The Dragon’s Tea Party recently posted about what her life would be like as a video game. I was intrigued by the post as it wasn’t reliant on choosing examples from already-existing games for the various factors and instead created the ideas from scratch based on real parts of her life. It was such a fun read that I’ve decided to try my hand at it! I decided to add a few factors that I felt were important for an experience tailored around myself. I hope to do her original post justice and possibly inspire others to join in!
I’m a sucker for open-world, fantasy locales with otherworldly scenery. My world (I’ll call it Canavas) would be rife with foreign creatures, vegetation, and magical phenomena…as well as an Abandoned City deep in the underground. From phosphorescent fungal forests that glow by night to the weaving passages throughout crystalline caves of every color, each day is an adventure waiting to happen. Other locales with less vivid colors exist as well, including an ashen desert and a canyon filled by the skeleton of a gargantuan serpent. Humanity only has a few large cities in this land, as well as some smaller settlements sprinkled throughout the wilderness.
There are an abundance of monsters throughout Canavas, from slight mutations of creatures in our own world to radically different lifeforms of anything we’ve ever laid eyes on. Some are peaceful, but many are aggressive. However, not every aggressive monster will attack you on sight. The world is designed to behave as an ecosystem: aggressive monsters eat passive ones, passive creatures feast on vegetation, and vegetation regenerates each day so that the cycle can remain consistent. Aggressive monsters only attack if they are hungry, or if you violate their “personal space.” Some creatures can also be tamed and ridden. And with my love of monster icons like Godzilla and Jaws, a few of the hidden creatures in the world will be absolutely massive.
Magic exists in Canavas, but more as a well to tap into from the surrounding world rather than a source within an individual. However, magical wormholes are littered throughout the land and allow for quick travels to a destination of your choosing: just picture the image in your mind when you step in and *POOF*! Certain people with an adeptness for the world’s magic are also able to weave it into clothing…for a price. The more I adventure and discover valuable treasures, the more magical gear I am able to purchase (thinking along the lines of improved jumping shoes, never-tire pants for running, capes for gliding, hats for navigation or finding hidden treasures, a gem for teleporting/fast-traveling, etc.). Think Breath of the Wild, but with scenery inspired by Hollow Knight, Blackreach from Skyrim, and Dark Souls.
The Protagonist (Me)
Much like The Dragon’s Tea Party, I don’t want to deck myself out with ridiculous powers that I don’t have in real life. I’ve always been a fan of games that start the player out as a meager scrub and give you the opportunity to build yourself up as you go with better equipment, improved stats, and honed fighting techniques. Any fancy powers I acquire would stem from magical gear (double jumps, gliding, etc.), but I also level up the stats of Health, Stamina, Strength, and Agility that are used for combat. There are also stats to improve the damage of the variety of weapons available: mostly the medieval sort (more on that later). I love to be creative, so my fighting capabilities would be a mix of straight combat and zipping around the battlefield with my enchanted gear’s abilities.
I also LOVE coffee, so I would have some sort of drink available that increases my available health and stamina for that given day, should I choose to drop that small amount of money on it. However, if I use the boost too many days in a row and then stop, I would suffer negative penalties on all of my stats for that entire day. Health and stamina are restored in a similar fashion to Red Dead Redemption 2, where eating restores each stat’s “core” and a full core regenerates my actual meter. Sleep is required daily to keep these meters at full capacity, while a lack thereof would decrease their max capability. Certain “coffees” could be taken along for lengthy excursions to help mitigate situations that result in a lack of sleep.
As with any RPG, it’s always nice to have a home base. There would be a variety of locations to set up my pad, as well as numerous options for construction, internal decoration, and item storage. Better beds would improve your stats slightly for the following day.
Lastly, my appearance. In real life, I change up my hair and beard styles quite often. I would have several hair and beard styles available to choose between from a mirror in my home. I would start with a few basics, then unlock more from collectible pictures that are littered throughout Canavas. They don’t provide bonuses: it’s all about style! There would also be many options for clothing in Canavas, from pants and shirts to gloves, hats, and even capes and coats.
One day I am plucked from the real world in my sleep and transported to Canavas (and no, this isn’t a plot where “it was all just a dream”). I am found in the wilderness by an adventurer and taken to a local settlement. Upon waking, I’m informed by the citizens about this world I now inhabit. It turns out that every human in Canavas was similarly stolen from the real world over time and dropped here for some unexplained reason. While some resign themselves to their fate and simply live life anew, others become adventurers and try to seek the reason for this grand abduction. To hopefully find answers, I am pointed in the direction of several Elders: humans who have dwelled in Canavas for centuries and never perished from age. My adventure begins as I trek out to find these individuals.
The citizens of Canavas vary from depressed and downtrodden at their capture all the way to a few individuals who are excited at their predicament. Being me, my protagonist would be voiced as an optimistic, light-hearted individual, bursting at the seems goofy sarcasm and humor both light and dark. I can interact with any individual similarly to an Elder Scrolls game. As I adventure, I can complete quests for NPCs, as well as “joke” or “encourage” them to try and improve their demeanor. Various encounters and achievements unlock additional, more effective options for conversation.
Without going too in-depth, my journey eventually points in the direction of the Abandoned City: a dangerous place full of dark, ancient magic. Few who deign to enter the place are ever heard from again, and those who do speak only of its horrors. The finale ends with the discovery of a way to return home for both myself and any other citizens who want to go…but I can also choose to stay and keep exploring.
I’ve always been an anxious self-critic. I dwell on mistakes and think about wildly unrealistic scenarios that are never likely to play out (Creativity doesn’t help in that regard lol). Growing up, my mom always told me “You are your own worst enemy.” So it is only fitting that, much like in the game Celeste, I have a dark doppelgänger. This vile enemy dwells within me and speaks throughout the journey, but can only surface physically when in the presence of Canavas’s dark magic: namely, in the Abandoned City*. This foe confronts me several times throughout the plot, morphing at each encounter into ever more terrifying forms until it becomes a radical monstrosity. Since it remains a part of me, it can never be truly defeated. Finishing the game requires me to beat it at its final form.
*Every individual who ventures to the Abandoned City encounters their darker side. The ruins are filled with the doppelgängers who have slain their actual self and are now cursed to wander in perpetual darkness. They are limited in number, but numerous and in various forms of mutation, much like my own shade throughout the journey
Since it was so far unmentioned, my game would be played in third-person: I prefer games with action combat that accounts for both stat increases and the player’s skill. There are options for fast and heavy attacks, as well as a “dodge” button that is either a basic dive roll, or upgrades into dashing and warping via upgraded equipment (allowing for much faster recovery). Enemies are designed to provide various degrees of challenge, but most wild creatures can be overcome from the onset with proper button inputs (they just take longer with weaker weapons). The boss enemies of the Abandoned City are designed to be extremely challenging with their attack patterns, further building upon their terror factor.
The weapons of Canavas are largely of the medieval variety, but with a visual twist that suits the worldly materials of this foreign land. Weapons are made from various rocks, metals, and solidified fungal materials, and mostly have rounded, organic details as opposed to the stereotypical angular details in many modern games. Distance weapons vary from thrown spears and bows to magically-propelled projectiles akin to guns. These latter types are rare and costly.
Clothing and armor are also crafted from the worldly plants, fungi, and metals of Canavas. They can be enchanted with magical effects by finding certain individuals who have learned to manipulate the energies of the world (again, thinking along the lines of improved jumping shoes, never-tire pants for running, capes for gliding, hats for navigation or finding hidden treasures, a gem for teleporting/fast-traveling, etc.). Some clothing will also help navigate poisonous areas or other hazardous barriers to exploration.
I’ve always had a taste for games that are stylized versus those that aim for stark realism, but I also enjoy it when worlds contain a high level of detail. The graphics of my game would be very similar to Breath of the Wild: unlined cel-shading, but with a look that retains realistic human and worldly proportions. This allows for even more wonder when I encounter the strange environments of Canavas. A majority of the overworld will be bursting at the seems with color: largely reds, purples, and oranges. Crystal caves will glimmer with every color of the rainbow, each one color-coded ROYGBIV-style by the level of difficulty of the challenge within, with Violet denoted as the hardest. The Abandoned City will be dark and dim, with only magical lights infused into the architecture lighting the vast interior. A light source is required for effective adventuring away from these buildings, as well as at night in the overworld proper.
The wonder and mystery of Canavas must be accompanied by a score just as magical. I would have Jeremy Soule of The Elder Scrolls fame and Christopher Larkin of Hollow Knight to collaborate and create a soundscape that is at times ambient, at times melodic, and always enchanting. Fungal forests and crystal caves are calm and serene with pianos and violins, while the darkness of the Abandoned City is a brooding cacophony of cello and electric bass. And because of my love for extreme metal, boss fights against the aimless dark doppelgängers (and my own) would also be accompanied by a heavy electric guitar. Each of these evil foes would have their own spin on a central theme and my own clone would have all aspects of the others combined into one auditory tsunami.
When it comes to summing up my own characteristics and personal likings, I feel that this hypothetical game has turned into a title that I really want to play! I’m legitimately a bit disappointed that it’s only imaginary 😛 Thanks again to The Dragon’s Tea Party for this fun idea! It’s definitely been the most exciting post to write that I’ve had in a while!
What about you? What would your life look like as a video game? Let me know a bit with a comment, or go and do your own entire post! I’d love to read about your own mechanics and preferences! But if you do, please give credit to The Dragon’s Tea Party: she was the one who inspired me to write this in the first place! Thank you for reading, and game on!