When I was about 10 years old, I decided that I wanted to be a game designer. That both has and hasn’t happened. It has in that I have started a lot of ideas on RPG Maker, but they’ve never come to fruition. It hasn’t in that I’m hardly what you would call even an indie developer. All the same, I often come up with ideas for games and since I’ve already mentioned a couple before, I figured I’d drop 5 rapid fire ideas out there…right now.
I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say games that make fun of school shootings are vile. However, I also don’t believe there’s ever been a game that has tastefully attempted to recreate one either. This would be High Pressure’s goal, a game told from multiple viewpoints of a high school shooting/hostage situation.
I figure some of the viewpoints can include things like first scene responders, different students, teachers, and even the gunmen themselves as they could tell an interweaving tale of bullying and rejection leading up to the eventual snapping, the incident itself, and the fallout, focusing on much more than just the shooters themselves and possibly even moving on to affected families.
The goal? Simply follow the story. At times you may be asked to do horrible things like executing students that bullied you and other times standard gaming trends would apply such as stealth, negotiation, quick thinking, manipulation, and so on. Ultimately, it would be more about telling a story than playing a game and given the subject matter, I really can’t say it’s for everyone, but definitely an edgy title overall.
So let’s get away from that depressing and disturbing topic for a sec to develop something I really love: an over the top, insane brawler that from the ground up is designed to be ridiculous, hyper violent, and highly replayable. Ambitious 95 is labeled as such because it’s meant to have 95 unique gangs complete with themes, different fighting styles and “powers,” and unique gang members for each, complete with their own individual backstories.
Not only that, each individual gang member for each gang can be executed differently and uniquely depending on what they wear, what they wield, and how they fight. As an example, that means that if there’s an average of 10 people per gang, that’s 950 different possible executions, not including environmental executions and “third party” executions a la super powers, your own weapons, or whatever.
And to give you an idea how violent I want it to be, one of the gangs is dollied up like a high school band. With the trumpeter, you can steal his trumpet, stun him, stick the trumpet up his ass, give it a swift kick, and watch as he shits his organs out the horn and eventually slumps over dead. You don’t want to know what you can do with the trombone if that last description bothers you.
As far as replayability, I want there to be Goldeneye-like unlockable “cheats” that allow you to modify stuff like big head mode, tiny mode, etc. On top of that, movie mode is unlockable from the get-go and allows you to fully customize a recorded battle complete with slowdown, rotating cameras, visual and audible effects, the ability to put in your own music, etc.
You can also battle locally and/or online with up to 20 people from any gang or even create your own fighter. The game would also totally not take itself seriously at all, often showing cutscenes that don’t make any sense or simply for the sake of showing them. There would also be unlockable goodies like “blooper reels” that would take the same cutscenes and make fun of them.
Come to think of it, it would also be a good idea to allow the player the ability to put unlocked cutscenes and bloopers into movie mode as well. As you may have guessed, this is an idea I’ve had for a while and I personally get a kick out of it.
Day By Day
When you think of post-traumatic stress disorder veterans, you often think about either a psychological thriller of some sort or a straightforward FPS that promises much, but has little payout. But what about a game that simply highlights some of the crazy shit PTSD vets have to go through that we don’t even consider, such as just living out each day?
What about the pain and misery they go through? The depression? What about coming back to an America they don’t even recognize, almost like some sort of bizarre time travel? What about anti-Americanism and anti-war protesters? Do they see the evils of war and side with them or become personally offended because they have no fucking idea what they’re talking about?
Obviously this game would require a LOT of research to be done correctly and more or less couldn’t even be done by me as I am not a veteran by any stretch of the imagination. All the same, it definitely sounds like a game I would enjoy playing at the very least.
Do the dead dream or are their souls gone forever from this mortal coil? In a distant and ruined future, the super rich live in their own worlds…literally. Unable to cope with the real world, virtual societies exist in the form of cryogenic sleep complete with constant monitoring and injected chemicals that make you artificially happy.
The “residents” have been there long enough that they literally do not recall anything from the outside world anymore and are, effectively, immortal within their own domains. However, your character starts noticing that something very different is occurring when different residents begin disappearing…and changing.
Is it a software glitch? Has the computer failed on certain life support systems allowing residents to actually die? Are these remnants of those dreams or is it something darker and more sinister from the deep recesses of your own mind? Are you going mad yourself? Initially I came up with this idea as a more artsy project because, realistically, nobody’s going to care if you shit out a bunch of rainbow colors and stuff all over the place if you work off the basis of it being a dream world.
However, I eventually transitioned to the idea of almost a darker Sims motif complete with the idea of it all being a simulation gone horribly wrong and attempting to discover the reasoning.
Upon entering high school, your main character, a nerd, is relentlessly bullied. Deciding that he’s not going to take it anymore, he joins the high school wrestling team…and is met with even further torment. The idea of this game is one of an action/RPG, but from a very different angle. You don’t just start weak…you ARE weak.
And no, you can’t just use brains over brawn. Granted, there are many times where it’s best to run away, but you can’t just run away from your problems forever as they manifest and get worse. Every smart action comes with a consequence. Tattling often won’t yield results and backfires. Running away doesn’t work because they know where you live and your parents aren’t always home.
Avoidance doesn’t work because they gang up on you. Your only option is to get stronger, confront them head on, and hope for the best. There are no game overs, just choices. Failing a fight means having to suffer further ridicule and losing cred in the wrestling team. It could also mean being injured, meaning you may not make varsity or stay within varsity.
The goal? Tough it out, win fights, get the bullies to back off, and win state competition. Oh yes, and you have to do this in one school year. This is semi-based on my own high school experiences, which is yet another reason I don’t really talk about high school. All the same, in a “what if” circumstance, it definitely sounds like a very fun and inspiring game.
So there it is. Five games that would be totally fun to make or at the very least play the shit out of. Will they ever get made? Probably not, but they’re fun to think about. This is another reason I still really want to be a game designer. Whether it will ever happen, I really don’t know, but all the same I’m still going to keep at it.