Not Quite There: Unsinkable

May 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Oh, hello, I didn’t see you there.  Welcome to my first attempt at “Not Quite There” where I write down ideas I had for games that for whatever reason, I am freeing into the wild.  For the most part, these are ideas that weren’t quite fleshed out enough, or which I decided simply wouldn’t work.  Some of them are just ones that I decided I’d never have the capacity to make, so I am throwing them out there for people to peruse, and to laugh at my silly notions.

“Unsinkable”, for lack of a decent name, is a fairly recent game, in terms of “sitting in my brain” time, and one which I think could have potential, but would probably lack for any real hook, or any reason that people would go out of their way to play it. As the name may suggest, it’s set on The Titanic, as it sinks.  You play some guy(I’m good with names), who’s a member of the crew, dealing with the fact that the ship’s sinking.  Oh, and did I mention that your character has a slight fear of water(Hi Hydrophobia!), which is totally okay, because you’re on an unsinkable ship.  Wait.  Oh yeah, and when it starts sinking, your character gets a slight bashing on the noggin, and well, then things start to get weird.

The important things here:  As The Titanic sank, its rate of water intake increased significantly, as you’d expect.  This allows for a constant ramping up of pressure, as you move through the ship.  Areas are blocked off, stuff falls, the angle of the ground changes.  Keeping that in mind while designing it would have been a major challenge, but it could also make things fun.  Additionally, the ship wasn’t sinking all that quickly(relatively) until it broke in two.  At that point, you can allow for a climax event, where the shit that’s hit the fan is suddenly sucked through a turbine.  Or something.  The other point is that we’re dealing with around 3 hours of time here, which really isn’t that long.  Luckily, the supernatural elements come in here, so that the whole thing happens a lot slower than it would have, until it needs not.  You have to love the power of an artistic device.

Speaking of artistry, the setting of The Titanic is just kind of cool.  Thanks to the design of the ship, you get a mix of cramped corridors with industrial colours and design, compared to the rich opulence and open areas of the rich passenger areas, as well as different levels of contrast, thanks to the different classes of the passengers.  Lights would be failing on the ship, leaving you with an oil lantern for light(While flashlights did exist, at this point in time they were expensive, and unwieldy, although the fact that early ones could only power on for a brief time before needing to “rest” would allow for some interesting gameplay).

Oh, did I just mention light?  Because that segues nicely into my next bit.  THE SUPERNATURAL! *cough*  So, thanks to weird stuff, blah blah blah, supernatural goings on are happening as the Titanic sinks.  So, you need to deal with your fear of water, the darkness, and things out to do no good, all the while trying to save yourself(What’s that, Amnesia?  No, can’t say I’ve ever heard of it.  *chuckles to self*).  In all seriousness, like Amnesia, the majority of the time, the most you can do is run, or avoid things.  The important difference here though is that you’re not the target of these evils.  In fact, most of them, you can’t really call evil.  You just happen to be in their way.  Wrong place, wrong time, all that.  One enemy, tentatively called a “Shadow” is completely invisible.  You can tell where they are based only on their shadow, and their interactions with the environment.  Luckily, they’re very small, and don’t really pose a threat, in small numbers anyhow, and can be scared off by shining a light at them, or, if they get close, you can give them a kick to send them on their way.  With this in mind, I planned one area, where you’d be walking through the ballroom(well, let’s be technical here.  The Titanic did not actually have a room specified for dancing, so it wasn’t a ballroom, but a dining room which would have had the tables and stuff moved out, so that people could dance there) of the ship, to find that it’s filled with ghosts.  The ghosts would look more or less like people, but more ragged, drained of colour(but not completely monochrome), and semi-transparent.  You’d have to move from one end of the room to the other, without touching any of the ghosts.  To make things extra creepy, just as you reach the edge of the group, every single ghost would turn to look at you.  As they danced around the room, their soulless, black eyes would stare at you, constantly, rotating over their bodies without and relation to anatomy, because yay, artistic device.  Oh, and the whole room would be tilted at a slight angle, but they’d all be standing like it’s flat.

Given that this has now given a rather large look at some of my innate fears, I feel like it’s a good time to call this to an end.  Particularly since this comprises the majority of the ideas I had for this game, which should give you an idea of why it was…  Not Quite There.  *The Twilight Zone theme plays*

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