X Company – old game idea in new clothes

I’ve always wanted to create a game for a mobile device that effectively goes to work when you stop playing. Initially I had the idea of a sort of Tamagochi approach. Fairly predictable. But the more I played with the idea in my mind the more I came back to something a bit more adventurous.

The scenario that I often consider sees the player firing up the game to be told that his health is low and he is in desperate need of nutrition. Worse, his comrades are all ill and fading fast. But this is no RPG. This is a game of survival that probably has more in common with the Atari classic M.U.L.E.

My cast of characters, amongst them the player’s main character, are all the stranded crew of a failed mission to the far depths of space. When luck, fuel and oxygen started running out they aimed for the nearest planet. I call it planet X.
The basic premise of the game is that X Company must survive against the odds in an hostile alien environment.

Having crafted their own base, equipped with oxygen generators and water purification systems, the crew seek to systematically explore their new home in the hope that they might some day find some form of civilisation.
I always wanted it be pretty tight in the same way as Kirk and his senior crew were actually old friends.
I wanted the server to process away the player’s input and decisions (e.g. Divert 90% energy away from O2 to perimeter shields) and fire out emails periodically to reflect a) the state of the complex and b) the impact on the crew.
I’ve gradually become obsessed with the notion of playing Kirk in an hostile and mysterious distant world.

For the idea to work I need to define the character of each of the crew members. I also need to consider exactly where the fun is to be found. I have a clear vision of the presentation and gfx style but as yet have no consideration for how the code would work.

Games on mobile phones are going to be huge this next year. HTML5 games employing web sockets et al will be big business. I’m keen to develop my idea as a technology test if nothing else. If I get it right the game will be portable and flexible in terms of how it is played.

More to follow…

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