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Tell me about... your unfinished game ideas

Started by Rich Forest, April 05, 2004, 05:30:38 AM

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W. Don

Hi all,

My first crack at designing a game is back in last year's Indie Design Forum. It was called Iron City at first, after which I started calling it Rogue. Cool name, but it was a horrible mess. Taught me a lot about game design and theory, though. Enough, in fact, to be able to pick myself up from the floor and go rushing for the wall again! Yeehaa!

Started mulling over the idea below about two weeks back. Things are still far from that point where I can bring it to the Indie Design Forum, but developments are going really great so far. No promises and no timeframe for the project, but I'd be happy if I can end up with a playtest-able version before the year ends.

Team K-O: Gathered from the far corners of the Earth, the daring young teenagers of Team K-O are destined to form the greatest robot fighting force the world has ever known. But first they'll have to deal with high school.

Man, I'm so pumped up about this! The game's really all about building a team out of a group of people with fragile egos. And it's going to have some cool anime action and giant multi-combinable robots and super deathblow techniques! (Ultra-electro-magnetic top! Yay!)

- W.

Daniel Solis

_Bleed - A .hack// inspired game where all the players, along with thousands of others, are trapped in interconnected, fully immersive MMORPGs. You can raise your power in the game, but at the cost of your memories of reality. You can increase your memories of reality, but at the cost of your in-game power. The stats would be split between right-brain/left-brain dichtotomies and the "experience" trait would measure disassociation from reality and immersion into the illusion of the game world. Players could also jump between gameworlds with sufficient disbeief of the game's illusion.

Take - A heist RPG focusing on the criminal underworld's social side in between heists.

Freak High - A public high school where parents send their teenage freaks, aliens, entities, mutants, and monsters to get a decent education away from those hateful mundanes. Stats are based on the archetypes from Breakfast Club (Jock, Rebel, Princess, Brain, Basketcase).

Age of the Dead - My All Flesh Must Be Eaten heartbreaker set in a world where the dead are taking over except for a few hideouts where survivors have banded together. The basic system is posted here.

Tribute - Post-apocalyptic cargo cult tribes emulate 20th century music stars.
¡El Luchacabra Vive!
Meatbot Massacre
Giant robot combat. No carbs.


I'm still working on my fantasy RPG The Orbs of Czaren.  The amount of work that it takes to complete one of these games is enormous!  Although we do have two groups play-testing it right now (for the past year actually) and everybody really likes the system.  It's nothing especially new or groundbreaking, except for the fact that it is very flexible and fun to play.

I wonder if I'll complete it before I leave this world...  *gazes into the sky*
Matthew Glanfield" target="_blank">Random RPG Idea Generator - The GMs source for random campaign ideas

Spooky Fanboy

If... : My struggling Sorcerer supplement in development about getting what you wish for-literally. Do you struggle to earn your place in the world, or take the easy way out? What does that level of power do to you in the long run?

Entry-Level Deities: Currently stewing in Indie Game Design, you play both the Believers of a brand-new deity and the Deity itself as your struggle to gain influence, market presence, brand loyalty, and a steady supply of Faith against (literally) cut-throat competition and the steadily-growing threat of Unbelief. Network-marketing meets religion, and the battle extends to every front. The first game I'm designing where I'm not grafting chunks of someone else's mechanics into my system...and I'm currently struggling. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Making Friends: Also based on Sorcerer, this deals with mind control and using people. The "Demons" are ordinary people you take over. Instead of a Lore score, you have a Use score. Possibly one of the nastiest games I've ever committed to get done. Loosely based on Dan Simmon's Carrion Comfort.

Psychofiction: Don't you hate playing conspiracy games where there's only One Big Conspiracy behind it all? One that has nothing to do with your poor character, who just got swept up in it? Hate games with metaplot that make you buy supplement after supplement to find out what the One Conspiracy is? In Psychofiction, each character creates their own conspiracy, from the mundane to the outlandish extremes of Phillip K. Dick. Loosely based on the mechanics of Trollbabe, the main question is: will the PCs throw themselves into their Conspiracy, bringing it closer to reality, or will they deny it, bringing themselves  more into the "real world"?

Surreal Superheroes: Censoring the Language Virus: Language has become cancerous, and rogue nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs are chewing away at the fabric of Reality. Worse, some people have figured out how to focus the Language Virus to unsavory ends. Your characters are members of a government-sanctioned team of men and women who've become vectors for the Language Virus, channeling absurdity to fight absurdity. How long can you fight chaos with it's own weapons before it consumes you? How can you save the world when making breakfast might accidentally become a global crisis? Based on the Cut-Up mechanic by Robin D. Laws in the Over the Edge supplement Weather the Cuckoo Likes.  

Luck-Eaters: Based off of discussions for Fate, Luck or Will and my viewing of the movie Intacto, this is a game where nothing matters but the elusive reserves of Luck. You can siphon Luck from other people, trade it, keep yourself alive and on top for a long time. But how far are you willing to go to do so? If Fate, Luck, or Will doesn't come out soon, I'll put this game into high priority, maybe doing something similar to Fastlane or trying a new mechanic altogether.

Transhuman Express: A game set in the world of Paul DiFillipo's Ribofunk stories.
Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!


Yay for at least a little bit of Shangri-la love!  I really should start posting about it in IGD.

Stuff on this list that get "honorable mention" from me (although I'd grab more of them than I'm listing here):

* Making Friends (mmm, mind control)
* _Bleed (sort of the anti-Mudsylvania, and another excellent idea)
* Fingers on the Firmament (mmm, Continuum)
* Dead Space (holy shit, cool)
* Quiet

A few other random things that are coming down the pipeline:

(1)  A Burning Wheel mini-supplement using one of my fantasy settings.  Is the setting a Heartbreaker?  I don't think so, but it might be.  Can a setting be a Heartbreaker on its own?  (I also wouldn't be against doing up other mini-supplements for other games; I'm sort of a setting-whore and have quite a few made up)

(2)  A science-fiction scenario where the setting covers a good portion of the galaxy, and STL travel is the only thing available.  Players would be traders on a single ship, traders who move from one star system to another, spending years and decades frozen in time, and in process watching whole societies rise and crumble.  The only constants in their lives are each other; everything else fades away.
Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming


Well, I'm working on a game called CARDS is Another Roleplaying Diceless System.  CCG meets RPG currently set in generic fantasy setting.  I've playtested it a couple of times with friends and the combat works pretty well and you will be able to create your own character with lots of options.  Developing the cards is what takes the longest and I really want to get some sample character and dungeon decks made before I posted it here.  Its only "CCG" in that it uses custom cards.  I don't plan on marketing it, but rather have the cards .pdf downloadable.  Major design objective: no record keeping.

I had an idea for a "tough-shit" rollo game, where the players and gm receive autogenerated characters and adventure. Characters would even receive random personality traits.  For one-shots.  

I'd also like to make a gritty post-apocalypse game that of course examines lawlessness versus civilization.

Lance D. Allen

Unfinished game ideas..

Well, there's this little thing I was kicking around for a while, Mage Blade..

Then there's a more recent project, ReCoil..

Heh. Yeah, I take forever to finish things. Mage Blade I shelved because I couldn't figure out where I was going with it. It's been knocking at the cranium lately though, so it'll probably be going back on a burner soon.

ReCoil, despite my realization that the text is woefully deficient, I was hoping to get more playtest input on. I think shortly, once I can take a break from some of the important scholastic focuses of recent times, I'll do the ReCoil rewrite, and put it back out for playtesting.

Then there's Blood on the Sands, a.k.a. TRoS: Gladiators. The rules pretty much exist, and have existed for quite a while, it's just waiting for me to get them organized and written into a coherent and useable format. Again, once I can take a break from school stuff, I'll put forth the effort.

Finally, there's Tidal. Only some of the people on indie net-gaming have heard of it. It's not so much a game at this point as a rough idea of a cool mechanic. The name is derived from the core of the mechanic, which has story focus/influence measured by a pool of points which flows between players. Whoever has the most points is the "main character" for that scene. As they use their points to make things happen, the points go to other players, until someone else has the majority of points. On the opposite side, whoever has the least points is the GM for that scene. It's got a lot of potential problems, but I think potential for cool things as well. I'm not currently working on it, but as ReCoil, Mage Blade and Blood on the Sand move toward completion, and as inspiration strikes, I'll flesh out the core idea.

reposted from my accidental New Topic "I've got a few..."
~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls


I *have* to get in on the birthday bash, and after a post about "stuff" I made earlier, this is my best bet ^_^

Unnamed Legend of the Pheonix material Got roped into helping out Pheonix Games on a community written, Christian based RPG. Wrote some interesting material for it, but group fell apart sometime when I lost my net connection. Can't find them again.
Arcadia, the Dreaming intended to be a Myst-like game online, initially used Javascript, not so cool but some useful story material I could steal ^_^ Involved an imaginary world created by a princess in a coma. Players were heroes who had entered the princess' dreamworld in the hopes of finding and rescuing her.
"Project Stargazer"/Final Decent Space-age RPG, somewhere along the lines of the Wing Commander series. Had some fun dog-fight rules, also started my trend toward simplicity and using only d6 for my dicy games. Humanity ventured to far in space too fast only to be beat down, almost to the point of extinction. Stealing technology from the invading race, we fought back and continue to keep an uneasy peace.
Chronicle of the Shattered Sword NOT an LOTR rip, originally a campaign for LotP, amended to fit a D&D campaign I was running. Players journy across the world to assemble the fragments of a shattered sword of a fallen legend to fend off denomic invasion.
MECH CCG another Mecha game, in two flavors: Tournament and Military. Players could either fight as in a tournament event or as a military encounter.
Final Twilight RPG Borrowing from all sorts of modern fantasy I've seen and my own world of Final Twilight, this was actually intended to be a diceless system, using the FT cards from the TCG. Working on a similar concept at the moment actually.
Backstage RP Diceless comedy RP based on my company, Neo Productions, and our self-parody comic strip Backstage. Still in the works, and shaping up to be interesting ^_^
Final Fantasy: Generations Computer RP, alternate world Final Fantasy combining nearly all of the FF games to that point (I think it was around 7 I wrote the outline for this). Also began work on a d20 conversion.
SeigeMaster: Lego Warriors Playing LEGOs...with rules!
Pokemon RP Nuff said, never finished.
Genetisys RP Actually another in the works, an extension of a MMORPG Neo is designing. Train and battle monsters, on and offline ^_^
Endarea Online Original worldsetting for Neo's MMORPG, based on a novel I started a good 8-10 years ago. Again, a lot of material, a lot collected, not finished sadly.

AND, Final Twilight has about 11 Expansions slated ^_^
Like I said, this was the post, if any, for me ^_^ If I can ever finish any of this it'll be a miracle...I'm just thankful I had the persistance to see FT through ^_^
This is also just the RP/Gaming stuff I've done, not counting the stories and comic books as well.
Nate Petersen / daMoose
Neo Productions Unlimited! Publisher of Final Twilight card game, Imp Game RPG, and more titles to come!

Shreyas Sampat

blush Thanks for all the compliments, folks. One more:

Children of the Mind: A terrible title, this idea is something like Pokemon crossed with Sorceror. The characters are players in a sort of Lovecraftian cockfighting league, who have the power to make their mental traumas into physical monsters that fight each other in the arena. The strongest contestants, therefore, are those people that can inflict the most terrible things on themselves without actually losing their grip so badly that they can't actually play the game anymore. Not sure whether this would actually be playable.

Daniel Solis

Away Team and Children of the Mind sound really, really interesting. I'd love to see them developed further.
¡El Luchacabra Vive!
Meatbot Massacre
Giant robot combat. No carbs.

Michael S. Miller

Iscariot This is an alternate-worlds traveling game. However, rather than travel physically from world to world, your mind/spirit makes the leap and you "possess" your alternate self in the new world. All PCs have this ability.

Where it gets interesting: in each new world, your relationship with the other PCs may be different, and you don't know until you get there. Your sidekick who has guarded your back on a dozen worlds may be your sworn enemy here!

THe way I see it working is that each relationship trait, when taken, is defined by certain events (e.g., we're married now, but we moved from  friends to lovers when my house was burgalrized and I had to stay at your place). In each new reality, these events are randomly shifted--some stay the same, some shift in a positive direction (e.g., we became engaged druing the burglary thing), some in a negative direction (e.g., I stayed with someone else), some in an extreme direction (e.g., you were the one that burglarized my house. I hate you).

The way I see it is that the players at the table won't know what their character's relationships are until someone makes a jump, then everyone determines it for themselves and plays out the new relationships.

Would work real well for licenced characters, I think. Of course, it would also work too-darn-scarily well for Playing Yourself. It gives me shivers to think about.
Serial Homicide Unit Hunt down a killer!
Incarnadine Press--The Redder, the Better!

Daniel Solis

Oh! I forgot one particularly elusive game concept I had a few months ago. The idea is pretty much unplayable with a capital "un" from what I can see. Here's the gist of it.

Azure Dusk
In a cosmos filled entirely with water, there are no traditionally discernible directions of up, down, left, or right. There isn't even any gravity. Instead, there are two directions, on one side is a realm filled with blinding light, on the other is smothering darkness. The two realms blend into each other in a vast, liquid gradient. Directly between the extremes is a ribbon of blue where dolphins swim, practicing their choir-oriented magics and fending off invasions of the horrors emerging from both the light and dark realms.

Players would be dolphins.... Doing... something. I dunno. The whole idea of this setting really calls out to me though, and I want to do something with it. I see pods of dolphins racing around coral cities grown from the massive skeletons of ancient leviathans, singing powerful song magics and going on adventures for adventure's sake, rather than profit or "advancement." I guess it's sort of a RPG version of the Ecco video games.

For a moment, I thought about making it a d20 game and the characters' alignment would be reflected as a sort of gravity. If you're edging towards the "good" end of things, you're pulled more heavily to the light realm, where your individuality is discorporated into the collective. If you become "evil," you're pulled to the dark realm and perpetual, maddening loneliness. I was even thinking about expanding the game to include other "races" of sea mammals as player characters, but I wasn't too sure about that.

Anyway, the concept just felt too alien to be playable.
¡El Luchacabra Vive!
Meatbot Massacre
Giant robot combat. No carbs.


You must find a way to make that game playable, gobi.

You must.
Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming

Daniel Solis

Heh! I didn't think there would be any interest, actually. Then again, that's hardly a reason to not design a game.

My trouble with the concept is that it's so huge in scope. It almost feels like it is better written as a description of some kind of subrealm in the Elemental Plane of Water or something.

I guess the one truly major stumbling block is figuring out what the PCs would do. The tricky thing about that is dolphin psychology is so alien that it's hard to think about what a dolphin would want to do. I think it would be cool to have some elements of real world marine biology in the setting, but I don't want to get too technical at the expense of a certain dreamlike quality. Gah! It hurts my brain. :(
¡El Luchacabra Vive!
Meatbot Massacre
Giant robot combat. No carbs.


Gobu's post reminded me to two game concepts that I thought up for Skotos Tech when I was thinking about making a text-based MU* for them.

Beasts of Eden was about the lives of the animals in Paradise before and after the Fall of man.  The Garden was divided into specific Courts (Sky, Water, Underground, Forest, Desert, Icelands, etc.) and specific animal types had specific affliliations and social connections to these Courts.  There's no death before man's Fall, so there are no predators... yet.  Part of the fun was to be having the game change in midstride, incorperating player-predation and death.  Also, once man Falls, the beasts could leave Eden and spread out to the plains beyond.  They could also start procreating and having baby animals (the only way to ensure the herbivore's survival in the face of Predators).  The idea was for the entire storyline to run over the course of a month and then it would restart at the beginning of every month with a new group of players.  I still like the concept, so it might show up in other places.

The second one Mobius: Life on the Strip, was weirder.  Imagine it kind of like Flatland: the RPG meets Tetris: the RPG.  Play takes place in a 2-dimensional universe shaped like a Mobius strip (a loop that's be given a half-twist).  Players play various kinds of geometrical shapes that are grouped by shape and color (blue square, blue circle, red square, red circle) to create complex, overlapping alliances or, at least, the potential for player to self-segregate along those lines.  The setting would be a kind of interactive puzzle world.  You could push various knobs, levers, blocks, etc. around, and it would effect the world in various ways.  Perhaps the strip would contract or expand, or other levers/switches would appear.  Perhaps it would change your color or shape.  Also, many puzzles would depend on which way you were "oriented" relative to the strip.  The cool thing about Mobius strips is that, if you travel all the way around them, you end up on the underside of where you started.  In this case, since the universe is thusly shaped, traveling around ends up "inverting" you relative to everything else (what was on the left is now on the right, etc.), which means all the puzzle are slightly different.  In any case, the game was supposed to be super-Sim, all about exploring the world, teaming up with others, and manipulating the environment.  Don't know if it could work in a non-MU* format, but 2-D (or even 1-D) universes sure are cool...