I’m sure we’ve all had amazing ideas before. Those ideas on a kind of product, app, movie or video game. I think I’ll start posting some of the more random ones I’ve had for video games, and then I’ll see what else I write about afterwards. A lot of these are just random ideas that I think are interesting, more often than not they probably won’t work gameplay wise. But whatever, an entertaining idea is still an entertaining idea.
So here’s the gist. I picture the game to be aesthetically similar to Limbo, side scrolling with dark tones. You play as this nightmare, I picture as a weird spiky puff-ball which either rolls around or runs around on stubby legs. Your goal for the early parts of the game are to make it through the house undetected, and up to a child’s bedroom to give him nightmares.
The challenges: Can only travel through darkness, or you eventually fizzle out and die in the light. You also can’t be detected by any roaming parents or animals, if we wanted a strange twist to it the child’s toys could start protecting him in his sleep.
Things like mirrors reflecting light, reaching light switches or plugs, avoiding the nosy house cat could all be potential challenges. And assuming this all takes place in one home, with one child it won’t be too difficult to introduce new obstacles. E.g. a new cat being brought home, a burglar breaking in and having to avoid him.
Now eventually the player will have given the kid nightmares a few times now. Somehow, and I never thought of how, the kid has to fall into a coma as you go in to inhabit his dreams. Maybe he’s a sleep-walker, maybe that but lad returns and the child tries to climb out his window to run away. Basically you’d then get stuck in this kids mind, and instead of trying to inflict nightmares you’ll have to find a way out of his coma-induced dreams.
I know nothing about comas of course, but I picture a few moments where everything fades to black mid level. It would have to be used sparingly or appropriately but it would symbolise the passage of time, or inactive dream periods of the child. the nightmare could continue where it left off, but with the level changed slightly.
And speaking of levels, I haven’t mentioned what the dream levels are like. I think the nightmare would be able to impact or destroy parts of the environment, not just scramble around it like a monkey.
Now this is where things get a bit shoddy, because I think I stopped thinking this far ahead and forgot about the idea for a while. What obstacles could be introduced within this part of the game, which will make up the bulk of it. Well, it’s a dream world, so basically anything. But that isn’t helpful to anyone. We were all kids once, I think the levels should show that. Sprawling vistas, giant toys and possibly memories.
I understand that I’m not describing myself very well here, but that’s because I don’t know to think right now. I think I might revisit this post sometime in the future and elaborate on some things. For now though, it’s just something to think about.
It would be wonderful if somehow the player could feel some sort of bond towards the nightmare and the child, after all they are in his head. At first the nightmare would just be causing chaos, but eventually it would have to realise that it has to help the child wake up to escape. Maybe the kid is slowly dying, a lot of time would be passing in-between levels and that would need to be indicated, and that introduces some urgency. The nightmare goes from terror inducing chaos to a methodical approach of “how can I actually get out of this kids head, even all this freedom to roam is wearing me down”.
But yes, something to think about.