Progress Video – Some Kind of Poetry Game?

Here’s a quick progress video for an idea I’m chasing down.

It’s the core mechanic for either a school RPG or a dreamy adventure game. In either case, the idea is to have a poetry jam where the player has to know a poem well enough to pick the next lines at speed.

For the RPG, I think what I want here is to have the player and the opponent exchange verses; if the player fails a verse, the opponent automatically picks it up, and vice versa. The winner is whoever does it better.

I’ll post more later if this idea bears fruit, and if it doesn’t, I won’t!

Game Idea – We Sailed Through An Endless Sky

What’s your name, friend?

<player gives name>

When I was young, I used to hide in a quiet hallway at my school. I would sit in a comfy armchair and do my homework.

Out a grand picture window, I could see our beautiful tower, standing above us all in the bright blue sky. I used to imagine it was a control tower, and the school was a giant ship. There was no land above or below.

<the game title appears>

We Sailed Through An Endless Sky

The game is a swashbuckling mystery. You play as Sam, the rapscallion child of  Sailing School, one of many city-ships traversing the endless sky. There is practical knowledge of high technology, more engineering than science. Everyone remembers that humans used to live on Earth, in a solar system, with gravity. No one knows why people now live in the endless sky instead. Different cities have different character; Sailing School is mostly academic.

You can choose Sam’s gender, but either way, people often guess wrongly. Sam is a sort of natural pirate. There’s intrigue and politics and sword fighting. Sam falls in with the pirate city, but eventually starts to search for the mystery of the sky. And unlike all the other frustrated seekers, Sam finds the answer.

The endless sky is a simulation. Mankind did live on Earth, but grew in technical prowess, and eventually invented truly convincing simulations. Some stayed behind on the crowded, failing earth. But most uploaded themselves, leaving the real earth behind forever.

There were two flavors of simulation. Some favored untethering themselves from natural rules, to explore utterly bizarre new ways of life. Others just wanted to live human lives with more space, and settled on an infinite grid. They agreed on rules of travel to prevent anyone from teleporting onto anyone else’s territory. Have you ever walked off to the left in an old video game? Left the game structures behind, until it was just you walking? And kept on walking for so long you couldn’t find your way back?That’s what happened to Sam’s people. They wanted to explore the void, and they explored for so long they forgot who they were.

Sam’s group also finds protocols that promise a way back. The wild other simulation won’t allow the humans, because they’re… too different now. But Earth will repatriate some simula if they choose it.

This knowledge sparks a fight. Some want to bury it, some want to release it. The release faction wins. The humans of the city-ships learn their fate, and many choose to go back to Earth, to wake up. Most of Sam’s group choose to go back. But Sam has grown to appreciate the virtues of the simulation, and doesn’t think it’s any less valid. The game ends with a player choice. Does Sam stay, or leave?

If you choose to stay, there’s a poetic epilogue, into the sunset.

If you leave…

<name>, wake up. Look around. Stretch your limbs. You’re on Earth.