Patrick Curry’s Thoughts on Game Design


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November 8th, 2006

Game Idea #45: Angry Villagers

Here’s a new game idea for Halloween-time!

High Concept:

You’ve lived in this small village all your life. Sure, you’ve heard all the stories and legends about the monsters that live out in the woods, but they’ve never scared you… at least not too much. But when your village is attacked by a small army of monsters, you and the fellow villagers get angry… and even!

Platform:

Home Console

Why it needs to be made:

I haven’t played a real-time strategy game on a console that was worth a darn in years. RTS is a fantastic genre, but it’s one that seems stuck on the PC due to UI and control issues. Well, needless to say I’d love to see fast-paced strategy come to home consoles.

Description:

At first glance Angry Villagers plays like real-time strategy games on the PC. You play as an overseer of the action, and view your village from high up in the sky. It’s up to you to assign jobs to the villagers that will help keep them safe from monsters that are attacking from the woods that surround you. As the monsters attack you have to move the villagers to strategic locations, instruct them to attack, defend, or do a special job.

A big part of the strategy comes in the combinations of the different jobs and the classic monsters. For example, if vampires are attacking, it’s important that you have farmers growing garlic, and carpenters making wood spikes. If it’s werewolves you want your hunters using silver bullets provided by the blacksmiths. If Frankenstein monsters are charging then you want the carpenters to be building barricades and the farmers digging holes to use as traps. And if the zombies are attacking… well… you get the idea.

The game plays over a series of “days” and “nights.” During the day you can assign villagers jobs, rebuild your town, and consult your village’s fortune-teller. While her powers are limited, she can give you an idea of which monsters might be attacking that night, and maybe even where they’re attacking from.

Why it will be fun:

Building up a little village and seeing the people in it go about their business is fun. And it’s also fun to see them running and yelling from the monsters when they attack. That is until you give them torches and pitchforks. And then it’s fun to see them hunt down those very same monsters!

Final Thoughts:

I love classic movie monsters, and I especially love dreaming up games for them to star in. I also really love RTS games, but the hassle of keeping my home PC in top gaming form really takes the fun out of them for me. So it goes without saying that Angry Villagers is a game I’d love to make. Thanks to Devin for the help and support with this idea.


7 Responses to “Game Idea #45: Angry Villagers”

  1. devin commented:
    posted November 14th, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    I totally am into this game. Especially if there are ways that every monster can actually help your village and you have to figure out how to control it.

    I also imagine something funny like a “boy who cried wolf” situation where you also have to manage villager histeria and make sure your villagers know who the real monsters are.

  2. Patrick commented:
    posted November 15th, 2006 at 2:27 am

    Funny you should mention the idea of the boy who cried wolf. This idea began as a kind of witch-hunt game, where the villagers were tasked with figuring out which of them was in fact a witch. But I couldn’t come up with mechanics that I really liked, not to mention the general negativity associated with witch-hunts. So I settled on the villagers-vs-monsters motif.

  3. tom commented:
    posted December 12th, 2006 at 12:45 pm

    I would buy this game for $50. It would be awesome.

  4. erik commented:
    posted December 20th, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    Sounds a little like Myth. Making the interface simple enough to translate to a home console would be interesting. Reminds me also of the Populous port to the SNES.

    I would love to see the part of the game where you consult with the village woodcutters and carpenters and stonecutters and bridgebuilders and y’all engineer & construct traps, à la the Ewok woods battle at the end of Return of the Jedi, or every A-Team episode ever. I want to be able to spend the daylight devoting a team’s resources towards rigging the bridge to collapse, spiking tiger pits, cocking the rolling or swinging tree trunks, and armoring the horse-drawn-carriage. It would be totally satisfying to see the traps go off as planned, and totally hilarious if you set ‘em off wrong and do damage to your own team.

  5. Patrick commented:
    posted December 20th, 2006 at 7:38 pm

    Yes! Why is it that setting traps is so satisfying? Is it the anticipation… waiting for them to go off? Is it that there’s a clear investment phase, followed by a potential pay-off phase? I really loved Rampart… especially the distinct phases of building your castle, then trying to destroy your opponents’. There’s something deeply “right” about it.

  6. Chris commented:
    posted January 8th, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    I love this idea, and I’d love to see it turned into a game. Just seeing little villagers with torches running screaming from classic monsters would be worth the price of admission!

  7. Alexis commented:
    posted March 21st, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    it sounds good.. i’m not so sure about the name.. but yeah i agree with chris.. seeing little people with torches would be pretty cool :) maybe they could have smaller monsters for the first few days until you advance to larger, scarier, harder to prepare for monsters!


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