Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The winner of the contest is revealed, and no interesting post title is thought of

Due to time-consuming personal issues, I'm behind in posting the results of the recent contest, but don't worry, I haven't forgotten. If you haven't read the entries, I recommend checking them out; there are some really good ones in there, like Chris Sims' Herbie Popnecker/Boy and His Blob mashup, and some other funny ideas from Jason and Heidi Fan, and Pericope. But I really dug the winning entry by Jamie Stahl, which I'll reproduce here:
"I had an idea for a First Person Shooter. Since the genre is based so often on running around shooting bland nameless soldiers, and security guards, I wanted to see a game that explored the ramifications of what you're actually doing in these games a little bit more.
So my idea was basically a frame story, where you are a Black Ops lone wolf infiltrator, shooting security guards in the face for some reason. It plays like normal, but at certain points throughout, when you shoot someone - the camera slo mo's on the bullet and stops right before the bullet hits that guard in the face. Then it stops, and you play as that guard in a self contained stage, in the past, before you kill them. Each stage reveals some small part about that guard: some of them turn out to be assholes, some turn out average, some are wonderful people. I had, as a specific example of this, an idea where one of the guards stages is him telling his daughter a story about a knight rescuing a princess. You play as the knight in a fantasy world, but while you're playing you can hear the father and the daughter talking in the background, making up the story as they go along, which causes the world around you to shift and alter as if it's being made up on the spot (which it is). It ends when the story is done, and then cuts back, and the bullet hits the guy - and you move on.
If I had to name it, I'd like to name it something innocuous like "Stealth Ops" so that people looking for the next Call Of Duty might stumble on it.
Sorry this is a bit long, I've been wanting to get that idea out for awhile. Also it is clearly based on the Invisibles, but I thought that issue was great and would work really well in a video game - when you take over a character you empathize with them so much more then when you're reading about them (IMO)"
That is an excellent idea, one with a lot of potential for storytelling twists and turns, and forcing players to examine aspects of gaming (and maybe even social interaction?) that usually go unnoticed. It's a great example of a counter-argument to Roger Ebert's infamous "video games can never be art" statement.

So, Jamie, if you could contact me at the email address in the sidebar (or via Twitter/Facebook/telegram), I'll pass your information on to the Localpages people and get you your gift card. Congratulations!