Worthless Thoughts

Today I spent a good part of the day thinking about how a I would design a computer game. Like most of the things that I think about, I have a general framework that resides in my mind of how I would design a computer game. I might go for weeks or months with out thinking about the subject at all. But the framework is always there, waiting for me to ponder upon it again. When I do, I generally just tweak the existing framework and make it more complex rather then think up a new idea.

My ideal computer game is one that forces you to mix long term strategic planing, short term tactical action, and a healthy dose of the unknown. It also has to be one that you can play with other people with lots of trading, diplomacy, and overt acts of aggression against your (living) fellow man.

Such a mixture has never been pulled off. The Total War series only manged to put strategic planing together with tactical action and they became popular. X-Com (the original only) managed to combined strategic planing, short term tactical action, and a healthy dose of the unknown in way that has never been equaled since. As a result, it is still played and loved by many even though it came out in 1994 (which is just about prehistory as far as computer games are concerned).

But X-Com could not be played by more then one person by its very design. Besides, there is just not that many people who like to think in this world. And a lot of the people who like to play games that make them think don’t like either the unknown or the tension that good tactical setup brings. So the market for the type of game that I would like to play is very small and hence the game I would like will never be made.

But I still like to think about how it could be made if the world was different.

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