Our contributor Nathan continues his journey into games design.
So as you may have seen from my last entry about my journey of getting my foot in the door of the video game industry, I was somewhat annoyed at the fact that I hadn’t had any coursework to do as of yet. It turns out that I may have been a bit over enthusiastic. I emailed my tutor team to discuss my concerns and I got an email back stating that there is coursework and I should’ve started it 2 sections ago. I did what any student would’ve done. Panicked, drank a bit, panicked some more, drank a bit more and then slept and thought this is a problem for future Nathan.
When I woke up, slightly dazed and confused about the situation I was in, I decided to have a look at the project to see what I needed to do and it turns out it was exactly what I was doing anyway, but it goes into more depth. I have to look at titles, genres, platforms, age classification, the pitch, key features, gameplay description, quantifiable features, story, setting, progression, mechanics, visual styles, presentation, audio, key differentiators, time scales and budgets.
It is a lot to work on, but I would be doing this if I was working in the industry anyway. I’ve just got to keep plugging away and get everything down on paper. It has to be 10-15 pages long too. Not quite dissertation or PhD thesis length, but certainly one of the largest pieces of work I’ve done for a long time.
It’s ok though. I have a strong passion for gaming as you may well know, so no doubt I will get stuck into to it right away. I have an idea to work with as I have told you in the last article, however whenever I am bored at work (which is a lot) I start thinking of new ideas. Last week I had a particularly stressful day at work, but on my way home I came up with a new idea for a game, which now puts me into a bit of a dilemma. I was originally going to reveal certain aspects and ideas of my first game in each article however seeing as I have to write a project on a game, I will have to put it to a vote. So here are my 2 ideas:
1. A survival horror game called “It begins”. You play a security guard in a large multi-national corporation that specialises in medicine, organ donation and stem-cell research. Your shift starts as normal, however after a blackout, nearly everyone in the building is dead. It turns out a violent poltergeist is loose and is causing havoc and carnage around the building. Your aim is to stay alive and investigate the cause. This can be played on Playstation and Xbox, however it will optimised for Kinect and Oculus Rift for a truly terrifying experience.
2. An untitled, action/adventure sandbox game, where you play a computer hacker. Before I carry on, no this isn’t a Watchdogs clone. You play a hacker who works for the government, but after finding out some ultra-high classified information, you are disposed of. However, you survive and do what you can to take revenge and expose the secrets of the government. Sounds generic, but the idea is that the hacker has the ability to insert himself into the virtual world and run around at will, running from anti-virus, climbing firewalls, disguising himself as viruses, trojans, worms etc. This will be on all platforms.
I know it’s not a lot to go on at the moment, but I am struggling to think which one to do. I was thinking the first one, however the more I think about it, I think the second one could be quite spectacular. Please let me know your thoughts*, I would greatly appreciate any feedback on this topic.
*This week’s Not-So-Weekly Argument (which you can find here) will be the chance to vote for which of the two you think is the best game concept. Please help Nath out by voting, but please feel free to comment below with any feedback for him too!