||[May. 21st, 2005|10:12 am]
I'll admit; it's obvious. Everyone's thought of it. I don't like to admit to thinking about it, being someone who often laments about lame remakes and sequels. But damn it, I am thinking of it. Especially as games have more capabilities than they did back then. So, how great would it be to remake The Oregon Trail? And I don't mean into a quick-paced Native American Murdering Sim like some companies would make it, but a really long-ass drawn out two hour game where comparatively little action happens. (Compared to most modern day games, anyway.)|
You start just like most games I would hope to create start. You create your avatar. Pick out your sex, build, skin tone, hair, etc, etc, etc. After all, how better to relate to a character than for that character to actually be them? (Or at least their self-image.) Depending on the type of person you choose (banker, farmer, carpenter, doctor, etc.) you get certain bonuses. Bankers start with more money, farmers are better (in skill and equipment) hunters than everyone but are the poorest, carpenters can fix broken wagons to save lots of money and make money off of others along the way, and doctors can better treat illnesses and have a modest starting purse but are otherwise unprepared for the tough trail-life. (Doctors being my addition to the original.) So stock up on supplies and get ready to head out, thus begins the Oregon Trail.
Where does the 'angle' come in? Simple. It's for XBox Live only. You start the game by walking around a town meeting new people and friends where you decide with whom you want to travel with.
(If two hours is too slow, offer the ability to hunt, raft, and the likes without having to play the rest of game. Y'know, just for sport. And if two hours is too short, allow players to set their game up for other time limits, like three, four, or five hours.)
So after picking a party to go with, you begin travelling the paths trying to find your way. Largely the game is a group of players in/around a wagon hanging out. Sound lame? I spend hours every night typing to people. Why not go on a virtual wagon ride where I can talk to them for a few hours once or twice a week? As players wagons break other players will come along from which the stopped players can offer to buy a wagon wheel from, or purchase the service of a carpenter, assuming none of them are carpenters. Someone in the group gets sick? If they don't get medical attention soon, they could die and be kicked out of the game, so you have to decide if you want to haul ass to the next town/encampment, or stop in hopes that a doctor will come by.
If you run out of food what happened in the old Oregon Trail? You get a short time limit to hunt for food. And now? First-person-shooting Doom-like mayhem. All five players get three minutes in a forest to kill as many animals as possible using their own bullets (which they can share if they want,) knowing that they can only carry so much meat back anyway. And be careful. If there's a hunting accident, well, you better hope it's not fatal and that there's a doctor nearby. Though if they want, X amount of the party can wait while Y number of players do the hunting. I figure that along the typical two hour session there should be at least two if not three hunting sessions. There's also the other fun part of the game, the river at the end. You have to maneuver your wagon down a river on a raft, careful not to smash into any objects along the way. Each player gets an oar and they all work in unison to help steer the raft with their analog sticks.
While the players are travelling periodically they could run into other players who are going faster and/or slower than them also. You don't want the trail to be completely devoid of players, but at the same time, it shouldn't be like heavy traffic. Of course there are some other problems to work out, but overall I'm not worried about it being too boring. It's the Oregon Trail. It's not about imposed action and/or drama.
Y'know, this whole think is just begging to be link-laden, but it's 10:30am and I need to wake up at 1pm to get to work... Hey, at least I didn't make a billion links to Steve Rolston. Nah, the next project is to link every other word to Shaughn's site.
/edit: And because someone asked, if a player dies, yes, you have the option to cannibalize them.