Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer

Busking Makes Me Feel Good

Indie Buskers

Have a great idea for a video game but lack the technical prowess to make it happen? The Indie Buskers are here to help.

The ragtag team of independent game designers are soliciting gamers for game ideas. On the weekend of April 14th, the five best concepts will be selected and developed into actual games. The two-day development process will be streamed online, and all five of the games will later be released as a bundle under a pay-what-you-want model.

Visit indiebuskers.net to submit your idea. I already have!

A man wakes up in a darkened room. Housing nothing more than a toilet, bed, sink, and crude feeding tube, the room is obviously a prison cell. Yet there are no bars, only four concrete walls with no discernible entrance or exit. A small crack in the eastern wall reveals a cell identical to his own, and the prisoner soon realizes he is trapped in a complex made up of hundreds of such rooms. In order to escape, he must tunnel, sneak, and puzzle his way from prison cell to prison cell until he hits an exterior wall.

The game would be of the point-and-click adventure genre. The player would travel from prison cell to prison cell by collecting items and solving puzzles. The solution for escaping a cell could be as simple as breaking open a crack in the wall or as complex as sabotaging the security system. These puzzles would be coupled with an overarching strategy of determining which principle direction leads outward and which leads deeper into the prison complex. The game would be nonlinear, allowing for multiple solutions and even failure should the player expend his resources carelessly or progress through rooms in the wrong direction. Completion time would average 30 to 40 minutes.

The core theme of the game is solitude. The cells the prisoner travels through are either empty or occupied by skeletons of former occupants. The one or two NPCs he does meet are either uncooperative or insane from isolation. At times it is implied that the facility is derelict and that there is no one on guard save for the automated systems. The player is alone, and has to rely entirely on his own ingenuity to progress and survive.

If you decide to submit a game idea, share it in the comments below. Let’s see if we have any budding Miyamotos in the audience.

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By Mathew
Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer