A Video Game in Which Hobos are Wizards and an Unsuspecting Loser Becomes a Hero
- An important marketing step would be to think of a name for this game.
- An important creative step would be not to think about marketing until the thing is done.
- A more important creative step is only to listen to opinions and ideas you’ve solicited for.
And so it begins, the unsuspecting loser is about to embark on the biggest adventure of his, quite frankly, boring, life. As such, we won’t be getting much into his backstory because it would, quite literally, bore us to death, luckily fate has decided that the universe is much better off creating a magical world (that contradicts everything else fate has ever done) to make this loser’s fatally boring life interesting enough to be worth mentioning. Hopefully our hopelessly boring and unaccomplished friend is capable of becoming the Hero fate has determined he (or she) needs to be, for the sake of this story and all of the magical creatures and people fate has caused to come into existence just so he (or she) could do something with his (or her) life I certainly hope so.
One dreadfully boring day our woefully unqualified hero was watching daytime television in his (or her) parent’s basement, where he (or she) lived. Somehow he (or she) found it entertaining, I almost died watching it, to be quite honest. Our unsuspecting loser didn’t have a job to speak of, though he (or she)’d convinced him (or her)self that selling unpopular video games on Craig’s List was a real job. Suddenly his (or her) mom calls from the kitchen saying that he (or she) has a phone call, most unusual!
"Yes, I’m calling about your listing on Craig’s List for Sim’s Dead-end Job."
"Yeah? People normally just email me about these things."
"We live in the same town so I thought I’d make this a little more personal, Dead-end Job is a hard game to get a hold of."
"Yeah, I guess," said the loser, not even realizing that the caller was being sarcastic.
Sim’s Dead-end job was actually one of the easiest games in the world to get a hold of, it had done so poorly in fact that Salvation Army and Good Will had both begun to refuse this game as a donation because they couldn’t even get rid of it when it was placed in the "free" bin. It’s even rumored that the games creators were seeding the only torrent of this game just so maybe somebody would play the game, they sure as hell weren’t having any luck getting people to pay for it.
"Let’s meet at this park you’ve never heard of," this loser didn’t get out much, "and we’ll make the trade. Friday sound good?"
"Let me check," he (or she) had nothing going on and he (or she) knew it, "yeah, I can do that."
"See you then," bloop went the phone as the mysterious and charmingly sarcastic caller hung up what could now be recognized as an old phone, one with actual buttons… gross.
Our ridiculously unmotivated hero-to-be didn’t do anything for the next several days except get the most unpopular game in modern history ready ready to sell. He (if she) didn’t even ask his (or her) dad for a ride to the unfamiliar park until the last minute when it was kind of inconvenient which meant he (or she) was going to find his (or her) own way home. He (or she) was pretty upset about that, a taxi ride would cost almost every cent he (or she) was going to make that afternoon.
So, he (or she) shows up at the park late only to find that he (or she) actually has no idea what his (or her) client looks like, not that it matters I didn’t show up anyway this was just a carefully planned ruse to lure this chosen loser into the mystical realm of the street. A mystical world that hadn’t existed until this persons life had taken such a boring turn that it was retroactively made to include the people nobody cared about in a way that really wouldn’t make a difference in world affairs, it was quite clever of fate, actually, to do it that way.
A homeless man (who was actually a well-respected wizard now) approached our boring and slightly distressed friend and asked him if he’d was looking for someone.
Assuming this hobo was me, I am one but that’s beside the point, he said, "I have your game here!"
"Game? Let me see."
"Okay," handing over the poorly wrapped and cared for video game.
"Wow!" said the wizard, "they still make these?" Not referring to the unpopularity of the game but to the fact that it had some useful magical properties our world (they could only be used once so it made them pretty valuable).
"No, I just sell them."
"I can’t believe it still works! You should keep it, it will probably make a big difference some day."
Totally not getting what the wizard was saying our loser insists on selling the game. The wizard is no fool and just happened to have found some money on the ground earlier so he bought the game. Unfortunately for Mr/Ms. Loser it wasn’t enough to cover taxi fare (by a long shot) and he (or she) ended up stuck in an unfamiliar part of town with a dirty (and fake but mystically significant) $5 bill in his (or her) pocket. Mr/Ms. Loser wandered around town for a few hours and ended up sitting on a bench in one of those mini parks some cities build to make the street more inviting but never really maintain well enough to fulfill that purpose.
Due to a combination of fatigue, staying up late playing flash games and general lack of motivation our friend decided to take what ended up being a life changing nap and, for all intents and purposes ceased to exist in one sense but in another began the only significant journey if his (or her) life.
As luck might have it the counterfeit fiver the hobo/wizard had given our soon-to-be-worth-naming loser was actually a key into the now magical underground. As you, me dear reader, probably know, the street is not a safe place. The fact that there’s magic involved now hasn’t done much to change that fact. What this loser didn’t know was that falling asleep in a park (especially with a magical $5 in your pocket) is a bad idea.
He (or she) woke up in a really gross cage (magic didn’t make the street any cleaner, either) and kind of freaked.
A creepy guy kind of slithered ove to the cage and said, in the creepiest voice you can imagine, "that’s no way to repay my hospitality!" and started kicking him (or her) into submission, he (or she) just kind of gave up immediately.
(If I may interject, let me be clear that I’m not trying to belittle the future savior of the scum of the earth; but seriously he (or she) totally sucked at life until the magic fiver, and a few other things, knocked some backbone (and sense) into him (or her).
Despite what you may think this guy (girl) didn’t magically grow any powers to save him (or her) from the creepy kidnapper. What did happen, though, is that the hobo we met earlier happened to see Mr. Creeper (not his real name) kidnap our savior-to-be. Since it was kind-of his fault he felt obligated to do something about it, eventually.
That eventuality came when our spineless friend was about to loose all hope of being rescued, which just happened to be the very moment Mr. Creeper started kicking him (or her). I honestly don’t know how fate made a hero about this person… Anyway the hobo from earlier, who, if you remember is also a wizard, showed up and turned Mr. Creeper into a tasty, but still creepy-looking, newt. This totally did not help the caged loser feel any more comfortable with the situation.
After a lot of coaxing the wizard managed to get Lord (or Lady) Bravery out of his (or her) cage.
"Where am I?" He (or she) asked.
"I’m Thom Wizzard, its that newt’s lair, kind of thing.
"H-how’d he turn into a newt?"
"I turned him into one, of course! Don’t worry he’ll be back to kidnapping newcomers and babies soon enough, not that you should care, he’s a bad guy… unless of course you’ve already developed Stockholm’s Syndrome in which case.. still doesn’t matter."
Our friend here had a hard time coming to terms with the concept of magic and of Thom the hobo being a wizard (the last name is just a coincidence). After a long and boring conversation Mr. Wizzard decided he’d done enough to help our loser friend here and told him if he didn’t learn magic he’d probably die. That made Mr/Ms. Bravery here freak again, so Thom disappeared.
This’ll be a touch-based deal, you go around touching the places you want to go with some kind of context menus for interacting with your environment, maybe. Honestly, simple is better but I’d rather not emulate game controllers in any way, touch is what I’m after.
The controls that make the most sense (which are used in a lot of different applications) are tap, double-tap, and touch-and-hold. The actions would be whatever makes e most sense, I suppose. I’ll have to work these things out when I get to that point.
I don’t want to make a big deal of stats or full-on RPG stuff, this isn’t about that. It’s about the story and the art and soul I want to convey, that’s it. There will be some stats involved, obviously, but they won’t be particularly important. I don’t even think items will have much impact on how the game works.
Since you are an average Joe you have to deal with some average Joe problems you have to deal with fear, it gets easier with experience but you always have to watch your fear/stress meter.
How Does the Magic Work
I want this to be as simple and story-oriented as possible, you gain powers and abilities as the story progresses through quest completion and whatnot. You, being the hero will discover great things at nobody has ever seen or heard of before (or perhaps the stuff of legend will be made real) as you attempt to complete your hero’s journey.