This idea is something I thought for the latest Game Design Challenge of Game Career Guide, about a game placed after the end of the world, but without violence. This is not the design I sent, but it’s one I found interesting to do, and would let me talk about some themes you wouldn’t usually find in situations like that.
This game tells the story of two people, the Soldier, a sterile woman in his 30’s, and the 18 years old Boy, student of arts. They are the very last people alive, and because of his condition, the humankind will end with them. No miraculous cure, no deus ex machine to save the day. They are the last ones, and that’s it.
The game, then, is about their interactions, their antics: in stories like that, usually the characters fight for a better future, to rebuild civilization, to get in touch with another people. But in this story, their antics can be whatever they want to. If they want to take a roadroller and go through walls, they don’t feel guilty about it, because there’s nothing to do about their situation.
Of course, the game is not only “let’s destroy it all”. I want that, using only these two characters, during the entire game, be able to tell a story about their lives: what made the Soldier the woman she’s today? What was the Boy doing when “that” happened? How you can face the trauma of being one of the last two people in the entire world? I want to have flashbacks, dealing with their lives until they reached to each other. The Soldier, for example, wouldn’t act as a doctor would in this situation, she would be one of the better people to do what’s necessary to survive. She would be able to climb through wreckage without many problems, for example. How would she act seeing that her family was dead? And the entire block? She could go insane, and I want it to be a possibility, their conversations reflect how this situation is messed up.
The Boy represents a different point of view in this world: while the Soldier have that somberness, knowing that they are over, the Boy is different, he decided that he would do anything anyone would want to do. And they talk about it, a lot. In this dynamic, the Soldier is the serious one, and the Boy the funny one. They won’t be separated, of course – even if they wanted to, they know they would go insane without the other -, but their interactions would be different. For instance, instead of the Soldier having fun pretending to rob a bank, protected by the Boy, she would ask him to just fulfill his fantasies and keep going.