Sharing ideas

Arantor

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So there's ideas floating around in my head. I have enough ideas to spend the rest of my life implementing them my way.

So I'm going to share some of the ideas in a fashion, in the hopes someone else goes to make them. I don't even mind someone else implementing the same idea because I guarantee it won't be the same as I have in mind, and maybe it'll be better than mine, maybe it won't but either way it'll be something new in the world I get to experience, and I'm good with that.

Feel free to have-at any of these, credit not required - just if you do go make any of them, lemme know because I want to see!

I'm not sharing titles. The titles live in my head rent-free and the titles give them substance that means one day I might come back to them. But the concepts, all here.


Video games

It's a foggy afternoon, the church clock strikes three. You're standing around a grave, with a few mourners. You're not really sure why you're there, just you're there. It's all a bit hazy, but you begin to realise that you recognise the people around you. It's that police detective you worked with a few times. Your old sergeant from the precinct. Your... your parents? Your brother?

The priest conducting the matter continues with a polite if bland summary of you - or how people remember you, tenancious, smart, just. And it dawns on you that no-one can see you. It's your funeral, and no-one can see you because you're dead. You listen, you remember: you were a private detective, investigating a case of a wife and her murdered husband. The official ruling was suicide, the wife doesn't believe it. The husband had some illicit business dealings, maybe mafia or similar; the wife wants an investigation to understand if she's next. She's not - she's the one who organised it but the husband hid the money and she's hoping you'd turn it up in your case, but you wound up dead before you could unravel it.

I envisage the game as either a text adventure or a point and click adventure, with a focus on having to figure out how to interact with the world as a ghost - you can't touch things, you can't speak to people but you need to figure out how to communicate this to the police to arrest the woman.

I have a backstory attached to this one but for the core of the game it doesn't really matter. The situation is that you exist in a series of scenarios. Levels, you might say. They are sections of no more than 20x20x10 cubes, featuring walls, ramps, slopes. Each scenario puts the player in control of up to 3 robots - one that can fire a laser and shoot things, one that can repel things and one that can collect/investigate/interact with things.

Each scenario is a challenge - direct the robots you are given to collect energy modules, destroy targets, escort other targets. There are various obstacles in these scenarios - mines, lifts, observer robots, all sorts of traps. Some of the scenarios will require setting a list of instructions ahead of time for each of your robots - in the form of 'forward, turn left, forward, up lift, forward, turn right, fire' level of complexity. Some scenarios may even require robots to have these instructions running together.

I envisage that part of the challenge will be exploration of the level, understanding what the puzzle even is to be solved. Some levels will be about using walls and other obstacles in unconventional ways, some puzzles will involve pushing blocks between floors, whether off a higher floor, or manipulating lifts and other things to move objects between floors. Some scenarios can include walls that are energy fields - translucent but as solid as any wall. I imagine a side objective could be to collect a schematic of every level by having a robot observe every part of it.

(I should add, this is a much expanded, much extended conceptual remake of a 1989 game called Tower of Babel, with many more ideas thrown in that the original could not execute at the time.)

I'd love to see a good remake of Biprolex - an odd little indie game from 1998. It is a two player game by design, literally Tetris vs Breakout on the same screen - player at the top of the screen is dropping new blocks on the level, player at the bottom is fielding a ball trying to break the bricks. The aim of each is to take each other out.

But the game is high-learning journey, lots of things going on at once which is hard to learn. I figure if it were updated with a tutorial (for both 'Tetlix' and 'Arcalex'), network play over the internet and some updated visuals it'd be a complete blast.

I could see there being some tutorials on the same sort of approach as, say Puyo Puyo Tetris where the different mechanics get taught over time.

I mean *real* fantasy football. Fielding a team of elves, dwarfs, zombies, skeletons, mages, whatever. I have no idea how it would work, no idea what the interface should be, but all I do know is that the actual playing of the game shouldn't be a ridiculous turn based chore where getting through a few turns takes half an hour - looking at you, Blood Bowl.

It should be light, energetic, fun, easy to play, hard to master and above all a little bit wacky. I'm thinking some dash of something like Speedball 2 mixed with Discworld but I have no idea how that might actually be a playable game in practice.

Tomb Raider and all is fine, I guess. There's all the exploration, all the 'I get to be an updated Indiana Jones' vibe. Sure, fine, cool.

Don't want that. I want a game about exploration that isn't about dexterity and fast pacing. I want it to be more thoughtful, more puzzle related, more solving archaeological puzzles in cool ways. Like, say, the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark with the map room - like that. You need to find the map room, find the pieces of the staff, figure out how to assemble it and that's a clue to something else. I don't really quite envisage it as a point and click, but something more fluid than that, so that you can have the action set pieces for a bit of a thrill but without making the game set around that.

Part of me wants it in cool isometric like Knight Lore back in the day. Pixel art not required (also is hard).

I love me some space strategy - strictly turn based. Huge fan of the original Master of Orion, liked the second, didn't care for the third, not a fan particularly of the remake. But those, or Galactic Civilizations, Space Empires, they're all fun enough games, but they don't quite nail what I want to see.

Firstly, most of them get research wrong; the only game I know that gets this actually right is the first Master of Orion - you have multiple branches of tech which you research in parallel, because you're literally a race of billions of people, you're not going to be researching only one ground breaking tech at a time.

The tech trees should be interdependent somewhat so that you can get synergy bonuses for certain groups or clusters of tech; these should be different between the races.

What I also want to see are unbalanced races. MOO did that; certain races had certain advantages from the off, others had certain disadvantages, I want to see that. I want to see races that are just in their own little corner of space that mostly ignore you, might occasionally trade with you but aren't fully fledged powers in their own right. Non-aligned worlds, you might say. I want to see races that have a story to them, a history. I want the races to *feel* different.

On top of that I want a few non-playable races whose presence is meddlesome. Star Trek's Q. Babylon 5's Vorlons. Several of the Stargate SG-1 races. Races who exist around you but outclass you so utterly that you can't fight them, you can't take them on, but you can interact, and you can learn from them. Maybe teach them a thing or two. Let them meddle occasionally. Hell, I'd probably even let these races be not just story foils but actually a sort of NPC race that the computer drives with its own skills, abilities and agendas. Perhaps even have other of these races turn up for a 'rallying cry of the Old Ones'. Their war is not your war. Or is it?

I want better diplomacy options. I see their ships massing along the border, I want to be able to demand they stand down. I want to be able to ask for concessions and not just the usual resource trading. Perhaps my recent Babylon 5 rewatch has inspired something deeper.

Lastly, I want there to be story arcs, perhaps each race has two or three major arcs that they can fulfil as their 'choice of destiny', through choices they make along the way. Techs they research, or not. Other choices along the way that you can make that shape your empire - drawing from Sid Meier's Alpha Centaur and Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, the former for the story beats and the overarching arc, the latter for the non-empire decisions that still shape you. Yes, you can win through economic or military victories but... manifest destiny? That should be the biggest win of all.


Stories

Time travel is a thing, it's regulated but there's people who have the power one way or another and use it to investigate crime.

It starts with a dame. It always starts with a dame, coming to his apartment, late at night, in the hours when the background is that smooth lounge jazz that plays all night, melancholy and slow, the saxophonist pouring his heart and soul into a tune that only he knows, to a beat that only he can hear, and that only the drunks pay any attention to. It's cold, damp, musty outside, and catching a cold is still easier than catching a break - and boy, did he need one.

The letter that came through his door, the one that changed everything. Who even wrote on paper any more, much less with decorative handwriting and a hint of perfume about it?

You get the tone. Anyway, the gig is that he's invited to an event where he meets a mysterious old man with a curiously fake accent, who introduces himself under an obviously fake name. Tells the detective that he, the old man, is going to bite a bullet and wants the detective to investigate. Catch the killer. The police, they can't do nothing, it hasn't happened yet. But it will soon be about to have already happened and the detective is the only one who can do anything about it.

Plot twist: the old man *is* the detective, plus 50 years.

Plot twist 2: the shooter is *also* the detective, somewhere in the middle.

It's a case where he's freshly out of the police, gets caught up in a private investigation - which turns out to be his own murder. And he's the one who does it, and has always been the one to having not yet done it in the future. He creates himself in the process.

Lawyer gets attached to a high profile serial killer case. He's a hotshot lawyer who believes in due diligence and that even the worst offenders - if/when guilty - deserve fair representation and process followed. The guy not only did it, he brags about it in open court, and is obviously guilty, but the police haven't done their job properly. They haven't provided enough *evidence* beyond reasonable doubt. The jury has to find the guy not guilty.

This causes a chain of events for the lawyer's life to unravel entirely, his wife's left him, he's been hounded by reporters, cut out of the firm he built and ultimately ends up getting drunk, going out and crashes his car.

He's pulled from the wreckage, seemingly unharmed, in the middle of the night, the middle of nowhere, by a stunning blonde woman in a red dress. Calls herself Lilith. Turns out she is literally the Devil, and wants to offer him a deal. Seven wishes, fix his life up, settle a few scores. The reason? He prevented the criminal getting locked up, where he was supposed to end up in prison and getting shanked with a carved toothbrush and wind up in Hell. The Devil wants him where he's supposed to be and is willling to extend a 'helping hand' to make it happen. In the spirit of co-operation - so the Devil says - the contract that one signs, the one that no-one ever reads, points to a clause that if you can make a truly selfless wish, the contract is null and void.

The problem, as the lawyer comes to figure out, how can you make a truly selfless wish that you know will benefit you? Can he? Can he outsmart the Devil at the Devil's own game?

Anyone who's read Discworld will be familiar with the idea that Death is an anthropomorphic personification that walks the world, ensuring that mortals which pass beyond have their souls separated from their bodies.

Death is but one of a group of individuals who stride across time and space where the laws of physics do not entirely apply. The story follows another of these individuals: Karma. The individual responsible for ensuring that people who fail to keep their promises receive entirely what they are due - not every promise starts with 'I promise'. Not every obligation that falls due is ever collected upon, but the Keeper of Broken Promises ensures the cosmic balance sheet is kept even.

We follow a protagonist as he arrives in a Village. It is a quaint, picturesque sort of place. But it has a valley of the uncanny feel to it. Things are... off. There is nothing beyond The Village. Maps only show it, unseen forces ensure people do not leave it.

The centre of the Village is a spa/resort/retreat. The protagonist is not well, they say. He needs rest, to recuperate, but something is very wrong here. No-one will answer his questions, except with riddles. He will try to escape, only to be thwarted.

The part that he does not understand... he is God. God has had a breakdown. Schzoid delusion, if you will, on a deity scale. It's made this place, this entire village, everyone in it a facet of His personality. Only by working through his own trauma can he work out that this is where He is and what has happened to Him.

For a vibe, I really feel this should channel the 1960s TV series The Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan and his Number Six situation. I was inspired to the concept by a debate I had a long, long time ago on the nature of the dinosaurs versus Christian theology - why are the dinosaurs there if God created them and wiped them out? Are the dinosaur bones a test of faith, if so why is God as described testing faith, for God is all knowing and all seeing, God knows if one has lived a good life, therefore is a test of faith some manifestation of God’s insecurity? And if God can be insecure, what else can happen?

A weird little story idea - someone has an old timey style Polaroid camera, and they snap shots just of life. They in the little space at the bottom they make a note - a wry caption perhaps, except it acts like a genie's wish and changes the course of life.

Imagine, taking a photo of a young couple in the car park arguing at each other, gesticulating wildly with arms flailing, and then captioning it 'Relationship like a car crash' - only for the couple to die because they drive while arguing and crash.

I don't quite know where the story is going but it's a thing.

I have plenty of others but this is enough for now!
 
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Retro

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I hope your ideas give someone inspiration, they look very good.

I know the feeling of not having enough hours in the day to do everything you want, especially with work taking up so much of one's life.
 

Arantor

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This is just the story and game ideas. I have app ideas, I have site ideas, I have all sorts of other ideas.
 

Arantor

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Thanks! I’m not sure why a couple of them were missing a couple of sentences but just fixed that up real quick. Windows decided to do an update while I was mid-post - I’d stepped away to hit the bathroom and next thing I heard was that little plinky noise of restarting.
 

Arantor

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Hmmm, going to experiment with mashing up the ghost adventure as a conventional novel. It was never what I originally thought of doing but it might actually work.
 

Arantor

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I've written a good chunk more than this but I think I'm happy with the first few paragraphs so far.

The scent of lilies hung in the air, like the guilt on a cheating husband caught in the act. I never liked the scent of lilies.

The church bell tolled three times in its distinct, familiar way, the bell having the slightest of cracks leaving the ring a little hollow and a little flat. It had always summed up my relationship with the church – it sounded good but didn’t quite ring true.

It was one of those days, mid autumn, thankfully it wasn’t raining, the autumn rain had a habit of getting through your clothes and into your skin. The last few days had rained so everything was a little morose from the damp, almost musty, like an old house that had been flooded, abandoned and opened back up after a few years. All you smelt was the damp and the mildew. And apparently the lilies.

I’d fumbled in my coat pocket for a cigarette – anything to take my mind off the lilies – before I realised lighting up one would have been rude; I was standing in the churchyard, attending a funeral. They don’t appreciate you lighting something up during the ceremony, after all the cremation is their job.

Going for that noirish feel.
 

Retro

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Sounds like a good start to a novel - and no typos. Which one of the ideas in your OP is it?
 

Crims

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I've written a good chunk more than this but I think I'm happy with the first few paragraphs so far.

Going for that noirish feel.
That's awesome! I was hoping to see what came out from these projects.
 

Tiffany

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@Arantor I really felt like you as the writer gave me a front row seat as an observer to immerse in exactly what the character was experiencing in complete sensory input at the funeral. Great writing!
 

Arantor

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Thanks, that was the intent! Noir has that vibe to it to really capture the moment, and express it in the most wonderful of mixed metaphors.

As for ideas, this is a remix of Ghost Detective.
 

Tiffany

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Thanks, that was the intent! Noir has that vibe to it to really capture the moment, and express it in the most wonderful of mixed metaphors.

As for ideas, this is a remix of Ghost Detective.

Excellent vibe! Looking forward to reading more :)
 
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