Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dream Game

We all got them. Games we would love to see made. Some are more ambitious than others. Some would be logistically impossible to make. I've mentioned nine titles I would like to see that are mostly sequels with vague wishes for moderate improvements to graphics and gameplay. For this post though I have an idea for a game that if I really wanted to I could probably write down in detail. Perhaps even forge a design document should I feel so inclined. In the interests of post length I wont do that for now. Instead, I'll just give you the abridged version. So what is this game I'm getting at? know that series called Valkyria Chronicles? How about that but at sea instead of on land.
This summer (2012) has its share of wannabe blockbusters with the biggest, loudest and dumbest probably being Battleship. I could write an entire post on how basing films on board games is going to be the death kneel of the Hollywood movie industry (unless the space aliens turn out to be voracious hippos and their ship is full of shoots and ladders in which case it would be awesome), but I digress. We're talking video games here so with regards to Battleship it will probably generate interest in the big warships we all know and love. So, why not make a game to capitalize on the popularity? No, not a stupid hack cash grab that's yet another first person shooter. I mean something with some style and substance. We've have three titles all set on land why not have some action on the high seas? Looking a map of "Europa" it's not hard to see plenty of interesting locations for fleets of warship to clash.
It would be easy to keep the same "BLiTZ" system, just replace individual soldiers with ships. To maintain the unique charm have the captains of each vessel represent their respective units. Instead of classes like sniper, scout, shocktrooper, lancer and engieneer go with navy equivenlants like submarine, destroyer, cruiser, battleship and transport. Swap out tanks with aircraft carriers and you're basically all set. The water color design mixed with distinct art direction for each ship type could look gorgious to behold. Just look at this example battleship from the PSP version of Valkyria Chronicles.
Aircraft could play a big role for the first time. Since "in universe" aircraft don't seem to have been used extensively yet, leaving open an opportunity for new carriers to surpass traditional line-of-battle-ships (much like real WW2 history). Different types of fighter craft, dive bombers and torpedo planes could create greater variety and customization (throwing in ace pilots and quirky flight leaders wouldn't hurt either). Of course torpedoes, mines, depth charges, bombs, etc. could be upgraded throughout the course of the game and gun salvos could be spiced up by offering different kinds of ammunition. Off the top of my head we got armor piercing, high explosive, shrapnel shells, smoke canisters, star cartridges, incendiary rounds and fragmentation shot. Missions variety is not a problem either with mine-laying/sweeping, night battles, coastal bombardment, amphibious landing support, carrier duels, sneak attacks, commerce raiding and best of all Crossing the "T".
A change of location wouldn't hurt either considering we don't know anything about the eastern part of the Imperial Alliance. They could get caught up in an Asiatic Russian conflict similar to the the Russo-Japanese war. Maybe the Atlantic Federation has colonies in the area? Implementing deployment costs would bring an interesting new dimension to tactical considerations. Special Orders could make a comeback, and to improve on the basic formula a more robust AI along with divergent storyline would markedly improve on areas that have been sorely lacking in the series.
Now this is the part were you tell me that only hyper fast paced shooters sell anymore and nobody will fund anything but sequels to highly successful franchises least of all strategy games. To which I answer; yeah...I know my idea isn't good business from and investor standpoint thus this will probably never happen but hey...a guy can dream, right? Long Live Gallia!

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