To: WB Games
From: Alan Decker
Subject: A Guaranteed Billion Dollar Idea!
Dear WB Games Head Honchos,
I know you read that subject line and inwardly groaned. A completely-unsolicited game idea from some guy on the Internet is exactly what you want to be reading right now, but please hear me out. On a long car ride the other day, my son (who is exactly the demographic you guys are courting with your games) and I ended up in a conversation about video games, which my son plays A LOT of. One of his favorites for quite a while has been Payday 2, a game where you work with a crew to commit robberies and other heists. Invariably, the police show up, and you have to fight your way out. It can get a bit dicey, but generally my son and his friends seem to be pretty successful.
And when my son is not playing games, he’s watching videos of other people playing them. I can’t say I get that part, but he seems to enjoy it. Lately, one of the games getting played quite a bit in online videos is Alien: Isolation, a first-person survival game where you are exploring a rundown space station while trying to avoid being seen and subsequently killed by an Alien (I use caps to differentiate this kind, the kind that Sigourney Weaver would fight, from a generic alien of any other sort). The interesting (to me) aspect of this game is that you are essentially powerless against the Alien. You can hide, but if it finds you, you’re dead. You aren’t the Colonial Marines. You’re a single person carrying a motion tracker, and said tracker makes noise that the Alien can hear if it is close by, so you have to be cautious about using it.
Meanwhile during this same drive, my daughter (who is in a demographic you should be courting with your games) was continuing her sudden interest in sketching ultra-cute superheroes. That gave me a sudden spark of inspiration: What if you combined the criminal hijinks of Payday 2 or Grand Theft Auto V with the dread of isolation and the thrill of superheroes?
Yes, superheroes, which is why I’m writing to you. Superhero games tend to be very hit-or-miss, with far more misses than hits. Do I really need to remind you of Superman 64? Part of the problem is allowing players to consistently play the powers and abilities of the heroes. But what if you’re playing a game with superheroes, but you aren’t one of them?
Imagine this – You are a criminal in Gotham. It’s 2AM, and you and your crew are currently robbing the First National Bank of Gotham. You’re trying to get the vault open, while the others secure the building. Suddenly, you hear a noise above you. You radio your lookout on the roof, but he’s not responding. You radio one of the boys in the lobby to go check. He’s not responding either. Something is very wrong. You stop working on the vault and cautiously step out into the bank proper. Before you make it three steps, you’re yanked up into the air. Batman has you. Game over.
Maybe you think a man dressing up as a bat to fight crime is silly, but it will be a very different thing when the Dark Knight is tracking you down. Maybe you think Superman is a big blue boy scout in silly underwear, but I think you’ll have a bit more respect when he’s hunting you with the powers of a demi-god while all you have is a pistol. You turn around and the last thing you see is him flying right at you.
There will be screams.
That’s the challenge of this game: pull off jobs and escape without getting caught by the superheroes because if they get a hand on you, you’re done. But, if you manage to get through the first few without running afoul of some of the lower tier heroes, perhaps you can hire a supervillain to join a job to help slow the heroes down. Just choose wisely. Metallo won’t be much help against Batman, and The Joker might just get bored and decide to show you a magic trick instead. Eventually, you could buy gear designed to counter some of the superheroes abilities or even find yourself working for Lex Luthor on one of his schemes.
This game needs to exist. I want to play it. I want to play it RIGHT NOW! Ok. I could probably wait until you actually develop it, but it must happen.
Just think of the sales. And all I’m asking for is a complimentary copy.
- Alan Decker
@CmdrAJD on Twitter.