On the flight out to San Diego I was kicking around some game ideas. The cluster game is already in progress and I’m leaving that one aside. Here are some of them… this is going to be a bit ‘stream of consciousness at the moment.
Human Space Invaders
The idea is that you’re standing there looking up at space invaders flying around and getting closer. You have several weapons you can fire at the attackers and they drop ordnance towards you as they fly over. There are shields above you in places that neither you nor the invaders can shoot through but all shots damage the shields if they hit them.
I was thinking of a few weapons for the player:
- a beam weapon that you can play around like a flashlight. This would use ‘energy’ that is slow to refill and rapidly consumed when lasering. Very powerful and effective but limited availability.
- Pulse weapon similar to the laser but much more efficient. Draws from the same energy reserve but fires blobs of energy up at the enemies.
- Controllable weapon. Limited number per stage. After launch you can direct it with your controller and either cause it to hit an enemy or detonate it on command to throw out a spray of damage. The direction the relevant controller is held in would control the direction of flight of the round. Releasing the fire button would detonate the round.
- Possibly a ‘boom’ round that flies directly up from where you currently are and when triggered throws out a much larger spray of damage than the missiles. Probably like a ‘smart bomb’ a limited total supply of these over all.
Resource management game.
You are looking over a set of hypergates where your job is to send out attack craft to deal with space monsters and pirates. You get points for ships successfully transtting your gates or coming in and flying off to in-system destinations.
Items in the game:
- Hypergates: ships and monsters enter and leave through these. When a commercial ship leaves through its designated gate you get points.\
- Defense stations: Each station hosts a number of attack and salvage ships that you can send out to perform tasks. Stations and ships can be attacked by various things. You need to manage these resources to get your job done.
- Plasma buoys: You have a plasma weapon that you can fire directly at targets (think ‘grid fire’ in the culture novels). Your attack power is related to how many buoys you have active and how close they are to the target location.
- Off screen destinations: some ships (and pirates) come from or go to planets in the system that are off screen.
- Commercial ships
- Noncombatant military ships transiting the system. You get points for these ships getting where they’re going. They will defend themselves if attacked. They can be asked to assist with threats that don’t directly affect them but this costs points and is not guaranteed.
- Gas and debris clouds. Obscure sensor readings. Conceal and generate monsters and pirates
More options to come…those were the first two on the list and probably the most fleshed out…also could restyle the invaders game with a less cartoony missile command approach and get something more serious and perhaps with more long term playability.