Damn, great theme and I have an idea but I'll have a new job starting from the 1st of September ... if things go well on the 26th.
There is a lot to do ... and I am not far enough with the engine yet.
The basic idea:
If dinosaurs did still exist they would be on the verge of extinction like many other animals.
The game would be called: "Baseline Watch - Dinosaurs" ... and it would be inspired by TED Talks about how each generation's baseline (how they perceive the state of wildlife) hasn't changed much during their lifetime but declined a lot over multiple generations.
It would be a management game where you try to raise awareness and get at least 10% of sea and land protected.
You make money with footage from the protected areas. Ecosystems would be mathematically simulated in a very simplified way and as the baselines get better it would become apparent.
For the competition there would just be statistics (how many dinosaurs exist per continent or per protected area).
If possible you could manage
- an R-Force (retrieval force) that captures dinosaurs that escape the reservations
- Technology (like cameras / electronic animals that gather footage, vehicles for the R-Force etc.)
- Media (where is the awareness, how does it change politics and customer behaviour, how much quality footage is captured each day / how many livestreams are there) - certain awareness levels could be goals that give the player an advantage (like a TED Talk about the project that boosts the awareness)
- Staff (editors, R-Force members, technicians, PR guys ...)
It could be extended to make protected areas visible with procedural content generation ... and it could feature countries instead of just continents.
Another idea would be making the R-Force controllable with XCOM series game mechanics (sure, there will be a FPS spin-off game at some point).
Maybe I'll try to get something done ... if anybody wants to team up and take the lead feel free to contact me.
But I guess I might tackle this project once I have more time on my hands.
GIMP mock-up ...
And a link to my very WIP Code::Blocks SDL2 github project: Baseline Watch - Dinosaurs