NukeProof – an open invitation

I have something of a knack for anticipating future video games. This knack has often proved startlingly prescient.

Example. As a child who had quickly grown bored of the repetitive nautre of the banal Duck Hunt (to say nothing of the intense frustration I felt at being unable to shoot that dog up the arsehole), I envisioned a much more complex shooter that would test the Nintendo Entertainment System’s “Zapper” light gun to its limits. The game I had imagined was a hard-hitting affair called Zapper, P.I. which featured a moustachioed private detective engaging in a perpetual car chase with a plethora of heavily-armed perps who had raped his wife and kidnapped his young son. The player would control the character with the light gun, shooting enemies as they appeared on screen and scoring double if he steered the character’s car over their felled bodies. Being five-years-old and encumbered with parents who refused to nurture my creative side by furnishing me with the expensive computer arrays I demanded, I had no way to actually create this game, so it remained confined to my fertile young mind.

The cover of “Gumshoe” for the N.E.S.

Imagine then my amazement when I discovered the NES games Gumshoe, released in 1998. The plot of this game paralleled the plot of Zapper, P.I. (minus the rape), and the protagonist was controlled in almost exactly the way I had imagined. If anything, my game had been much more ambitious (i.e. better) as I had imagined a revolutionary, dynamic, vehicle-based top-down-scroller, whereas Gumshoe was a standard platform side-scroller with crap graphics.

It had been the first time I had both anticipated and outthought the video game Establishment… but it would not be the last.

I predicted Star Wars: Force Commander two years before it arrived on the PC. I still have the original documentation in which I recorded my ideas and outlined my vision (see below). Again, my version of the game would prove far superior to the one the Establishment released, featuring as it did many more vehicles from the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and even an option to recruit a unit of marauding Wampa Ice Creatures (one of which weilded its own severed arm as a club).

The original “Force Commander” Post-It

The popular PC game Mafia received excellent reviews when released in 2002 and it sold very well. However, having played through the first level I can confirm that in almost every respect it pales in comparison to my own creation, Made Guy: Rise of a Guinea. I had read Mario Puzo’s The Godfather perhaps four times at that point in my life, so I understood the life of a Mafioso better than most, and I poured hours into the write-up of Made Guy. My game featured much more hard-hitting violence, including numerous tyre-iron batterings, drive-by shootings, and acid-blindings. By comparison, Mafia was as tame as Yoshi’s Story.

It has been several years since I last predicted an upcoming video game. But in recent weeks a new one has come to me in vivid detail. I am now giving some lucky development house the opportunity to build the game according to my vision, not the watered-down vision the Establishment will inevitably come up with.  All I ask for is a 60% share in all profits. This is a very fair figure, which will seem all the more reasonable once I have outlined my latest vision.

Synopsis: NukeProof

The setting is a futuristic city in the USA in the midst of a brutal nuclear war. During the game, the city is being continually pounded by enemy ICBMs, and is rapidly deteriorating into radioactive rubble. The player-character, Chief-Master John Newcpruffe, has been sent in by the US Army’s NukeOps division to retrieve a series of highly-confidential documents from several locations within the bombarded city. In order to achieve this, the Chief-Master is equipped with a blast-proof mechanical exoskeleton that also protects against Gamma rays. The suit is huge and powerful and enables the player to run fast and jump dead high.

The mech suit deteriorates with each explosion the player is caught in. Incoming nukes are indicated on a translucent tracking radar at the top corner of the HUD – the closer the player is to the epicentre of the blast, the more damage will be inflicted on the suit. Therefore the player must keep a close eye on the tracking radar and try to get out of the way of the blast wave of any incoming missiles – often by legging it right through buildings and kicking burning civilians out of his way.

Besides the ever-falling nukes, the player faces a multitude of other dangers. Gangs of hostile natives, mutated by radiation, attempt to waylay him and scavenge his armour. Mutant psi-dogs with metal fangs are particularly troublesome. The enemy nation (TBD, perhaps a rogue Marshall Islands, or just good old Russia) has also sent in their own NukeOps guy in a mech suit, who is seeking the same set of documentation. Like the Chief-Master, the enemy player is equipped with a gun that fires A-Bombs; however his suit is slightly more advanced, and contains a Stealth Mode which makes him almost invisible (like the Predator).

I shall reveal no further details at this point – suffice to say, there is a huge amount that I have not included above.

Please contact me if you feel you are up to the challenge of developing this game. It is an opportunity not to be missed.

Early cover design.  I will concede that I am not great at drawing mech suits.