Thursday, January 27, 2005

Subverting the paradigm

Yeah, I know.
What a bullshit post title.

I'd like to throw out an idea that both captures and frustrates my imagination.

I envision a game that reverses the notion that player-characters must always increase in power and options.

What if you played a character with memory loss?

How could this kind of game be effective?

How do you reduce a game character without making play unintuitive or outright impossible?

I've been trying to hammer out even a simple way of making an idea like this into a fun experience. Maybe a puzzle-style game that gave you a small set of skills that would each degrade over time, and it would be up to you to use them effectively. I see a square arena viewed from overhead. The player-character has five different tasks to accomplish and has five different tools. Each tool will only be 'remembered' for a certain period of time.

Of course, this simulates the direction I desire, but isn't very compelling. It feels like any other puzzle game. The idea of the player-character 'forgetting' things sounds like a corny justification of arbitrary gameplay constraints.

I'll keep turning this idea over and over in my head. Hopefully I'll hit on something.

Or just forget the idea completely.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A very neato idea, albeit not entirely original. As you yourself pointed out, the game still fits the mold of a puzzle - it forces the player to think and solve the problem at hand. The player would essentially have to increase his/her level of resourcefulness as the game progresses, which is already true about any good puzzle, amnesia-based or otherwise. Eventually the difficulty of the puzzle would rise, but the inverse relationships dictates that the tools available for the player would decrease. Innovative or not, how can the player solve the puzzle once it has reached maximum difficultly, if at said point in time ALL tools to do so are gone? Perhaps the tools could vanish, but the players ability to elicit a similar result, as if using the tools, could be earned through alternative, harder means. This would force players to not only think outside of the box, but to be improvisational and fast thinkers. Maybe I'm talking out of my bum.