One of the easiest ways to misstep on your way towards your destination is to forget your origins.
When I was younger (around the time of the GameCube, perhaps?), I started to write on a notebook this fantastic idea of a next-gen console and the games it’d host. It was pretty naïve, but at the time I felt very proud of all those ideas that popped into my head. I managed to fill about a notebook and a half; a titanic task, at least at that time.
In all these years, what struck me the most was how many popular games were similar to the ones I imagined; I mean, they weren’t exact copies but overall had the general feeling I was aiming for.
One time, I pictured a Star Wars game where you had a big roster of characters to choose from and could fight other players, like a top-down Super Smash. The first time I played LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, it reminded me of the aesthetics I was aiming for then, something cartoonish and fun.
Speaking of Star Wars, years before Soul Calibur IV, I was already thinking of a fighting game featuring Darth Vader. So, ha! There’s that.
One of the ideas I grew more fond of was this third-person shooter in which you played as one member of a bounty hunters team (each with different capabilities). It was open-world and spanned a whole solar system that was under the oppression of an empire and over the verge of a civil war (NOT STAR WARS, I SWEAR). Your team was outfitted with high-tech suits that enabled them to do super-human stunts and features; certainly inspired by Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040. And, better later than never, Destiny kind of sounds a little bit like that (at least the bounty hunters and the different planets and stuff). Such a great game, it managed to get a sequel.
Among other ideas that I wrote about, there was this racing game that featured different cities around the globe (there was even a track set over the Great Chinese Wall). The final challenge was my hometown –Caracas, Venezuela– a city characterized by heavy traffic.
There was also this skateboarding game themed around The Simpsons and, shockingly, I’ve just googled the terms and apparently there was in fact such game released for the PlayStation 2 (I did predict the future, I KNEW IT!).
Also, the obligatory Dragon Ball release; I guess BANDAI took care of that.
Oh! The console mascot was this guy from a third-person space action-adventure game. It was a cheap Star Wars Jedi Knight knock-off with lighsabers and all; just throw Gundam into the mix and there go.
And of course there were sport games as well. Aside from the generic Pro FIFAolution Soccer, there was this exciting idea where the player participated in several extreme (and not so extreme) sports tournament, structured like DoA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball. Each day the player would select a sport and try to get the best score possible; also, big names such as Nike, Adidas, et al. were available as sponsors. I pictured three versions: Summer (for outdoor sports), Winter (for indoors) and City (for urban sports).
The last game I can recall was a 3D third-person platform-adventure set in a suburban house where you played as a small flea or something (like a Venonat, really), desperately seeking alliances with other insects and creatures after the residents called in plague control. Mechanics included jumping around and attacking (using weaponry with detergent-based ammo).
I’m sure there’s at least another cool idea I’m missing out; sadly, I can’t seem to find either of my notebooks and am afraid that I may have throw them out will cleaning my room.
Thinking in retrospective, they weren’t great game ideas; however, I always find them inspiring to continue working on my projects, trying to develop games that I’d have liked as a child.
If you still preserve any kind of doodle, piece of paper, notebook or blog, keep it around. You may be surprised on how a blast from the past will keep you going on.
Header image taken from Pixabay.