This is something I've been thinking about for a long time: A programmatic game generator. Imagine taking various components of different simple puzzle games, and recombining them. For example: take the "make shapes" rule of Bejewled and combine it with the board and pieces of Chess. To attack your opponent, you have to form various shapes with your pieces!
Or take the territory conquest from Risk, but put it on a Sudoku board. Instead of a map of the world, you're playing to conquer a 9x9 grid!
The beauty of this game generator is how many games you can draw from:
- Crossword puzzles
And the list goes on!
If you managed to create an algorithm that took different components of these games, you could essentially create 1,000's of novel new puzzle games at the click of a button. Then, you could even use a service like Amazon Mechanical Turk to test what your game generator outputs, have people rate each game after they play it, and narrow those 1,000's of novel new puzzle games down to a few viral gems.
To get started on thinking about how such a game generator would work, you would want to start with some puzzle games and combine them by hand. Think about how Risk plus Life would work - how do you classify different aspects of the game so that they can be recombined into a new puzzle game? Do those classifications still work when combining Sudoku and Scrabble?
It's mind-bending to think about combing strategy games with card games with word games. But the result could be something truly extraordinary, something that redefines what it means to develop games.
What do you think? We'd love to hear any thoughts you have - or, if you do attempt to build a game generator, we'll be your first beta tester!