Patrick Curry’s Thoughts on Game Design


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April 9th, 2006

Game Idea #15: Loup-Garou

This is one of the ideas I’ve been working on since early in the year, but it’s only recently matured in my mind…

High Concept:

Loup-Garou is the game where you play as a werewolf. Actually, you play as a human, who’s been cursed with turning into a werewolf. During the daylight hours you are human, going about your “normal,” everyday life. But once darkness falls, you’re transformed into the legendary werewolf – now everything looks, feels, sounds, and smells different. Try to keep yourself from being found out… and try to keep yourself from destroying everything you hold dear…

Platform:

Next-gen home console

Why it needs to be made:

Every other monster has had his day in videogame land… so why not the werewolf? I’ve always found the werewolf to be the most sympathetic of all the monsters. I think it would be really interesting to explore the werewolf legend in videogame form.

Description:

Loup-Garou is set in a small village in sixteenth century France. You play as a farmer who lives on the outskirts of town. Your daily life consists of tending to your crops and your livestock, interacting with the townspeople, and trying to blend in. While the villagers are your friends, if any of them learn your terrible secret they will immediately become your enemy.

The game is set in an open world, with an accelerated day-night cycle. When the sun sets, you are transformed into a werewolf, which presents a number of interesting challenges. First off, you can’t be spotted by any of the villagers where the transformation happens. Secondly, you probably don’t want to be at your own home, as if the werewolf is spotted leaving your home, this will greatly raise suspicion. And third, you want to be somewhere where you will do the least amount of harm…

While the game is controlled like your average third-person adventure game when you’re in human form, the game totally transforms when you become the werewolf. Instead of having direct control over the character, you can only influence the movements and actions your wolf-form. Human-form is good for exploring, fitting into nooks and crannies, and picking herbs and plants; wolf-form is good at covering long distances, leaping across chasms, finding secrets, and of course, combat.

When the sun sets the world around you changes in more ways than one. Not only does it look different because it’s night time, but the wolf sees and hears things differently than a human does. What looks like a sheep by day looks like a tasty treat by night. And what a human sees as a friendly villager, the wolf sees as a vicious monster. On top of this, the wolf has an extremely keen sense of smell, and any number of scents can be “seen” around you… making for many clues that can only be seen by wolf.

Your goal early in the game is to learn to control your wolf form. The wolf’s instinct is to ravage the town, and he’ll do just that if you let him. In a sense you have to protect the villagers from yourself. But as time goes on more and more mysterious things begin to happen, people start to disappear, and you begin to think you might not be the only creature of the night in the area…

Why it will be fun:

Loup-Garou is an extremely genre-bending idea. By day the game takes the form of a third-person adventure game, harkening back to the Sierra adventure games. But by night the game feels like a blend between a racing game and a real-time strategy game, where you are indirectly influencing this fast, ravenous beast, but never directly inflicting your will on it. Would this blend be fun? I think it’s worth trying to find out.

Final thoughts:

Thanks to Mason, Ryan and Erin for the support of this idea. I know it’s a weird one.


33 Responses to “Game Idea #15: Loup-Garou”

  1. Devin Curry commented:
    posted April 11th, 2006 at 2:55 pm

    I think it’s one of the freshest ideas to date! There seem to be so many possibilities and roads to go down with this game. Why this isn’t on shelves already is puzzling game designers everywhere this week.

  2. Patrick commented:
    posted April 11th, 2006 at 7:22 pm

    Haha! I too have been scratching my head about that. :-)

  3. erik commented:
    posted April 15th, 2006 at 11:49 am

    reminds me a little of Simon’s Quest:

    “The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night” !

  4. Atlantis commented:
    posted June 16th, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    This is a really great idea, but I think instead of giving the player indirect control over the wolf, I think it might be more interesting to give the player direct control, but have their perception become so distorted that they don’t really know what they’re doing. If a villager seems like a monster, and the village seems like a forest, then it would seem only natural to attack. Then when you turn human again, and you see that people are dead, maybe you think it’s the doing of the “monster”, when in fact you’re the one doing the killing.

  5. Jason T. commented:
    posted June 16th, 2006 at 8:26 pm

    I’d definitely buy this game provided it came to light. Though I think the werewolf parts should be a bit more 3rd-person. Maybe as you control your instincts, your surroundings begin looking more and more “normal”. It could be a psychological-type game.

    Perhaps the Wii could be the console of choice. The speaker in the controller can be used to eminate sounds of inner thought while in werewolf form, and the sounds of the tools you’ll have to use during the day as a farmer. Swinging the Wii-mote would be for either swinging claws (at night), or swinging a scythe or raking (by day).

  6. Apeiron commented:
    posted June 17th, 2006 at 11:57 am

    I think this is really brilliant. I agree that there is some of the flavor from Simon’s Quest (oh how I love that game!) and even something of the Zelda Twilight Princess in this, Altered Beast, and Symphony of the Night where you actually change.

    Patrick, you are awesome! I am going to buy Stubb’s the Zombie. I sort of passed it up but I regret doing so and I will pick it up today. Keep up the great work! I really think that this sort of approach is EXACTLY what Nintendo is talking about for the Wii: shorter, simpler, but really cool games.

  7. David Provost commented:
    posted June 18th, 2006 at 8:42 pm

    Here’s a couple of twists to seal the deal. The “day game” is an Animal Crossing/Sim City type thing, with the goal being to buy rarer herbs and more complicated distilling equipment in order to make potions and powders that will give you more control over your wolf form when taken. Supplies are limited though. Do you take that potion now or save it for when the Bishop is visiting town in two weeks?

    Second: It becomes clear early on that there IS something else plaguing the town — a race of monsters that is killing even more villagers and livestock than you are. You need to eliminate as many of them as possible each night, both because it keeps the villagers suspicion down and because you actually like them! Problem is, at night the villagers and the monsters look indentical to you! By the end stages of the game, you will have created a large enough stock of potions to give you total control over your monster form, so you can begin to make raids against the monsters’ base and defeat their mighty king (which also ends the curse placed on your family, reoving your lycanthropy)!

  8. Fletcher commented:
    posted June 20th, 2006 at 3:08 pm

    I like the initial idea. But I don’t think the play style concept is enough to carry the game. A good storyline for the human side and decent action for the werewolf side would be required. Your effectively playing two games but in order to make it fresh what you do in one game should directly effect what happens in the other.

    Your mention of adventuring gaming as a human appeals to me as I loved those games, however if the wolf form is as choatic/freeform as you want suspect, it could possibly ruin the adventure aspect? I’m not sure. Its a lot to think on.

    Of course graphics are also a key. I like that you commented things sound different and look different. Obviously altered perceptions is also enjoyable.

    Overall its a great idea, somewhat innovative and I’d love to see the game. I could see the game on both the console and the computer.

  9. dale commented:
    posted June 24th, 2006 at 11:03 am

    i think it would be a realy good game, i think there should be events in the game like important people visiting and monsters to fight. there should be a hunger meter so if it gets empty you kill all the vilagers and you loose. you should be able to hunt as well. Werewolf hunters should come and you have to avoid them.

  10. dale commented:
    posted June 24th, 2006 at 11:07 am

    i also think that people should find out and you have the choice to kill them non susptously or let them live and avoid them. And people might notice that you have been out all night and you should attack some monsters who threten the village and every one you love. oyu should also be allowed to live alone or get married. (leave out the naughty bit about marrage) lol.

  11. James Casey commented:
    posted June 27th, 2006 at 3:28 am

    What would be really cool would be if it appeared to be a normal adventure game to start off, where you are a hunter tasked with finding and killing the werewolf.

    However, whenever the character slept he became the wolfman - but would not realise it. he would just wake up to find more villagers dead or whatever. Only near the end of the game would the character realise that it was he who was the killer.

    The big trick would be keeping the secret of the game away from public knowledge. Still, The Crying Game kept its secret for quite a while, so its not inconceiveable.

  12. dale commented:
    posted July 11th, 2006 at 3:06 pm

    james cassidy, you’r idea seems good but very used, most games are about adventuras, lets not have this one be too.

  13. Supergirll commented:
    posted November 29th, 2006 at 3:21 am

    Sounds great
    I would love to play this game, werewolves have been my obbssesion since forever
    Good luck with it.

  14. Jerald L. commented:
    posted December 22nd, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    I dont know why werewolves are always left out of games. Take Oblivion for example,it had vampires but know werewolves. This game idea is great but i think the player should have direct control over the transformation into the werewolf. Also the game needs to be a sandbox type game like The elder scrolls or Fable, allowing total freedom.

  15. Mark commented:
    posted December 29th, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    Hello all, My name is Mark and I am a huge Lycan fan.
    I have been thinking for the past couple of months about why there hasn’t been a stand-alone Werewolf game. I mean how cool would it be to be a werewolf? Really cool I think.

    To have the ability to leap chasms, or to climb up the sides of buildings of leap through the trees. Tht would be amazing…………*Drools at the thought* You would have access to so many things……Strength, Speed………you’d have it all.

    The game would have to have a good combat system for the werewolf. I think a “God of War” type system would work great. And a fully 360 degree movment system with “extreme enviromental interaction” What is this you ask? Well I will try to explain. What do werewolves do? They climb, they leap, they fight, and holy s**t can they ever run. Example: Has anyone here played King Kong yet? Well that’s what I am talking about, swinging from tree to tree, or well leaping from tree to tree. Not only leaping, but stalking also.
    The ability to wall run would obviously be a natural one.

    And don’t forget customization. Make you own werewolf! Pick the size, type (four legged or upright, or both depends on the player.) Eye color, fur color, strips or any other type, maybe a burn marking or a stigmata.

    Now, to whoever thought this idea up in the first place, Awsome concept I love it.

    Okay, back to the game. Enemies. What do werewolves fight? everything!! Other werewolves, gouls, zombies, and lets not forget their rival, The vampire.

    Now, I know I am all over the place with this guys, but bear with me for a bit longer.

    The combat:Air grabs, directional grabs (front, back, left, and right.) Also kill moves, you know like The Punisher? Also, the more fighting you do the more moves you unlock like Wall kills (jump off a wall into an enemy) Ceiling kills……….

    Well I got more Ideas but I’ll save those for next time.

    Please e-mail your thoughts back to me at the above posted address and I’ll get back to you and maybe…..we can make this into something.

    Thanks for listening guys!

  16. Jugalle commented:
    posted January 7th, 2007 at 1:35 am

    Warcraft III’s Battle.net map creators had a similiar idea like this, as there are many games based on a werewolf premise, where a character emerges into the monster.

    I think it’d be great if there was an highly integrated farming simulation, allowing you to raise sheep and and grow crops, and even interact with fellow farmers. Maybe even attack them at night or sabotage their livestock.

    Items should play a heavy role in the game.
    I’d like to point out some of WC3’s Battle.net ideas as there are many items to protect such cursed farmers, such as invisible cloaks that only work when motionless, or perhaps medicinal herbs to delay the transformation.

    Then, at night, there could be a wide assortment of profitable objects such as other people’s items or twilight fungi.

    Okami and Twilight Princess should definitely be referenced in terms to wolf control, as humanoid werewolves often lack the finesse or creativity because of their common look.

    I’m digging the whole reconaissance idea and farming idea, and it’d be great to also read texts providing clues, backstories or just scribbles for certain tasks, people, or overview.

    This is an absolutely fantastic idea and I’d love to hear more about it.

    Some concept art should be presented.

    note: the RPG system sounds a little awkward as having to numerically add skills to the wolf sounds a little too dull and may break the flow.

  17. Jessica commented:
    posted April 9th, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    I plan on being a game designer and I think that it needs to be made

  18. Billy joe commented:
    posted May 13th, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    I totally love it. werewolfs rock. it would be great on the wii, but just imagine it on xbox live. Awsome!!!!!

  19. Silver commented:
    posted June 3rd, 2007 at 9:38 am

    This would rock next to Okami for ps2/ps3 but even better would be for the Windows operating system!!

  20. Devin Farrell commented:
    posted June 13th, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    (PLEASE READ I THINK YOU WILL LIKE IT!!!)I have been recently looking for a good werewolf game thats more on the lines of free rome/mission total rpg game-type so you choose if you want to be evil (killing villagers) good (protecting them) or neutral (hunting like a real wolf in the forest) i would like it to be on Wii X-Box Playstation 3 and x-box 360 (all the major systems) and if not then x-box and playstation 2 because you can still play the game on the 360 and ps2 it would be cool to pick a gender, name, hair colour in the beging of the game, and style at local barber shops and the essential need to eat and drink in wolf form and human or sertain and soon all atributes will slowly decrease and be partially replenished as you eat or drink and fully replenished soon after you eat adrenaline boosts to temperairaly increase health and other atributes (best for when you are in a fight) increase atributes such as stealth, streangth and others by doing certain things such as hard farm working, what you eat etc. it would be cool if your wolf forms fur reflected the colour of your hair, show scars from being in battle and increase how much villagers like you by being nice to them or marrying them so if they find out your secret they may keep it if you say the right thing (if you play star wars KOTOR you know basicly how you would talk) gestures and simple phrases, commands etc. Having a pet would be a cool feature, you could go out in the wild and tame a cat, dog, wolf bird any animal of your choosing who would help you fight etc. instead of the pet having a health bar it have something like a real pet if it get hit in the wing leg etc hard enough it would be injuerd such as infection from a cut caused by a blade, a broken bone, injured eye wich it may become blind in that eye. You could heal the pet with herbs wich it will like you heal slower than like in most games with potions and health packs, choose a den, hole in the ground, swamp etc. for it to stay when you do not want it following for whatever reasons to heal stay out of danger etc. the pet would have obidience and disobidience depending on how old you got it how well it likes you or how you treat it. and also instincs and training whatever it may be that it should be tought as when young and a bond that grows between the pet and you so you are more synchronized in fighting etc.the pet will age but not so fast where it dies in but a few days it will get weaker as it gets old pr it may die from battle, get stronger as it matures etc. So basicly a very realistic game! Hope you liked my idea! and hope to hear from you.

  21. Mark Thomas commented:
    posted July 29th, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    To: Devon Farrell

    Sorry to point this one out, but Devon, you basically just repeated my post and changed stuff around and made it your idea. (Read post by Mark)

    Now you have put some new stuff in there that I find interesting,(The KOTOR System would be nice) but some features are completley irrelevant to a werewolf game.

    The only time you would need potions is in human form, werewolves have a type of “healing factor”, they don’t need them.

    I also like your idea of the tinted fur, showing the humans hair color, good idea. The scars were brought up in my post.

    I don’t quite support the idea of a pet system, werewolves run with a pack, not a bunch of cats or dogs.

    Creating a homebase is a neat idea though, you could have a trophy wall for all the enemies you have killed.

    More on the movement system: Now that the next gen systems are on their way, it can be seen that more possibilities are open for games, faster loading times, more realism, bigger maps, and more freedom of movement. Now most of you have seen the “freedom system” in Assassins Creed, that would would be the movement system we would apply to this game.

    A ranking system would be nice too, create your own pack, and try to stay at the top, as other males may try to take your place as Alpha male.

    Status items: Such as tattoos, markings, brandings, or weapons and special abilities signifying your position as Alpha male.

    More ideas on the way.

    ~ Mark ~

  22. Joseph Ashe commented:
    posted October 13th, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Wow omg really hope someone makes this game i would play.
    I love that idea and there arnt really any werewolf games out there besides elder scrolls 111 i would play it man plz make it =)

  23. Josie commented:
    posted November 11th, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Hi,

    Our french immersions teacher bought us this game in gr.6 and every friday we would play loup garou for 30min. It is an excellent game!! The villagers the loup garou,le voiant,le chasseur,cupid, it is just a great game I really recommend it!!

  24. Samuel commented:
    posted December 10th, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    The World of Darkness mmo will be comming out. It’s based off a table top rpg that allows you to take up the powers of a werewolf, a vampire or a mage. It’s like what mark posted with werewolves fast healing and pack status. You can also transform into 5 forms:human, near-human, halfwolf-halfman, near wolf and wolf. you can change forms at will. perception does change depending on form. and for stealth you have lunacy that makes humans that look at you go crazy for a sort amount of time and then forget about you.

    I played the game josie played. I really recommend it too.

  25. gravedancer commented:
    posted December 16th, 2007 at 12:15 am

    a loup garou game..indeed mark this is a game that must be made…what took you so to think of it…you know mark…if you make it we will play it…so hurry up and make loup garou im getting bored with these other games.

  26. Geoff Buss commented:
    posted January 8th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    I’m afraid West Wind Productions (UK) have already beaten you to the idea with their Gothic Horrors Vampire Wars miniatures range and rules book. The range even includes a Loup-Garou character.

    Geoff

  27. NGII commented:
    posted January 27th, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Ive been looking for a game like this for a while, please notify me when it ts made

  28. sunny commented:
    posted March 17th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    sweet killer wolves rock

  29. Kira commented:
    posted June 13th, 2008 at 12:13 am

    I think this is a good idea, but personally I’ve always wanted to play a werewolf game where I could control the wolf from a 1st person point of view. You could make it where at the beginning you dont have much control, but over time you gain control over the wolf, although theres still the wolf’s need for meat, so you must fulfill that as well or he dies or gets weak or has a hard time changing back. Get what I’m saying?

  30. willy commented:
    posted June 16th, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Since I was a kid I’ve always loved werewolfs, and wanted to be one, and if anybody has every noticed there aren’t any games where you can actually be a werewolf other than a forum based game such as bitefight. Why is this? If game companies only knew how many people would buy this game they would produce it, I mean who wouldn’t want the ability to go from human to hardcore. Great ideas Patrick, but I do disagree with the fact that you wouldn’t have control over the wolf, complete control would be the only way it would be any fun.

  31. Shazza commented:
    posted May 13th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    “Loup-garou” I’m guessing is based on the card game that shares the same name?
    If so, this is a fantastic expansion on it and sounds like a really good game to play.
    Though, assuming that this is based on the card game, have you considered bringing in multiple character options?
    In the card game there is the Fortune Teller, the villagers and the witch; just an idea of mine though. So you can play the game as the werewolf or fortune teller and bring in the element of murder-mystery type genres.

  32. Wolf girl commented:
    posted September 24th, 2009 at 7:23 am

    this is the coolest idea ever

  33. Matthew commented:
    posted December 28th, 2009 at 3:34 am

    I’ve always loved werewolves, you don’t see many werewolf games, i hope this games made and i like the sound of it. i think that there should be vampires in it as an enemy and i think that you should be more than 1 village.


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