Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Dream Game, Part 2

It's kind of funny to me that I write my post about trying to parse out my dream game, which holds a lot of decoration and similar aspects, and the very next day, we get an announcement (or, at least, I noticed it) saying that Home (which has the decoration aspect I highly enjoy) is going to expand to have a more game-like feel to it.  Not that I suggest my dream game would be Home, nor that Home could possibly expand into something that I would describe with the term, "Dream", just that elements I'm drawing from is striving to become even more than what it is currently.  I'm, er...easy amused.  (I had a way better reasoning out going on in my head.)

I've still been thinking about it, clearly, and I figured the best way to go about trying to explain it would be to break down each part and do it like that, since flailing around and saying this and that didn't really work when I read it over again.  So I'm going to focus more on the smaller details this time, the personal decorating aspect before moving out and up to the grander levels of it all.  Which is why I brought up Home, since for all the games I've tried that let you personalize spaces (which, I think is basically Home and Phantasy Star Portable 2, possibly a few other things), Home is the one that honestly grants you the most freedom.  You get to place up to 40 items (I believe) and you get to place them wherever the hell you please.  Set up a ramp on a table by hovering a flat item over the edge of the table and placing it, which hands it over to gravity and drops it as it would drop.  Provided the floor doesn't allow it to slip, it'll stay there like a ramp and, last I checked, you could then even use it as one.

Wall items don't work quite as well, as they were introduced after spaces had been pushed out, so the system (for now) seems to be (certain) spaces have pre-determined Wall spots that you can cycle through when you want to put up a poster or a picture frame or what have you.  The rotation of the item is up to you, so you could, theoretically, get a Deer Head ornament and put it on the wall upside down, so even though it's a little restrictive, it still allows for a nice touch of freedom.  But that's still not what I would like, as I would prefer a 'Snapping' method, where you could place an item against a wall and, well, "Snap" it in place.  Or even to another item that you place or that adds flavor to the space.  (A chandelier for instance.)

The alternative provided in Phantasy Star Portable 2, which will quickly explain why I prefer Home's method to it, is by offering about a couple dozen different rooms with predetermined grid areas where you can place things.  Each (most?) room has four wall spots, and then the better part of the floor is divided into a grid, where most items take up four squares.  Additionally, you have a set amount of Decoration Points which is a fairly near hidden number.  You enter Decoration mode to display the grid, and then walk to the area you want, select it, and put down the item, rotating it to face North, West, South or East at your preference.  It's serviceable and does allow for a goodly bit of personalization, but it's too Sims 1 for my tastes, and we've moved beyond that, clearly.

Ideally, each house that you can decorate (and, prior to that, build) would have a realistic amount of rooms (something that Home fails to do, unfortunately, opting to create big 'spaces' instead of actually 'Homes') that you can decorate individually with the amount of control as you would have with a Home room, given the provisions I made additionally.  This way you can create a theme to go throughout the whole house (which would, again ideally raise the overall appeal or value of the place when you're courting outsiders to move in) or, well, just do whatever you want.  Creative freedom above all else!

Your own home would adhere to the very same rules of course, and through upgrading it, you'd be able to personally select what the additional rooms are made of, the sizes and shapes of the rooms, etc.  And, of course, the items you place could be either copied from somewhere else (perhaps 'purchased' via a point system that you fill by killing monsters and/or gaining experience through sidequests?) or just bought straight from a store in a different city.  (Or, eventually from a store opened up in your very own city.)  Additionally, trophies earned through various points of the game (maybe to reflect on the 'meta' trophies you get by playing the game:  Literal trophies if PS, Achievements elsewhere, etc.) that you could put down wherever to show off.  After all, if you killed the Thief King, displaying his bloodied cloak (or whatever the 'trophy' for that would be) is a necessity, of course.

Hopefully this rambling is coming across better than it is when I reread it.  I'm just trying to make the game in my head seem like something tangible rather than a bunch of randomized ideas floating around.  If nothing else, it gives you an idea that I really like games that let you personalize spaces.

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