Idea #5 - Fantasy Mayor
This idea is set in a high fantasy world full of magic, treasure, monsters and heroes, all of the standard fantasy trappings, but the catch is the player doesn’t see much of it! This is a chance to play a part that is present in nearly every RPG and adventure game ever made but usually taken for granted: the town you visit between quests.
This idea owes an obvious debt to the various fantastic simulations produced by Maxis and Bullfrog. In this case, the player begins a very modest accommodation, perhaps a single cottage with a spare room to rent out to passing adventurers. Using the money earned for room and board, the player can expand their offering, eventually building up a majestic city. By adding things like blacksmiths, alchemists, stables and academies, the town expands what is offered to the visiting heroes and will attract more and more business. The player will need to carefully set prices and choose the right goods to manufacture to meet demand. Paying attention to the chatter of the adventurers will tell the player what is going in the world around that town, providing clues about what is in need. The surrounding world would also affect the town and provide the player reasons to offer to quests, just like a proper RPG town should. Maybe your food supply is being menaced by rats, or you’ve attracted the attention of powerful dragon. Have one of the townspeople offer a bounty and maybe a brave warrior will get the job done for you, so long as you are providing quality equipment!
At it’s core, the game is mostly about growing an economy, but I think that having the player’s town existing withing the larger simulation of a fantasy world adds an interesting element to the play. The player can’t go out and participate in all the action, but will hopefully be able to infer patterns and make logical predictions to maximize their utility. Plus, the fantasy setting allows for a lot of fun flavor in how the different elements of the economy are represented. Some possible buildings could include:
- Blacksmith - Produces, repairs and improves weapons and armor. Increasing the quality of the smith will attract higher level heroes looking for better items. This is also where adventurers can sell raw materials or used equipment, which can then be scrapped, modified or re-sold. Provides an opportunity to offer quests for special components to make high end equipment. Appeals especially to warriors.
- Tavern - Increase the attraction of the town, especially to bards, rogues and thieves. Provides a place to gather information about the world through eavesdropping on conversations.
- Alchemist - Maker of the all important potion. Much like the smith, but with subtle differences in the mechanics of production. This might be particularly appealing to wizards.
- Farms, Mines, etc - Provide the raw materials to manufacture goods. Also provide a great point to be harassed by bandits and monsters, requiring the aid of heroes to rid you of the nuisance.
- Stables, Aviaries, etc - Provide travel, increasing the variety of adventurers that will visit as well as expanding the player’s range of influence in the world, possibly opening up access to new materials or trade with other villages.
- Monuments - Pure spectacle, increasing the prestige of your city. Perhaps these could have requirements to earn them, such a hero completing an epic quest using your city as a base.
It would be easy to go on forever with these, especially with such a rich history of games to draw inspiration from.
Finally, the idea of other towns existing in the same world offers the obvious potential for multiplayer, which could add a fun element of competition and/or cooperation. Definitely a feature worth putting on the wish list!