Friday, 7 December 2012

The Perfect Game

My boys and their dad love nothing more than to spend time together playing games, be it on the xbox or the computers, over the years they have spent much enjoyable father and son time bonding over building castles and house, creating roller coasters and train tracks, exploring mystical worlds and absorbing history - they have even been farmers - (yes there really is a farm simulation game) I love the fact that technology has advanced so much over the years and games now really are works of arts and capture everyones imagination, and I do allow my boys (all three of them!) to spend probably too long joining forces building cities and completing missions in the latest games.

We mainly have PC's for our gaming, but we also have an Xbox, and when we heard about the new Wii U I was intrigued to see what improvements could be made to a traditional gaming systems, the Wii U really does look amazing, its innovative controller really will change the way you can get involved with games, and it will most definitely be something my boys will be eager to try out. 

So when I was told about a fantastic competition to Win a Wii U, I knew it would be something I couldn't let slip by, the competition being run by GAME, is to describe your idea of a #PerfectGAME and so I will now pass my blog over to my other half as he describes a game he is sure would be a hit combining all the favourite games he and our sons have enjoyed over the past few years.
 So this is our entry to the Perfect GAME competition for the chance to win a Wii U from GAME


The pictures are for illustration purposes only and not pictures from the actual game. (I am not a game developer just trying to express my vision) These are to help get a better picture of the concept.


------------------------------- My Perfect Game---------------------------

Hi there, you, like me, might have been wondering for a long time. What time of game could possibly be made that hasn't already been done in some form or another which is totally new. I mean we have third person adventure games (Lara croft style), overhead strategy games( age of empires style), sports games (Fifa/athletics style) and the big old first person shooter (no need for examples there). The thing is people have tried to create something new from these platforms or tried to make a new platform like cooking mama to get over the limits or these standard platforms. Interactive games, where you can scribe on a tablet or move things around, but in truth, there still, although different, boring.

What I have devised as a Perfect game. You will have to try to imagine the detail that I wish to portray and not just overlook it hopefully as just another game.

Firstly I do prefer medieval type games. Saying that please don't immediately switch off and believe I’m some kind of World of Warcraft nerd that is asking for yet another role-playing game. It is far better than that from my point of view as it is creative like the Sims, Minecraft etc. This concept combines many variations of game styles from many years of playing games and wishing they could make one "Perfect game" which is how I realised it.

A game where you shape the future and make the choices what to do”

I have compiled a recipe for the perfect game and it is as follows:

Firstly looking at

Minecraft and how that has done in the gaming world we can see that customisation is an important thing to have in any game. These games which allow free placement of objects and true customisation for your characters do exceptionally well. Similar games like the Sims which are creative also keep there selling price high due to this and re-playability.


Secondly and this is where the medieval part comes in. 

 

Stronghold

The game seen here is a medieval world where you start with a Stronghold building for you, the lord to start from. This is where you live, your home. You can then attract villages to your settlement via offering food as an incentive or low taxes plus other means. You place the relevant buildings and the happy peasants will take on the roles for those said buildings/workstations if there is enough peasants available to fill the roles.









As seen here in this illustration the peasants are working away for the lord.







The free placement of buildings and resource gathering equipment like sawmills is another good point to this game.

The fact that you place walls anywhere within reason you like and decide a place for towers of various styles with a variety of gatehouses is a exceptional idea.


This way you can create what you feel is your choice of layout to better serve as defence. You can freely move characters around your newly created world and command them to run atop walls and keep lookout etc.

Thirdly this is another great but limited game for what we need but still has its part in the Perfect games world and it is called

Mount and Blade. In this game you move around a overhead map clicking where you want to go until you meet a village, town or castle. This is the part which we are using for the Perfect game, we are not interested in overhead map figures or little icons for characters. We will require this style to the right for our Perfect game.

Mount and blade has a great way of bringing you close up in battle and making you feel like you are truly involved. The graphics are great and very much in the line of thought we are needing for our Perfect game.

There is castles as I mentioned in this game but unlike Stronghold, they are like practically every game, pre-made and fixed buildings (yawn boring). As seen here




Plus remember with this game, all navigating around is done with a tiny character to resemble you, So between battles the game seems very uninteresting and it doesn’t get any better until you reach another landmark. (as I said pretty much like every game pre-made fixed “same old” buildings)








Forth in our recipe for the Perfect game is

Battlezone II

See, I haven't only played medieval games all my life and wished to be a lord of the manner, I've just played so many games and concluded that the missing link is a perfect game which combines many concepts.

Anyway back to the point! What is the idea here to include battle-zone 2 into the mix? Well it has a great user interface for placing buildings and objects from first person view. Based on the fact the game is a first person shooter crossed with a simulator style flight. It is needed in part of the recipe.

See here the great interface to allow unique placement of your buildings/structures.


Take this modular idea for placing pre-made buildings or building parts and you might start to see what I’m getting round to.



OK how to put together the Perfect game from the ingredients above

OK where the concept comes from is above, but we need to imagine the Perfect game by mixing all these ideas together to create the game.

You start out with your custom made male/female character with your Stronghold main building, but it's first person and not an overhead strategy at all. Like this
(of course this a real photo but you get the idea)




You now want to place hovels to give your peasants somewhere to live. This would be done by moving in first person to the location and using the battle-zone 2 interface style or similar to place the building of choice to that location. Now feel free to have a look around and check out the inside and around the building to see if you are happy with it. To make it easier to program the buildings can be defined variations. it's the placement and orientation that is the key here.






Now we need the resources to allow for the production of bows, arrows, buildings etc. So we need to place some sawmills or woodcutters stations in the same way.




In the past it would be like this overhead and not really interactive.












Now more like this where you place it near trees then enter it at ground level and watch the peasants work around you

If all the buildings for example falconers, bakers, blacksmiths, archery ranges, pole-turners, apple farms, crops and the list goes on, were placed and interactive where you could go and physically help the peasants to speed up the process on each building wow many games in itself.


Stables yes every lord and knight needs a horse.
 You can enter the stables like any other building but with this example you can name and customise your horse. Maybe give it an armour upgrade.
Why not take to the saddle and go for ride around your village/town and see how everyone’s getting on.







Or visit the Archery range where you train up archers. If you feel like it try competing against others online or other lords in game to get the highest score.

Of course if baking bread, Fletcher, fishing or archery isn't your thing you could always go over to see how bobs doing at the stocks.


I mean there might be some flogging needed and if your that way in mind you might want to go help out the torturers with there tasks.

Hand over the cane you haven’t got the technique right I say.

The photo to the right would be my point of view looking from 1st person down to the area from a window for example. I insist that it is not a point and click type you live at ground level in the world.




Anyway enough!

We want to hear about how to defend this beautiful village you've just got set up and running. Yes building some damn walls before somebody pillages us. (pretty much as would have happened in real life).

Now like I said before Stronghold has this concept to build your own walls to keep out enemies or animals but not in first person like this.


Imagine looking upon your soldiers at ground level and joining in to aid them. We are not god we don’t want to look over the world we want to be part of it. I am a great believer in and my motto is “I want to live the game, not play it”.

I put this wall here, and no online multi-player enemy lord is coming into my town without a fight. I mean I only just finished getting the peasants happy making our food and supplies and already someone’s here, trying to tear it all down again. Well not on my watch matey!!

Here is an example of a modular gatehouse to add anywhere I like to my wall for my entrance. Saying that I might add five or six and a few more towers.

Try getting in here without my permission. I might even stand watch on it personally and send some arrows your way if you dare approach.






So the story went.........

Well you see, I had just set up my first village and was ever so proud of it.

I build it atop the highest hill I could find for better view
In the photo above I have moved down the hill to take a photo of my hard work.







I figured Building a moat across the river to the east would make it much harder to penetrate and thought I was invincible.










I went up to check on my men at the wall to see that I had positioned them correctly and there view was good.










I used my (Wii U pad as a) spyglass and could not believe what I saw coming over the hill afar.





 


They brought Trebuchet, and catapult, we were doomed!
.






Twas not long till they overran our town and all was lost.

Or so they thought....







Whilst it appeared they might have an advantage I had secretly popped into the assassins guild to borrow some equipment.



I figured that it was not long till some other tried to assault our walls. So I took it upon myself as the lord to personally try to assassinate the enemies leader.





So I took an 
outfit (not that I needed it but it looked good) 
and a couple of poison daggers.





Whilst the enemies lord thought he stood a chance to bring down my walls I had managed to sneak right up to his without detection. 



 



I swiftly took his life.











Once word reached his men they quickly fled the battle and were never seen again.





So now you probably think yeah yeah its just like assassins Creed but nay. It is not like that as a whole game, just a simple idea that is one of many possibilities in the Perfect game. In an overhead game like Stronghold or age of empires, you may have an assassins guild/building to train them for use, but what the concept was here to prove in the last story, is that although building an army of pike men to stand atop your wall, or even invade the enemy land is good. Assassins Creed style play could easily be incorporated into the game, simply by allowing you to enter the buildings as I said earlier. I just happened to take up the idea to pinch an outfit and a couple of daggers, as that was the way it seemed to pan out for the best chance of winning. I hadn't made a reasonable amount to peasants into fighters yet. Of course I might train up a load of knights and breed some horses and take the battle to them in future. Or I might build a few catapults myself but its all up to the player/lord at that given time to decide. Each building has its benefits not only to deploy people from but to use there facilities in some way also.

What is this game all about

1st person or 3rd person optional creative strategy game
Re-playability a new concept that can be replayed and does not have an ending
(in free-build).
Free placement building, walls and gatehouses
Custom characters and horses
Interactive village/town that you create as you like it
Possibility to upload certain graphics to alter textures (posters etc.)
Online multi-player
Offline campaign
Free build head to head mode against up to 4 CPU players
peaceful mode where you make a village/town and live.

Combine similar building to Minecraft, the graphics of games like Assassins Creed or Dragons Dogma, the detail of civilian life in Stronghold and the playability and originality of this concept and its a game for all. This games creativity level will draw in all types of players from builders to shooters to RPG to Sim gamers. As I might have said at some other point games like the Sims and Minecraft attract many more players than a stiff genre of game with a fixed point. They also hold there price for years are playable over and over with many opportunities for updates. So fundamentally it is a medieval style game. Yes and minecraft is fundamentally a mining game but if the concept is good enough it attracts everyone.

Optional idea

Rather than in world placement in real time via blueprint method as shown in the battlefront 2 example. If you do not own a WiiU to utilise the method below. There could be an option to switch to overhead for building and back to 1st person to play it.

WiiU optional idea for building and placement

The same as above but on the controller/tablet it would have a map and overhead view of the world to allow you to place walls and builds without the need of a special UI in game on the main screen. This way you can still place the walls and buildings as before but would be more familiar to players of these types of games. Many other uses for this technology for example interactive buildings where each one has a job to be done with the tablet. As mentioned before used as a spyglass (binoculars). Even a sight for your bow and arrow but this is all optional extras and just icing on the cake.

Hope you can visualise the perfectGAME concept I have devised, please note the images used within my post are not my personal creations, but are screenshots from current games available to try to help you visualise the concept adding together all the best bits from games we love.

6 comments:

  1. Fantastic concept I love Stronghold and would love to see it on a more first person prspective

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