Patrick Curry’s Thoughts on Game Design


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July 30th, 2006

Game Idea #31: Homecoming

Here’s a new game idea that’s been brewing for awhile…

High Concept:

Homecoming is a light-hearted game centered around a high-school homecoming football game. Not only can you play the game as a member of the football team, but you can also play the game as a member of the marching band or the cheerleading squad. Even better: you and your friends can simultaneously play as different squads all contributing to winning the game.

Platform:

Home Console

Why it needs to be made:

Often boys and girls prefer different types of games. To accommodate this in the real-world games have adapted to include more than just the people on the field or on the court. Homecoming applies these real-world lessons to a videogame.

Description:

Homecoming is all about “the big game.” Once a year your high-school faces off against its main rival from across town. But it will take more than some hot-shot moves on the field to win the game: it will take the cooperation of the entire school! Everyone has a part to play, and even if you’re not a big football fan you can get swept up in the fun!

When you play as the captain of the football team you play a fairly straightforward football game. You call plays and execute them… but you have a secret weapon: the crowd! As the crowd builds up excitement you and your teammates get pumped up, and you can use that excitement to unleash super plays at just the right time. But look out, if the crowd turns on you you’ll find that your players loose motivation, and it will be up to you to rally them back into fighting spirits!

When you play as the head cheerleader it’s up to you to support the team and get the crowd into the game. When the team scores a touchdown, the right cheer at the right time will help boost them to score the extra point or two. When the team isn’t doing so hot a good cheer will let them know that the crowd still supports them. And when the game is on the line every little bit of confidence helps!

And finally when you play as the band it’s up to you to provide the soundtrack for the game. Everyone is affected by music… the players, the cheerleaders, and the crowd. Picking the right song to play is the first half of the challenge, and blasting it loud and clear is the second. Half-time is your chance to really show off, and to really boost the crowd. While the team is strategizing in the locker-room, it’s up to you to keep the fans’ energy up… or to raise it up if it was low before.

Why it will be fun:

Applause is a very powerful reward in games. Getting loud, enthusiastic approval from so many people at once is something that many people won’t get in real-life, and when used correctly, it can really make a videogame more fun. Homecoming would attempt to make the applause part of the game.

Final thoughts:

I could see Homecoming played on almost any platform… but especially via online multiplayer. If each player had his own screen on which to play, then the specifics of what’s on-screen can be very specific to his role, even though all the players are collectively playing the game together.


3 Responses to “Game Idea #31: Homecoming”

  1. PinkQueen commented:
    posted August 1st, 2006 at 3:51 pm

    My first thought is that this game-play could be very Sims-like. I can see a lot of individualized design options for this game. A PC would provide the opportunity for players to design their stadiums, uniforms (football, cheerleaders, band), players, BAND performances, posters, run throughs, etc.
    It might also be cool to play as ALL of the roles at once. My game design ideas may be getting too cluttered, but imagine something like iMovie where you set the timing of everything that you want to happen. Since football is easily divided into play-by-play, you can decide to start playing a song at kickoff, while the cheerleaders start to dance. When that play is over, the band may continue to play and the cheerleaders dance, but you can choose the next football play.
    Just a few immediate thoughts. I already love it, though, ’cause Friday Nights are some of my favorite!

  2. OldTimer commented:
    posted August 3rd, 2006 at 8:51 pm

    Speaking from a lot of years of attending football games, and having participated as little brother, general crowd, player, coach, cheerleader lover, band parent, and player parent, I think all of the roles really do contribute. It may be tough to quantify, but I would try to do it by having the others affect players’ energy, determination, and concentration. Of course, all groups should help or hurt all other groups in some way.

  3. Erin commented:
    posted August 7th, 2006 at 3:54 pm

    I could see playing this with my husband! ;) We’re always looking for games we both like. I’m just wondering if I can be a member of the audience who alternately follows the game, immitates the cheers, and dances to the band.


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