Patrick Curry’s Thoughts on Game Design

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September 4th, 2006

Game Idea #36: Birthday Party!

High Concept:

Feeling a little blue? Why not throw yourself a party? Birthday Party! is an anytime, anywhere party game that’s sure to put a spring in your step. Play party games! Open presents! Have cake and ice cream! With Birthday Party! every day is a birthday – yours!


Nintendo DS

Why it needs to be made:

Some games just exude happiness. The graphics, music, characters and story all feel like they’re designed to make the player feel great. Why not turn this all the way up to eleven with a game dedicated to making the player feel super-awesome?


They say it only happens once a year… but thanks to technology we can make every day your birthday! Throw yourself an awesome birthday bash and invite whoever you want. Once the guests have arrived you can play games, sing songs, have cake, and best of all, open presents. The game is designed such that you really could play the game every day for a year, and never have the exact same birthday party twice.

The party games in Birthday Party! are all designed to be fun, quick diversions for you and your friends. Play pin-the-tail on the donkey, splash in the pool with some marco polo, bash open a piñata for the sweet candy inside, or have a food fight with your cake and ice-cream. And best of all if you have a friend with a Nintendo DS you can play these games together via the wireless connection.

Of course a birthday party wouldn’t be complete without at least a couple presents! As you play the games you win points that influence which specific presents you get. Each present extends the game, so it could be new songs to sing, new puzzles to do, or new party games to play. Maybe it’s tickets to a rock show? Or perhaps a ride on your favorite roller coaster? But best of all, if you don’t like the presents you get, you can always “play” again!

Final thoughts:

Erin’s been encouraging me to write up an idea somehow involving ice cream for some time now… so here it is! Happy birthday, honey!

7 Responses to “Game Idea #36: Birthday Party!”

  1. linead commented:
    posted September 5th, 2006 at 8:32 am

    *sigh* you’re heading through a dry spot. It was all down hill after Berlin, with only a slight comeback with Gunslinger.

  2. Patrick commented:
    posted September 5th, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    Dude, who doesn’t want to have a cake and ice cream food fight? But in all seriousness, not every game needs to be death and destruction. In fact, I’m trying really hard to come up with games that do something new… but sometimes I slip into old habits (Gunslinger). But don’t worry, Stranglehold will have plenty of action for ya. :-)

  3. Patrick Moran commented:
    posted September 6th, 2006 at 1:05 am

    I think there is a huge market for these sorts of games. The game is immedietly familiar and seemingly low risk. This isn’t a hit with the hardcore, traditional gamer but I think it could be a slow burner with the “casual market”. Way to take a chance and share this with us!

  4. linead commented:
    posted September 6th, 2006 at 4:14 am

    I’d take sandcastle creator over this as a casual market game, I just cant imagine anyone wanting virtual parties, except maybe going a little more adult and doing a Bachelor Party! game…it’d be huge in japan.

  5. Montegue Blister commented:
    posted October 2nd, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    What a fantastic idea - a permanent children’s party. I can imagine the game character eating too much party food and vomiting all over the feet of another partygoer’s Mother, or a poor magician struggling to entertain an unruly bunch of bored kids. Or maybe it’s the kind of truly inspired party where they play Three Legged French Blindmans Buff or What Are We Shouting

    Chin chin!

    Montegue Blister
    Author of Strange Games

  6. Erin commented:
    posted October 15th, 2006 at 2:25 am

    Woohoo for birthdays! (Thanks, babe.) And as for not being able to imagine anyone wanting to have virtual parties — that’s how I feel about almost everything in videogame land (the real thing is preferable to the virtual any day, in my book), but it’s still a crazy successful, creative, thriving industry! So why not virtual parties. Bring on the ice cream! Mmmmmm . . . ice cream . . .

  7. Alexis commented:
    posted March 21st, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    i loved the title! i think it would get a lot of buyers, especially kids. it sounds good but it might get a little boring. it might also be teaching kids that they can have whatever they want and it might ruin the wonderfulness in a birthday once a year! haha. i still like it and it would be a great way to brighten a day for a kid. “if you finish your homework, you can have a birthday!”

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