This is a collection of design documentation for video game ideas. Although skill based input is important, it's far too easy to create entertainment with violence, and hopefully these games can focus more on content, mystery and situations rather than being entirely hack and slash. The goal is to make games with a healthy sense of adventure and challenge, while seeking to avoid a mindless psychology.
Multiplayer Persistent Worlds
Story - A fantasy civilization living underground on a planet with a toxic atmosphere. The main theme being that every creature evolved from dinosaurs (plenty of dinosaur skeletons found in the landscape). Game revolves around kleptomania and finding treasure, while exploring the deep and uncharted world. Titans of nature and monsters create obstacles to avoid or defeat, and evidence of alien technology creates a theme of mystery (like multicolored strokes in Maia).
Game - Character builds and classes with platforming skills and technical combat. Locker system for storing gear between sessions. Emphasis on using gear to navigate passages and a need to be careful. Ocean simulation with a vehicle system. Loot system with random drops. Unique items are unstorable and passed around, hunted for or fought over. A special globe can show the location of other players (with a warning message).
Type - Side View: Action / Survival / MUD - Detailed pixel art.
Reference - Terraria, Legacy ofth Wizard, La Mulama, Environmental Station Alpha.
Story - Set in a universe climaxing in complexity and ruled by artificial intelligence. Company ships, or rogue individuals roam an interstellar society, endeavoring to understand alien worlds, and exploring colossal, abandoned constructs of prehistoric mystery. Company and clan acquisition wars mask an underlining theme to find real purpose through inner peace. Also, unconscious alien threats come out of the deep space. Playful UFO's might appear as well.
Game - Your ship is your character, like a fish in a pond, with a constant need to be careful. Customize and swap ships in garage spaces. Systems like cabled harpoons add movement mechanics. Explore the passages of alien constructs to find secrets and new technology. Navigate city-like stations in space and planet atmospheres, maybe with hashed randomseeds for planet surfaces.
Type - Top Down: Action / Survival / MUD - Quality rotating vector sprites.
Reference - Dark Orbit, Mutant Storm, Armada, Elite Dangerous.
Story - A fantasy universe with multiple planets accessible through a space simulation. A few portals might lead to alternate dimensions as well. The demo above is much less of a MUD, and includes a graphical element that won't be included in the actual, entirely text based game. The emphasis would be much more on quests, exploration and mystery solving through examining the details and reading text carefully. Preferably create a system of progress that doesn't require combat, such as item and learning based.
**Something to add: A Dull Gray Rock Castle - Surrounded by wolves (including an elusive wolf god), and full of red velvet tapestries and curtains with rooms that go maze-like deep into the castle in weird ways. In the basement there's an ancient green dragon chained up. Maybe find a verdant bow, or an undead greatsword. Might be a good place to have the Dark Heart class guild area in a secret location. Include an empty arena. Also give Gnaborax some kind of portal magic, and have a tiny earth colored mouse named Jeff.
Game - The demo here is a quickly thrown together version of the basic idea, although it does include a lot. Nothing in it has been balanced or fleshed out, so it is what it is. Areas should be bigger, and have more paths that are less open, with more unique descriptions and much more detail. Maybe include a locker system, safe rooms, a globe to see the location of other players (with a warning), rifts, and a food system that acts like heals but with fullness.
Type - Text: Heartbeat / RPG - Actual mud should be entirely text.
Reference - Text based muds, EotL, Duris, Rifts (books).
Story - A fantasy universe with multiple planets accessible through a space simulation. A few portals might lead to alternate dimensions as well. The demo above is a test made with a software engine, so it's very limited, and was too slow for good floor casting. The actual MUD should have an almost retro virtual reality feel and somewhat pixelated graphics: a sprite based 2.5D raycaster, or something similar, with enough modern touch to be quality looking and feeling, fluid and fast.
Game - Like Maia have rifts you can enter and be transported to a random place or dimension. Such as a barren landscape full of dinosaurs. Rifts should be considered dangerous, never knowing where they lead or even what might come out of them. Avatar is like an alternate universe to Maia (could even call the main planet Gaia).
Type - 2.5D: Action / RPG - 3D pixelated science fiction look.
Reference - Graphical muds, Marathon, Doom, Rifts (books), Elder Scrolls.
Story - A seemingly endless underground world, and everything is alive. Trees and rocks whisper clues to unlock secret depths of the planet. You start in an encampment with a tutorial. It teaches you that the world works a certain way, but you can find that it doesn't have to, and travel freely, discovering the naked universe. If you complete all the enlightening quests your character is abducted by aliens.
Game - Realm ofth Mad God movement except lock targets and zoom in on encounters with heartbeat combat. RPG with a retro arcade look and medieval fantasy feel. Creatures should feel like Wizards and Warriors, and often play out like special encounters. No specific classes. Guilds to learn skills, only limited by how much you can learn. Player killing transfers unspent experience. Spend experience points to raise skills and stats but they become more expensive until nearly impossible to raise. Dying causes you to loose a percentage of stats, making it devastating at high levels to encourage playing within a sweet spot. Getting characters abducted advances the scope of your game, such as unlocking more advance ways to start a new character.
Type - Top Down - Heartbeat / RPG - Dark arcade, early Ultima look.
Reference - Ultima, Realmz, Wizards and Warriors.
Bane of Doom
Single Player Story Driven
Story - Graphical action based mud. Start in the city of Pleonexy which acts as a central point. Make it difficult to go from one area to another without passing through the Heart of Pleonexy. Areas cover a wide range of medieval fantasy with modern touches. Guild and clan system. Special rogue-like dungeons, generated minor quests, and a major quest list. "A shadow shall fall over the universe, and evil will grow in its path..."
Game - Locker system to store gear. Special items are unstoreable. A glowing green amulet makes one person super powerful and should be fought over. A magic sword will randomly jump from player to player, offering a powerful weapon for a short time. Tile based movement (and jumping), but mouse based aiming, even clicking to target. Permadeath if you die. Model similar to Realm ofth Mad God, with pets, stat potions, fame (or something) and loot, mixed with tile based EotL.
Type - Top Down: Action / RPG - Tiny pixel art tilemap look.
Reference - D&DO, EotL, Chess, Gauntlet, Desktop Dungeon.
Story - Direct sequel to Nintendo's Guardian Legend. Miria returns to her home planet only to find that civilization has destroyed itself. Uniting the world had allowed evils to usurp powerful manipulation, opening rifts to dimensions beyond reality. Greeted by a message to save herself, she plunges deep into the planets sacred temples to defeat their guardians and close the rifts. Left behind are a few surviving gynoids, the artificial people made by the humans for companionship. Together with Miria they adopt their planet to begin again. Main themes of apocalypse and sexualized art. The demo above is a very rough test engine.
**Something to add: Geomancer: drill down (only works if not too deep, otherwise bounce), satellites on max (decoy). Carapace: siren, crab arm on max. Leaf: flame breath on max, flutter. Rock: Turn to stone, poison cloud on max. Bizarre: banish, wings on max. Guardian: crystal satellites on max (laser), plant healing tree. Apocalypse: goo ball satellites on max (stun), missile. Also one of Miria's abilities out of the mech should be to grow giant (this was in the demo but it got deleted unfortunately). Machs level up like Zelda 2.
Game - Miria pilots a mech, or she can eject for maneuverability. Begin at the surface ruins and enter the deep world to find the temples, from which she can acquire different technology such as a metroidvania. To close a rift she must defeat the guardian and abandon her mech to enter it, and be put into alien space with the ability to fly, to defeat a second boss. The final deepest and uncharted area, containing the appolyon, Taraxippus, a monstrous goat-dragon who guards the 9th rift. You continue to fight while entering this rift. "Curse you for my jealousy. I will destroy the world to end my suffering, and nothing can escape the power of my revenge. Embrace the wrath you have earned for neglecting the importance of my existence, you miserable, selfish children!"
Type - Side View: Platformer / Timer - Quality retro art.
Reference - Guardian Legend, Metroid, Blaster Master, Burari Fighter, Metal Storm.
Story - Set on a heavily mechanized world. Zephyr, a gynoid-like transferable intelligence, cannot cope with her violent programs, and after a painful struggle becomes defective. Haunted by old routines she periodically becomes mindless. Miria (after Deep Zone), comes to this world and meets Zephyr. Together they explore an approaching catastrophe. Gigantic titans of ancient technology are destroying resources like runaway trains with incompatible communication, while civilization is busy with complex programming. Heavy themes of control and brainwashing, such as the struggle to be yourself.
Game - Switch between Zephyr and Miria, or possibly have 2 player mode. Zephyr can transfer into different bodies, and Miria can transform. Flying shmup-like levels as well. Much of the game revolves around avoiding the militarized police controlled by the ancient technology. Miria and Zephyr are destroyed in the end, registered as defective, but the ancient machine begins to understand something about it.
Type - Top Down: Adventure / RPG - Quality tilemap.
Reference - Zelda-like, Final Fantasy 6/7, Rifts (books), Akira (anime), ZAS.
Story - Play as a weredragon named Sophia, who normally appears as a girl with long blond hair. Game begins with her waking up from a nightmare, in the moss by a swamp, her home. Town people think she's weird. A shadow demon, Orose, is beginning to take over the world. As Sophia struggles to understand what her existence means, she becomes invested in defending towns from the demon's minions. Her stoic ability to fight emotionlessly promotes her career as a warrior. A giant, serpentine waterfall fae helps Sophia, and so does a few other faries in the forms of giant beasts. With the pendant, Sophia can become a chromatic dragon, a demon devourer. Evil minions: Orobas, Jawblex, Vorbola. Good faries: Sefirot, Nihphex, Baphomet. Have Belphegor guarding Orose, and mention Demiurge. Themes of being different discovering solutions, and how without desire, or fight, we would have no motivation.
Game - Navigate a top down map to enter areas that are side scrolling. At certain points Sophia will transform and become a very large, green dragon. Three difficult towers unlock the shadow demon's protective barrier. Five underground temples hold books that summon powerful weapons, boots (jump), gloves (climb), armor (stun immunity), a winged helmet (true sight) and a pendant (which is missing). The pendant causes a magical version of the wearer. Defeating temples also helps with leveling up.
Type - Side View: Adventure / RPG - Retro tilemap, Sword & Sorcery look.
Reference - Zelda 2, Sword & Sorcery, Princess Mononoke (anime).
Story - Play as a trained ninja named Anna (looks like Casca from Berserk), who is promoted with a ritual that gives her a demonic transformation. Finding out in this way that she has been evil, even before this, it inspires her to resist the corruption and embark on a quest to defeat the demons who had preverted her. Torn away from her training, she remains tortured by the echoing past, and seeks to cleanse her mind of the customs and violence in order to find her true self once again.
Game - Wall jumping and ninja techniques in a top down, tile based format. Wall climbing and moving on roof tops. Demonic berserking (maybe becomes a brown hairy wolf dragon). Vampire-like healing and magic. Meditation to menu and level or save. A lot of the game has to do with infiltrating castle-like fortresses and avoiding conflict. Focused on supernatural battles like Ninja Scroll.
Type - Top Down: Platformer / RTS - Diablo 2 look (not isometric).
Reference - Berserk (anime), Ninja Scroll (anime), Dark Souls, Metal Gear Solid.
Story - Based on the graphic novels Appleseed. Military heroes, Deunan, Hairy, Zelda and Klaus, discover too late a plot to rewrite history and instigate world war. While attempting to remedy the conflict, they're framed as traitors and forced to retreat to an enemy prison, where they discover a plot to release a super bacteria as well. Themes of information war, and also the anticipation of weapons, like having a gun around causes a desire to see it go off, like drama in movies causes a desire to see reality become dramatic. Once the super bacteria escapes it kills off a majority of living things, then it quickly begins to mutate and create dinosaurs, which become massive. The military tries to suppress the pandemonium of fast moving and insatiable reptiles, eating what's left of civilization. The story ends with the group living like cavemen, reflective and at peace but unlikely to survive.
Game - Mix of tactics and action, trying to focus on puzzle solving strategy. Like the graphic novels, have lots of war torn, abandoned, modern cities to traverse carefully, favouring night. Use of technology, including power suits. Mixed with slice of life story lines. The end game becomes a fight against verious, strong dinosaurs which are relentless. You have to find points of safety, such as well protected buildings, and attempt to reach a military base in the mountains.
Type - 2.5D: Action / RTS - 3D washed out comic book look.
Reference - Appleseed (books), Dark Souls, Metal Gear Solid.
Basic Single Player Games
Story - A mideavil fantasy world plagued by the monstrous effects of god-like beings, such as Cthulu, filling the world with fantastic beasts. Many towns have arenas, and careers to become champions. Side quests eventually lead you to discover that the arenas are a devise to desensitise the population while also creating subliminal fear and desire for protection, as an evil king hordes wealth and commands self-serving economic preformance. An angelic paladin named Sera is caught in the same adventure, although you never really team up the stories intertwine. Themes of becoming concious, thinking for yourself, and that everything counts.
Game - Dragon Warrior 3 type of character creation, with different builds for different classes. Fight monsters in arenas and dungeons. World map has sparse random encounters that are more situational. Can focus on building a career or following the quest line. End game can trigger apocolyptic demigod battles.
Type - Top Down: Turn Based / RPG - Retro tilemap, quality 8-bit.
Reference - Dragon Warrior, Lovecraft (books), Darkest Dungeon, Dark Souls.
Story - You're a dragon-like lizard monster trying to kidnap a princess. Princess maybe wants to be kidnapped (Mario spoof). Various levels end with a castle like Mario, guarded by a boss, except the pricess is rescued by soldiers befor you can reach her. Keep it simple and focus on platforming and strategy.
Game - Ghouls and Ghosts style Map with slight navigation choices. Jump on enemies. Bite attack eats items or causes effects. Hold to run and release to bite maybe. Gets big, horny and grows wings with powerups. Hybernate to change color, maybe in combination with item. Green (nothing): electric bite can stone petrify. Red (flower): spitfire, damage and speed bonus. Blue (mushroom): magic bubble, freeze bite or float. White (mouse): healing cloud, defense bonus. Black (spider or turned): auto summon skeletons, poison bite (can only change to gold from black). Gold (butterfly): teleport dash, flare and defense bonus.
Type - Side View: Platformer / Levels - Vibrant arcade tilemap look.
Reference - Mario, Sonic, Little Samson, Trip World, Gargoyals Quest.
Story - You're a soldier for an advanced race, tasked with finding solutions to a hostile maze. Heavy themes of simulation theory, as you begin to question your existence, trying to decide if it makes any difference, seeking clues for the sake of understanding.
Game - Action platforming puzzle game. Progress through areas by defeating monsters and avoiding traps, navigating complex level design with precise movement techniques. Also use physic puzzles such as portals. Weapon systems add a tactical element.
Type - Side View: Shooter / Levels - Modern retro arcade look.
Reference - Hero Core, Meatboy, Wings of Vi, Abuse, Slime (?), Cave Story.
Story - An open world pinball game, set in an organic, monster-like environment full of puzzles and traps. A mysterious essense of a story can be articulated through the game, showing the ball as a character and the world as a metaphor.
Game - Unlock areas to progress and even fight boss monsters in pinball style arenas. Powerups can give your ball a tactical approach, and quests can evolve from area configurations and score goals. Have safe areas where you can make decisions and check items.
Type - Pinball: Adventure / RTS - Quality organic art look.
Reference - Anything alien or lovecraftian, Space Cadet Pb, Dragon's Keep Pb, Pb Quest.
Mega Man Entropy
Story - A classic Mega Man game with many levels and a huge fortress to defeat. Dr. Wily has uploaded his intelligence into the Ghost Machine to control a network of robot masters. Using the technology to make himself smarter it has increased his insanity, infecting the network and causing the breakdown of all robots, including Mega Man. Themes of limits and the nessessity of change.
Game - Playable characters: Mega Man, Bass Man, Tighty Whitey, Grimalkin Girl, Mega Maid, Squidvark, Knightbot. Robot masters: Plant Man (jungle), Steam Girl (sand), Mouse Man (woods) - mice explode, Cosmic Girl (space), Ring Man (air), Splash Girl (ocean), Hornet Man (mountain), Sheep Man (hills), Dragon Girl (snow), Shadow Man (lava). Second wave: Chain Man (factory), Splinter Man (trash), Toad Man (swamp), Bone Girl (grave). Final Fortress: Cement Monster (giant), Carapace Dragon (lobster), Inferno Man (base), Glacier Man (base), Corrupt Dragon (poison), Shark Machine, Clock Machine, Ghost Machine. Balloon and Torpedo, or Dog and Bird.
Type - Side View: Platformer / Levels - Retro tilemap arcade look.
Reference - Mega Man.
Story - Character selection from various platforming games, each with a storyline involing the Loc-Nar. They are transported to an alternate dimension and forced to defeat rogue-like platforming levels to obtain the Loc-Nar, with alternate endings depending on how the game was completed, either being corrupted or finding a way to understand and break free. Path of least resistence, taking the easy way out theme.
Game - Playable characters: Jin Saotome (mega man clone and mechs), Miria (transforms and mechs), Shantae (genie with animal transforms), Arthur (knight who controls magic weapons), Volgar / Rygar (barbarian with super strength), Kaho (priest with magic spells), Morrigan / Lilith (vampire with shadow magic), Jack-o (weird angel thing), "Captain" Kronos (castlevania whips and dagger), Strider / Ryu (ki magic like lovecraft summons), Vi (half demon / angel monster), Kirby (brown plant dragon, fly like gargoyal). Characters should cover a wide range of platforming techniques.
Type - Side View: Platformer / Levels - Quality tilemap look.
Reference - Mega Man, Shantae, Volgarr, etc.
Peer to Peer or Lobby Driven
Story - Similar to books such as Gulliver of Mars, which depict a headstrong captain-like character lost in fantastic interplanetary adventure. Ruined cities, forsaken peoples, copper-skinned swordsmen, a giant cyclopic allagator monster that pours out its tongue in a pile to crush and eat people like ants, ancient rocketships, castles of ice, jungles of certain death, weird and awesome monsters, alien princesses, insect civilizations, floating battleships, and the fate of the universe. Don't forget your sarcasm.
Game - Point and click style game with interactive scenes. Space simulator lets you hail or attack other ships. Mix of graphical and text based. Multiplayer would be neat except it would ruin the immersion with storelines and dialogue.
Type - Static: Adventure / RPG - Retro science fiction look.
Reference - Gullivar of Mars (book), Shadowgate, Myst, Star Control, Redline (anime).
Story - A community of intergalactic racing. Outside of races is a vague point and click style navigation and map system. Advance your career and develop relationships. Travel to alien planets and customize your racing machine. Some story modes, like undercover cop, runaway, or vendetta. Based heavily on the anime Redline.
Game - An evolving storyline such as Mass Effect. Travel and enter races. Different types of races can include exotic animals. Build and maintain your custom racing machine, breed or tame animals. Also can place bets or participate in alternative games, gambling or city attractions.
Type - 2.5D: Racing / Career - 3D gritty science fiction look.
Reference - Redline (anime), Punch Club, Mass Effect, Crash N Burn, Blade Runner.
Story - Build towns and recruit heroes. Explore the world, develop relationships or defeat others. Unlock technology in a quest to ultimately cast the master spell. Deep within the planet caves find monstrous creatures and hidden relics. You're also challenged by a pure evil, such as Lord of the Rings, who've taken over part of the map, but are rooted in the deepest underground.
Game - Select a race and types of magic to begin with. You begin as the leader of a small town, which you can develop or abandon. As you recruit heroes or summon monsters they evolve with experience. The more towers you control the more power you gain. If you take over the world you win but without a good ending since you've destroyed everything else. Active time or wait mode.
Type - Top Down: Turn Based / Sim - Vibrant arcade, Sword & Sorcery look.
Reference - Master of Magic, Master of Monsters, Realmz.
Story - A basic fighter game. Various creatures have been abducted by aliens, and placed together experimentally to fight for life. If you defeat every other person and creature you are rewarded, sort of, being hooked up to a machine that keeps you alive forever while running through virtual reality simulations of continuous experimentation.
Game - Select from many different alien people and creatures, each with a unique technique and effects. Arenas can be large and involve platforming or hazards, zooming in when the players are near enough to each other. Different modes can offer items during a fight, or alternative goals to win, or even a tag system (morph maybe).
Type - Side View: Fighter / Levels - Quality sprite, Sword & Sorcery look.
Reference - Tekken, Meatboy, Guilty Gear.
Hour of the Horde
Story - A basic shooter game. Takes place in a futuristic version of Maia. The universe is under attack by self-replicating, semi-biological machines. Fight your way to defeat the boss ships that control the swarms, discovering bizarre and fantastic opponents. Enter deep space to locate the floodbringer homeworld and try to destroy the infection at its source.
Game - Navigate autoscrolling levels with dual stick movement and shooting. Use special weapons carefully to conserve them. Aquire alien powerups for alternative tactics, and swap between modes to take advantage of different systems.
Type - Top Down: Shooter / Levels - Quality modern arcade look.
Reference - Mutant Storm, Gradius, Lifeforce, Steam Hearts, Silpheed, ZAS.
Story - Play as a prehistoric fantasy creature and try to survive. Jungles, forests, deserts, valleys, volcanos and oceans swarm with ravanous teeth as some of the most rudimentary and vicious appetites compete.
Game - Combat should take a very careful approach, since a wounded animal is an easy target. Different creatures have different rituals to grow and live, but focus on fight or flight. If you've completed enough your character grows old and evolves spiritually.
Type - Top Down: Fighter / Survival - Vibrant art isometric look.
Reference - The Isle, Grand Theft Auto, Samurai Shodown.
Back to Top
Story - Play as the civilization of a planet, trying to destroy the civilizations of other planets. Each race has a unique characteristic, like being aquatic, insectoid, feathered, demonic or artificial, each with their own breed of technology. There's also a planet of dinosaurs, which cannot invade, but is the most difficult and brutal.
Game - Control the invasion in real time. Apply tasks for the computer to carry out or control a unit yourself. To some degree it plays out like a tower defense game, but try to make action very fighter game like. The match is over when one side is conqured.
Type - Side View - Fighter / RTS - Quality arcade tilemap look.
Reference - League of Legends, Broforce, Strider, Metal Slug.