Drama doesn’t always mean guns August 18, 2011 cliffski I’ve just re-watched the film ‘glengarry glenross’. For the unitiated, it’s a ‘feel-bad’ movie that is primarily a lot of legendery actors playing distressed real-estate scam artists shouting abuse at each other. I thought it was good. Anyway… It got me thinking about a recent discussion following the news about a new star trek shootemup style game, where people (rightfully imho) despaired that even with a star trek game, it’s another game where you shoot stuff. Now shooting stuff is fun, and it makes for great games. I’m making a game about shooting and blowing stuff up right now (but I’m also involved in a non-shooty game too…), but there is definitely more to life. People say that drama requires conflict, and that’s fine, but glengarry glenross reminds me that conflict doesn’t have to be rocket launcher vs tank. It can be al pacino vs kevin spacey in an office. I know it’s MUCH harder to code believable, interactable NPC personalities in a familiar situation like an office, than it is to code convincing guys shooting at you, but hey, it’s 2011 shouldn’t we be trying this? There is a big market out there (I suggest…) for games that involve conflict and drama, that do not involve guns. I’m sure a lot of these ideas suck, but one might work… why can’t we have a game where you are: A hostage negotiator A marriage counsellor A businessman that performs hostile takeovers A trade union leader A schoolteacher The leader of a political pressure group An investigative journalist A paparazzi photographer Forget the graphics, forget the physics and the tech. Make a game based around characters and situations that are dramatic but familiar. I’m sure millions tried farmville because they see farms as something familiar, unlike orcs, or lightsabers. If you could do it right, I think you could make a game out of any of those concepts. It’s tough as hell making a game on a topic that isn’t normally used in games, there is nobody to copy. Sometimes, that turns out to be a great idea.