It's a golden era for video games. Services like Kickstarter are funding everything from new low-budget titles to blockbuster sequels for long-neglected classics. If you have a good idea, you can now get funding and distribution and make some solid-gold-hooker money. But then, that's the rub, isn't it? First you need a good idea, and those are hard to find ...
Wait, no they're fucking not! Look here, and here. As gamers, we all have our brilliant, perfect, tragically nonexistent game idea. I started this thread to ask people for theirs, and below you'll find just a small sampling of games so ingenious, you'll punch your own crotch just to distract yourself from the pain of not owning them. And if you work in the game industry, you should know that all of these ideas, as well as those in the comments below, are up for grabs. You don't have to share any money with us, you don't even have to credit us -- in fact, we'd probably rather you not, as typing our names would take valuable seconds that could be spent building these awesome games and giving them to us right God damn now.
NOTE: The previous volumes in this series tended to focus on "how they could be better," or "how they could go wrong," which I realize now was stupid. Video game publishers are a notoriously fickle and cowardly species, easily startled by "could-be-betters" and "could-go-wrongs." So I'll try a different tack. I'll let the ideas stand on their own, and then try to sum up in no uncertain terms why each will make you 1 billion real U.S. dollars. It is a promise. Each idea: $1 billion. So start investing in bigger pockets, dickwads, because if you make ANY of these games even close to right, your pants will literally be exploding with money.
7 An Open-World Biker Game With Decent Controls
As a professional Internet, I understand that you may not trust me with your ideas. So if I'm asking you to show yours, it's only fair that I show mine first. So here it is: a motorcycle game. But here's the catch ... it can't be a total piece of shit.
Virtually every motorcycle game is just a re-skinned car racing game. Sure, there have been a few bulky, incredibly expensive arcade peripherals that have gotten part of the biker experience right, but it shouldn't be that hard to port a motorcycle racing game to a console. The standard controller is laid out a lot like a bike's controls anyway: You have two sets of pressure-sensitive triggers and buttons right next to each other on the underside of the controller. Those are your handlebars. Push on the trigger with varying degrees of pressure to push on the respective bar, and you have a pretty accurate simulation of counter-steering. Just above the triggers you have two buttons. On a bike, they're levers: clutch on the left, the front (or main) brake on the right. One thumb works the D-pad, which could easily control the 1-down, 4-up shifting pattern on a bike. The other thumb rests on the right analog stick, which controls degrees of throttle. For advanced users, the left stick could manage body position, and one of the buttons could control the rear brake. That's it: Those are all the vital controls of a motorcycle mapped perfectly to an existing console controller.
This is the only time having a keyboard/mouse will screw you.
Riding a motorcycle does not feel at all how it's presented in video games. They usually have you control the throttle with a trigger and steering by the analog stick. This gives you twitchy, inaccurate control, because it's actually too much input. You're not twisting a great big steering wheel on a bike; you're just subtly pushing on bars. The triggers make much more sense for steering inputs. Third-person sandbox games are the worst about this: Bikes are practically unusable in GTA or Saints Row -- they're just too fast for the clumsy controls, and you're too disconnected to manage them -- and yet that's precisely when it would be the most fun! I actively avoid stealing bikes in sandbox games, even though it is a consequences-free environment for me to explore the pros and cons of strapping my crotch to a giant steel missile. That's because in real life, you push, lean, and roll on the throttle to turn, while in video games, you corner tightly by yanking the handlebars, hitting the handbrake button, and "drifting," which is A) much less satisfying and B) a great way to volunteer as the ammunition for a meat catapult on a real bike.
How It Will Make You 1 Billion Real U.S. Dollars
Racing games occupy more of a niche market, like hardcore simulators. You're not going to make bank that way. But if you got the controls right first, then put gamers in the role of a hardcore outlaw in a GTA/Saints Row/Just Cause-style open world -- sort of like The Lost and Damned tried to do -- you would have all of the money from every motorcycle rider for the accurate controls, in addition to all the money of every gamer who just wants to ramp that fire escape without twitch-steering into a dump truck at the last second. Plus, this control scheme still leaves three whole buttons free! You could map those to hands, feet, and weapons for devastating combos to unleash against other riders at high sp-
Oh, you know what? Just make another Road Rash.
In fact, why are you making any other games at all, ever?
I guess that's what I'm asking for. Make an open-world Road Rash and get the controls right, and I will choke your whole family to death with my money -- just generation after generation of your loved ones, all suffocating and drowning in my cash, forever.
6 Possession, the Game
"My idea: A game where the protagonist is a spirit possessing people."
"Basically, it's as follows: You can possess other people, and you immediately can use any of their abilities/powers (that is, possess a soldier and you'll use their weapons, possess an old lady and you'll have to walk slowly)."
"The key of the game is you can only spend so much time controlling the same person until they start to struggle and fight back. They eventually kill themselves, leaving you without a body, and you can only survive a short amount of time without being inside someone. As the game progress[es], the enemies will know about you and your powers, so you will have to act as the person you are controlling so the rest of the people don't know that he's possessed."
"For example, if you are discovered and some soldiers attack you, you can take the body of that soldier and keep attacking and going after the guy you were possessing before. Then, you can go back to base with the soldiers and start a big mess from the inside."
How It Will Make You 1 Billion Real U.S. Dollars
There was a Nintendo GameCube title, Geist, that tried to do this. And it was pretty friggin' rad. But it was ultimately limited by budget and technology. It ended up being more or less a level-based shooter when it needed to be much more open world. I know I harp on open-world games, because they're my personal favorite, but I understand that level-based design is often stronger. Not here. This idea needs a Watch Dogs-style reactive world to flourish, and further, it needs some complicated stealth mechanics incorporated (that whole "hobble like the old lady/act like the soldier" bit is the best part of this concept).
That was the problem with Geist: We weren't quite there yet, technologically. At least, not on consoles. But look at games like Dishonored or, to a lesser extent, Assassin's Creed. They're massively successful, largely open-world games with mostly successful stealth mechanics that made pornographic amounts of cash. And yet no current sequel to Geist is being planned. If you want to cash in on the hottest trend of this gaming generation, the possession mechanic is your trump card. In short: If you give gamers the ability to stealth-assassinate elite guardsmen while wearing somebody's Nana, we will give you 1 billion real U.S. dollars.