Colin Moore
United States
Kentucky
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Okay, I've got an idea for a very narrative exploration game. It would involve a cooperative team of players exploring a locale, searching rooms, finding items and overcoming challenges and conversing with characters. Sort of in the vein of an old school adventure-style PC game.

However, I haven't decided on a setting, and I can't really work on the game until I figure out the setting.

Here are the options I see so far, I'm happy for more original ideas as well.

Haunted house or other horror equivalent. Exploring a big creepy mansion with secret doors and dark secrets.

Fantasy dungeon crawl. you know the drill.

Derelict space ships. Find data drives and turn on and converse with deactivated androids and so on.

What sounds good to you?
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Brian Franzman
United States
Tacoma
Washington
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Why do something that's already been done? Why not branch out, try a setting that's a bit more off-the-wall, to make it memorable?

Loyalists preventing a mutiny on a pirate ship
Investigating a murder in an unusual or exotic location (Death on the Nile, perhaps?)
An Old West posse searching for information about an outlaw's whereabouts... Scratch that, make them bounty hunters... Scratch that, make them outlaws looking for a no good double-crosser!
A band of survivors in a post-apocalyptic wasteland seeking out the location of a hidden bunker.

Anything but another ho-hum haunted house, dungeon, or spaceship game (although I'd pick spaceships out of those three, if I had to choose).
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Joe H
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Why not try something like Fantastic Voyage/Inner Space with the team searching through a body to find and eliminate the disease. It would give miniature gaming a whole new meaning.
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Stephen Eckman
United States
Oviedo
Florida
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Escape Rooms are popular right now. Your theme could be Escape Rooms and then you could have all kinds of different scenarios: lab disaster, escape the witch's cottage, etc. Just search online for escape rooms and I'm sure you will find tons of different scenarios you could build on.
 
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J H
United States
Chesterfield
Missouri
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Why not something like Inception? The mind of a crazed terrorist trying to set off a nuke. Your adventurers are traveling through his thoughts, dreams and memories trying to find clues about the whereabouts of the device. Just a thought...shake
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John Breckenridge
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Richmond
Rhode Island
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You've been summoned to the estate of a rich, eccentric genius. Some things have gotten loose from his laboratory.
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Chris Dugas
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Of the 3 examples you gave, the derelict space ship seems most appealing to me. Along similar lines, diving into a shipwreck?

I know these ideas would probably be pretty similar to a dungeon, but a tomb/archeological dig, an abandoned mine, or a cave system could be fun and creepy. I'm not normally claustrophobic, but the idea of mines and caves really brings it out in me. The interaction with non-player characters would have to be handled differently...journals, messages scratched on walls, etc.

Maybe a carnival funhouse rather than just a haunted house, which would give it a slightly different asthetic, with creepy carnies, fortune tellers, and clowns. It could go anywhere on the spectrum from slightly creepy to full-scale Stephen King territory.

Also, depending on what type of exploring you have in mind, how 'bout a mind? Could players be traipsing around a subconscious, possibly a hypnotized subject, gathering memories, piecing together some sort of mystery...resolving amnesia perhaps?
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Gary Boyd
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Evansville
Indiana
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Of the 3 given, derelict spaceship sounds most interesting.
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Colin Moore
United States
Kentucky
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Awesome. Thanks for the suggestions, folks.

I agree that dungeon crawls and haunted mansions are overdone.

I am leaning towards derelict spaceships or subconscious dreamworlds. Spaceships is an easy one for me to come up with challenges and scenarios for. The concept of exploring someone's subconscious is a more novel premise of course, and allows for all sorts of surreal storytelling.

Thanks for the ideas.
 
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Glen Dresser
Canada
Calgary
AB
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Soul Proprietor wrote:
Awesome. Thanks for the suggestions, folks.

I agree that dungeon crawls and haunted mansions are overdone.

I am leaning towards derelict spaceships or subconscious dreamworlds. Spaceships is an easy one for me to come up with challenges and scenarios for. The concept of exploring someone's subconscious is a more novel premise of course, and allows for all sorts of surreal storytelling.

Thanks for the ideas.


I love the dreamscape/inception type theme. It would be awesome to have this feeling of memory spaces overlapping... You're exploring the mind of an old man (let's say, and you might be in this part of his mind that's about the time he was exploring the tombs of an ancient pyramid. Then something changes and memories from his old-folks home start to intersect, overlap with those... characters from one set of memories inhabit the other. And then it shifts again and memories of being on a sinking ship start to flood in (somewhat literally). In some cases, success might involve finding something in one dreamscape and transporting it to another, in some cases keeping dreamscapes separate is crucial to success.
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Christopher Todesco
United States
Chicago Suburbs
Illinois
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Soul Proprietor wrote:
I am leaning towards derelict spaceships or subconscious dreamworlds. Spaceships is an easy one for me to come up with challenges and scenarios for. The concept of exploring someone's subconscious is a more novel premise of course, and allows for all sorts of surreal storytelling.


Even through Brian suggests that space games are overdone, there are relatively few that focus on the crew of the ship overcoming an internal conflict-- most space games are about fighting in ship battles or killing aliens.

Consider a post apocalyptic world where people are trapped in a fallout shelter? (i.e. basically Fallout Shelter <http://bethsoft.com/en-us/games/fallout_shelter>; ..stupid geekurl not working.)
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John Swanson
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My best advice is to go with something you know. You will have much more success populating your game with theme, and discovering interesting mechanics, if you go with a setting that you are keenly interested in and have some background knowledge in. And to repeat what another poster said, don't be afraid to explore new territory. You don't want your game to be white noise in a sea of similarly-themed games.
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Brendan Riley
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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An abandoned amusement park
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Edward Gilhead
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I agree about spaceship games would be cool. Howabout something similar to the idea in 2001 space odyssey. The crew have a crazy AI to contend with while trying to get their original job done.
 
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Barry Kendall
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Lebanon
Pennsylvania
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I'd love to see a game covering exploration and discovery in a newly-discovered complex of ruins and sub-surface passages and chambers . . . on Mars. Date: 2040 AD.
 
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Mr Osterman
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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A team of lost soldiers, resistance, and paratroopers behind the lines in France 1942.

 
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