Tell Us: What’s Your Dream Game?

By John Walker on April 12th, 2011 at 2:12 pm.

Someone should make a game set entirely in a thought bubble.

We work far too hard entertaining you. You do some work for a bit. I want you to describe your dream game. It’s not quite as ambiguous as it sounds.

For instance, my dream game, as I’ve written about before, is one that just lets me calmly survive. I want a vast island to explore, filled with treats to discover, but only if I can keep myself alive. I want to need to build a shelter with the physics of a Penumbra game, hunt for food using a bow and arrow I’ve made by stringing a branch and wedging a flint and feathers into a stick, building fires, and so on. The key difference between my game and all those I’ve tried that people have recommended is 1) it’s good, and 2) it’s not about frantically monitoring unrealistic levels. I am a greedy chap, but I don’t need to eat sixteen chickens an hour to stay alive. The budgeting of survival to exploration need not be so punishing, and I suspect is usually because a game really doesn’t have much to offer. That’s what I want.

So what do you want? Maybe it’s a whole new way of thinking about the first-person shooter. Or an RTS that doesn’t infuriate you by focusing on units when you really care about resources. Are you crying out for a management sim that doesn’t care about the happiness of the people?

Someone will read one of your comments and make a corresponding game. It’s inevitable.

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499 Comments »

  1. Blue says:

    I’d like a RPG based on Jorge Luis Borges short sories. Like a detective game in a world that’s going mad. That would be pretty awesome.

    Or a game that has an realistic take on time travel.

    Or a game in first person that puts you in the boots of a great explorer in uncharted territories, with gorgeous environments waiting to be explored. And you can build stuff.

  2. rapchee says:

    syndicate (well, basically cyberpunk) mmo with strategic and action (fps) roles, researches (i wonder how it would be possible to let players invent stuff), with a persistent world, player-run companies battling over the control of cities.
    then the aliens come.

  3. Tom Camfield says:

    I want an RPG where the central mechanic is similar to the Dead Rising games; there are a ton of events that will all happen at an allotted time, but you can’t reach them all on one play through, luckily, when you die, you’re transported back to the beginning of the game with all the skills and magic you’ve accumulated.

    The fighting would be similar to Diablo (more precisely, Record of Lodoss War), but you would be able to collect a team to help you (like Suikoden), and send members of your team to some of the events you would otherwise miss, hoping they’d take care of them. The spell system would involve finding magic artifacts which, a la Chronos (the film), become attached to you and are reborn with you. You can then combine artifacts to create magic, like the old Amiga game Legends.

    The cities, however, would play like an adventure game, and you’d have to wear the right clothes with the fashions of the time, and woo fair maidens. There’d also be a subgame of you sending people out to various mines to gather gold from goblin bashing, all done via a big wargame like map.

    Something like that…

  4. amoe says:

    i painted these some years ago.
    http://www.igorstshirts.com/blog/conceptships/armin_stocker_ships.jpg

    http://imgs.veeqi.com/img05/allimg/080917/19510011.jpg

    i would really love a game where you have under water battle in vehicles like this.

  5. potat0man says:

    RTS/Turn-Based WWII hybrid. Kind of a Total War: Company of Heroes

  6. Baldr God of Beauty says:

    Back when I was a kid, I played a game on the PC called “Tzar: The Burden of the Crown” it was a fun little RTS game that I had so many hours of fun on. I never beat the story mission. I never actually kicked anyones ass in a skirmish. But I could set the teams off balance on an Archipelago map, and no one would ever attack me because they’d be busy being attacked by my 5 allies against their 4, but the game wouldn’t end because the AI was atrocious.

    So I’d spend literally hours just constructing an optimal, amazing base, with efficient harvesting routes to the many different sources of materials. There was food, lumber, stone, and gold. I don’t know what fascinated me so much about this game, but roleplaying with myself in this tiny little city where I could make a dragon or two spawn, or spawn literal legions of up to 300 bats at once… It was a whole hell of a lot of fun.

    Ever since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to recapture that feeling, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my dream game. I like stories where characters go from the veritable “rags” to the veritable “riches” but no one seems to do it right. They forget that what made the character such a good person and wanting to help the world from Generic Bad Villainguy number 5009 was his humble start.

    My dream game starts you off as a peasant. You just acquired a sweet fucking job with the local kingship, and you’re going to be harvesting materials for the king. The game starts off with an RTS theme. Imagine you’re just a peasant, and you have to do whatever insane whim that your veritable “hand in the sky overlord” demands you to. So you spend your day building houses, barracks, harvesting lumber, oh no you’re low on stone, better grab a pick and get it. The game unfolds like this for a while, with the occasional bit of snarky dialogue and rushed need to extinguish a fire, or grab a sword to defend from a wandering bear.

    But then the base is finished. The “hand in the sky overlord” is done with you. He doesn’t need YOU any more, he’s moved on to the next zone he can wave his giant hand around in. Your kingdom sits there, rotting. You have no rule, no country, and no aim. You’re just a little RTS unit, completely abandoned. So you and your friends band up and decide to continue the rule in your overlords absence. He’s not coming back, but you don’t know that.

    So then you have control of this place, but you’re still in the First Person perspective. You can control what gets built, and since you’re not at war, you can just convert the barracks to entertainment and such to start trying to make gold. Then it becomes a struggle, trying to entertain the local populace and make enough gold to keep your little country afloat.

    While all of this is happening, a good friend occasionally busts in to help you train for combat. He teaches you the basics and more advanced techniques, takes you on little missions, and combat is really small and not too dangerous, goblins and animals and the like. But then problems start happening. Your base gets attacked, people die, and your best friend dissipears. You have no idea what’s going on, so you buckle in and start converting entertainment to war while you prepare to kick ass. You have to manage your forces properly, and you can command them from an RTS perspective or from the FPS perspective.

    The rest of the game is city management and missions to try to end whatever dark force is attacking you. It’s a combination of city building games and instanced MMO dungeons and long, expanding quests. And it all started with you as a peasant. You specifically lived the every day life of a hero before he became a hero, what he had to do to learn to become a hero, what he had to do to be a hero, and with a nice addition of city management to dull out some of the more boring parts.

    -stares at the ceiling dreamily-

  7. Chaz says:

    My dream game sounds quite similar to what John’s idea is.
    I’d like to play a massively multiplayer first person Stalker style post apocalyptic open world survival game, set in a large city complete with suburbs and surounding country side. I would like all the tens of thousands of buildings to be enterable complete with Penumbra and Half Life 2 style physics so that you can create baracades and fortify buildings. Players would start off on the edges of the city out in the country side, scavenging what they can to get by and fend off a mutant infestation that gets increasingly more dangerous the closer you get to the heart of the city where the greatest rewards are. Players could group together to overcome the challenges of penetrating deeper into the infested city or annex and take control of parts of the city suburbs, start wars and fight each other for the best spoils.

  8. Protagoras says:

    My best game would have to be a perfected EVE, combined with some sort of incarna but on planets rather than space stations (some sort of RPG/Generic MMO/FP4X combo), set in a universe thats a mesh up of Cowboy Bebop meets Firefly.

    Imagine playing EVE in full control (joystick/mouse), having all the player interaction, metagame, what have you, while still being able to land on planets and do shit like getting a house or hunting or growing stuff or setting a bank or warring over something or whatever else you might actually wanna do on a planet.
    Imagine being a Cowboy with twin revolvers, sitting in the cockpit of a Titan, doing orbital bombardment of the poor saps that decided to set up farms on the planet surface.
    Imagine going through an asteroid field in your recon, targeting a mining vessel and actually being able to board it and duke it out FPS style.
    Imagine game mechanics that actually allow and promote meta gaming – writing ingame malicious code, researching some virus that will fuck up player characters reflexes, making their decision in a fight have a constant lag.
    Imagine having a physical engine so strong that you could experiment with all kinds of game items, like tweet the gunpowder combo for your bullets or playing with electromagnetism in order to make a rail gun.
    Imagine going to a frontier planet, setting a covert research facility bunker, and having other players find it and try to assault and steal/destroy your research.

    That would be the best fucking game in the history of games.

    • magichicken says:

      Any Firefly game would be a godsend IMHO. EVE persistence and scope, but actual human characters in a large scale universe. I’m not sure if I’m on the same page, but something like the Old Republic (if it lives up to expectations) sans frequent instancing and with deeper space travel.

  9. danimalkingdom says:

    Okay, I expect no-one to read this, but, put simply, my dream game would be:

    Elite/Privateer-style flying and trading game, but set in a 1920s, interwar world with biplanes, a la Porco Rosso. Zeppelins, seaplanes, bombs, sky pirates, etc. Crimson Skies but more depth.

    Boom. Best game ever.

  10. The Magic says:

    A small time criminal space frigate set in the future. There will be some kind of procedurally generated NPCs. I want the AI to be massively realistic, almost alive. AI characters can have children, form relationships, tell jokes and the like. They need to be interesting to talk to and have strong speech functions. New children will have combined, evolved AI that learns by what their parents teach them. The player will be a newcomer to this town, and he/she will live their life here, and will have to tackle procedurally generated “missions” such as general ship repair, stellar bug cleanout, Girl A has been feeling rather down, you should probably do something about that.

    You could go to different planets, explore generated cities, with generated missions and generated NPCs with generated cultures…

    Kinda like Firefly meets STALKER meets The Sims.

  11. CaiusCaligula says:

    Near-future third-person crime RPG (or action-RPG), persistent world, choice and consequences, actual benefits for rising up in whatever organization, customizable character options (I know this is an RPG so it usually goes without saying, but I don’t want to just play Michael Thorton or JC Denton), sandbox playing field, romance sidequests (with possible gay options), and the ability to be either a massive criminal tool or a god damn hero vigilante depending on preference, though without a “morality scale”. Oh, and possibly a “research system” or something for upgrades when you get established enough
    So…like all those crime sandbox games out there, but with more of a plot and more interesting stuff to do than “Do crimes and still get no respect”…Sort of Saints Row x Bloodlines x Mass Effect/ME2 x a whole bunch of other stuff, minus the bugs and crappy design decisions.

  12. Davee says:

    ‘World of Evecraft’ mixed in with a little Wurm Online/Minecraft-esque terraforming and building.

    That is all.

  13. Starayo says:

    Games I would really want, from most to least:

    * A 3D Pokémon MMO – if this was made I would play nothing else ever again.

    * A new freelancer-esque game – by this I mean an open space sim with the simplicity of freelancer. The X series has been too hard to get into, but I will one of these days damnit…

    * A new dungeon keeper game!

    * A graphical dwarf fortress with a non-shitty interface.

    I don’t think I have a single “dream game”, there’s too many genres to cross. Except for the Pokémon MMO. That would be tits.

  14. MrBRAD! says:

    SS13 + Minecraft + Gmod Spacebuild.

  15. Colthor says:

    John’s idea is a brilliant one. An addition, however: I really enjoyed the archaeology aspect of Wurm Online, discovering the decayed remnants of previous players’ efforts. Obviously you wouldn’t want other people in your survival wilderness, but maybe you could nick the “massively singleplayer” aspect of Spore and have the game take other players’ constructions, decay and erode them, and hide them in unexplored regions of your own world.
    If you made the “tech tree” of buildable items large enough, maybe those ruins would contain some impossibly advanced artifact that you couldn’t hope to duplicate with your current tools – so, effectively, everybody’s working together to craft a world, and yet everybody’s alone in their own unique world.

    Another idea: 4X games tend to set you as the totalitarian Stalinist dictator-for-life of your nation/race, and your people are worker bees doing your bidding. But why not have one where there are more types of government and economic system? Some races could be completely laissez-faire (although that’d probably be more useful for AI races as the player wouldn’t have much to do), others somewhere between the extremes, maybe more could be something properly alien. Even more interesting is if instead of controling a whole race, you can control a smaller entity (a corporation, political party, or even a space-ship pilot) operating under the restrictions of your race, with the AI controling the rest of the universe.

    A fantasy equivalent would be to have the powers in the world properly dynamic, AI-controlled entities, with the player a single person, RPG style. No scripted quests or “main plot”, just a world ticking along according to its own rules, seeing what happens, with the player dragged along, ignoring it furiously, or maybe even managing to gain enough power to control them.

    Finally, Dwarf Fortress + S.T.A.L.K.E.R could be awesome.

  16. Elenar says:

    I’d really like Infinity: The Quest for Earth (http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infinity) to come out sometime in my lifetime, with viable planetary economies and interstellar politics between player groups.

  17. Shazbut says:

    A game with a moral choice that would genuinely challenge pacifism

    • magichicken says:

      Every murder simulating game made in the last thirty years? I think the last thing the games industry needs to worry about is not enough violence.

    • Shazbut says:

      Heavy Rain had one. Planescape Torment probably did too. That’s all I can think of.

      EDIT: @magicchicken

      Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I meant a game that would make me seriously consider a violent route when there was a non-violent one available. It would also need to have obvious story consequences (so it can’t just be sneaking past a guard in Thief)

    • magichicken says:

      I see what you mean, I guess I took it the wrong way. Rather than taking a quibbling moderate approach to every moral dilemma, I too would like to see more games that present morality in more multifaceted directions. In Dragon Age II (other problems aside), I remember a quest in which you were tasked with arresting the pedophile son of a local magistrate. Arresting him would result in his release thanks to his father’s political power, while killing him would bring justice to the local Elven population. IMHO, these kinds of moral issues are more engaging than ultraviolent shooters or hypocritically pacifistic morality tales.

  18. benjaminlobato says:

    Action RPG/RTS where you play a general, and battles are fought out like in Total War. All the rich dialog and story of a Bioware game, plus epic and challenging battles sending thousands of little men to their doom.

    • magichicken says:

      We don’t see enough games like Total War, RPG or not. Are there any other games in which soldiers will run away after suffering severe casualties? I’m sick to death of rookie militiamen fighting to the death in every single RPG, RTS, and FPS game. A game with a more sensible approach to war – as not just a kill-em-all-marathon – but also dealing with logistics, morale, and internal politics.

    • benjaminlobato says:

      This is a good point. I love the idea of an FPS where your fellow shooty-men teammates will run away from battle if their morale gets low.

    • Gothnak says:

      Close Combats? You upgrade the rookies straight away as otherwise they cower like children… Or me…

  19. Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

    MMO Mass Effect 2. That is all.

  20. Nameless1 says:

    What’s my dream game? Another Vampire Bloodlines, without a publisher (Activision) rushing the release date (forcing the last part of the game to be unfinished) and totally failing in the advertising.

  21. Toshley says:

    The STALKER series is currently the closest things to my dream game, and with mods it becomes closer than ever.

    What I want, in essence, is a large, atmospheric, immersive, unpredictable world that essentially wants you dead, a world where you have to struggle to survive, slaving away to afford the food to eat and the ammo to defend yourself.
    STALKER is close to this, but it lacks that strong survival element, it has everything else except that.

    Honestly, if STALKER’s A-life could be upgraded to a level akin to Dorf Fort and then the game itself given a much stronger focus on survival it would be my dream/perfect game.

  22. moltobenny says:

    Submarine simulator…

    …in SPACE!!!!

  23. BrunoNZ says:

    Always wanted Jagged Alliance meets Fallout/Shadow of Chernobyl. No aliens. No monsters. Just a dudes with guns (well, and some bloodcats of course). Guns, LOTS of guns. Mercs. Basically all the gameplay of JA but translated into a FPS world. Not that I’m not a fan of the turn-based tactical shooter. But I’d love to see that world/storyline/perosnality translated into a vast, Crysis-beautiful, RPG/FPS hybrid.

  24. Tomn says:

    Here’s one idea: Play as an innkeeper in a fantasy land. Stay in your inn, serve ale, cook food, clean rooms, or direct servants to do all the above. Meanwhile, chat with all the various colorful characters who roam the land. Hear about their tales of adventure, pass on tidbits you’ve heard for coin, maybe even occasionally ask one of your customers for help with a problem. Develop relationships with your regulars, become nodding acquaintances with great heroes, and even, occasionally, befriend and aid some poor young sap that turns out to be The Chosen One.

    Alternatively, a kingdom management game where you are the king, and you die when your life is up. The trick is that the game then models the game after your death for a bit, allowing you to play again later in your kingdom’s history at another point. Want to recover your kingdom from near ruin? You can play until that. Want to rule a peaceful empire at its height? Doable. Manage it during a time of war and conflict? Go ahead. Develop trade and diplomacy instead of the war of earlier days? Also possible. Survive a brutal civil war? Also an option. And in extreme cases, take up the cause of your deposed king and rebuild a kingdom conquered by foreign empires in times past.

  25. 12kill4 says:

    An supcom style rts game which lets you advance your troops in fronts rather than blobs and blocks, without intense micro management. mechanically it could work by holding down a button, zooming out supcom style, and then drawing a line across the terrain where you want your forces to form up, then drawing another line where you want them advance to (could be a different shaped front or w/e, the game uses some kind of vector based morph tool to figure out the transition from one to another), then finally you draw a third lines which intersects the two others to determine the general path of advance. Of course with the inclusion of fronts you could have the computer automatically configuring the micro-level of things, with unit lines slowly entrenching the longer they are stationary, with obvious modifiers for faction bonuses and special abilities, etc.

    In furtherance to this concept I want to bring back that lovely idea that supcom had but never ended up using, the sub-commander. in the early reveal stuff over on that hell hole that is gamespy, the devs talked a lot about being able to build a sub-commander or two who would manage an assigned area as an AI. rebuilding after a bombing raid, with extra AA, producing units and developing industry with excess resources, sending out patrols, etc… this kind of delegation would allow players to manage massive theatres of war without ignoring 3/4 of the map. it would also allow the player to focus closely on important battles or hunts for secret enemy bases. Furthermore, the sub-commanders themselves could be NPCs capable of development along the lines of the tasks they have been assigned, with various personal attributes… enemies could invest into espionage to turn or assassinate prominant commanders… oh the possibilities are endless. as are the odds that anyone would ever make this game.

  26. PaulMorel says:

    Assassin’s Creed set during the US Civil War.

    Climbing around 1860s New York City and assassinating people while wearing a bowler hat. Yes.

    The settings could be New York City, Charleston SC …. and maybe DC or somewhere in Virginia.

  27. Bahumat says:

    A combination first-person-flyer like Freelancer coupled with a galactic strategy scope of Galactic Civilizations/Master of Orion 2, and with the granularity of information simulation like Dwarf Fortress.

    So, you play as a civilization ‘leader’, but conduct Freelancer-like missions (or free exploration) at the end of each turn if you want. Using those missions would fuel things like increased economic growth, research, trade, etc, in that your experience in the mission would be representative of the ‘average’ experience of your space-faring civilian pilots. With technology trickling down from military to civilian (and thus pirates).

    When war erupts, the choices of flying a mission within the greater structure of the battle, ala Freespace 2, or even just being a civilian trying to escape to safety.

    For extra awesome, throw in an FPS engine for planetary invasion battles.

  28. mudlark says:

    You’re a scientist on a colony ship heading to a life-supporting alien planet. It breaks up in orbit. You snag a pod and arrive, alone, on a procedurally-generated world that looks nothing like Earth. First you have to survive: an engine somewhere between Wurm and Penumbra lets you slap together your shelter, craft tools and basic weapons and so on. You have to work out what you can and can’t eat, using the limited analyses your PDA and scientifico-briefcase-o-thon can run. There are several alien species, in colonies of different sizes: you have to observe them from a distance, work out whether they’re likely to be friendly or aggressive, copy crafting ideas from them etc. With friendly ones, you will initially communicate using a gesture-based interface like the one in Arx Fatalis: their community AI will work, more or less, like the AI in Outcast. As you build up familiarity this interface will shift to a ME2-style themed wheel interface. They may ask for your help in faction wars or they may ask you to perform tasks, investigate artefacts, map the planet, run errands etc. At some random points in the game, other factors will intrude: another colony ship will land, and you can choose who to side with (run missions for the humans against the aliens, help them communicate, or plot to wipe out your fellow man). Or you’ll discover other colonists from your ship, and work out what to do with them. Intra-species territory wars. That sort of thing.
    I’d play it.

  29. Dozer says:

    Bah reply fail.

    EVE is an MMO. You can’t be a world-dominating machiavelli in an MMO, or Ghengis Khan, or Walter Raleigh. Because if you could, so could everyone else, and there’s not enough space for that many influential characters in a world!
    I spent hours with X2 back in 2005ish. I really enjoyed the feeling early on in the game, when I had a fast scout fighter with upgraded sensors. I would be patrolling around, using my sensors and speed to identify targets I could actually destroy with the puny scout-fighter-compatible lasers. I think the most offputting thing was the superficial economy. You could build factories in the endgame, but there wasn’t any real demand for your products. And the most profitable thing to build was the most basic: the power cell thing made by the solar power stations.
    There were other annoyances with X2. (I haven’t played X3, because my PC was designed by Babbage.) There were about a dozen types of spaceship (scout fighter, heavy fighter, transport, battleship etc) and each race built all of them, applying the national stereotype to each type. So the trading-race Teladi ships all had slow speed and high cargo capacity. Never mind that trading ships need to be fast (to run away from trouble) and there’s no point at all in outfitting, say, a medium fighter with a large cargo hold so it can carry freight. Each race should have vividly different philosophies on ship design; perhaps with some international tropes occuring.
    Real-life example: British WW2 aircraft carriers were heavily armoured, because the groupthink was that it was impossible to prevent enemy bombers from bombing the ship, therefore the ship must resist bombs well. Consequently they could only carry a handful of aircraft, because the space that could have been hangar was instead armour-plate. US aircraft carriers were unarmoured, for reasons I can’t remember, and typically carried twice as many aircraft. But this is the result of British and American naval architects reaching different solutions to the problem of how to design an effective aircraft carrier – there isn’t a national trope that British ships have armour, American ships have firepower.
    A small thing that irritated me in X2 was the way ships were registered. There were five main civilisations, and their ships were given registrations that indicated their race. So Teladi ships had registrations beginning with T, Boron ships began with B. But the player’s ships began with Y, for ‘your’. Why, X2 devs? In Swordfish, John Travolta drives a TVR with British numberplates through an all-American car chase, and it was one of the strangest things I’ve seen in film. Vehicle registrations matter! Giving me a special registration series all to myself breaks the illusion that I’m a citizen of one of the races in the game world.
    Also, the pirates had custom ships and (again) their own custom registration series. You might expect pirates to disguise themselves as normal shipping and try to hide in the crowd, rather than saying ‘HEY LOOK AT US WE’RE CERTAINLY PIRATES RAAR’.

  30. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Not a game mechanic, just a setting:

    A game set in the world that Gladio was made for. The Soviet Union has conquered Europe. You’re a CIA agent sent to help organise the resistance there. As you get there you find out that while you’re fighting totalitarian oppressive regimes, the groups you’re working with are not the nicest either. The natural enemies of the communists, (ex- and neo-)nazis, freemasons, (former) industrialists, common criminals/mafiosi, even catholics, no one has clean hands. A game with many moral choices, all of them bad.

  31. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Yeah, probably something like Dwarf Fortress 3D, or Uber Minecraft, say where Minecraft is merged with Morrowind, as In, you can go on quests, visit other cities, raid dungeons/hostile camps, level up, get better, build your own empire, set your denizens to work expanding said empire, build traps, and hopefully it would have fairly advanced AI, creating the need for crazy traps. Also Diablo2 uber loot would be nice, I still have wet dreams about the Buriza – Crossbow.. Ah good times.

    ^ This won’t happen, but a man can dream.. Or maybe something will get close someday..

  32. Buttless Boy says:

    My dream game is a game about dreams. I’ve always been a lucid dreamer – able to influence or control my dreams – and I’ve often wished I could recreate that experience in a video game.
    So what I want is an enormous procedurally generated surrealist exploration/sandbox game where I’m free to do and change whatever I want, where there are NPCs offering storylines/quests which may or may not follow logical patterns but which are nevertheless intuitive enough to be fun and to be completed, and where the quests, characters, world, sounds, and images are all generated based on my own input and decisions during the game. If I like the the Ramones, Terry Gilliam movies, and Dr. Seuss; I should have a wildly different experience than someone who likes Ice Cube, Akira Kurosawa, and James Joyce. Not necessarily because of those specific interests, but because we enjoy different things and will therefor respond to different things, um, differently.

    How I imagine this working: as the player plays, the game throws out random stuff from a few sources. The player can allow the game to get at its Amazon account, for instance, if they don’t mind the creepy privacy issues; or the game will throw up popular stuff from Twitter or the news or well-regarded media of the past and see how the player reacts to it. If the player appears to recognize a quote from the Godfather the game might play differently than if they don’t; if the game recognizes a song the player hums it might pick up on that as well. These would effect subtle things like imagery (Tim Burton movies and Anne Rice novels = darker visuals), music, and so on. It would also effect quests and plots given to the player. If a player really likes romance novels, they’ll be involved in a lot of romantic stuff.
    Gameplay would be as immersive as possible, and ideally would offer multiple view-points – first-person, third-person, even second-person. Puzzles would be avoided. Combat, if any occurred, would be simple and range from oddly impersonal (Goldeneye, Virtua Fighter) to horrific and savage (Manhunt), sometimes in the same scene. Dialog with NPCs would be difficult to pull off without ruining the atmosphere, I’d either prefer them mute or speaking in images a la Machinarium.
    One could choose from a variety of “difficulties” when generating a world, none of which were actually difficulties but some of which could be seen as easier than others:
    1. Nostalgic – this would unlock after a certain amount of playtime/input from the player and focus on things, characters, and stories the player has previously experienced and apparently enjoyed in other worlds.
    2. Serene – The default difficulty. No stressful elements. A flying dream, a walk in a beautiful forest, a psychedelic fireworks show in space – beautiful and calming things would happen all over the place.
    3. Realistic – This would generate a relatively Earth-like world, with the various game settings made to simulate realistic scenarios. Lots of stuff about going to school, driving to work, and so on. Can get stressful but is unlikely to reach Nightmare status.
    4. Dream – This generates a random world with no limits. It could be totally peaceful, it could be realistic, it could be horrific, but it’s most likely a mix and will reflect that. This is the closest to a regular dream state.
    6. Romantic – Lotta smoochin’ goin’ on, but nothing sexual. Probably not terribly stressful, although there would be heartbreak scenarios.
    6. Adventure – Exciting and epic, with an overarching storyline. This is more like a traditional game. However it still obeys the rules of the dream world, so the storyline will meander and the world will get weird. This can also become quite harrowing and stressful.
    7. Erotic – Since this is my dream game and it doesn’t have to obey silly industry rules, it could be made for grown-ups and have pornographic content. I’d want it isolated in a single mode though, because it’d be weird to have it pop up in another mode. I don’t want sensual lovemaking in my nightmares and I don’t want porn in my nostalgia.
    8. Angst – Spin-off of Romantic with a slice of Realistic. I don’t know why anyone would want to pick this mode, but I might for inspiration so I’m including it. Stressful as hell but rarely scary.
    9. Nightmare – This is unlocked after sufficient playtime or input from the player. Generates a world based on themes the player finds unpleasant; usually centering on possible phobias but occasionally throwing in random elements and even rare pleasant scenes. This mode would probably either be really crappy or really unpopular.
    Needless to say, this game would either be terrible, extremely low-budget, or take 10 years and a billion dollars. Oh well, I can dream…

  33. TomEllinson says:

    Planetside.

    With moar gunz.

    More than three factions.

    Space battles with massive ships all crewed by players.

    Moar planetz.

    Less giant robots, or better ways to blow them up.

  34. minipixel says:

    my dream game? the one i’m making ;D

  35. Pinky_Powers says:

    My dream game? Basically, Trespasser: Jurassic Park… only good. With Crysis graphics, and believable dinosaur animations and behavior. Heavy RPG elements in character building and social interaction. A marvelous story of conspiracy and mystery. And a sort of play-as-you-like gameplay philosophy.

    So, really Deus Ex meets Trespasser, with the graphics to make the environments and animals feel wondrous to behold.

  36. jotto2.0 says:

    I have two ideas that have been kicking around in my head for a while, just waiting for this post to pop up!

    First, a racing game with a full open world of the entirety of the known road networks used by GPS systems. It would have to have procedurally generated visuals, but the basic paths and elevations of the roads should all be obtainable from satellite imagery. Add in the hundreds of licensed cars racing games have these days and it would be amazing. I dream of randomly jumping into an online game racing in shifts all around Europe or the US. 3+ day races would give a new meaning to “endurance races”. Also, who wouldn’t want to race a super car through a traffic free London or New York City?

    My other, completely different, idea is a FPS mixed with the Dynasty Warriors series. Take control of a tank/robot/mech and shoot 1000+ of little mans before going up against a super tank with a health bar the size of a skyscraper. All with basic “defend this, attack that” tactics and Japanese Action-RPG progression. It would be heaven!

  37. Olero says:

    A game very roughly based on Wurm Online. But with quite a lot of changes:

    - To die is to be permanently dead. You can however embark on a new journey to a new world (with a new character), or in certain worlds respawn as undead
    - A MMO with everyone being as unique as in real life
    - Set in a pre-historic time, but slowly evolving over time. When evolved to the max or reaches a maximal population, a second world starts again, but differently. The worlds can be completely different from earth
    - Along with the slow evolution, new skills can be discovered. For example; you’d start with just grunts and gestures, but eventually you can talk and write.
    - No information on how to craft, farm, ignite fires, fight or anything AT ALL
    - Various NPC races (animal and human alike) being added over time by the developer. Each reacting very different to your existence, and you’d have to find out their intentions, language and customs on your own. NPC’s can and will sometimes be controlled by people of the developers company
    - An intuitive interface (for example fighting is like Die by the sword, you’re effectiveness in mining is based on timing of swings, which is easier when your mining level grows etc)
    - Weather can destroy buildings
    - Possesions can be donated for team building new villages or kept for oneself. But only possesions kept in your inventory are stored when you log off
    - Buildings aren’t based on pre-set layouts but can be as fantastic as you want. However, physics do apply, as does damage of falling planks/stones
    - Rigorous anti-griefing measures (like Die2Nite, griefers can become outcast or can even be applied to more severe justice)
    - Diplomacy is the main key to survival. Randomly killing is hard, but not impossible, and will blackmark your character.
    - Last but not least; the ability to start your own world, only accesible for you and your invited friends!

  38. Synchrony says:

    Freespace 3

  39. pipman3000 says:

    just make a video game version of “and they put handcuffs on the flowers”.

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  42. roryok says:

    An FPS/RPG with procedurally generated NPCs, each one looking and behaving slightly differently from the next. Some would have personalities that clash with yours, some would like your character from the start. You’d have to hire a band of adventurers from these NPCs, making sure they get along with each other aswell as you, and venture out into a post-apocalyptic wasteland to fight bandits and salvage interesting stuff from desolate urban environments.

    I’ll happily put up with text only dialogue as long as there’s a smart dialogue engine that lets me actually converse with characters, have them ask me things etc.

    Customizable weapons like in crysis, but makeshift (torches taped on, etc). Possibility to tape two weapons together like in aliens. IEDs like in FarCry2.

  43. angslan says:

    I would like to see a game where you are the ruler of a kingdom (classical, medieval, current, whatever) and the game allows you to generate laws for your citizens, which you can create in a sandbox-type environment and see how your citizens react. You might invent conscription, or taxes, or free education, or whatever. The law generator would probably ideally be a little complicated (a bit like the trigger generator in WC3) but that would make the game. You could also try creating various sets of laws to assist citizens in overcoming particular scenarios (plague, invasion, etc.), and use the funding from taxes to create things.

  44. Napalm Sushi says:

    Is your appetite sated yet?

    HOW MANY DREAMS ARE ENOUGH, JOHN?

  45. Hurion says:

    I’m a little late to the party, but this is mine:

    I want something like a modern reinterpretation of The Horde where you can build a castle or walled city, and defend it in first person (something like Mount&Blade) or in an RTS view.

    Building/Upgrading buildings in the town/castle give benefits (more arrows, better armour, more manpower, etc). Captains of the guard you can select as Hero units, and maybe some kind of quest system where you can send/lead a group of adventurers on missions to recover intelligence or kill fleeing spies.

    I don’t want the AI to be brain-dead, and I want design to actually matter. Enfilade, defilade and gatehouse/tower position should actually matter, and the AI should try to find weak points.

  46. Piip says:

    A mulitiplayable, shapeable world like Minecraft, where every material has stats/properties. Recipes ask for materials from a group, not a specific material. So a sword recipe asks for metal, not iron. That way you could e.g.make swords from whatever metal (or mix of metals) you desire, to get swords fit for whatever purpose you want. With good code logic new materials, material groups and recipes could easily be added. Resources are finite, but to a large degree recycleable.
    You are the immortal “hero”, with warriors, laborers and administrators who can be commanded both as a group and individually – as efficiently as in the Myth games. If they’re left by themselves they do what they think is right – like in Dwarf Fortress – and they need a certain amount of “care” to be commandable. Experienced units could be upgradeable like e.g. in Starcraft – with inventory slots for gear, weapons and for carrying resources. Units die permamently when they die. You need to buy new ones if they do. Horses for travel, combat or transport (wagons).
    Combat classes should still be kept simple and efficient, like in TF2 or DotA games. Laborers and administrators along the lines of Dwarf Fortress.
    All set in a setting inspired by early modern history, between 1600-1700 – with musketeers, pirates, indians, witches, natural philosophers, explorers Etc. With the possible addition of zombies, vampires, werewolfs and other types of mechanisms that “infect” humankind.
    Visually looking like TF2.
    And an environment as harsh as in Fallout 3.
    Animal groups don’t spawn in endless numbers. If you kill all the bears in your world there won’t be any left to make more bears, so no more bear pelts for you. Human NPC raiders may spawn outside of this logic though.
    Aim of the game: Build your world, survive alone or with/against others. Various modes could be possible – like Civ mode (multiplayer pvp combat), Survival mode (pve) or Build mode. You could also have versions where other players control the “infected” – for a different kind of pvp survival game.

  47. eydryan says:

    A huge city would be awesome, something like the vastness and complexity of GTA IV’s city, but imposing a slower means of travelling and instituting (non-trivial) reasons to go forward or even return. Allow players to be lucky by being very random at times (but add some checks so they don’t just get mobbed during their sleep or wake up surrounded by enemies). Make the game non-linear and if possible procedurally generated (so that no matter which way you go you still get content) and allow people to bypass problematic areas. Let people choose their battles and let people choose their fighting style from snipers to demolition experts to melee sneaking attacks to social interaction and even brawling.

    Give people a reason to stay inside (add weather, add rewarding gameplay for staying still, settling down). Give people a reason to go outside (add exciting adventures and make all indoors areas visible from outside and viceversa using something called windows; make other players – be they AI, scripted or human controlled but nerfed – attack the player if they settle down for too long and try to grab some of the sustainable crops the player has planted. Add characters which try to weasel the player out of their bounty and add characters which can be voluntarily taken in. And if you do take in someone else make the game harder because you have to take care of two people now. Reward the player with all that could be expected from other characters (I mean everything from interaction to romance to activities together to anything else).

    Basically I’m thinking Fallout meets GTA IV sans vehicles (except maybe if you work really hard and fix some old wrecks) plus destructible landscape plus minecraft-like choices of settling down versus hunting plus procedurally generated landscapes (a bit more complex than minecraft would be nice) plus a proper AI and proper motivations to achieve tasks (think great writing).

  48. Moonracer says:

    An MMORTS. Slow the RTS pace enough so things like constructing and destroying buildings takes a while. Players are the troops. Each faction is controlled differently (AI dictatorship, player vote/democracy, player high rank committee,…).

    Most importantly the game can be won by a side and if this happens the server resets and the battle starts over. Ideally each battle lasts 6+ months. Minimal leveling/ranking involved. Perhaps a mission win/loss ratio that helps select players for important future missions.

  49. Biscuitry says:

    Planetside circa 2005.

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