It was inevitable that when I would get my new computer on friday I would not get around to actually using it for the purpose of advancing Party until now. But playing Heroes 6 all weekend was of course for research purposes only and had to be done really. I had no choice and in fact was sacrificing myself, if you look at it the right way..
So I promised a great game design idea and I actually did not lie with that announcement for a change. I know I always think that I am going to keep my promises so it’s not really lying per se, but still. I know it is disappointing nonetheless. But this time I surpassed myself. Game design is not my forte but for once I had the wits to steal someone else’s idea. That’s why I had to play Heroes 6 all weekend. No, but seriously I’m going to tell you the idea eventually. When I stop feeling the urge to be clever. Which is soon I hope. No, here it is, really.
Most of you will not know the Heroes of Might and Magic series, I guess. So I’m going to explain that first and maybe that will wet your appetite to try that game out as well. The battle part of the game is turn based strategy with stacks of creatures that have different characteristic and specialties. There is also a hero that has either lots of different magic spells or might features. The nice thing about the sixth installment is that there is a ton of new specialties. Almost every creature has at least one weird attack or healing capacity or even something else entirely. Some have as much as three. There are race traits and lots of new enticing spells for the heroes. The idea behind this is that the more complex the creatures and heroes are the more you can get out of every battle with the right strategy, with some races virtually losing not a single unit even in severe battles. (Yay for Necromancers and Sanctuary and yay for magic heroes with lots of healing spells!)
So I’m not going for the turn based part but I do like that every creature is so unique and purposeful. This is what I am going to copy for Party. Back when I thought I was doing only basic needs like eating and talking I was scared that it would feel boring to play. I wanted for the characters to have personality and went for a ridiculously complex system that not even I could see through after a while. But enter character traits: Every guest will have one flaw and one gift at first. I’m going to explain what they are with the Embarassment flaw. It has lots of different effects: when embarrassed the character cannot talk anymore. If he is in a group then that also impacts the talking quality of the other participants. The character is more vulnerable to disdain, which hurts him, which in turn reduces the relationship to the disdaining partner and reduces the mood quite drastically for the hurt character. The character also radiates embarrassment and awkwardness which might trigger flaws in other guests. So all in all a pretty bad flaw that could seriously effect the outcome of the party. It’s key to not let that flaw trigger. The same goes for gifts only that they are positive and could quieten activated flaws.
But I don’t stop here. Because that is a nice idea but would still make a very static game. So not only will there be these very unique traits for every single guest but they will also be up-gradable. Or down-gradable really for flaws. I am not sure how exactly I am going to implement that so what I say now might change. But the idea is that you get gift points for when you use gifts on other guests and after the party when you are preparing for a new one, you get to use these points to make a gift more awesome or a flaw less scary. That means that the next time you invite these guests they will be easier to play. Which sounds like the game will get less challenging. But really what you do is develop the easier guests at the beginning to be able to handle more difficult guests later on. You, as the hostess or host character, will of course also be able to level gifts.
Now if that does not sound cool then I don’t know what will. I am really awed by the idea that I stole. The only thing left is to implement it. Which will not be easy. That’s the downside of the new concept. It will take longer and I don’t even want to make a guess as to how long. Still, I hope you like the idea. I would really like to get your feedback on the new course I am taking. That would make my day even more awesome than the new computer!