I have written a semi-successful freeware casual game or two, but the thing I really enjoy is writing (or rather, designing) games of the "epic" genre. I investigated why this was (a little introspection...hehe) and discovered it was mainly because of the story, the characters, etc.. I love enveloping stories, whether they be tv, movies, or video games, but especially in video games, perhaps because of the player involvement.
And I love writing characters and stories, too, even though I don't have the capacity to actually write an entire "epic" game to put them in. I seriously respect Ultimortal for spending 3500 hours (I think that's what I read?) on Iji, and it was an amazing game (as I'm sure many of you agree) but I just can't afford to do that, especially if there's really no market for it. I know, I'm talking about designing for fun and marketing at the same time...but they can go hand in hand, right? ...RIGHT?
Anyway, my next thought, was that since I can write pretty good casual games (or so I'm told), maybe I'd be able to meld casual games (that is, games with a simple concept that the player can pick up and put down at their leisure) with an immersive story. And I'm not talking immersive story in regards to an interesting premise, for example, Mr. Chubbigans' light smashing game that had the premise of being the special ancient winter solstice show. I mean an actual deep story the player can get into.
Theoretically it's not easy, because most casual games lack an actual character the player can identify with (which is usually one of the ways a story holds the player's attention). You could try for example having a puzzle game where there's a picture of the main character on screen while the player solves the puzzles, and once you complete a puzzle you see more of a story, but again, that lacks player identification since theoretically the player wouldn't be playing as the character.
I think rinkuhero has managed to do that to an extent. I haven't actually played Immortal Defense (sorry Rinku =p) but I hear it has an amazing story, and one might be able to argue that a tower defense game is somewhat casual. So, any ideas, concepts, insights, etc.? Or do you think the two (deep, immersive story, and casual gameplay) are mutually exclusive?
Also, do you know of any examples of games which you think successfully combine the two?
Edited by gmXpert2000, 30 April 2010 - 05:50 AM.