And I do dabble into other ideas, too. I've always wanted to redo my old pac-man game I made for my class and flesh it out into a full, proper, pac-manesque game that has some RPG elements thrown in for good measure. I wanted to make a sequel to said game that would be an RPG. Another biggie is the game version of one of my big novels, Disease. (Disease being the novel. I forget what the game's name is.) And then I had the idea of copying the RPG mechanics from the sequel-game to the pac-man game into an RPG remake of the same story, telling it as an RPG rather than as a tower defense game.
Then, there's the ideas about turning the mechanics of my webcomic into a game, notably, ideas for making a flash game of ~5 or so characters' backstories, and then a flash game where 8 of them have further backstory, and then a main game maybe covering the plot of my webcomic. Then there's the idea of making an open-sandbox RPG that uses the mechanics of my webcomic in a game, but with minimalistic plot mostly determined by the player character.
...And then, there's a special, evil idea I have of making a vaguely, VAGUELY rogue-like RPG game where the idea is that it's basically the best bits of every genre of game (a bit like the anti-idle game in that regard), but featuring unique twists, among them being that the game is insanely hard to beat on normal difficulty and would feature incredible EasyModeMockery. How hard am I thinking? Being able to die on the character creation screen...IN MULTIPLE WAYS. And having an easy badge being earned by dieing a hundred times. (All in good fun, of course. The whole point being to actually laugh at TheManyDeathsOfYou.)
And there's yet another I devised, a bit of a cross between tower defense games and ghost tricks, where the ability to pause the game is a plot-critical ability, and basically you're fighting losing battles that on extremely limited resources, you must find ways to win via exploiting switch abilities and environmental manipulation, in said limited timeframe. Then there's the many various forms of RPG chess that I've devised over the years, in which chess pieces fight, creating theoretical possibilities of a pawn being attacked by a queen winning however improbable.
Obviously, all of these are pipe dreams, never to see reality. I'm fairly stubborn in that I like to do the work myself, and there's too much art to be done well as just a start. Throw in music, and it's even worse. Add in programing? Which I am almost absolutely incompetent in without heavy coaching? And that I'd likely need to get programs to even DO this stuff? Not to mention, the sheer, raw, amount of TIME that it'd all take?
...Yeah. I want to, but it's never going to happen. That being said, didn't stop me from making another one recently. All of the above are well-established ideas, aged fairly well for the most part in that they're all fairly neat, creative, unique ideas, ideas that are decently-fleshed-out albeit not quite enough to make it viable to focus additional resources on them.
Recently (not sure if it was today, yesterday, or Friday, but somewhere in that range), I came up for an idea of yet another game to add to the pile, with a working title of "No More Heroes". It'd be a little bit of a stealth-commentary to the number of games (particularly MMOs) with 'Heroes' in the name.
Basically, I thought of a backstory: Back in the day, there were heroes and monsters and merchants a plenty, not to mention, kingdoms ruling peasants. However, eventually, thanks to the lack of unity in the forces of evil, they were all-but wiped out by the combined strength of the world's heroes.
After this was done, though, these adventurers found themselves with very little to do. Many of them retired to farmlife permanently. Others hired themselves out as mercenaries to kingdoms now entering petty squabbles. Some began the life of a merchant, traveling to cities to trade and make hefty profits. And yet more others began to gather wealth to become lords themselves, not content with letting themselves be ruled.
The peasants, however, once so gracious for the help of these services--all of them, from their sires to the mercenaries to the merchants--were growing fed up. When the forces of evil were around, such facts of life were accepted as needed in order to survive, as methods of strengthening the forces of good and allowing them to unify when needed. Yet in these more peaceful times, all they were doing is disrupting the very peace they helped to create, greed driving them to be just as much a menace as what they once fought.
The governments were wanting war with one another, wishing to tax their people and conscript them to enable this. The mercenaries would do anything for gold. The merchants kept gypping the villagers off. So the peasants, as a whole, across the land, revolted. The governments were toppled, and the people deliberately took up simpler lives. Free of direct government, most of them lived isolated lives in farms. Some cities remained, and in them remnants of governments exist, but for the most part, they live without it and deal with their problems by themselves, whenever they arise.
Mercenaries died out in the process, their services no longer needed. Merchants were banned as harshly as governments were, and as a result, adventuring died. Some humans still occasionally travel to other towns and cities, mainly to see the world, keep contact, make sure the rest of the world still follows the rules they agreed to self-enforce, and occasionally to barter or on the rarest of rare occasions, request aid for a problem that they cannot themselves handle, with the expectation that while they've agreed to be isolated, they don't need a government to mandate that basic human decency should win over and let them help.
In short, basically an idealized version of anarchy. Sounds too good to be true, right?
...Well, in this story...
...Right. Turns out that the whole "government collapse" thing that was seen as a good thing? Actually orchestrated by the villains, weakened yet not destroyed. Peace, true peace, had existed for years...until now. Because they had bid their time, waiting for there to be no force that could possibly hope to overcome their might. No merchants, when merchants for all their selfish motivation know how to run things and are generally competent at defending their investments. No governments, when governments for all their corruption and political screw-ups are at their base meant to protect the people. No mercenaries, who for all their greed are good at their jobs. No adventurers. No more heroes.
The line no more heroes has been spoken in celebration and in passing by the people of the present...yet in the shadows, it is spoken with a menacing grin.
Thus, begins the basic premise of the game: a village has come under attack by a raid of monsters. They can defend themselves from it easily enough (the game's part-defense, and this is the introduction to it), but the villagers notice that the monsters are more organized than they should be, and fear that they may have been controlled. After some spelunking (the game's part-RPG, and this is the introduction to that half), some of their villagers come back to confirm their worst fears:
The village is going to continue to be under attack, and soon to follow, the entire world. Given the time of crisis, they consider what they want to do. The game's a little bit tongue-and-cheek with its humor. You, as in, behind the fourth wall, the operator of the computer, are selected to be an "Overseer", because they're not going to call you a hero--heroes are all dead!--or a Lord, because you've got no actual power over them. You're just the faceless, formless villager (yes, they actually say this, because they're intentionally not looking at what you look like) who they are dictating to control the operation, by unanimous vote, because the enemy is too coordinated for individuals to without direction be able to mount an effective defense.
So the overseer basically divides the village up. The majority of the villagers stay behind to defend their home, but a party of villagers sets out as travelers (NOT adventurers, because heroes are all dead!) and you with them--you communicate with the village through a crystal cube (no, not a crystal ball, the distortion is too much on those things!). This is how the two halves of the game work: you are there, helping the travelers as their faceless guide, and whenever the village contacts you that they're under attack, you act as their guide.
Here's where it gets interesting: every villager is their own person. They come with their own names, and cannot be renamed. If they die, they're gone forever. They do not level up--heroes are dead!--and are just stick figure peasants, with minimum equipment to start with. Their effectiveness therefore relies on equipment they raid, in which they can slowly become more specialized, because while they do not level up, they gain proficiencies as they continue to use things in combat, and some villagers had different specialties giving them better 'stats' in those areas.
It eventually allows for them to, with the aid of stolen magitech, do stuff like throw fireballs as if they're a mage, all the while, still being villagers: they keep basically the same health throughout the game, basically the same strength, basically the same endurance, basically the same speed, the only thing improving is their equipment and how efficiently they use it, which creates slight increases in some areas. (For instance, better armor = better damage reduction, lighter armor = better speed.)
This applies to both the defense and traveling aspects of the game. The defense aspect of the game is basically a race against time: you have a finite number of villagers, so lose too many, and it may be impossible to defend yourself. You occasionally receive traveler-given reinforcements, but for the most part are on your own. The traveling aspect of the game is basically a group of villagers traveling to other villages and even cities, hoping to get help for their village and ultimately, the world.
In the traveling bit, you gain villagers much the same way as your village does for defense: those who're willing to come along (which depends on the actions the overseer takes while in town) will do so, but they start out as any villager would: generally unskilled, with perhaps some exceptions here and there.
In short, this entire game is basically you on one hand commanding an army of redshirts and trying to keep them alive, while also having a band of redshirts taking on tasks that only adventurers should be dealing with. And this isn't a case where they're all secretly heroes the whole time; they die, they start out sucking, they're just cannon fodder, and you're supposed to keep them alive and progress through the game. Defense on one end, standard RPG combat on the other.
I love the idea, and my description here doesn't do it justice (then again, my description for most of the games I listed above didn't do them justice since I could ramble about any of them), but I felt like blogging about it all the same.
So what's the other thing I wanted to talk about? Well, today, I realized that technically, I have another story which rips from anime, this time being a rip-off of Hellsing. Made around the same time, too. It, however, has an oddity about it: I never wrote a word of the official canon, yet I wrote plenty of words on the story that were actual words on the story, not notes. What am I talking about? Well, because the story I'm talking about holds the honor of being the first of any of my stories to have a "what if" version of it...except I began writing the "what if" version before I wrote the main version, so to the uninformed eye, the what-if version would look like canon, especially since I never got to the important point.
Basically, there's one small difference between the main timeline and the alternate timeline, which holds a ripple effect on the whole story, that being, a vampire character in the main canon is alive, whereas in the alternate timeline (the timeline I actually wrote words for), he died a long time ago. The resulting difference was the time the main protagonist became a vampire. In the alternate timeline, it was earlier, and created a setting that was highly-slapstick-humor, seemingly a lighthearted typical anime I suppose...except to the point at which he became a vampire in the main timeline. Because he was already a vampire, the attack played out differently, but much, much for the worse, and ultimately, in the alternate timeline that started out being lighthearted and having slapstick humor, the protagonist slowly degenerates into becoming the monster that he's fighting.
To the point where the alternate timeline has the villain say, "If you kill me, then you'll end up being just like me."
...And the protagonist says, "So, what?" and brutally kills the villain. And ultimately, the protagonist asks to be mercy-killed, having his wish granted. (Note, though, that TheAdventureContinues--his brother, in the alternate timeline having been in a coma, wakes up, as a vampire...and now is basically in lifelong servitude to the government for the actions of his brother combined with his newfound blood dependency. This, however, becomes a sequel manga, not novel, and is lighthearted.)
In the main timeline, the event that turned him into a vampire in the alternate timeline didn't happen remotely the same (though it did, vaguely, still happen). The event that turns him into a vampire into the main timeline (and which served as CerebrusSyndrome for the alternate timeline) is what kicks off the plot in the main timeline, and it does start out dark, but ironically, the event went better with him as a human.
In the alternate timeline, the protagonist got worse and worse.
In the main timeline, the protagonist became better and better, initially a cold statue, an instant expert at becoming a lethally-efficient killer after a bit of voluntary TrainingFromHell. (Him having more focus in this version during his training, because in the alternate timeline, his training was "sure, why not" and the event happened after training had finished, whereas here, not so much.)
He had better support, though, and eventually meets a woman who helps to rehumanize him. (Whereas in the alternate timeline, said woman ends up as being brutally killed by an opponent during a vicious fight, and he notes her as just one further casualty.)
It's...highly confusing everywhere outside my head, which is why I greatly desire to rewrite the whole thing and describe it again. It's still a bit of a Hellsing ripoff in both versions to some extent, but both versions were some of my favorite vampire stories I started to write. I hold the story--both main and alternate--in high sentimentality, even though the writing I have of it is all on the alternate timeline and all abysmally bad.
Soyeah, been a nice long chat, but I've got work to do. It's 3:15 AM. I have homework due tomorrow, and a couple of (hopefully) quick errands to attend to.