, there it is! You see it now: Yes, this is Diaphainein. Loft like an ocean of cotton it is. Enjoy this moment in which it reveals its beauty to you; close your eyes, carve this image into your memory. Imagine yourself up there, yes, look down to the slowly travelling fields and rivers below. Feel the wind in your hair, greet the birds on their way to the South. Now open your eyes and look at it again… Ha! It’s gone. There the clouds travel along with the busy winds, carrying away with them the most amazing of secrets. No, don’t even try. Noone will believe you.

Gameplay

In Diaphainein you are the captain and major of a cloud city. Your goal is the steer your city safely through the skies through valleys and over mountains and oceans without exposing it to the ambitious earthlings that are a threat to your peaceful lifestyle. In the process you must collect resources, protect yourself from storms, grow the size of your population and city, build new housing units, public spaces, and most important, maintain your altitude.

The game ends when Diaphainein touches the ground or is shot down by evil earthlings because it was exposed to them.

A Different  Scenario

“It was a wonderful afternoon. I ran through fields, climbed on trees, walked through shallow waters. I played with everything I could find: Sand, mud, stones, roots, grass. Soil; red soil, brown soil, black soil. Earth was so rich.

Finally I laid on the gentle ground of the greenest of clearings and watched the clouds passing by. “How different they look from here I thought”, and fell into a sweet sleep. In my dream I saw Diaphainein floating through the air above me. It filled my heart with bliss and joy to imagine it this way.

When I woke up, the sun was almost sinking. “It’s late!” I heard myself saying. The way these words came out of my mouth -almost automatically- made me even more anxious. I ran the whole way back to the spot where we had anchored. And when I finally arrived there and looked up to the sky, all I saw were clouds. Big white clouds.  My city was gone. Diaphainein had taken off without me.”

 

Game Idea #20

Fine! I arrived at game idea #20. Not bad I must say. Six more ideas and half of the task will be accomplished.

This week’s game idea is an adaptation of Italo Calvino’s Il Barone Rampante. Read on.

Game Idea #20

Trees

In Trees you are in the role of a 18th century baron who, after a heartbreaking family issue, decides to spend the rest of his life up on trees. The ultimate goal of the game is to create the biggest possible network of trees to ensure that you can continue with your unusual lifestyle.

The game starts in a small village in Italy. After an argument with your father, you climb up a tree and say that you never touch the ground again. Everyone’s laughing at you, but after a few weeks they start to understand that you were serious. You create yourself a habitat on trees and as you discover your new world you meet interesting people such as an outlaw, a bohemian countess, gypsies, hunters etc.

One of your goals is to find new tree-routes that allow you to travel over huge distances. Sometimes you need to find seeds for types of trees that grow fast so that you can bridge gaps between forrests. Each time you connect to a new isles of trees, you also unlock new encounters with new characters. You will aid the Robin Hoods of your time, fall in love with gypsies, and try to win the heart of the countess so that she decides to come up to trees and live with you. 

The game ends if you touch the ground for any reason.

Game Idea #19

Game Idea #19

Paradice

Paradice is an arcade game about a snowman who wants to reach the Antarctica to find eternal peace.

The game consists of several levels in which the player must collect a  number of snowballs and other items without being caught by a group of humans that chase him with shovels. This is a tricky task, not just because the shovelers co-operate in chasing the snowman, but also because as time passes by, the sun comes up and it gets hotter, causing our snowman to melt down. The snowman will be defeated if he melts down before accomplishing his goal (or if he gets caught by one of the shovelers). However, power-ups will reverse the situation and freeze the shovelers and once our snowman catches them, they are sent back home in front of a chauminee, where it will take some time until they normalize and come back to chase him.

Paradice is a simple game of the Pacman tradition and it is supposed to help us to kill a few minutes inbetween work to get a moment of relief.

Game Idea #18

This weeks idea is reserved to one of the heroes of my childhood: Tarzan. I was lucky enough to watch almost all of the movies which featured Johnny Weissmüller as the legendary king of the jungle. Maybe the time has come to make a game for this character with the signature cry! Here comes…

"COMMUNICAAAATIOOON!!"

"COMMUNICAAAATIOOOON!!!"

Game Idea # 18

Tarzan

Tarzan is a TPS in the settings of an African jungle. You control Tarzan, the king of the jungle, and protect your family (your wife Jane, + your son and daughter), the natives and all the animals from the evil intruders who dared to disturb the peace of your kingdom. Your ultimate goal is to drive them out and restore the order of the jungle.

Next to all typical types of moves in a TPS (think of Lara Croft, Spiderman or Max Payne), in Tarzan you can move your character quickly trough the jungle by using rope-like plants or by swinging from tree-branch to tree-branch. These are tactical elements which give you an advantage over your enemies which rather move on the ground of the jungle. Since you are Tarzan, a human raised by animals, you also have psionic powers which enable you to control animals and let them carry out certain actions. You will make use of the abilities of birds, mammals or reptiles which will all be of help to you as you must solve certain puzzles while you try to beat the intruders.

Tarzan is a world made up of myth and truth, legend and nature, fantasy and reality. You will acrobatic action and pictoresque peace. You battle cry will put its mark onto the jungle.

 

Game Idea #17

This week’s game idea is right on time! I went for a topic that always lies at my heart: Books! Here comes…

Game Idea #17

Bookworms

Bookworms is a library management simulation. You start as the new director of a small municipality library. Your goal is to develope the library into an important cultural center famous for its collections and events that attracts people from all ages, genders, nations and occupations.

As the director one of your primary duties is to keep the basic services in tact. On the other hand, you try to expand your services wisely in order to gain more financial support from the government. This requires an understanding and control of a certain growth cycle: The more money the library receives, the more different services it can offer and attract new user profiles. And the more new users the library attracts, the more support it receives from state and municipality.

The library can be expanded in two ways: physical space and content/services. New space will be needed for new sections in the library in which new collections will be introduced. But expansion might also be for conference rooms, bistros, or more restrooms. Also inner decoration is one of the issues to be dealt with. Introduction of wireless internet, DVD collections, cultural events, exhibitions etc are all activities that will contibute to the reputation and overall number of visitors of the library. Finally, taking parts in auctions and bidding for rare pieces to add them to your collection will be the cherry on top of the icecream.

Bookworms is for those who don’t want to chose between books and games! Take a library and turn it into a dream space of the curious and learners, be it students or famous writers!

 

Game Idea #16

Game Idea #16 arrives four days late :(  Somehow I got used to do things in an irregular manner, don’t you think so? I must get this under control… I’ll hope to get things back on track this Sunday. Anyway, her comes…

Game Idea #16

Sim Karting

Sim Karting is a tycoon game in which you construct and run karting pists. You start by chosing a location from certain spots around the world and build up your karting pist gradually into a massive entertainment park.

Sim Karting enables you to modify terrain, add or remove buildings, lay and modify tracks, and specify the range of a variety of services like the type of karts, drinks and food that are available. Your goal in the game is twofold: On one hand you try to raise the number of the members of your karting club; on the other hand you try to turn it into a place that has a standart high enough as to be chosen as an official racing pist for the International Karting Federation. Furthermore, its possible that you participate into a karting tournament on a pist that you have created yourself.

Sim Karting is fun because it combines many challenges and present to you a game in which you can just sit and watch the world that you’ve created or become part of the action in cool races at spots all around the world.