An unnamed multiplayer interactive experience

This idea has been rolling around in my head for years now in different forms and I’m starting a dev log for it in hopes that I’ll finally just make it.

The basic idea for it is this: Character-driven, open-ended exploration where “gameplay” is an anti-feature (hence why I titled the thread “interactive experience”).

The more complete explanation is as follows:

  • It takes place on a dead world, a planet depleted of all of its resources. Everyone you find on the planet is a ghost.

  • You’re connected to a session with a handful (somewhere between five and ten) of other players at random.

  • You can only communicate with other players via emotes (inspired by the games of thatgamecompany, among others).

  • The “gameplay” is exploring, finding hidden things, and interacting with the planet’s ghosts. I want the stories they tell to be open-ended, so that subsequent sessions can result in different outcomes. More importantly, though, I want most of the “progression” to be centered around interactions with them, rather than around things they want you to do.

  • It will be designed with 30-60-minute sessions in mind and there will be no “saving progress,” except for maybe unlocks for doing specific things.

Really, the main thing here is that I want to try and create the most “complete” experience without the use of “normal” gameplay elements or really any kind of instruction on how you’re supposed to “play” the game. I want it to be expansive, but able to be experienced in chunks that don’t rely on other parts of it having been done previously (though I may hide some secrets behind other parts being done). I want it to be as accessible and as obtuse as possible at the same time, so that discovering things truly feels rewarding, even though there aren’t that many mechanics. I want it to be social, but not reliant on being social.

Perhaps a more important motivation for this idea for me, however, is that, in the past, my games have been focused on gameplay mechanics, deliberately eschewing story elements. I want to do the exact opposite this time.

I’ve got an idea of how I plan to accomplish this, but I won’t say more until I actually have something tangible. I’m hoping to give back a few modules (and plugins) to the luxe community, though.

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This sounds really neat, I love those kinda games! I played Way and convinced many people to try it as well, so more stuff in that vicinity sounds rad even if not the same, more of that kind.