I’m working with a handful of people on a text-based game and playing with ideas for concept. It’ll most likely be short and mostly choice-based, though we are planning to go beyond a CYOA. We’ve been spitballing lots of ideas and I thought I’d get some feedback before we dive in.
Here are some of them:
Stealth game with decidedly non-traditional game bent (e.g. mildly OCD person breaks into his favorite cafe to rearrange four Mucha illustrations mounted in the wrong order.)
Two desperate parents hire a pro-social sociopath to reason with their sociopath child.
Stand-up comic uses Google Glass to manage hecklers until she gets too much information on mobster patrons.
A heist game in which success hinges on instructions given by the player to his/her team during the planning phase.
In the 1970’s New York, two closeted gay men stumble upon a Christmas party that never ends.
Secret agency dispatches contraception sniper to prevent dirtbags from reproducing.
An amnesiac detective in near-future Mumbai investigates the kidnapping of street children for use in illegal experiments aimed at ‘uploading’ human consciousness.
Two cops hunt a cryptid in Central Park.
Driving home for the holidays, college kid hits housecat and puts it in the trunk to deal with the corpse responsibly… until it becomes clear it isn’t dead.
Which ones appeal to you and why? Which ones don’t? I’m very curious to see what you all think.
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I think this one could be fun if it was unclear what exactly the kid had run down. Make the college kid a female for a more vulnerable protagonist, and play with the players urge to hold her out of harms way VS the players urge to have her help the wounded whatever-it-is.
Weird enough, I would play that. But don’t go all non-traditional on game mechanics, stealth games are cool as they are.
Isn’t that just a regular heist game? A great deal of planning and preparing plus a promise of a lot of things that could go wrong? Like Fiasco-level heists where you know it’s going to fail miserably and you have to have a plan B for your plan D.
So he opens the trunk and he sees… a cat! But it’s not just a cat, it’s ALIVE! And the cat runs away. Is it a big deal?
It’s not an idea, it’s the first half of it. What would happen next? Will the cat come back and take revenge on the kid? Will the kid have problems because he drives around with a cat corpse in his trunk?
I dunno, I think it doesn’t have to go that far. If he focused on the journey with the noises starting to come from the back… It’d be almost like a Stephen King short story.
In fact, that’s true of most of the stories. Follow them through and they become too much like real life and lose interest. What you have to do is choose which bit is the story you’re going to tell - and driving around, in an unwelcoming night, doing an unpleasant task, mostly ruminating, and then starting to hear sounds that shouldn’t be there… that might make for a short, atmosferic game.
As a mildly OCD person and unabashed straightener of crooked public art, I like the Mucha stealth game, but I think it would have better atmosphere & higher stakes if you were doing this while the cafe was open (waiting for servers to go into the kitchen, subtly moving vases of flowers to block the view, etc.)