I have been playing the hell out of Silent Hunter 3 recently. I have always enjoyed good submarine games, which can be tough to do in an age of few good submarine games heh.. The Silent Hunter games are excellent however, and I very much look forward to getting Silent Hunter 4 -- which is out already, but I've been forbidden to purchase since Christmas is coming up.. ( Aaawwww.. But maaaa!!! )
I'll be a good little boy and wait though.. taps foot
While playing any game, I just about always think about how to improve the game, or how the game could be thought about in different ways.. Not only am I looking for emergent game play ideas, but how the game play in general can be applied to other genre of games -- as well as how the game itself could be improved. It occurred to me while playing Silent Hunter 3 that this same game could be applied to space combat.. Most likely in the "far distant future" you're going to be attacking space ships in the very same manner that submarines have been doing it since the 30's. Sneak up.. Launch weapon.. Run away and hope you don't die.. hehe
Most weapons in the future will have a range far beyond what we have today, and even today our weapons reach far beyond what we can see or perceive physically.. So why do all space games out there use very short ranged laser weaponry that must be manually aimed? Why do we look through windows at the vast black searching with our eyes for our enemy to shoot? It's silly..
Don't even get me started on the "short ranged laser"... But why wouldn't we be fighting more from a position of stealth in which our ship does the majority of the work? You start hidden waiting for target or trolling for a target from a position of stealth.. Once it shows up, you select the target through whatever targeting devices we use then push the "launch" button and go back to ground. The concept of a first person space shooter isn't a good one just due to the size of space in general as well as the relative speed and size of objects in it. Two "fighter craft" in space might never see one another, never mind actually mingling and fighting one another.
Anyone who knows me and my game dreams knows this is a radical step away from my previous position.. I used to think it was a good idea to continue the first person space game genre, but maybe thats why they haven't done well.. It doesn't make sense - and unlike fantasy games in which things don't have to make any kind of sense (P1:"Uh hows this work?!" P2:"Magic" P1:"Oh okay..") most scientific/futuristic games will need to be based on some kind of reality or its just "fantasy in the future."
The more I think about it, the more I think that small fighter craft in a space situation will be of very limited use. I think you're going to see a lot more hot battleship on battleship action. Or if I were to make a game this is how it would be..
Silent Hunter 3
Something I think SH3 needs is the ability for players to play the destroyers.. I love playing a sub and sinking ships, but it would be equally cool to play the sub hunter.. Or even play multiplayer, sub versus sub or sub versus destroyer..
It does have a multiplayer aspect, but I have no idea how it works.