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Hamumu Journal
Two Fun Games To May-Be02:40 AM -- Tue August 18, 2009

Just sharing a couple game ideas I've been kicking around and can't seem to let go of. It's always fun to set those down here. They will probably never happen, but they're fun to think about.

Kid Mystic: Armies Of Evil

I have a certain fondness for the Kid Mystic universe. It is most definitely not Loonyland. It's basically a fairy tale land (there are even fairies!), with the kingdom of Tulipton, and the Monster Wilderness, and the completely stereotypical wizard outfit. I'd like to explore that world more and see what is out there.

But more importantly, I really enjoy blasting big groups of guys with AoE ("area of effect" - spells that hit multiple enemies at once) magic in WoW. The specific set of tools a Frost Mage gets for doing that is a lot of fun - you run and round guys up with a magic shield on you, then when it's about to break from them hitting you, you blast a frost nova to freeze the monsters all in place. Then you blink away and throw a blizzard down on their heads, which eventually breaks the frost nova, and then things get interesting (if they're not all dead from the two Blizzards you can drop before they reach you), with assorted tricks at hand.

So I thought, I want a game that's all about that! I was also inspired by Atari 2600 WoW, which it turns out is a really fun game, that does a great job of distilling down the 'point' of several different WoW classes, and giving you the fun of exploiting a small, focused and interlocking set of tools to deal with various encounters.

So, thus you have Kid Mystic: A.O.E. - Kid Mystic sets out of Tulipton on a dangerous trek through the Monster Wilderness (for some reason) and levels up spells in one of several sets (or mix and match, but probably not until higher level): Ice, Fire, or Thunder (did some thinking about Poison, too, but I don't know if there's enough tools there). The monsters come in vast numbers, and basically you run around and round them up and mow them down. Very fast paced, very fun. Sort of like the Crimsonland type games as well (perhaps Smash TV is more memorable?), in case the influence count was too low.

Each magic type has a different style: Ice is about controlling the enemies - freezing and slowing them, so they don't hit you as you gradually destroy them. Fire is about doing tons of damage at close range, so your life is very much at risk, but you can kill them quickly. Thunder is about moving quickly and escaping danger while you destroy.

MikeyQuest

The actual gameplay and content of this game, I have no idea about. Well, I have some ideas, but they're beside the point. The point is the game layout/style/scheme/some other word. MikeyQuest is like an MMORPG, but single-player (it's online, and downloads the maps and enemies as you go, that kind of thing. Probably auction house/trading stuff between players, and of course chat, but you're each playing in your own world). It definitely has leveling up, lots of leveling up.

So what's so special about it!? Well, I would release it with only about 5 levels of content. Just sort of the beginner area where you get your first things. And probably only one playable class. As you travel around and reach the edges of the content, you see a vast empty void of stars. The world just ends. But, here's the part I like, as *I* play it, I go along and create new quests, expand the terrain (handy in-game tools would let me actually throw down new terrain in my path as I traveled!), add monsters, etc. Whenever I leveled up, I'd sit down and think "Hmm, what new skills should this class have at this level?" And I make them! So when I gain a level, there'd be this big game-wide announcement "HOORAY! MIKEY HAS DINGED!" (that means 'gained a level'), and the level cap for all you not-Mikeys would go up by 1!

Eventually, I'd get bored with that class and roll up an alt (that means start a new character) of a new class, adding that in. And in playing it, I'd be like "I already did these quests, bleh", and I'd head off in a new direction, and lo, new quests and monsters would appear before me to meet my blade. So when I did that, you too would now have new starter content, and a new class to try, and so on. After a year or two of me playing like this, there'd be a huge detailed world, a game truly worth playing! Warning: I am a total altaholic, so the level cap would probably be 20 and there would be like 50 character classes. But there'd be a lot of stuff for them to do! Like one day I'd be sitting around going "I don't wanna go questing. Why can't I craft things out of wood?" and lo and behold, there would gradually become a Woodworking profession, that I would level up, and gradually add new recipes to!

The reason I invented this idea, and what I love about it, is that it fulfills my desire to level up and try out new things. Normally, when you make a game, it's just a boring grind playing the same bits over and over and growing to hate them, or at least not want to play them. By the time it's released, it's no fun. But I'm in business to make the games I want to play, so it's no fair I don't get to play them! WoW has shown me that I really don't care about 'lore' or the reasons behind the quests. If a guy tells me to kill 10 boars, I'll go do it, no questions asked. I'm good like that. The fun for me is then in employing my assorted abilities against said boars. So it wouldn't bother me that I'm never surprised by the storyline or the scenery, I'd get to enjoy what I always enjoy - leveling up, getting new skills (even if I have to invent them), theorycrafting on which ones should combine with others, and squishing monsters with them.

It sounds awfully fun to me, a perfect replacement for the money I waste on WoW every month. It would need very robust tools for making the content, though, or I'd spend all my time replaying things fixing bugs just like usual.
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