So I guess I was thinking about all the things that are severely lacking in videogames today, like protagonists who aren’t “cool”, strong themes about being a parent, anything set in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s, and multi-layered strategy games like X-COM.
What I ended up coming up with was this. It’s an idea I had for an X-COM -type game in which you hunt down and intercept your own wife, who turned out to be an deep undercover Russian agent whose mission was to steal your greatest creation: a floppy disk with a computer program that will change the world.
Set in 1990, the game would feature a world map called “Hunt Mode” in which you expand your network of nerd friends, exploit the resources of government agencies, and evade capture while moving closer to your target(s).
When action is called for, you go from Hunt Mode to Turn-Based Combat, proving that you’re much more than a cowardly geek. Kill or be killed, hunt or be hunted, and turn the tables on the world’s secret intelligence agencies as you shoot, stab, hack and hijack your way along. Use strategy and improvise to minimize any evidence and keep your own trail as cold as possible.
I think this would be an awesome game. It wouldn’t be done in a campy, funny or satirical way at all, and would give you the freedom to make mistakes and try different paths, because (like X-COM) it wouldn’t be about the action as much as the strategy, and managing the resources you have.
There’s a bunch of ideas I have for how you could end up with squad-based combat, chasing false leads, mole hunting, double-crossing, interrogations, and more. I also envision your son, who normally thinks of you as being the last person in the world he would respect or emulate, learning to see you differently, for better or worse, depending on what kind of actions you take. His loyalty and respect for you would be like a kind of resource that you have to manage as you take more and more extreme measures.
I don’t know. It’s sweet.