In the very first stages of designing this grand game prototype, I’ll have to admit that I’m a little overwhelmed. There’s a lot to accomplish in this class, as well as in every other class I’m taking, and I would hate to let the stress of this whole situation influence my final product. Because of this, though, I feel as though this is also ironically the best time to design a game. Since it seems like the world is falling apart and there’s not much we can do to stop it, we’ve been at home playing a lot of games as a family. Our spring break plans were ruined, so our new plan? Play games all week as a family. While I’m typing this and working on school work for the remainder of the afternoon, my mom and brother will both be playing the new Animal Crossing game that just came out.
I think that’s one of the most special things about games; they take us out of bad places and into worlds where none of the issues of reality can touch us. For this reason, my game will absolutely not, under any circumstances, be coronavirus themed or related in any way. For me, this game represents an escape from everything bad going on in the real world, and as dramatic as that seems, it’s true. I’m not having a good time, and I know that nobody else is either, but everything about this has hit me a lot harder than I expected.
As far as themes then, the first one that jumps out at me is “Quantified Self.” Quantified Self is defined as follows:
“A game (or game-like instrument) about Time Management.
How can you make use of “quantified-self” principles and game mechanics to create a single-player game that (e.g.) first-year college students could use to better manage their time, set better goals, stay fit, etc.?”
For me, I think quantified self seems so nice because I have a personal love for order and cleanliness. I like to be efficient and to accomplish things, and therefore this seemed up my alley. My first thought was how I could connect this theme to the elements that I like about Overcooked, our new addiction from the family game library.
I think what I love so much about this game is the fact that everything has a place, and when everything is accomplished and in its place, you achieve victory, much like you would feel in real life when your space and tasks are organized and finished. In addition to this, I like the timed aspect of it, as each round feels manageable and low commitment, if you’re just looking to play a few at a time. I’m not quite sure if I would want to include this in a board game though. Some games that I enjoy that have this element include sand timers or even audio to play with the game, such as in Escape.
In Escape, you have until the audio finishes playing to lay tiles and escape the temple, and the more people who make it out, the better. With this game though, it is a teamwork game and I know that is not something I want in my final product. Overall, there’s a lot of elements to consider here and over the next few days I will continue to brainstorm on this theme and some mechanics. What I do know though, is that whatever game I make and whatever theme I end up choosing, I want it to appeal to people who are competitive and organized, like myself (hence, the no teamwork thing). More on that to come though.