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Runaway Child City Survival Game

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I had this idea, so I wanted to ask if people would play it.

Basically, here's what I have:

-You play as a 7 year old kid (character customization is a likely feature) who runs away from your parents in the city.

-Throughout the game, you age up. At the end of the game, you are 20.

-You have to survive and not get caught.

-You can meet and socialize with other kids, some are also runaways.

-Later in the game, you can date and have children.

-Final goal of the game is to save up enough money to have a nice house and a good job.

-Combines survival, stealth, and socialization aspects into one game.

Would you play it? And yes, I got this "ask people on a forum if they would play it" idea from YandereDev.

 

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I like the idea, but I have two thoughts:

 

 

-You have to survive and not get caught.

I think you'll want to define a clear antagonist.  Survival as a runaway is a pretty well defined goal, but "not get caught" is a little blurry.  Not get caught by who?  The people you ran from?  Why did you run in the first place?  Wouldn't getting "caught" by the right people be in your best interest?  Maybe those can be themes to play with in your story, but if not, I think they need to be well enough defined in order for the setting to make sense.

 

 

-Final goal of the game is to save up enough money to have a nice house and a good job.

I'm not sure this part fits the rest of the theme.  You could have this goal without the running away thing.  Getting a job makes sense (and arguably needs to happen before the house part), but I don't know how you would systemise or gamify going from homeless to home-buyer, and have it fit the rest of what you've outlined.  Buying a house is hard enough for "successful" people, I don't know why a homeless person would have that as a primary goal.  As a character building point, maybe, but not as the objective of the game.

Edited by TedEH

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I think context would matter greatly, partly because gameplay and events would be shaped by it. I'd recommend maybe staying away from a real world setting partly for the baggage it might bring (accusations of mining the suffering of children in the same vein as criticism Prison Architect received) and modern expectations with respect to presented problems (social services, starving at the age of 7).

 

A Dickensian, fantasy or some future dystopian context might work to put some distance between subject matter and expectations. A kid trying to avoid work gangs that would throw her into the mines, chased by thieves, sweeping chimneys etc. would put a buffer from subject matter that in the real world likely involves deprivation, drugs / addiction, disease and abuse. 

 

Ignore this if the treatment is meant to be serious ala This War of Mine. 

 

For the sake of focus I would change the impetus to escaping a faceless, cruel orphanage (so we skip wondering why) and the end goal to stable home / job by 21 (simplicity) and ditch later life stuff like dating or having children (because it would be incongruent, you would go from dodging and hiding to a 9 to 5 and all the skills built up in the 1st part wouldn't track to the 2nd). 

 

 

 

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FWIW, this only describes a game setting and doesn't mention any actual game design at all.

As a setting, yes it could be interesting. Whether I'd play it depends what the actual gameplay is though :wink:

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