If you could take your favorite game elements of all time and combine them into the ultimate digital experience – the one game to rule them all – what would it be? How would it work? Describe your digital nirvana, build your ultimate game from the still twitching parts salvaged from other titles.
I owned a Nintendo as a child. I never considered myself a gamer. I spent countless hours playing duck hunt and Super Mario brothers. I blew into my cartridges whenever they paused and for some reason that made the game work again. Later, I purchased a Playstation with money from my first job and spent countless hours exploring maps with Sonic.
Yet, I would not say that I was into video games until I reached college. Even my time on my MUD did not make me think of myself as a gamer. I thought of myself as someone that liked computers. It was not until I first play Warcraft that I discovered my true love in life. Stratgey games. I played Warcraft over and over again. Every bit of the map was explored. Everything was researched, everything was built. I waged war with all the recourse I could throw at it. Then Warcraft II and Starcraft came out. I was in love. Nothing could be better than those games and because of that I tried nothing else. It was not until Warcraft III came out and Starcraft’s first expansion when Blizzard started to create missions to run instead of free world building and strategy that my love dimmed a little bit and I looked elsewhere to satisfy my desires.
I expanded my taste to god games. I played Black and White and Sim City and I loved all of it. Any game that gave me the power to enter the game and thrive inside of it while working towards goals or against problems got my vote. For a while, it seemed as if those types of games fell to the wayside. I discovered Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends. I played Black and White II. I played all the versions of Sim City and spent more time in the Sims with the house builder then the actual game. I never played World of Warcraft because I was terribly angry at Blizzard for it not being a RTS.
From Dust was announced and I spent two years tracking that game and instantly downloaded it when it was released. I played it over and over again, drowning on the lustrous graphics and the glorious world building opportunities. I eagerly looked at new releases and cast them aside when I discovered that they were not the staple of my diet. World games and simulation games were all I played for a long time.
A co-worker introduced me to the Settlers of Catan as a board game and from there I tried Civilization to find it satisfying if not exactly what I wanted when it came to resources. I discovered that I truly loved any game with a rich world that I could build and create upon.
These are the things that I would combine into my ideal game. It would have the beauty of From Dust with the abilities of Black and White. It would have the minute details and problems of Sim City with the epic nature of Warcraft and Starcraft. I would mix in the depths of Civilization and the attention to detail of the Sims. I would top it off with Skyrim’s size and depth and ability to expand and explore. It would be a huge game where the player tweaked and manipulated a massive, vast true world. Not an island or a map but an entire world where pieces could be frozen and advanced and manipulated into a creation unique to each player while besieged with problems, issues and possible solutions.
It can be fantasy or science or even the current world. It can be people or unicorns or mechanical basilisks, I care not. I simply want a vast, intricate, complex world building god based strategy game that doesn’t leave pieces on the table. I want it to be long, I want the board to be huge and I want the graphics to both make me giggle and dazzle me at the same time.
I don’t think it is asking for much.