That is what I contemplated today. I got a little bit lucky. 2 PS5 titles for $30. A good deal to say the least. The first one was the Forbidden city.
When it was released I was on a budget (a tight one) I had seen some parts on YouTube, saw some reviews all positive. The story is (as far as I got) captivating, but something was nagging at me, nothing negative. Merely the setting that once played, that is it. That is how most games go and there is nothing wrong with that. But what if it was not the end? It reminded me of a game I had on the Amiga. It was a Psygnosis title named Chronoquest.
I’ve forgotten most of the game, but this one got me back to those days. Travelling through time, finding clues to the real killer of your father. It made me think. That kind of game is now outdated, but the idea might not be. So when we think of Sudoku, we might remember the simple grid of nine, making horizontal, vertical and diagonal add up to 15.
Most people learned quickly that the centre needs to be the ‘5’, then it becomes a simple setting of making the other 2 squares add to 10. Yet Sudoku gives us 9 grids of 9 and now it becomes a challenge, even more so when you realise that there are more options than most people can throw their hat at.
So what happens when we take the first game as an engine and create 9 levels. There are so many options. Greek, Roman, Goth, Spanish, Japanese, Scandinavia, Aztec, Mayan, Native American, and that list can go on for a while. Now we create the objects that are required, the stage is set, but this is not merely a whodunnit, this is a larger stage, but with a Chronoquest setting, we merely added steroids to the equation. Then we add an omnibus of storylines and we connect them. Like the Sudoku, we have 9 levels, but the numbers can be anything, and it is that seeding that gives us the options. Consider Chronoquest, places in time, that also implies anachronism, objects in the WRONG tine. It opts for dialogues, it opts for puzzles and if done correctly there will always be the chance that something has been seen before, but if every time has dozens of objects, we end up with 200+ objects The storylines need to be generic, like a dozen stories per time, yet the names can alter, the objects alter and the puzzles will alter.
Time to fly
Now consider the larger sudoku. We could set the sequence of where we go by the centre square (as an example) so we now get 1,1,3,5,7,7,8,8,9 Now we get the tricky side, how do we enable area 2,4, and 6? Simple, the first double up (1,1) will open all 3, so now we get a puzzle that is slightly more challenging and not linear. The nice part is that 1 through 9 can mean anything and there are dozens of Sudoku creator scripts out there, all ready to be used for the eager maker of puzzles. I merely wonder whether anyone considered this application. Now do not let the style of writing fool you, this will still be a challenge making it and it will be subject to redraws, redesigns and back to the drawing board moments. But when solved, the maker will have a new style of game, a new IP and one that streamers will fight over to get, because replayability will be the streamer scream of 2024. When they learn and find out what the power of ACTUAL long term gaming is, they will get on board fast. So that took less than an hour and even now my mind is trying to implement a new side to using the Sudoku routine without making the game flat or predictable. And it needs to be able to redesign the new game with every matrix created, because that is the foundation of Sudoku, a unique number matrix.
So look out for what is next and look to what YOU could make to become the next game maker all the others want.