I keep thinking about this application I want to write. It may take any number of possible forms, I haven’t really figured out how this project will ultimately manifest. Right now I’m thinking about it like a “simulation game with a plot,” basically putting the player in the position of an adventure party manager, taking care of several generations of heroes. I could see it operating on several levels.

It might be an episodic roleplaying game that lets you take command of one character in a particular lineage at a time. The region (and the family) would develop with the passage of time. Or, it might be a campaign manager simulation, which allows you to take command of several adventurers at once and send them on quests together, eventually tackling the scenario’s Big Bad, like Arkham Horror or Ogre Battle.

Or perhaps the game would take on an even larger view, letting you manage several groups of adventurers, “shipping” the ones you want to see form the basis of the next generation of heroes, and safeguarding an entire kingdom. I have a lot of the core mechanics in mind that would make any one of these work. What I think I really want is a game on the level of Spore, which lets you do ALL of these things.

It’s what I want to do, it’s the project I want to work on, but I’ve told myself no. I’ve put everything on the back burner in preparation of National Novel Writing Month. I had hoped I would finish “To Catch A Goat” before the end of the month but I don’t really see that happening. I was in a much better position at the beginning of October, but I don’t see it happening this late in the game. But it’s what I want to do.

There’s a game designer in me that won’t shut up. It hovers over my shoulder and tells me what sucks about every game I pick up, every game I see advertised. It makes note of the sole good point a game has, and notes all of its shortcomings. It criticizes poor design choices, nitpicks arbitrary decisions made during development, and suggests improvements. I love it, and I hate it at the same time. Nothing is ever good enough.

Always, I’m left with the thought, “if it were me, I would do something different…”