Why Not Games




City: Opening Thoughts

Written: 2015-11-19

I've just started work on a game that I'm pretty excited about. My elevator pitch for this game is "Inside Out as a tower defense/city builder." The idea right now is that the game map is the mind of the player character. You then manage both the long term development and the short term balancing of the player character's mind.

I want to support both a Sims-style freeplay where you play a character for the character's entire life span and multiple campaigns that each start the player in a specific situation and then lets the player try to navigate their way to a solution that they feel is appropriate.

What I'm Trying To Represent

The goal of this game is to have a system in place that can represent and hopefully generate certain moments from life, moments like changing your personality because of someone you are attracted to, leaving a city because you have too many painful memories there, the pride of achieving a goal that you have set for yourself, or watching your child develop a personality of his or her own.

More mechanically though, this is also about representing the degree of control that you have over your own actions and the action of compromising with yourself.

What I'm Doing Now

Right now, I'm at the earliest stages of prototyping, so I have made a working model of a couple of pieces of the game without much of the framework needed to hold it together. This is really just to establish a starting point and some degree of code convention. As of right now, I have a hex map, emotions going along paths as tower defense creeps, and towers that hit the creeps.

The next thing to do is to see how the theming and core mechanic feel. I'm going to try to represent a very specific scenario, I'm currently thinking of the experience of working at a frustrating job, and add the theming and additional mechanics necessary for that. I'm probably going to leave the art as extremely minimal and UI as only barely functional just to see if the mechanics hold up as quickly as possible. I'm also going to see how hard it is to write out a small scenario and how far away the result is from the experience that I want to create. This is still very early in the prototyping process and forgetting that video game ideas often don't work out would be foolish.

- @murthynikhil

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Written for Why Not Games.