Stuff I would love to see in games
Have you ever caught yourself thinking “wouldn’t it be AWESOME if they put this and that together in a game”? Of course you have, everyone has. That is something that is natural for human beings, that is, taking two separate ideas and mashing them together. Some call that creativity, but I rather call it a goldmine. It is no coincidence that highly moddable games tend to live longer than the rest of them, and it happens simply because people enjoy being creative. As much as seeing the world envisioned by minds different than ours is lots of times an eye-opening experience, the truth is that people actually just want to play that awesome game idea they had.
Sometimes developers just don’t have that amazing idea you just had, and sometimes they do. I think that a lot of times, some big businessman just goes and kills it, claiming it is too risky, and then they end up making just yet another game on an already established genre. Honestly, I don’t think businessmen’s opinions should matter, unless they are both gamers and game developers, but I won’t talk about that now.
Enough of this, let’s move on to the actual list. Some of these items aren’t actually new ideas for stuff in games, but just me wishing they happened more often. Here we go:
- Cooperative first person shooters: You have no idea how I miss this. I find it amazing people aren’t making more games like this, especially after the huge hit that Left 4 Dead was. I don’t know about you guys, but i find it much more fun to get together with my friends - work together for a common goal (survival) and building strategies when the things get tough - than just shooting them in the face and watching them rage over it.
- Cooperative/competitive top down shooters: Kind of the same above, but with a competitive side too. I know that this style of shooter is traditionally composed of a variety of single player games, but I repeat my statements above: I really enjoy working together with my friends. But in this case, some chaotic shooting madness with several other people looks like a good idea as well!
- Projectile oriented fighting games: Okay, this one does sound a bit odd, but hear me out: the official Touhou Project fighting games (made when ZUN and Tasogare Frontier decided to bless us with their combined awesomeness) featured such a mechanic, and it resulted in the most fast-paced and enjoyable fighting games I have ever played. The idea is that characters in the game can both deal physical blows and shoot projectiles very easily, their number sometimes nearing the absurd, and every character has the ability to dash through these projectiles (such an ability named “grazing”), negating all of their damage. Therefore, it is up to the player to find a satisfactory strategy involving either spamming the enemy with bullets, beating them with their fists, or a mashup of both, combined with a lot of dashing around to prevent yourself from getting trapped in what can even sometimes be a cloud consisting of dozens of giant fireballs.
- Fighting + platform adventure mashups: I find it absurd that we have great Metroidvania-like games, but none of them features fighting games’ mechanics, like the ability to attack differently depending on the order of the buttons pressed by the player. I’m sorry if I am mistaken, but I have never seen this being taken seriously. I’ve seen some of it on the Megaman X series, where Zero could use different boss abilities depending on what buttons the player pressed together, without the need to explicitly change the selected ability, like X did.
- Real strategy games: Demanding that the player manages hundreds of separate units at once is not nice, nor should it be the standard procedure on the industry. When I play a strategy game, I want to be able to focus on strategy, and not on whether my villagers just cut down every single tree near their working spot and are lazying about. I want my units to be smart and I want them to react to general instructions, instead of demanding me to teach them how to walk every single step of the way.
- RPGs not focused on item-farming or leveling: This is something that pisses me off: I love the RPG genre, but I don’t have that much time anymore. I love seeing a character evolve and change through time, but why do they make it so that the only way for me to be able to compete with other people is to either spend real-life money on godly items, or spend the rest of my life leveling up and farming for decent itens. I want an RPG that allows me to log in, meet a couple of friends and then raid a dungeon that is specifically shaped for our level of skill, and I want to be able to beat other people at the game by simply being smart, rather than just watching as they power through all of my stategies simply because they have “donor” status. Sometimes I came across a decent private server on Ragnarok Online, which allowed me to get to the maximum lvl quickly and then play at the PvP arena despite having only a little time every day to do it (at best, sometimes I spent weeks withough getting to go anywhere near the game), and that felt good. People called me a cheater because I read a lot about the game and learned its mechanics. That way, I was able to counter whatever they did by simply detecting their behavioral patterns and acting accordingly. That is the sign of a well-made game (or, in that case, a modded game server): a game where you get better at by thinking about it, rather than by playing it until your fingers fall off your hands.
- Actual Role-playing games: There is this big misconception nowadays in which people believe that role-playing is tailoring a game character exactly the way you want it to be, and then power leveling the character throughout the game. That is wrong. Role-playing is playing a role (duh). It is pretending to be someone who you, most probably, are not. Thay means you have to act like, no, I am mistaken, you have to be that character. That means you have to interact with the world the way the character is supposed to, and that means you cannot just be yourself because, at that moment, you aren’t yourself. “Oh but the latest Deus Ex allowed me to interact with people and the world in different ways, allowing you to portray different characters.”, you say? Well, yes, but unlike the good old role-playing games you played on your table, not on your computer, you aren’t penalized for acting out of character. People have no reason to consistently be the character they are portraying in role playing games, simply because it isn’t the focus of the game. Is it so bad to focus on roleplay while playing roleplaying games?
- Pure exploration horror games: This one is actually quite tricky, and I recognize that. Not everyone knows how to tell a scary story without resorting to scarejumps, scary enemies and conflicts. The thing is, those things are not exactly scary. They might make you jump out of your chair, but that will happen at most once, and lots of people grow used to such things that they just stroll by them, unfazed. But when a story or a game is really scary, even the most courageous person will fold at its atmosphere and feel actual fear. So, how do we achieve those truly scary games? Well a good place to start is to build suspense slowly. Don’t have a soundtrack, but leave the players alone with the very sounds that they, themselves, produce. Don’t have enemies to be faced, but don’t tell the player that. Give hints that there is something potentially dangerous nearby, but never show it directly (that’s why Jaws scared people: you knew the shark was there, but you just couldn’t see it). Don’t spam the player with sound effects or interactive systems. Making them feel alone is important as well. If your character doesn’t suffer from Silent Character Symdrome, make him/her speak to him/herself once in a while (as long as it isn’t some silly lines that break the mood, like whistling happily). Also important: don’t have stuff suddenly jump on the player. After they calm down from the jump, they’ll be less scared than they were before it.
For now, this is it. If I ever think of anything else, I’ll just edit this accordingly. Also, anyone care to let me know what your list of stuff you want to see in games is?
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