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Post-AMPU Game Ideas


vcczar
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I'm still considering games I might make after AMPU is concluded. [Note: I'll likely only do this if AMPU pays enough for me to quit one of my jobs.]

I'm leaning towards games that don't really exist elsewhere. As a professor, I'm also into games that are educational in some way. I'm also most eager to create a game that isn't focused specifically on politics, since AMPU has sort of filled the "political game" for me at the moment. Nevertheless, I'll some of the games on the list are political. 

Let me know the ones you have the most interest in playing. 

1. Games that are kinda flesh out already. 

Shakespeare game. This game is about 50%-75% ready for playtesting already. Player runs a London theatre in the time of Shakespeare and must manage plays, playwrights, actors, historical events, playscripts, theatres, audiences, etc. Players compete against other players to build the most dominant playing company of the era. Game ends when the Puritans shut down the theatres and the nation goes into Civil War. The game is already in a kind of boardgame format. 

Compromise of 1850. This game is about 50% ready for playtesting. This game is already in a kind of boardgame format. It focuses specifically in creating a Compromise and passing it. 

Early republic trading game. This game is about 25% ready for playtesting already. Players run a merchant dynasty in an east coast city and try to out compete the other merchant dynasties by dominating various markets from the end of the French and Indian War to the beginning of the Civil War. 

War on Terror Geopolitics game. This game is about 25% ready for playtest. I actually made a workable board game of this in 2012. It was so complicated, I couldn't get anyone to play it. Definitely meant for PC. The game uses about three or four of Zbigniew Brzezsinki's geopolitics books, especially the Grand Chessboard, which was written and published before the War on Terror, but it pretty much predicts everything in the 1990s to today. Players will play as the US, EU, Russia, China, and I think India. Players aim to influence the Middle East, and Central Asia to access resources and etc. I was interested in this game in 2012 mainly because of the books I was reading, but I have to say, I'm a little uninterested in making this game unless I get a lot of help. 

Victorian Prime Minister. This game is about 25% done for playtest. This game is basically AMPU for England but goes from the 1830s Reform Bill to WWI. I was very interested in this when I was making it, but it's so similar to AMPU that I'm not eager to make this game at the moment. 

2. Games that are only partially thought-out

Golden Age of Hollywood. This game will be set in the late 1920s through the 1930s. You lead one of the major Hollywood production companies and your goal is to build and maintain the most successful movie company. The game starts as talking movies replace silent movies. 

Western Philosophy. I imagine this game somewhat resembling Orbi Universo (see the game on Steam) but also have some resemblance to a card game. The game will focus on Western Philosophy and involve philosophers, their philosophies and primarily how one person, school of thought, idea(s), influence others. I haven't thought this one out too much yet, but I like a game focusing in this area. 

The Long War. This game will cover global geopolitics from c. 1914-c.1991. I see it as a five player game. The goal is to be the last player remaining. So you aim to knock out the other players. The game is modeled on Philip Bobbitt's (LBJ's nephew btw) book Shield of Achilles, which is about constitutional orders. He considers 1914-1991 one long war to establish the paramount constitutional order. He focuses only on three, but I am adding two more for a total of five: Republicanism, Communism, Fascism, Socialism, Monarchism. The latter two I include. 

Politics of the French Revolution and Napoleon. We have tons of military-focused games in these areas, but none on politics and domestic events. This game would focus on things that happen in France. It would operate kind of like AMPU but cover fewer years. It would probably cover 1789-1815 with the possibility of the game extending longer if France wins the Napoleonic Wars. It's so much like AMPU that I'm not eager to make it at the moment. 

Colonial Massachusetts Game. This game will be set from when the Winthrop Fleet arrives c. 1630 to the Declaration of Independence. Players basically run a town in Massachusetts -- Boston, Salem, Cambridge, Newbury, Ipswich will probably be five of them. I haven't completely fleshed out in what ways one runs them. I think building them and such will play a part in them. 

Thirty Years War Game that focuses on Diplomacy. Every game set during the 30 Years War (1618-1648), focuses on the military aspect with no attention paid to diplomacy. This game will focus on the government's non-military role to influence the outcome. Military will play a role, but the government's cannot control the military. They can set military policy and a rough strategy (invade Denmark or Defend Vienna), but the CPU generals will control the military aspect. 

Three Kingdoms Game. KOEI has sort of dominated the Three Kingdoms market, but their games are sort of always just about the same (although I like them a lot). I'm trying to think of a new way to use this era to create a totally new kind of game. I don't have anything specific yet. This is another game in which I want to reduce the focus on the military aspect, although it will be harder for this game than in the other games. 

Genealogy Game. It's sort of a simple fun game idea. I imagine the game starts about the time of Charlemagne or before. Player can pick Charlemagne, lower aristocracy, towns person, village person, serf, etc. And playout the game to see where their descendants end up throughout the course of time. You can only control one family member at a time, getting the choice to switch to a child once they reach the age of say 16. The game ends if you select someone that is the end of the line. You gain points for how accomplished the people you personally play as become in relation to how the line began. So basically playing Charlemagne would require you staying at the top, while starting out as a Serf would have the benefit of starting at the bottom and only rising upwards. I imagine the game moving kind of quickly. Lots of decision making that propels the game forward. I focus on Europe mainly because I don't have the knowledge of making this a game about non-European descent, although non-Europeans will factor in the game and in the genetics. There might be a running DNA graph as the game moves forward too. 

A game set in 1888 London. The year of Jack the Ripper! Most games focus on capturing Jack the Ripper. I'm thinking of making a game in which Jack the Ripper is only part of the game. I'm considering the player might play as the mayor of London with the goal of being reelected the next year or something. The mayor will have to respond to all sorts of things, make appearance, etc. 

Coffee Shop game. Probably the biggest influence on my life was my time hanging out in coffee shops and talking to people. I was at coffee shops that were predominately filled with regulars who spend hours a day at these places. I learned more from these coffee shops than I ever did in school, grad school or otherwise. The game will be about building friendships and more. It's a socializing RPG sort of game. The characters will mostly be modeled on people I know. This would be kind of an innovative game because the goal is basically socializing in person, often with complete strangers. It will take place before most people were on social media. I need to flesh the game idea out a bit. 

Game set in Elizabethan England. This game will be set during the reign of Elizabeth I. I imagine the player will play as Queen Elizabeth who will have to deal with all sorts of advisors, events, Parliament, culture explosion, Armada, assassination plots, etc. 

James Joyce's Ulysses. This is a game that's basically a playthrough of Ulysses by James Joyce. I imagine there are two options. Player plays as Leopold Bloom or Stephen Dedalus. Both are men trying to find some sort of purpose on a single day, occasionally running into each other. I haven't completely thought of how the game might deviate from the book. 

A game about the creation of Dada and Surrealism. Player plays as a fictional writer or artist collaborating in one of the craziest literary and art movements of all time. The goal is to shake up the literary and art establishment in Paris. I haven't thought too much about this one yet, but it's really interesting. 

The Anxiety of Influence. A game influenced by Harold Bloom's book of this title in which he argued that great literary figures are created via struggle with their great precursor. I imagine this game would be sort of like my Philosophy game idea but involving literary figures. I haven't thought too much about it, but I like the idea of this book becoming a game in some way. 

Creating the Bible. Focuses mainly on the New Testament and choosing which 4 gospels out of dozens and dozens should be included, etc., etc. Player(s) play as major Christian influencers as the Bible is being "finalized." I haven't thought too much about it. It is possible to make a Bible non-Pauline -- Gnostic, Jamesian, etc. More Jewish influenced than Greco-Roman influenced, etc. 

NFL Drafting Game. This game will be an odd one because it's just about team building. The games and stats will be totally automated. It would just be for people that like sports games mainly for drafting and team building. The game will start with the first NFL draft. Players will generally be as great as they were in real life, but it will be important for players to be playing in the right system. For instance, perhaps Tom Brady doesn't develop as well as he did if he wasn't in both the Patriot's offensive system and if he didn't start of with Bill Belichick, and if he hadn't basically sat out his first season--learning the game for a year, etc. 

Golden Age of Ornithology. My great-great grandfather went around all over the East Coast and Caribbean discovering and capturing new and old birds for science. The game would likely involve finding a bird, hunting a bird, identifying the bird, preserving the bird, selling it off to a museum or collector or ornithologist to gather money for more collecting trips, publishing about birds, etc. I could see the game being multiplayer and players competing with one another. Possibly going on collecting trips together. I see the game taking place as the Civil War ends and ends with the first major legislation protecting birds. 

History of the English Language. This idea is not fleshed out at all, but it would be cool to play a game that also sort of shows you how the language developed.  

Build London. The game covers the history of London. It's a sort of historical city building game. Starts with Roman Londinium and goes to the present. What would London look like if the Great Fire of London or the London Blitz never happened? Or if more of these things happened?

AMPU 2. Basically an improved version of AMPU 1 based on a few years feedback from AMPU 1. I'd hope it would fundraise so much money that it can be as enhanced as imaginable. One thing I definitely want to do is remove the turn/phase based game and replace it with a calendar and scheduling. Each "turn" might be a week or a month or something. It would probably take a lot of work, and I definitely wouldn't start putting this together for a few years. Maybe 5 years. I am definitely least interested in working on AMPU 2 next for very obvious reasons. 

Classical and Baroque Music Game. Idea not completely fleshed out. 

100 Most Influential. The game would include closer to 1,000 most influential, but it would operate as some sort of card game system. The genre of what scores will change -- could be location, city, area of expertise, era, etc. I'd make sure it has some sort of strategy. Possibly something like Ticket Ride meets Twilight Struggle. 

Which of these games would you be most eager to play?

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10 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Compromise of 1850. This game is about 50% ready for playtesting. This game is already in a kind of boardgame format. It focuses specifically in creating a Compromise and passing it. 

Haven't read the rest of the list, but Star Trek Lower Decks (the comedy animated series) had an episode with a board game exactly like this as a joke but everyone agreed it actually looked really cool.

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I remember the first time you showed me such a list (a much smaller one, years ago), and I was like "OOOH, an American Political History Simulator?  YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS RIGHT NOW."

Now here we are, like four years later!  Ha.

Of the list above, from most interested to the least:

1)  War on Terror Geopolitics game -- I think that's the one on this list that has the most AMPU-like potential to be a big hit.

2) AMPU 2, obviously.

3) Golden Age of Comedy, depending on the specifics

4) Colonial Massachusetts game, depending on the specifics.

5) NFL Drafting Game, hopefully super detailed management of a team.  Deciding who's active each game, who's on the practice squad, etc.  I like micromanaging and building up a dynasty.  Would be cool to add the college teams too.  I LOVED Front Office Football and am sad it was discontinued.  

6) Geneology Game,  maybe -- I've played a few games like this, but they eventually become too repetitive as you've seen every event before and none of the randomly generated characters stand out.

The rest feel like they'd need a special level of knowledge in topics to really enjoy, and I don't have that level of knowledge in those topics.

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If I had to pick my top five based on these short descriptions, what sounds most promising in general and what sounds most appealing to me in particular:

1. War on Terror Geopolitics game

2. AMPU 2

3. Thirty Years War Diplomacy

4. either the 1888 London Game or Colonial Massachusetts, I just like the idea of a lower stakes, but fleshed out game surrounding running a town, I think English politics would be refreshing but my gut instinct says Colonial Massachusetts would have more replayability

5. Coffee Shop Game, kind of a surprise that you're even thinking about a game like this, but when you described it, I found myself really intrigued by the idea, I love the idea of a game where the point is to socialize and to learn a bit more about the things you can learn from just striking up a conversation with a friendly stranger at a coffee shop. 

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Just now, vcczar said:

What games would these be?????

Real Lives was the first one -- the version available now actually isn't particularly good, but there was a better version in like 2002-2004 that I played a ton.  Randomly live a life anywhere in the world, see the differences between being born in California and being born in, say, the Congo first-hand.  Loved that game.

More recently, Bitlife took it to the next level -- extremely similar concept, but this time you can play endless generations of a family (provided you have another child before you die, to continue the line).  Played a TON of that, but it got too repetitive.

Those are both set in modern times, but there's another one on Steam that does the same random life/generations thing set in I think ancient Rome very similar to your concept of having a "class" system of moving up the ladder or falling down a few rungs over the generations.  I forget what it's called, but someone else recommended it here so I tried it.

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As a pastor and divinity student, the Bible One definitely interests me.

There can be more to it than just the NT. If you expand it to the OT and the inter-testamonial writings as well then it can turn into a branching paths game. Your OT cannon could determine your NT. Taking it further, you can have another time jump to the future, debating questions of alien religion or a unity faith that merges with other religions.

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I think a Federal Reserve inspired game would A) sell well in economics classes B) be relevant to everyone’s lives and C) to my knowledge doesn’t exit. Economics teachers are always looking for practical ways to make their content more engaging.

 

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Done with lunch now so I can review properly.  I'm going to go against the grain and say my favorite is The Long War.  I haven't thought about it in awhile, probably because I'm not exactly in a career that makes use of my academic background right now, but that was always one of the top concepts that fascinated me as a young adult.  The 20th Century being the Century of Ideology, what most people see as individual milestones being part of a long century long chain.

Though back with the norm, the genealogy stuff is good too, I might go and check out some of the recommendations in the above comments right now cause it triggered and itch just thinking about it.  Lineage and stuff like that has always been one of my favorite aspects of the Crusader Kings series, fictional dynasties and such.  Even anti-monarchists geek-out about monarchal lines because who doesn't love Roman Numerals.  Vintage Real Lifes was indeed pretty great too, shame the current versions aren't as good.

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It's a no-brainer: Politics of the French Revolution and Napoleon

 

It's a very underappreciated time in terms of games. Everyone just makes a war game, except for the guys who made "We, The Revolution"

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The History of the English language game honestly sounds like it would be really cool, but maybe that's just me being a linguistics nerd. It would take a lot of work, but it would be really cool if you could also influence how the language evolves. Maybe it could even have a 'game mode' where you can nudge the language down ahistorical paths*, and also a 'school mode' that would showcase the actual history of the English language. I'm picturing the game starting in the seventh century, after Old English has already supplanted Common Brittonic as the dominant language of the English Isles, and continuing until either the present day, or until English becomes extinct. I also imagine a sort of 'dialect map' that would be broken into different regions, for example a player could click on, say, London, to see a few examples of its dialect, and how it differs from Common English, or the player could then click on a different region, say, the American South, to see how the London Dialect of English differs from American Southern English.

* In my mind I image these changes being decided by the player through HOI4 like decisions, where there's a description of the historical context of the event, what historically happened, and then a list of options for the player to pick from that will change the English language. For example, image an event about Noah Websters changes to American English spelling. There would be a short description of Webster's views on with regards to language, and spelling, and how he wanted to change American orthography both to make it easier for people to learn English, and to differentiate American English, from British English. Then, in a 'game mode' game, at the bottom there will be a list of options that a player can choose from to determine how successful Webster's changes are. There would the historical, where he is partially successful (Colour becomes Color, but Women does not become Wimmin, etc.), an option where he is totally successful (Color, and Wimmin, etc.), and an option where he is totally unsuccessful (Colour, and Women, etc.). In a 'school mode' playthrough only the historical option would remain.

 

Other than that, the 5 that really stand out to me are

1. The Shakespeare Game

2. The Anxiety of Influence

3. The Long War

4. Western Philosophy Game

5. Genealogy Game

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Ill add the top 5 that pique my own interest
The Long War
Politics of the French Revolution and Napoleon (We The revolution was already mentioned, a great game and a great period)
Three Kingdoms Game: Im a huge fan of this period, so much i forgive KOEI's kinda bad games, the ROTK games are still guilty pleasures and arnt a million miles away from what AMPU is
Genealogy Game.:  Im always on a desperate hunt for any good Genealogy games 
AMPU 2
 

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1 hour ago, Willthescout7 said:

As a pastor and divinity student, the Bible One definitely interests me.

There can be more to it than just the NT. If you expand it to the OT and the inter-testamonial writings as well then it can turn into a branching paths game. Your OT cannon could determine your NT. Taking it further, you can have another time jump to the future, debating questions of alien religion or a unity faith that merges with other religions.

Will that also involve modern apocrypha?

https://www.tertullian.org/articles/goodspeed_strange_new_gospels.htm

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2 hours ago, MrPotatoTed said:

Those are both set in modern times, but there's another one on Steam that does the same random life/generations thing set in I think ancient Rome very similar to your concept of having a "class" system of moving up the ladder or falling down a few rungs over the generations.  I forget what it's called, but someone else recommended it here so I tried it.

Let me know if you figure out the name for this one. 

My game would probably be less repetitive since it will go from Early European history to the present and possibly beyond. Lots of new factors. Movement will be a big part of it as opportunities arise elsewhere and such. 

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1 hour ago, pman said:

I think a Federal Reserve inspired game would A) sell well in economics classes B) be relevant to everyone’s lives and C) to my knowledge doesn’t exit. Economics teachers are always looking for practical ways to make their content more engaging.

 

Economics is my worst area--especially at the level of depth this would require. Zero interest in it, but I'd help someone else come up with ideas outside the mathematics.

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1 hour ago, Murrman104 said:

Three Kingdoms Game: Im a huge fan of this period, so much i forgive KOEI's kinda bad games, the ROTK games are still guilty pleasures and arnt a million miles away from what AMPU is

Same here. I've played and owned every version that's ever been released in the US and I've read the book about 18 times. I've also read the actual chronical (history without the romanticization). 

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3 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Let me know if you figure out the name for this one. 

My game would probably be less repetitive since it will go from Early European history to the present and possibly beyond. Lots of new factors. Movement will be a big part of it as opportunities arise elsewhere and such. 

I believe the game he’s talking about is Citizen of Rome: Dynasty Ascendent. Here’s the Steam page, if you’re interested 

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1063790/Citizen_of_Rome__Dynasty_Ascendant/

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1 minute ago, WVProgressive said:

I believe the game he’s talking about is Citizen of Rome: Dynasty Ascendent. Here’s the Steam page, if you’re interested 

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1063790/Citizen_of_Rome__Dynasty_Ascendant/

I remember @ConservativeElector2 mentioning this awhile back. I was kind of turned away by the terrible graphics, but I might get it once it is on sale.

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9 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Let me know if you figure out the name for this one. 

My game would probably be less repetitive since it will go from Early European history to the present and possibly beyond. Lots of new factors. Movement will be a big part of it as opportunities arise elsewhere and such. 

@ConservativeElector2 named the game earlier in this thread.

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I think what is ultimately going to happen is I'll start working on whichever game I'm in the mood for, possibly jumping around between a few of them until seems to have a clear pathway to conclusion. I will say the Shakespeare game is the highest candidate because it is the closest to being finished. That game really won't take long to make, considering how much I've already done. 

None of my ideas should be larger than AMPU, except for AMPU 2. I'd estimate I could create and get a game finished in a 12 to 15 month previous, provided I 1) have a developer, and 2) am working fewer than three jobs. 

If AMPU sells well, and I can focus exclusively on game making, I'll make all of these.

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5 hours ago, pman said:

I think a Federal Reserve inspired game would A) sell well in economics classes B) be relevant to everyone’s lives and C) to my knowledge doesn’t exit. Economics teachers are always looking for practical ways to make their content more engaging.

 

I really like this idea too, or at least something similar to it (though I did read your follow-up comment @vcczar).

Another idea not on this list that you might actually be interested in could be something similar to ESPNU College Town. It was a facebook game made by ESPN where you built up your own college and its campus, focusing on sports (though I don't think it was 100% sports exclusive). It was really addicting but was ultimately discontinued years ago.

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