I am bored at work and looking for ways to pass the time. One of the things I'll sometimes think about (instead of bettering myself by learning a new language or educating myself on the pressing issues of our day) is if I owned a video game company what kind of game would I make?
So I am interested in hearing about what other people would want from a video game if they could make it themselves.
Heres an idea I've been kicking around: A massive open world, fantasy RPG where you aren't any kind of special person, you just wash up on a shore one day and from there you gotta figure it out. The big emphasis would be on natural exploration. A minimal hud, no real mini map and having to rely on hints, landmarks and directions to places gleaned from local chatter or rumors. It's something some games have touched on but I'd like to see it really leaned into. The only map you get is one you fill in yourself by exploring and you have to take out and look at to orient yourself. You can scribble in markers for yourself if you come across something and need to remember it. Otherwise, finding off the beaten path locations requires you to ask around, look for clues or stumble on it yourself.
The other big focus would be on indepth inventory management. You're just some random joe humping it across Fantasy Land. You need to equip rucksacks or satchels with realistic weight limits and space, meaning whatever you set out with is what you can carry on your back and in your pack. Pouches and pockets would come into play for smaller items, and bandoliers for some other things. Basically a big like, 20 or 30 point attachment system for your character where you can pick where to stow or hang things. Certain clothing options would allow for more inventory space but reduces your armor, whereas going out in full plate makes you tougher but less nimble and allows for fewer attachment points to carry gear.
You get the ability to bundle up loot (up to a point) like weapons or armor that you can pick up and carry over your shoulder ala Death Stranding, though not as absurd with 20 foot tall stacks of knick knacks. If you get jumped on the way you can release it and start fighting, then pick it back up when your done. If you really
want to load up on loot you could get a horse and cart but then you'd be much more limited in your ability to cross open country and would need to stick more to roads. It would be cool to also have a kind of Metro: Exodus style interactive pack where you have to actually dig around in your kit and select what you need.
This would make dungeon crawling and exploration a lot more strategic and methodical. Say you come across a neat cave, but you're already packed out with gear, so you'll need to make a note of it and come back later when you have space after stopping at your home or camp. That way you're not just hitting up every cave or bandit camp you come across, clearing out map markers and looting hundreds of items until you hit an arbitrary weight number. You could also create stashes or troves throughout the world if you come across something you have
to have but you'd need to drop something else to take it. Find a reasonable landmark, mark it on your map and then come back for it later when you can.
There'd also be a RDR2 style survival element. I like the idea of having to prep and take provisions if you're going out to explore but I also don't like it to be so punishing that finding yourself stranded without a rabbit leg or a mushroom or whatever means you're going to die. Maybe have the scale be adjustable from "hardcore" to "survival lite" so you still get the effect of having to plan your trips and balance your inventory without getting punished for overshooting your supplies.
Combat would be fairly standard but I've been trying to come up with a sort of "stance" mechanic that creates subtypes of combat within each kind of weapon. So instead of increasing a generic long sword skill you would pick a long sword and then pick a stance to level and master. Each stance would have different perks or strengths and weaknesses. Seems like a cool way to personalize combat even more and allow for more branching gameplay and replayability beyond "pick a axe guy this time."
As for the world I dunno, haven't thought that one out too much. I figure it'd be you fairly typical medieval fantasy world with monsters and such, maybe some vague political tensions and warring kingdoms you can get involved with if you so choose. Or fuck off and just play the absurdly in depth and meticulously designed fishing and accompanying fish cleaning and cooking mini game. Create little fish traps, use a net, use a spear, get on a boat and go out and catch bigger river fish. Then bring em back and de-scale, gut and roast them over a happy little fire. Go gather herbs and roots and spend hours chopping them up and making various dishes and stews to eat on the road. Alchemy would be an involved process where you have to actually grind and brew and bottle things.
The overall goal would be to make a massive and dense world where you're not radically re-shaping it. You exist there and you do things but the impact you have is much smaller in the grand scheme of things. However, the actions you do take would feel more meaningful.
Anyway, that's what I'm pondering tonight.