Maybe it’s because I’m a game developer myself, or maybe it’s just human nature, but I very often daydream about games I wish existed. Below are just a few that I’ve been wishing for lately.
A Really Good Diablo-Style MMOARPG
As previously mentioned, ever since Torchlight 2 I’ve been hoping someone would make Torchlight 2 online. It’s great in multiplayer, and I think it would be even better with a persistent open world, perhaps with the randomly generated dungeons that make the game so replayable. Sadly Torchlight’s creators Runic Games were actually planning a Torchlight MMO at one point, but apparently scrapped it shortly after Torchlight 2. Marvel Heroes is satisfying this craving for now, but I’d jump at something better. I’ve looked at Path of Exile, but everything I’ve seen has seemed too dark and gruesome to appeal to me. Also, I’m back in a fantasy-is-overdone mood. I only ever tolerate fantasy; give me sci-fi any day.
An MMORTS (that isn’t just a waiting game)
I love RTSes. I love MMOs. Can’t we fuse the two together? I don’t think they’re incompatible, but let me say up front that I recognize that it would certainly take some doing. Still, I think you could have a persistent, open world that includes resource gathering (already a staple of most MMOs) and building and controlling multiple units at once. The main problem is, of course, what happens to your base when you’re logged out. I guess you would either have to cut out buildings, or based would have to be instanced. But if you’ve played StarCraft II’s campaign, you can probably imagine roaming around a map with Jim Raynor or the Queen of Blades with a bunch of minions in tow. Heart of the Swarm even has bosses. It would probably only ever be a niche game at best, but I personally would love to play it.
I’ve played a few games that called themselves an “MMORTS,” but in the end they were for the most part, oddly enough, turn based, and very slow paced. Generally they revolved around waiting long periods of time for stuff to build (which, of course, could be accelerated for a small fee), and battles were just about sheer numbers and upgrades, not about tactics. In other words, there was no real time and not much strategy.
A New Myst-like Game
Cyan Worlds’ Myst series is still one of the greatest franchises of all time. Very few games have matched its creativity, depth, and immersion. It was the perfect blend of puzzle and adventure. Sadly, we haven’t seen a new Myst game since 2005, and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. But perhaps the ending has not yet been written; Cyan’s successful Kickstarter funding of Obduction means we will soon have a new world(s) to explore, so it looks like I’ll be getting this wish within the next couple years at least. I’m a little concerned that it won’t have the same feel as Myst, but we know so little–and so little has been finalized–that I don’t think there’s too much to be worried about just yet.
A Metroid [Prime] Game From The Space Pirates’ Perspective
Metroid Prime had some of the most excellent and original storytelling of any Nintendo game perhaps in their entire history. The story was developed primarily using Samus’s scan visor to interact with various computer terminals and the like to extract the log entries of members of the Galactic Federation, Chozo, Space Pirate, and various other species, usually postmortem, giving the game an eerie feel without having to resort to graphic violence. There’s something about having to actually read the story that immerses you so much more than even the best fully voiced and animated cutscenes could. The Myst series was the exact same way.
Ever since I first set foot on Talon IV, I’ve wanted to know more about these mysterious alien antagonists whose lives I only got glimpses of through their logs. I would love a game dedicated to them, not because I just love playing as bad guys, but because I’d be interested in seeing the Metroid universe through the eyes of the Pirates rather than the visor of the Hunter. I think it would be cool to tie the story in to one of the games (I am, of course, biased toward Prime, but it could be any game really), but it would be equally cool with a whole new story.
A MOBA With More Variety
I’m thoroughly uninterested in DOTA/MOBA games. I remember playing the original DOTA in Warcraft 3 before the genre was all the rage (excuse me while I go pop my collar), but it has always struck me as a novelty minigame at best. To me, it they’re a fusion of RTS and RPG, but removing the best parts of the RTS–less strategy, more twitch–and the RPG–no persistence, quick leveling, with no pleasant surprises as you level.
But if my character somehow got more interesting as I went along, I would be much more drawn to the game. For instance, in most MMOs, half the fun of leveling a character is learning how the new skills your learn every few levels fit (or don’t fit) into your rotation, or when to react situationally with them. The MOBAs I’ve played have the exact same skills every time you play a character. If I could learn new skills for accumulating a certain amount of XP across every game I play, then switch them out with existing skills, I would be a lot more interested.
Also, since MOBAs feel like a minigame to me, some other game modes would be interesting. For one, I would really like to see a MOBA that provides a way for me, as a newcomer to the genre, to get better at the game without having to either play with a bunch of lame AIs that play nothing like real people, or get destroyed by pros a thousand times while I’m still trying to learn where all the buttons are. Maybe a short co-op story/campaign mode, or at least better AI with a difficulty slider for practice matches.
Marvel Heroes’ Fire and Ice PvP is the closest thing this I’ve come across. Granted, I’ve pretty much discounted MOBAs as a genre, so maybe some games are doing this and I just haven’t heard about it. Feel free to prove me wrong.
I, of course, have a few other ideas, but like I said, I’m a game developer, I’ve got to keep some ideas for myself, right?
Got anything to add to the list? Share in the comments!