LD#33 Theme Voting – Final Round Roundup

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August 19th, 2015 7:14 pm

So these are my opinions on the themes in the final round. If you disagree with my opinions, then…uh…shrug I’ve noticed that most of the themes I voted positively for in the previous rounds didn’t do well in the rankings. So I suspect lots of people disagree with me…but anyway:

  1. Abandoned – I like this theme, because I am always intrigued by abandoned places, desolation, urban exploration etc.. I guess on the negative side, it may result in a lot of similar games. However, it can be interpreted metaphorically. What must you abandon to achieve your goal?
  2. Alone in the World – I don’t know…I feel like this is too restrictive in terms of setting. There’s some world, and the player is alone in it. I could easily (easily) make a game about social anxiety, where the player is simply emotionally alone, but…
  3. A Map Will Be Useful – But will anyone care? So there are a lot of games about exploration…I feel like this is a game where you have to expend effort to think of something innovative, which is maybe not a good thing.
  4. Attraction – While some themes are too restrictive, I think this one is too vague. You could apply it to just about anything. I guess that means there’d be a lot of different games, but it doesn’t really excite me…
  5. A World in the Skies – Seems to really restrict you to one setting. Or maybe the game is about “heaven”. Or about Lovecraftian monsters who come to Earth when The Stars Are Right. Not really moving me, though.
  6. Beyond the Wall – I could probably do this theme, but it doesn’t excite me that much. I’d probably go for a Pink Floyd thing. I’m sure lots of people would make games about a totalitarian city, which is not necessarily bad.
  7. Build Your Way Out – This seems to restrict games to specific mechanics, which I don’t think is a good thing.
  8. Can’t Stop Moving – Don’t stop believing. Okay, seriously though this is another really vague one. I’d probably just shrug and go with the first thing that came to mind. It also, oddly, restricts you to an action game, unless you stretch yourself.
  9. Chain Reaction – Even vaguer. Things happen that make other things happen, but how does that translate into gameplay?
  10. Companion – This one I like, partly because I would like to write interesting NPCs, but partly because I think it affords some interesting alternate interpretations. What about a book that lists useful stuff? Like the Hitchhiker’s Guide or the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook. Tell me “Apprentice Mage Companion” isn’t an intriguing idea.
  11. Day and Night – Eh. I do think there are some interesting non-obvious, perhaps metaphorical interpretations. I would be able to do this one, but I don’t think I’ll vote for it.
  12. Death is Not the End – Kinda restrictive, in that you come up with an idea for an ‘afterlife’, but that sort of thing has been done a lot in games (even by me). Either that, or you explore the idea of making memorials for people…
  13. Destroying Yourself – So, it’s either one of those “suicide” games, or one about self-destructive behaviors. That’s fine, but the theme is kind of limiting, I think.
  14. Expanding World – A little too vague for my taste. Although, it might be cool to create a game about someone who is exposed to new experiences and their mind is expanded.
  15. Growing Things – Sure, I love games about growing things, but this seems to presuppose a mechanic while not inspiring anything interesting…I would probably end up implementing a game idea I previously had but never developed (I have a lot of those).
  16. Limited Capacity – Most vague theme ever (after perhaps “discovery” or “exploration”). Is there a game that doesn’t have a limit to some resource?…(hmmm.)
  17. No Enemies – So what? If all you have ever played are 80s arcade games, this theme might blow your mind. Nowadays, however, it’s not too restrictive…
  18. One Rule – Too vague. You could have an I, Robot-like game where the player has to follow certain rules. Otherwise, though, nothing too inspirational comes to mind.
  19. Power Supply – I’m on the fence with this one. It’s giving me some interesting ideas—there’s the obvious “robot power supply”, but then what about political power? How about the sun, providing energy to all life on Earth? Or mitochondria, which are the powerhouse of the cell. Still, I’m not sure it will engender interesting games…
  20. You are the Monster – This restricts your game to a setting where “Monster” means something, probably with monsters versus “normals”. Monster Loves You is a great game of this type, but the thing is, it’s been done. Or you could go Dungeon Keeper role reversal kinda thing. I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like there’s much more than the obvious answers.
  21. Pluto’s Heart – Not only is it topical and a reference to interesting science, you could reference Yuggoth, or the actual god (you know, the Roman Hades), or other stuff…

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