So last night sitting in bed I was thinking to myself what would make an awesome game, I mean really awesome. During the weekend I had been playing a lot of Too Human and I noticed that at times there were LOADS of enemies I had to fight off and I loved it. The idea of being surrounded in combat the only way out was to fight. That got me thinking where are the massive battle games (non-strategic)?
We've got various games that "pretend" your in a part of a battle, but you're never actually IN the big battles. You are always on some stupid side mission to talk with the enemy leader who is hold up somewhere nearby. Let's see those epic scale battles ala Gladiator, Alexander, LOTR, or 300 style.
The main theme:
- The game would be designed at first (expansions?) to recreate massive historical battlefields dating back as far as history of such battles will allow, and of course using the weapons of the time.
- Progression is done through the "Ages" of battle signified by changes in weaponry, styles of warfare etc. (Pseudo Call of Duty style).
The main character:
- The Hero Spirit: You are actually a Hero Spirit that passes from generation to generation in a family line traceable back to ancient times. The legends of your ancestors deeds are written by your actions on the battlefield of the former warrior/soldier that you played. While dieing in glorious combat does not necessarily kill the Hero Spirit, dieing a fool's death will. Certain conditions in a battle will determine what a fool's death and an honorable death will be, sometimes battle conditions are uncontrollable and no matter what you do death is inevitable, how you meet that death will determine if the Spirit lives on and how that particular piece of family history is written.
- Alignment changes: This section needs some thinking through, I was thinking about having multiple levels of alignment. Good versus Evil, Loyal versus Disloyal. With gray areas between all of course (much like the Lawful Good, etc. of RPG's).
- While many side-characters will exist as extended friends / brothers in arms, there will be some that "feel" closer to the you (the Spirit) throughout the ages. However some are not always your friend, and even sometimes they can turn against you.
- One of the coolest parts of the game would be to play through the game with multiple other people either as their friends or foes (could possibly change at any time).
- Ability to work together / against in battles. Watch or stab each other in the back, it is up to you. Or even start out as foes but gain respect and join forces to turn the tide of a historical battle!
How to handle massive battles:
- Localize the players battle view: Make a relatively small area surrounding the player their active battlefield, any action going on in that area is rendered real-time.
- Surrounding lines of battle: Utilizing various techniques given the terrain & conditions of the battle you could easily mask surrounding battles with heat-wave effects, dust, etc.
- Allow movement along the line / deep into enemy lines, etc.: With the localized field of battle you should be able to leave one area to do battle elsewhere, perhaps to aid a failing line or to bolster it to try and push into the enemy's position.
- Tactical battle-view: As the battlefield is a open ground you will still have the ability to understand the layout of the battle as it unfolds so that you might better locate areas to aid in defense, assault, etc. Also if your leader has a specific job in mind for your unit be sure to understand what it is, less you might lose some alignment points (or perhaps that was your plan all along). Sometimes in the midst of battle changes may be called as needed, while you are knee-deep in bloody combat remember that despite your efforts as a warrior if you do not heed the call of change you may be less likely to die honorably (if you die), your alignment may also suffer.
It would need additional content to keep it interesting from a single-player standpoint, even the MP game I would hope would retain much of the same parts. Technically speaking there would be no "end game". While the story might stop you would still have the ability to do quick-battles or even perhaps to "rewrite history". In some cases your Spirits history is what the game is all about. Was it infamy you sought, glory, or perhaps peace? Each piece of your Spirit's story follows the eb and flow of your accomplishments and failures throughout the ages.
Expansions would come in the form of additional battlefields that can be added at any time during the time-line. This would give 2 modes of play:
1. A player could "skip" previous content with their alignment status' being what they were when the new map begins, in this case alignment statuses are recalculated from the differences in the new alignments (new maps) and from the previous alignments (old maps) to fill in the family time-line.
2. You start from where the "new maps" pick up taking your previous alignment into consideration. This would essentially make "expansion packs" simply additional story-lines into the history of your character and would feel like just another part of the original game.
Anyway just a thought atm.