Sunday, November 26, 2006

Demolition Tycoon

How is this for an idea for a casual game? Demolition Tycoon.

The 'tycoon' genre seems to be on something of a downturn lately (at least in terms of quantity of titles) but I think there will always be room for a new entry provided it meets the player's core needs: is easy to play, rewards them quickly with accomplishments (makes them feel like a superstar) and has some depth for replayability.

Demolition Tycoon would see the player starting out as a teenager looking to make a few bucks by assisting with small-scale renovation projects. Demo your grandmother's aging shed in the backyard using nothing but rudimentary tools and brawn. Earna few bucks and you can buy some tool upgrades (sledgehammer anyone?) and move on to more challenging projects -- a neighbors' kitchen wall, etc.

The joy of wanton destruction is paired with the entrepreneurial spirit that makes the tycoon genre so popular and could create an interesting dichotomy not often seen in competing products.

As the player advances in the game the choices could start to include personal preference -- when demolishing a skyscraper, do you choose a wrecking ball, or explosives placed on the building's supporting columns? The opportunity for fantasy destruction, too, is endless.

A lot of gamers probably list 'seeing things blow up' as an important source of entertainment, so why not let them feel a little virtuous while doing so?

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sssh. I've had an idea like this for a while, so keep it on the down-low - I wouldn't want it up and stolen before I've even got so much as a prototype!

I do like that other people think this is a fun idea, though.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like we need someone to re-invision Blast Corps for the DS or Wii.

That would be killer fun!

11:04 PM  
Anonymous dje said...

Love it. :-)

2:33 AM  
Blogger Ben Mattes said...

Anonymous,

Sorry to have stolen your thunder, so to speak. I'm sure that 99% of the ideas I bring up on this blog aren't unique and are either already developed (as I've posted several times) or are brewing in other people's minds.

To those people -- the ones who aren't quite yet ready to abandon the idea of ever developing a project I blog about on their own -- I apologize. Hopefully there won't be too many instances of me giving away someone else's great ideas. ;)

11:34 AM  
Blogger kim said...

It's a good idea, but the challenge would be in what makes it fun. Blowing things up is fun for a second, but how do you make a right/wrong way to do it, provide feedback, etc. I guess I could see an "aim the wrecking ball properly" mechanic working. Not sure about explosives. Maybe more of a planning how the building would fall.

In the casual space, we are still seeing a number of tycoon games (lemonade tycoon on mobile phones and coffee tycoon come to mind.)

1:17 PM  
Blogger Ben Mattes said...

Kim,

Your point is a very good one -- can destroying things be fun for more then a few minutes?

I haven't spent the time to think this through from a game design POV, but I think the element of 'collatoral damage' could play into the mechanic in an important way.

If you destroy something 'wrecklessly' (say for the sake of arguement, with a wrecking ball') there is greater chance of collatoral damage. Neighboring buildings are damaged by falling debris and the profits you make from the demo are eaten into in order to cover the bills (think the results screen of Guitar Hero 2). If, however, you take the time to plan the demo more carefully upfront, there are more profits for you (although perhaps a less satisfyingly destructive demolition).

re: tycoon on mobile -- I know it well. One of my first projects as a Producer was on (then) Hexacto's Lemonade Tycoon for BREW. Before Jamdat bought Hexacto Airborne had a partnership with them and published the first round of their wireless games with Verizon and AT&T.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My buddy used to tell me, in 8th grade, about his fantasy of getting paid by some old people to destroy everything in their house.

I think theres market appeal for something that doesn't even pretend to be virtuous or industrious. There's a profound satisfaction in vandalism, though we suppress it in our civility.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous o14v said...

You should try "operation cleaner 2".
its a small but extremely fun demolition game, and i could play it for weeks, and it would still be fun!

11:51 AM  

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