Friday, 11 December 2009

A question of prudence

Some time ago (and by “some time”, I mean “roughly eleven years”), I came up with an idea for a strategy game that would be grander in scope than all other strategy games. I don’t recall if it was to be multiplayer (though I doubt it), but I recently realised that, using social platforms like Facebook, MySpace, OpenSocial, &c., it’s quite doable, and with a gentle nod to the strategy games of yesteryear.

Now, I’ve forgotten, in the intervening decade, a lot of the detail. I seem to recall that the original version was supposed to include a first-person mode, which I’m uncertain if I’d be able to create even now. I knew I couldn’t then, and I doubt, highly, that with a social platform, first- or third-person view would even be an option. I’m not exactly what you might call “proficient” with applications like Flash or Silverlight.

I’ve started to write some of the plans down about how the game mechanics might work. I’ve found that, with the proper planning, it could allow players to control not only vast empires, but even small parcels of land, or even just groups of AIs. Players could govern each other under the right circumstances, and a player whose empire was governed by another could feasibly rise up against his former master.

It almost wouldn’t be a game, as much as it would be a simulation, on a grand scale, of the development of intelligent civilization (and yes, I know, there’s already a popular franchise of strategy games with that name… this game would be, in general, a step removed from the necessary micromanagement that I find Mr Meier’s game espouses). The difficulty that I have is that I want to talk about it, but I don’t want to have my ideas stolen by a programmer with more time, or (more likely) a team of subordinates to do the work. Any suggestions for how I could discuss this notion? I'm afraid that if I let my momentum flag, it’ll be another ten years before anything gets done on this!

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