I'm thinking about making a medium-sized game in flash inspired by the idea of a quine:
"A quine is a program that prints its own source code."
I'm curious what direction you think this game should go. Technically, making a program a quine is a small challenge by itself. I'd also like to add the condition of using no assets at all. No bitmaps, animations, sounds, nothing. The entire game would be present in its source code. It would probably be a top-down shooter, for simplicity. Now, onto the design direction:
The player does not care about it being a quine. I mean, imagine you play a game, and then you find out all of its graphics and sounds are generated. Cool. And then it shows you its code at the end. Cool. But unless the game was good, you don't care. This would only make it interesting for programmers, and that is no way to design a game.
The quine-ness has to be built into the game mechanics. You could receive parts of the code, level after level, until it is completed at the end. This could possibly turn the game mechanics on and off. Like, you only have sounds from level 4 and in level 1 you can walk through walls because you don't have collision yet.
But... it's weird. Unless the game actually emulates the code you put in, it just feels staged and it might as well be staged. But if there is an emulator, what do I do to prevent the player from setting opponents' health to 1 or 0? Or could this what the game is about? To find how to change the code so you can win an impossible level? A game about debugging the rules?
That would require the player to try to understand the code. I could put a link to wonderfl.net and tell the player to paste the code in it(it is a website that compiles to flash online) to see it works. It could go as far that the player has to write the game loop itself - for() loops to display the level, graphics.drawCircle() to display enemies etc. It could be educational, but I'm not sure about this direction.
One idea I like is a recursive ending - as you gather the pieces of code, you display them in a terminal, and when you have the entire game, it starts again in the terminal(like 80% of the window). And the real ending could be the 2nd. Or the 3rd or 4th or whatever I choose, story would be made up to fit.
I still want it to be an actual quine. Maybe it could be about a conspiracy, that something higher is controlling the player's life, and it would display the class with the scripts as the last one? Or should it focus on the emulation? Should I completely omit the requirement for the player to understand the code - no "debugging"? Is a game running in itself on a terminal a cool enough concept to bet on? Tell me what you think.