At some point in our lives, odds are we’ve played with LEGO. The newer themed LEGO sets are great for taking a special piece of our own personal geekdom and giving us a tangible and buildable version of it at our fingertips. However, there is also something to be said about the mishmash collection of blocks we accumulated over the years – that LEGO box filled with a wild assortment of blues, greens, yellows and reds, policemen, cowboys, Star Wars characters and more. It was playing with this jumble of pieces from multiple sets and generic non-themed blocks that I recall with the fondest of feelings. This wild variety allowed you to use your imagination. To take the best bits from each of the sets, mix them with the odd generic hat or cape and create your own perfect character, in your own unique LEGO world.
This kind of expressive mix-and-match LEGO building got me thinking about games. Often I play something and I’m really enjoying an aspect of it, but wish it had less of this or more of that. Games are the creations of their designers and developers. Very rarely a game feels like it is speaking directly to you; like it was designed with you in mind. More often, even in games you quite enjoy, there is something you would like to change or add. So few of us, though, have the skills to make our own games. To build our own perfect characters and worlds. But, today that is about to change.
It’s time to jump back into my wonderful, creative LEGO-filled youth. Yup, today I’m going to imagine that my favourite gaming studio called me up and said: “Hey, Tim, we need a new game. It’s up to you to decide what it will be like. Give us an elevator pitch of what you want and we’ll build it…”
Sure, that’s never really going to happen. But, hey it’s the Burning Question and this week we’re travelling into the enchanting world of childhood make-believe. And in this world, I get to build in any way I want; throw LEGO Superman’s cape on, the race-car man’s body and plop them onto a pirate ship. So this is my elevator pitch: I really want an open world game in the style of Breath of the Wild. Visually it should take its inspiration from Horizon Zero Dawn, but I want little to no combat. Take Tomb Raider (sans the shooting) and Super Mario Odyssey (sans the ridiculous brightness) throw them both in a melting pot and you’ll probably be close to the 3D-platforming adventure I’m would be looking for. Sprinkle in heaps of exploration, the odd puzzle here and there, and a deep character-driven sci-fi story and something tells me you may just have the perfect Tim game.
So now it’s your turn. All your gaming LEGO blocks are available. A studio has come to you and told you to ‘build’ their next game – So, what’s the elevator pitch for the perfect ‘you’ game?