During the Game Developers Conference we heard a lot of information about the power of the next wave of consoles. Each developer spoke about the strengths of their hardware. Microsoft has focused on the ease of development with XNA, Sony is touting the sheer power of the PS3 and Nintendo is showcased the Revolution’s virtual console. With all the buzz around shiny graphics we were wondering what about the games? Besides a new Zelda and Spore we didn’t hear anything breaking in the game development arena. So we’ve come up with five animal inspired ideas for game developers to try out.
Busy Building Beavers
What are beavers known for in cartoons? Building stuff and that’s the principle behind the first game. The world is in peril from all sorts of natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and meteor showers. Now we could call in the national guard or choice engineers to save the world, but a group of super powerful beavers are going to take on the job. The player will have to micromanage a group of beavers to forage items from each area to build sometime of structure to protect their city. The DS’ touch screen would be perfect for this kind of game. Imagine selecting a beaver by tapping them and then zooming in on their location. Then you can select materials for the beaver to pick up and draw a path back to the building site. Each trial could have multiple solutions, like if there was a volcano in the city most players would try to build a wall around the city using things like cars, trucks and buildings. While another solution could be dropping objects into the volcano to fill it up. To make the game a little more fun, give it a hilarious style where you can stack up amusement park mascots as extra building support and monster sized snowman as part of a dam.
Now that the PSP is going to have a portable eyetoy adaptor it needs a new game to support it. Chameleon Eyetoy is a stealth action game where you play as a color changing special agent. Instead of searching for camouflaging items in the game the player will use the real world as the source of the camouflage. If you want to blend into a grey wall snap a picture of a grey object. To make the concept work the levels would have to be filled with different color backgrounds, which would urge players to think fast about their real life surroundings. Also since if you’re gaming on the go you probably won’t have all colors accessible at all times (unless you carry a pack of construction paper while you play) so each gameplay experience will be different depending on where you are. This type of game can also benefit by adding in a level editor where players can create new areas and trade them via the memory stick duo.
This is a game best suited for the Revolution’s unique controller. The concept for this game is an open ended ocean. As a jellyfish you can swim around and explore the deep blue. Search for treasure, a new home, other jellyfish to follow you or if you’re a bit sadistic sting tourists and take back the beach. Since jellyfish don’t have much motor control you won’t be able to directly control the movement of your jellyfish. Instead players will swing the revolution controller from side to side to create “waves” that push the jellyfish around. If players make small strokes with the wand the jellyfish would gently glide forward. In the case of danger players can make a hard swipe to cause a large wave and make the jellyfish rapidly move. The game could also take advantage of the revolution’s wifi access and let players enter an ocean with other jellyfish owners. Players can have “turf” wars by joining different clans and see who can capture more of the virtual ocean by stinging opponent jellyfish.
Yeah we know we added another ocean creature, but we have a different idea for a game with an octopus. Nearly every console has an animal platforming star designed to attract the younger demographic. Sega consoles had Sonic, the Playstation had Crash and the Xbox had Blinx the Cat. What Blinx didn’t have is platforming gameplay with a sense of action. That’s where Octopus Ninja comes in. Since an octopus has eight arms an octopus can hold eight different weapons/items. Imagine an octopus attacking with a sword, then instantly switching to throwing shuriken and then switching over to using a sickle for a midair combo. By utilizing the four face buttons on the 360 controller and a trigger button, players can easily maneuver eight different kinds of attacks with one character. The game’s system can be set up similar to a fighting game, but the attacks would be customizable depending on what weapons you had. Octopus Ninja could take advantage of the Xbox Marketplace and release exclusive weapons that require marketplace points to purchase. With new tons of weapon sets and combos each player would have a unique main character and a different gameplay experience. Octopus Ninja is designed to be an intense combo heavy action game for kids, an audience that the 360 has yet to capture.
All of the rumors of alligators being in the sewers of New York City inspired this urban exploration game. Urban exploration (reality hacking) is all about exploring abandoned buildings, searching for hidden spots along security tunnels and finding new locations within a metropolis. One of the coolest things about old platforming games was discovering secret areas. In “Alligator Adventure” players will log on to a persistent online city. Within the city are tons of hidden rooms that award players achievements for finding them. Since the game is an exploration game, the rooms will be well hidden and require teams of players to access them. Maybe some players will need to decoy the police force or have to turn on the power while another group runs into the area. Since the PS3 could use a new title to showcase their online service, an urban exploration game could be an innovative start.
We shared a couple of new game ideas with you guys. What are some games that you want to see with all of the new consoles?