A Video Game Idea
Get your reading glasses on.
It’s gonna be a slightly long one.
I would love to have the mental capacity and physical time to actually make a full fledged game. Right now, I’m currently working on one, but this is merely a Game Maker game, and isn’t a big 3D affair like say, Left 4 Dead. I’m not here to talk about the game I am currently engaged in making though, but I do bring up Left 4 Dead for a reason. Namely the fact that is a large inspiration for another game idea, one that would require a large studio of people. Artist, programmers, designers. The whole affair.
I don’t quite know where to begin when telling others about a game idea. I suppose one would normally start with the story, but much like Left 4 Dead, my game idea doesn’t have a story. It would more or less be a series of small multiplayer games, exactly like Left 4 Dead, where the story could be filled in by the players. Unlike Left 4 Dead however, each story would not take place over 5 mini levels, but one spanning level.
There would either be licensing issues, or there would have to be some creative artists/ character designers in order to get the right feel for the game. I see this game as being perhaps a sequel to Left 4 Dead, but a sequel that takes what the first one did, and takes it in a whole new direction. Because you see, I really like what Left 4 Dead did right. The 4 players working together against the zombie hordes. The zombies working together to take out the survivors. And while there are those who feel that the special infected were a bit underwhelming, they were still fun to play as when you got a groove going. I liked the claustrophobia you would feel, and how you needed your teammates to survive.
I’ve built this idea up now. And I’ll be the first to say that some parts need to be ironed out, but I’m just gonna come out and say it now. My game idea is a survival horror game. 4 players, against 4 players. Like Left 4 Dead, the sides would be good vs. evil. The good doesn’t really matter, because they are un-extraordinary, everyday people. The evil, however, is made of a cast of either familiar faces, or vaguely recognizable faces. The evil is, of course, slasher flick killers of movies such as Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Nightmare on Elm Street.
Please… don’t go away now.
Yeah, that’s right. Him.
The Good Guys:
The good people will start out spread across the map. They will be unable to communicate with each other, until they find one another. Once, say, two people have found each other, they will then be able to communicate with each other no matter where they are. We can say that they gave each other walkie-talkies. Their goal is to kill the serial killer. They can choose to either split up, making them harder to stalk and kill, but also leaving them each more defenseless, or they can stick together. Making them easier to find and to have a large scale attack mounted on them, but also meaning they will more likely be able to hold off an attack with little to no casualties.
The path to killing the serial killer is not an easy one though. Using a program similar to the A.I. director in Left 4 Dead, each play through will be procedurally generated. Making play throughs varied each time. There will be three steps to killing the serial killer.
Step One: Find clues. These clues will, of course, be procedurally placed across the maps, but will not be actual clues, such as riddles. There will be three clues, and each clue will give the players a better idea as to where the killer’s hideout is. A map, perhaps similar to Far Cry 2’s (but the maps would be pamphlets or town maps specifically), would have a blue aura or something similar on it. First spanning the whole map, then shrinking once, twice and three times, until on the third shrink it would show the killers lair exactly.
Step Two: Step two would be to enter the killers lair in order to find a way to kill them. The killers lair would be a small, randomly generated dungeon type area, with a killing room, long hallways, and a history room. The history room would be where the good guys find out how to kill the serial killer. The only way to kill the killer is to find the correct weapon, which would now be revealed to the players. Even if a player finds the serial killers lair before all of the clues have been found, perhaps by following a bad guy there or something, they would still not be able to enter. The clues would not only be the key to finding the lair, but also the key into it.
Step Three: Kill the killer. This would be achieved by finding the correct weapon. Up until now, the serial killer could be driven away, but he could not be killed. With the final weapon found, he may finally be killed.
Creepy huh? Now imagine it darker and with a serial killer around the corner.
The Bad Guys:
The bad guys would consist of one serial killer and three “lackey’s”. The serial killer will be cycled through, with each player getting a chance to take over after a certain period of time. The lackey’s are much weaker than the serial killer and are slightly weaker than the good guys. They each have a special weapon that the player gets to choose, and can be killed. They will respawn after a set amount of time.
The bad guys goal is to kill the good guys. Plain and simple. The lackey’s will have to choose good times to strike, and will have to be strategic, as the good guys will often have better weapons than them. Where the good guys will pick up weapons on the map, the bad guy’s are stuck with the weapon they choose, but may change their weapon on each respawn.
Playing as the serial killer will vary depending on what serial killer is voted upon by the players. If they play as someone like Freddy Krugar, they will be fast, but can be driven away more easily. If they play as Leather Face, they will be slow, but much more powerful. The players will have to choose wisely depending on what they play as best.
As a serial killer or lackey, you can “knock out” any of the good guys on the map. Then you can take them back to the kill room in the bad guy’s lair. Lackeys will be forced to leave them there, unconscious. Only the serial killer can finish them off. If, say, there is one good guy left, and the serial killer neglected to finish off the unconscious players, the last person may revive them. But once a good guy is killed, they are finished.
I see the combat as being similar/ exactly like Condemned: Criminal Origin’s combat. Using various hand to hand weapons, i.e. shovels, planks, axes, and the occasional firearm with limited ammo, i.e, handgun, shotgun. The players would go toe to toe. The weapons would all have tiers, with axes being more powerful than four by fours, and shovels beating bats and so forth.
(It has been brought to my attention that this kind of combat did not work for player v. player battels in Condemned 2’s online mode. The players would run up to the enemy, melee, retreat, repeat. I’ve been trying to think up alternatives to this, and the only thing I can think of is to somehow make moving backwards in combat unappealing. So what I was thinking is that perhaps a player who attempts to retreat backwards during combat will have a chance of falling to the ground, greatly reducing the want to move backwards. They could turn around and move forward without trouble, of course meaning that they have turned their back to the enemy. I imagine that this may also require the removing of the quick turn, but who needs it?
Next up was the fact that whoever had the gun was gonna win. This would either mean removing all guns from the game (creating for a more realistic enviorment perhaps) or only 1 or 2 bullets total per gun. They would also only be allowed to carry the gun, and not any melee weapons. Once the gun is empty, it’s a melee weapon too.)
Pretty much my game. It’s like they got everything from me.
Something similar to Left 4 Dead. Normal first person movement. Left trigger blocks, right trigger attacks. A button is jump, a tap of the left thumbstick will make you run. B changes weapons (two at a time) and Y will work your flashlight. X will be the use button. Left Button can be quick turn, and because I’m not a proffesional, I have no idea what the Right Button will do. Blocking at the right time when an enemy attacks will result in a parry.
The levels would be classic horror movie fair. A summer camp for Friday the 13th. A street for Nightmare on Elm Street. A meat plant for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Ect. Ect. But you won’t need to play as, say, Krugar on the street level. Or Voorhees at the summer camp. The beautiful thing about the procedurally generated levels would be that the hideouts can be in a different place each time. Where the killer’s hideout was behind a bookcase in the camp clubhouse the first time, it’s now underground beneath an abandoned shack. Where the clue was in a locker at one end of the factory the first time, it’s now upstairs under the table next to the dead guy. And as mentioned above, the killers lair would be generated randomly. Winding hallways and dead ends could make every single entrance into a lair a brand new experience. The bad guys know the layout thanks to a helpful mini map, and they also know some secret passageways that will make the trek hell for the good guys.
Which one has the serial killer?
When an unconscious player is being taken to the kill room, they can not fight back. But they can struggle. This will slow down their carrier a little bit, and it will also give them a chance to talk to their teammates. When they aren’t struggling though, they can not talk to their teammates, and once they are in the killers lair, they will be cut off from talking altogether.
Firearms are rare, and ammo is limited to what is found in the gun.
Weapons can be taken straight from the environment, just like in Condemned.
Levels will range from sunset, to nighttime, to dawn. But will never progress past that point into daylight.
Flashlights will run out of batteries. But more batteries can be found.
Some items can be mixed. Like nails and a board.
Health will be similar, if not exactly the same to Left 4 Dead. Health packs and pills will be randomly placed around the map. A lack of health will be showed with a slowdown in movement, of course.
The finishing off of a player in the kill room will take about a minute in ideal conditions, but can be extended up to 2 minutes by the good guys struggling. The good guys can’t escape without help from a teammate, but they can prolong the killing process. I am as of yet unsure as to what struggling will entail doing, but I imagine a lot of button mashing. Where as the killer will meticulously hit a stream of buttons ala quick time event.
The serial killers health will refill slowly over time. A lack of health will be marked with considerable slowdown, and a lack of strength, but as mentioned earlier, he can only be killed by using the final weapon. A successful kill in the kill room will immediately regenerate his health completely.
If the kill room is infiltrated in the middle of a kill, the infiltrator may attempt to drive away the serial killer. If successful, the unconscious team mate may be resuscitated.
The main problem I’m facing is how to deal with “driving away” the serial killer. Since he can’t die, there has to be incentive for him to run away. The way I see it would be that once his health gets low, his attacks become basically ineffective. He gains a sudden burst of energy, and can run away at a high speed at the push of a button. Once he’s out of site of any of the good guys, he will disappear as these guys are prone to do, and can reappear anywhere on the map that is not occupied, near, or seen, by a good guy. Upon reappearing, his health will begin to fill, and he can continue stalking his prey. The sudden burst of speed will make it impossible for any one, or group of good guys to completely keep their eyes on him, preventing them from permanently keeping the serial killer in his crippled state.
Guys, I’ve got an idea. What if we couldn’t die?
I may have missed something in my writing of this. But I will gladly discuss this game idea further in the comments. Any further questions will be answered, all you have to do is ask.
So that’s it. That’s my game idea. What do you guys think? Good? Bad?
And don’t be shy either. If you you have an improvement, tell me. I’m all about improving this idea. I’ll edit the article and put your name next to the edit if I like your idea enough.