The theme for our brainstorming session was cute-grim.

We spent 2 or 3 hours after the first lecture together brainstorming loosely around “cute-grim”.

It took us a while to move away from rigid narrative-driven ideas and focus on diversifying our ideas by mechanic rather than story but we got there in the end.

Some of the original ideas included:

  • 2D, pixel-art sidescroller. Narrative-driven with cute ‘lil’ Grim Reaper escorting the soul of a young girl to the afterlife
    • unique mechanic: procedurally generated terrain, background scrolling never stops, only movement being up and down (no sideways traversal)
  • 3D, RPG. Lil Grim wakes up with Amnesia, goes on adventure with soul of girl, they end up at afterlife. Lil Grim’s memory is wiped and he begins the journey again with another soul
    • unique mechanic: Girl can be directed with point & click
  • Arcade style. Cultural representations of Death all battle for recognition and bragging rights. Mortal Kombat-esque levels with story cutscenes in between
    • unique mechanic: ummm..culturally fascinating arcade game?

As can be seen, although the idea is ‘re-skinned’, they are at their core the same or similar narrative-driven game without any truly new, unique or innovative game mechanics.

Some more innovative ideas we came up with once the ball was rolling included:

  • Minigames, play as a cultural representation of Death against all the others and beat them at their own (mini) game
    • unique mechanic: have a unique advantage in every game related to your chosen incarnation of Death
  • Phase-based gameplay. Hunger Games-esque, 60 seconds to choose items to survive, then have to survive ‘Phase 1’, a series of randomly generated events where your outcome is determined by which items you chose. Survival means another chance to scavenge, followed by ‘Phase 2’, etc
    • unique mechanic: switched up gameplay, randomly generated events

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