Simulation Might Be Interesting For Indies

What New Star Soccer and for example Kudos have in common.

  • Both are made by indies.
  • Both are sort of simulation games (or at least the simulation aspect is the thing I found most interesting).
  • Both games sell.
  • Both occupy such territory in the gaming industry that Really Big Corporations (TM) won’t touch that field.

I’m currently drawing a big map (figuratively speaking) about the next possibilities and by playing NHL ’10 I’ve reminded myself about my past interest about doing some sort of “life simulation”. (If you look at Cliff’s games, Kudos, Democracy, Gracious Battles they are all much about simulation. If you’d change the theme from “life/politics/space” and put “soccer” there, you could very well play the same games – with just different theme.

I’ve been some sort of ice hockey fan-ish and enjoy watching that sports. Now I’m adding ice hockey simulation game to my list of potential next projects. The game would be about being (for example) a goalie who is about to build his career in order to become the best ice hockey goalkeeper in the world. This would have several good points:

  • Easy to build from technical perspective: sure, I would need storyline, simulation engine and tons of other things but most of the game would be about adding content (creating events, adding players, writing storyline, and so on).
  • 2D graphics: I would imagine having a cool NHL ’10 style graphics they use in the game menus. This might be too much, so I might need to stick with something easier. Or simply just have good looking menus without people art. Anyway, based on a very brief pondering I think this could be manageable.
  • Fun? I think so. When I try play NHL ’10 as a goalie, I have this feeling how NHL actually points out the worse parts of being a goalie (you suck at deflections, you are punished for making an error, if you make a good save – that’s like expected from you). I’m getting several ideas on how this could be done better by removing action and focusing on rpg/story/events/simulation aspects.

Would anyone play/buy it?
I don’t know.

There’s this easy way to do a market research: google for something.

If there’s tons of results, the stuff you searched info about is probably something people want but everybody is probably doing it. If on the other hand you cannot find many hits (as in “ice hockey goalie simulation”) then it suggest that the niche is so minimal that nobody cares about it. (So, either way you are in shitty situation).

Thank god this time I’m not thinking about market. I’m thinking if doing this game would be fun to do or not. If I see green light then I just might go forward with the idea.

Juuso Hietalahti