Like Gary, I have shared my ideal game on the previous thread, but thought it would be fun to revisit my idea and “flesh” it out a bit more. In doing so, I will also be scaling it back from a full-on simulation to a highly customizable RPG; therefore, I will be able to explain more game mechanics.
Gary and I have a lot in common when it comes to our dream game. We both like a gradual, realistic weight gain scenario featuring a reluctant gainer. Additionally, we like to focus on the stats contributing to weight gain and mobility. I would let the player choose the overall body type (apple, pear, hourglass, etc.) at the start of the game. I agree that a weekly time interval will be most appropriate. After you complete the day, a narration will fill you in on how the rest of the week went.
At every weight milestone (up or down), the new day will feature a “prepare for the day” narration. This includes: getting out of bed, weighing yourself, examining yourself in a full-body mirror, showering, and dressing.
In my ideal game, however, we follow the main character from a much younger age: early primary/elementary school. I love the idea of relationships playing a major role in the story. To make this work to my liking, the game design would have to allow for initial choices to judge attitudes. Some examples:
[Game exposition:] You were chubby up through first grade. How did your parents respond?
- “We should make sure he/she stays active and eats well.” (Lower starting weight, higher metabolism, parents disapprove of fat)
- “‘He/she will grow out of it!’ ‘But what if he/she doesn’t?’ ‘We will wait and see.’” (Average starting weight and metabolism, parents have some reservations about fat)
- “He/she is a growing boy/girl! It’s good for a kid to have some more meat on their bones!” (Higher starting weight, lower metabolism, parents encourage fat)
[Game exposition:] Your peers started to notice that you were the huskier one. What were you focused on?
- Having fun! (Class clown reputation, high popularity)
- Studying with other nerds. (Teacher’s pet reputation, medium popularity–teasing only)
- Eating alone, of course! (Gluttonous pig reputation, low popularity–bullying)
[As teenager:] You are considering asking your crush out to homecoming. What are your thoughts?
- “Fat chance they will say ‘yes,’ but I am shooting my shot anyways!” (embarrassing public rejection)
- “I am surprised they haven’t asked me first!” (eager accepting–possible feedee relationship)
- “No way they’ll say ‘yes,’ so I might as well stay home and watch TV.”
Other life choices will explore scenarios. Some examples:
[Game exposition:] How did your parents respond?..How did you respond?
- I want to be an athlete, so I’m going to practice sports! (Lower starting weight, negative stance on fat)
- I don’t care. I never even noticed. (Average starting weight, neutral stance on fat for now)
- I like being the bigger kid! I enjoy stuffing myself! (Higher starting weight, positive stance on fat)
[As youngster:] You opened up the card. It is an invitation to Jordan’s birthday party, at the waterpark! How will you respond?
- I’m grabbing my swimming trunks right now! I’ll hit every waterslide! (eager joining–outcomes depend on weight)
- I guess I’ll come, but I’ll stay in the lazy river and wave pool with my wet shirt on. (reluctant joining–possible peer pressure later on)
- I think I’d rather stay home and play video games. (slight decrease in relationship with Jordan)
[As tween:] You noticed that you were one of the later students to finish the mile run. You weren’t lapped by anyone, but it still was a challenge. How do you respond?
- I’ll try out for the football team. They will at least accept me as a benchwarmer, right? (future choices, outcomes vary)
- I’ll sign up for the weights class. I won’t get faster, but at least I’ll get stronger. (musclegut option)
- I’m required to take PE, but I may try to get out of it. (future choices)
[As teenager:] You are now on summer break, and you are starting your seasonal paid internship! What is it?
- Front desk attendant at the gym? (gym scenarios)
- Lawn mowing and newspaper delivery. (outdoor work scenarios)
- Fast food worker and delivery driver! (fast food and outdoor work scenarios)
[As late teenager:] The deadline to accept your college admission offer is approaching! To whom will you issue your Statement of Intent to Register to?
- University of Alabama! Roll tide! Join a frat, party it up, and take advantage of All Access dining! All far away from your parents’ watchful eyes.
- The Culinary Institute of America! I hope I can make food as well and as fast as I can eat it!
- National University. Staying for the home cooking. Studying for a computer science degree online.
Oh look, I’m getting carried away again. I’ll be honest: I am hoping that someone is inspired by these options and features them in a game. I agree with Fuarkspace that the reluctant gainer character is not so much a problem to me as it is a fun, exploitable feature. Those inner monologues are super fun to write. The dilemma I have is when and how my dream game would end. I am not a fan of immobility (see here as to why). I am okay with morbidly obese adults, but past a certain age it just seems to be less fun. I’ll think on it, and edit this post, as needed.