Okay, so I haven’t had a lot of time this week to put together a few good posts. I will, however, share a few random thoughs.
My first thought is a result of a discussion I had earlier with a classmate. I have a pretty crazy idea for a game – a story-driven LAN based co-op game. Imagine getting together with a few buddies for a LAN game, but rather than shooting at each other, you follow a story, helping each other accomplish given tasks along the way. The difficulty would scale with the number of players involved in the game, as well as having more players in the game (say at least 4) would open up new branches in the story line. I really think co-op play is underrated. The only examples of recent games that have co-op that come to mind are Gears of War (which I haven’t played, and probably won’t) and Halo 2. I just think it would be cool to have a game designed around at least two players, both on a LAN, and have the players involved in the story. Any thoughts on the subject? Drop me a comment.
Another thought for the evening is on an article that I have somewhat started to write – the theory of video game fun. Last semester we had a visiting speaker from Bioware Corp. (the guys responsible for making Bauldur’s Gate, Jade Empire, Knights of the Old Republic, and the upcoming game Mass Effect). He basically said “You can’t put ‘fun’ in a design document.” It got me thinking about what is fun, and what isn’t fun. I created a bunch of categories based on “fun” things (for example: competing, social interaction, learning/displaying knowledge, emotional fulfillment, etc. I don’t want to give it all away right now :P). Anyway, so far I haven’t been able to think of any video games that don’t fit into at least one of these categories. I am not saying if it doesn’t fit, it isn’t fun, but I just have found it interesting trying to determine what is fun, and what isn’t.
(For example, writing the article about the theory of video game fun has been fun for me – I get to build/create something, as well as learn or display knowledge. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment (or at least it will when it’s done)).
Either way, I hope the article, when done, will get people thinking about new things to do with video games, rather than the same-old level grinding or deathmatch games. Not to say that the current crop of games aren’t fun, but I really do think that there are some unexplored ideas out there (such as the story-driven LAN based co-op game).