I have this idea to make a series of episodic paranormal investigation games where the main crux of the gameplay is actually investigating and solving paranormal mysteries on the behalf of clients who are added with each episode.
Essentially you would have an agency and whenever a client would come in to hire you in each episode you would have to go and research the problem in books and through interviewing experts and believers to piece together whats going on, and if there's a tangible monster involved, you would have to figure out how to beat it or if it even really exists.
The pacing would be very slow and mellow with little to no actual fighting in the game until the very end of each investigation where you would have to put your research to work in order to actually solve the problem which would usually involve tangling with some sort of monster or other. One aspect I'm kind of excited about is that you could choose at any time to end your investigation if you think you have all the info you need, and if you face a monster unprepared, you could very well die and have to start the whole episode over again. Now some might find this prospect annoying, keep in mind that the only real chance you have of dying is during that final confrontation at the end, with everything else being a lead up to it.
And with it being episodic, each different release could simply be layered over the pre-existing game world, and it would give a good chance have really cool, inventive missions that would vary wildly, and with little to no time being wasted on the 'busy work' that most free roaming games like this would saddle you with. Not to say there won't be interesting side-missions and secrets hidden all over. After all, most of this idea comes from reading comics, so I would definitely want to sprinkle some references in there.
Also, the prospect of the game being episodic is another thing I'm taking from comics, which would give a chance to do theses really nice self-contained stories layered atop an even deeper more expansive story that would really be about the character, maybe even throwing a Moriarty-like nemesis in there who it turns out has been stirring up a lot of trouble for you. This way it could avoid the silly 'every entry is about the end of the world' thing that a lot of games fall into. I don't think each episode's plot would need to be the most epic thing in the world to be engrossing especially since the episodes would build the overshadowing conflict in the background, sort of like Mass Effect tried to do.
And that brings me to the setting, which is another thing I think will really be cool. I'd like to set this game in the semi far future wherein everyone's moved off Earth onto colonies because of some sort of ecological disaster that happened in the past, and at the time of this series earth has just recently become habitable again and your character runs his agency in what used to be eastern Europe, sort of like the setting to Cowboy Bebop and the early Gundam series. This setting would give a good reason to explain why your character, whose supposed to be knowledgeable about monsters, has to do so much research, because no one's been on Earth in so long, the monsters have changed and much of the knowledge about what is still the same has been lost or destroyed.
It could maybe even work to have some Minecraft style scavenging to acquire parts to build weapons for your battles.
So, to recap: Its a Sci-fi/postapocalypse/paranormal investigator series that would be released episodically, and with an overarching storyline, that wouldn't be central to the experience, but definitely worthwhile. The main focus is research and investigation (looking at you L.A. Noire. Ya fucked up). With little to no action for good chunks of the story. The atmosphere would be more suspenseful, with the player having to juggle all sorts of information and resources in order to get the job done.
So basically Hellboy meets Cowboy Bebop meets Snatchers meets John Constantine, Hellblazer.
ObiwanChernobiMember Since 03 Jun 2012
Offline Last Active Jun 11 2012 01:12 AM
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Game design theory, pulp sci-fi, experimental music, writing and scheming.