Dystopic, cyberpunk near(but not too near)-future. Mega corporations have taken over every government, and while we have seen humans expand colonial space to near planets in the galaxy the ruined environment has left people living cramped lives in the few habitable zones or mega-cities enclosed from the fallout.
To get ahead you have to make choices about allegiance and purpose. So basically the game is about doing jobs, but the freedom of that choice is what would make this game stand out. So take the idea of doing heists or something like that from GTA Online. I really liked this world, but feel it’s lacking in real choices.
Imagine EVE where you have people doing these double agent espionage maneuvers. Also, that Spycraft idea of really building up a character’s job. Oh and Cyberpunk cause it allows for more cool stuff.
So the trailer for the game would be like everyone at this compound looking at their notes for some sort of train heist. We then see the train heist, as they jump out of a helicopter onto the moving train. The plan moves smoothly, imagine a guy who was already stationed on the train taking out a guard and opening a door, the team getting ready to open some compartment with the important stuff in it, when the chopper guy says “we have company.”
Unlike the AI security guy this is another team of players. They launch powerful electromagnets at the helicopter which sinks to the ground in an amazing explosion. Landing on the train we then see a crazy cybernetic-enhanced fight between the first team and the second. Everything goes crazy, lasers, mechs, another laser of a different color-the second team is victorious.
Who are they working for, the people that owned the train, some secondary interest? The last shot would be them now planning a heist from the compound. The idea is you aren’t just running missions and waiting on devs to release new content. You want to do something you do it.
The idea to steal a compound might be just one of several options for getting a place that this other team saw. However, by looking at their options maybe this just seemed like something they felt they could do, or maybe this other team burned them sometime before an they just wanted to stick it to them.
So what would make this game a bit different is basically stealing and lying. You let some guy on your team cause his sheet says he’s good at driving and shooting, but in reality he’s faked his sheet and is actually good and driving and hacking and is just doing the job to get in and hack the mission and steal the reward.
While a lot of this stuff is anathema to general game progression, getting a house and a car and a bigger house with 2 cars, the reality is this stuff is meaningless. If somebody is playing a game and 2 months of progress on the “things” front are lost they have a choice to make that’s interesting. Do they want to run through that again or do they want to get even?
So I had really enjoyed GTA Online when it started, but I always had these ideas that it could have core complicated things going on. Missions that would be like escort missions where another team actively tried to stop you, but the reward money is yours so why not give some of that up to something like a bodyguard team? Why couldn’t people play the roles they wanted to?
That was the first idea-that if you opened up options players could really fetishize these roles. Clubs of people who think of themselves as the ultimate in something having to deal with other people who also have ego problems. But GTA doesn’t really have the ability to do this, there isn’t a skill system, there isn’t a way to filter through jobs to make sure your group gets the work that suits them, and there isn’t a gang clubhouse. Also no stealing. Definitely no house stealing.
Think shared world shooter. You start out getting a “go-between” who helps you get work and establish yourself. The lesser jobs would not just give you a chance to level up but get used to the idea that some people are just trying to screw you. If you don’t get used to that early on the idea of losing a plane you spent a million credits on later might be devastating. However, this would also help you learn the ins and outs of stealing your plane back, of making a club that doesn’t really exist on paper, and having the game exist beyond what the screen says.
After you get deeper into the biological upgrades, the computer-brain ones, every sort of vehicle or house modification you find you really need to get a stronger group together to take on more challenging jobs and need to navigate a complicated world of corporate espionage. This would be where the game goes crazy with choices. Who to let in and who to trust, who to work for and why, and what you’re going to do when big things go wrong.
I like the idea of brain augmentation as a big element of the skill system. You know like a computer you could take out things you aren’t using and replace them with useful stuff. That way if someone steals your plane you can get rid of the level 2 plane augment and get some sort of diplomacy chip or whatever put in. You wouldn’t feel like you made a bad decision in the skills department since they aren’t permanent, but at the same time if someone pulls a tragic burn on you and leaves you with nothing but those augs you would be able to find some work and get back in shape.
Why don’t we have this yet? Well tech wise it’s expensive and it also requires players to get immersed in it. I think it would help immersion for the devs to basically run sales on different augs. You might not really care to do a mission any more but if it helps your heavy get the aug that let’s him lift a truck it might seem worthwhile.
But even if you get people really into the game it’s still complicated. You need people who want to be assholes and yet the problem of online harassment is a big deal. You would have to make it so people could really be anonymous, otherwise there’d be so many angry messages going around.
Though I still think it’s a banging ide