During a pleasant evening with Nicholas Lovell before the ‘World of Love’ conference, we chatted about Deathracer and how it might work. Now, Nicholas really knows his stuff, so some new ideas came up here.
The game definitely needs some kind of unique hook, possibly something to give it a chance of virality. I explained to Nicholas the concept of sidekicks that Brian and I had toyed with in December. The idea is that the sidekicks have different personalities as well as different skills.. so some are trigger happy, others are careful with the ammo, some may be loose cannons that don’t choose their targets wisely or according to your wishes, etc. But the key idea is that the sidekick does the shooting, while you do the driving, and that the sidekick can be influenced by your wishes but operates somewhat to his/her own agenda. Nicholas’ idea is that there could be an option to actually shout instructions to the sidekick, rather than use buttons. The image of someone shouting ‘shoot now!’ or ‘hold your fire!’ at their iPhone while playing is an interesting one.
Still on the sidekick theme, perhaps the game could be free, but you have to pay for the more powerful/interesting/sexy sidekicks, maybe $1 a pop. Nicholas has been an evangelist for the ‘power laws and whales’ concept for some time now, and he is very much an advocate of letting your players pay what they want to pay (be that $0 or $10) rather than forcing them into a ‘one size fits all’ price.
I also like the idea of a tamogatchi type thing with the sidekicks.. they get injured, and they’re unplayable for a couple of days; when you check into the game, you visit them in hospital, smiling weakly back at you.