Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

CPlasmaGuns

Somewhat vague game description awaiting criticism...

Recommended Posts

Me and my friend here were thinking about a game that would be completely about Time Travel and puzzle-solving, with a little humor. It would take place on earth, in every time and location you can think of. You are an average, every-day guy just trying to pay his bills. Something that looks like a meteor and falls like a meteor crashes into your garage, but it turns out it was an alien time machine. You don''t realize this, however, until you get inside and start pushing some random buttons and end up in another time. Once you return, you accidently press the self-detonation button. The craft explodes, sending shards of it in every direction. What else you don''t realize is that some shards were thrown back in time, some shards were thrown forward in time, and some just exploded in your face. You gather the pieces, organize them and everything, and wonder how to put it back together. Later, you are searching in your basement and find an old time machine that your grandfather was working on before he passed away. You use some parts from the shards of the alien tm to finish your grandfather''s, the result being an unreliable, ugly, bilingual (alien and english), but nonetheless useful time machine. A part of the game would be spent looking for shards of the alien tm lost throughout time so that they can be added to the new one you made. This is because, of course, your current one is missing several features that you need: the ability to make yourself an invisible observer in a time period, a monitor that lets you see an arbitrary point in time, a feature that prevents you from seeing your past self, a feature that allows any kind of information and data to survive time travel, and other stuff. Most of the puzzles will be centered around either finding new time machine parts or altering time so that certain things happen that eventually lead to a more important goal, which we were thinking could be to get the money to finish payments on your car, or it could be a chosen goal, like make hover cars invented by 1960, or stop at least three major wars in history w/o causing any new ones. Something else: there could be more than one way to accomplish time travel... Maybe it has nothing to do with finding other people''s time machines: instead, you can make a time machine by finding building instructions and making an actual machine, or you can do it with witchcraft, or by praying to some legitimate faith, each one having different advantages and disadvantages. Or perhaps in order to time travel you have to get to a certain speed in your car (a bit of a rip off, I know) while listening to radio stations, each station sending you to different times. Now, one thing your are probably thinking is how much data would be required to define the entire history of an entire world. Well, that would be too much, but there are a few solutions to that . . . Use random numbers to define the world and its history . . a bit tricky, but should be possible Have the world that you inhabit be a place other than earth, to make the random number idea more feasible Limit the time scale to only one week, instead of any point in human history Set the game to have a very strictly-defined story, mostly like an RPG. Yeah, it is vague, but the basic idea we have is puzzles+altering time+time travel. Thanks for your time, we look forward to hearing what you have to say. How fun does it sound, what doesn''t make any sense, is the whole idea too boring, and any criticism you have is appreciated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think you should try to make an adventure game from this idea like the old LucasArts and Sierra classics. Day of the tentacule was a great game of this genre. It was completly about humor and "puzzle" solving with a little Time travel...

Of course, you must have a strictly-defined story : this is what makes the game fun. Strategy and simulation games are best suited for computer generated worlds. In an adventure game, it''s fun to be surprised by the story. Maybe if you''re a good designer, you can find a way to make the replay more fun with variations but not change the game to much.

The game most be possible to make. A (not too) small set of locations very well designed and a lot of possible actions that have effects in this time and in the future is the key to make the player feel that he has control of the situation. It''s impossible to make a game with that many variables AND to polish it into a great fun game. Time that can be visited should also be a limited group, maybe 5 or 6. It is a long design job to recreate the same locations at different times.

In fact, what you are talking about is some kind of world-wide simulation... First, it''s a lot of work ! And second, I''m not sure that it will make the game a lot more fun compared to the difficulty of implementation.

The most important thing in this kind of game is that programming is one of the easy tasks... (if you don''t choose the world-wide simulator...) A good game design and really great artworks are very important to make this game a great new classic.

It was not part of your question, but since I''m interested to see your idea realized (possible?) there is one other thing to consider.

There is the 2d/3d dilemma. It really depends on what kind of artistic ressources you have. With really great 3d modellers, you can create some really funny characters but if you don''t have the talent (or the needed tools), go for 2d. I think that amateur 3d games are often ugly compared to 2d ones. If you consider yourself as a "professional", the best option, IMHO, is to take advantage of the 3d accelerators while creating a cartoon-like renderer. There is few games of this kind now so, it is a great way to explore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
you could really make this idea work! games like this could be great, but most people trying such a game (collect items to beat game) end up being horribly bad. I think a game like this would be great if you try to make it very captivating, has a nice user interface, and most of all, not be boring with long and tedius puzzles. I think the game Shenmue for Dreamcast is a great example of the kind of interface/game world you want. you could make this game have multipule genres. for example, lets say one piece was found by scientists in the future. you would have to sneak into their lab to retrieve it, kinda like Metal Gear. in another level, lets say a member of an inner-city black market finds it, and tries to sell it. you would need to become a part of the black market, and stratigically "play your cards right" so that you finally buy/steal/trade/etc... the item. both situations are very open ended, and can provide a lot of fun and strategy into the game.

as for the random history, you can make many of these senarios and select a certain amount of them for the game, while not reselecting scenarios until all have been viewed. this way, you could play the game 3-4 times without seeing the same scenarios.

there should also should be a home world, per se. this should be highly detailed, and allow many ways of time-traveling, as you stated.

hope this helps, and good luck on the game!
~~KaMiKaZ~~

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It would be better if the time machine found in the garage was another one that fell to earth. Then there is compatibility of parts and you can say that your one was attracted to grand dad's. Grand dad's was damaged but with the shards you have left you can make it usable.

Why do you need to collect the shards that went elsewhere? Why not just leave'em and go watch TV? To improve the machine is ok but gives no sense of urgency. On the other hand it could be that in isolation the shards are toxic or otherwise dangerous. How do you know this? A pre-programmed message plays in Grand dad's machine. Also when you get them they improve the machine.

The idea is to limit the "Oh come on" factor. The story should be as coherent as possible.

Otherwise a really good idea - best of luck.


Edited by - Crydee on July 26, 2001 1:29:35 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites