At night, while laying in bed attempting to grasp the realm of dreams, most individuals choose to pick up a novel, put in some earbuds, or simply stare at their ceiling with a blank and dumbfounded expression. I tend to travel a different route. I believe that I’ve discovered the finest way to pass time in the pre-sleep period: thinking about game ideas and design.
Do I ever go about working on the ideas I theorize, attempting to see them to completion? No, of course not, for most of the ideas I dream up possess far too much grandeur and are simply above the reach of an inexperienced mod-enthusiast such as myself. Nevertheless, I derive great pleasure from imagining these ideas.
There is a certain enjoyment to be had in coming up with what one might consider the optimal game mode, or simply imagining your favorite novel or film transformed into a better-than-EA quality adaptation. There are no technical-limitations and no realism. This is oft called “Theoretical Game Design,” or something along those lines.
Now, I believe that this could flower into a field of its own. There could be forums devoted to users commenting on each others’ design ideas, and showcases of some of the most interesting or innovative theoretical designs.
However, many might argue that it is asinine to dedicate time or effort to such a fruitless pursuit. Would it not be better to actually jump into the mod-scene and make something different, really? Would many not discover that practical modding or game making is a worthy way to get one’s ideas down onto a physical medium?
I call on you, my meager audience, to contribute your views as to the legitimacy and sense of theoretical game design. Without any further ado, let the discussions begin.