The thing I like best about computer role playing games is the story. Alas, most CRPG writing is awful. But Bioware does well. They're the spiritual successor to Infocom.

CRPGs have another theme: the acquisition of stuff. You start out wimpy with a tiny little dagger and a loincloth. By the end of the game you're a bad-ass with +7 glowing long swords and titanium power armour. RPG-like games like Diablo make the acquisition of stuff the primary gameplay experience, like clothes shopping with more killing.

Which brings me to my idea: how about a game where the goal is not to acquire stuff, but to get rid of it? You start out super powerful with all the geegaws and skullsplitters you could want. In your process of saving the world you learn these things have no power and you have to simplify to find true meaning and technique.

It'd require a tricky game mechanic to make work. Maybe in getting rid of things you focus and customize your remaining stuff until you are left with one simple elegant possession which is the focus of your power.

  2004-05-28 16:00 Z