The Ultimate Video Game – Later Levels Question of the Month Results, March 2019

Dahlings!

Greetings, one and all, and welcome back to the ever-unfolding Question of the Month programme of 2019 as it continues to create THE MOST ULTIMATEST VIDEO GAME OF ALL THE TIMES THAT EVER DID HAPPEN AND EVER WILL HAPPEN (IMAGINARILY)!

If you don’t know what’s going on, each month we’re asking the community to design an element of The Ultimate Video Game, a crowd-brainstormed imaginary game that may never actually be made but which it’s kinda fun to develop using the most powerful computer known to man: our miiiiiiiiiiinds.

So far we’ve chosen our setting and our protagonist – we’re on an ocean in a floating, dead spaceship, and our hero will be a detective! – so let’s take a look at this month’s element:

the baaaaaaaaaaaaddie.

Entries This Month

A quick nod of respect and admiration to our continuing co-conspirator, Kate from Musings of a Nitpicking Girl. Each month she’s been coming up with elements of her own game, separate from the main crowd-sourced one but just as awesome; Kate’s getting a lot of love from the judging panel, and we hope she continues to make her own game because it’s shaping up to be really cool.

Us judges also like to get in on the fun, of course; Brandon, who won February’s protagonist-designing contest, put his own horrific idea out there, and as ever I had a little bit of fun with it myself.

Our official entries for this month are two-and-a-half-fold:

Triform Trinity created a truly bizarre (in the best way), madness-spiralling narrative in which the ship’s AI ponders the failure of the ship’s human inhabitants, despite it giving them the best guidance.

And Nana Marfo, who’s entered something every month so far (thanks, Nana!) suggested two possibilities, each based on an archetypical villain from the detective genre:

  1. Someone trying to sabotage the ship’s technology, reverting things to a pre-tech state;
  2. A person with a vendetta against the ship’s creator.

Greatest Winner Of March-Based Glory

This has been a super-interesting month; what with Nana giving us not one but two possibilities, we found ourselves with four potential winners in only two entries. We could have:

  1. Triform Trinity’s evil AI;
  2. Nana’s technophobe saboteur;
  3. Nana’s ship-creator-hater;
  4. A combination of both of Nana’s ideas: someone who both wants to destroy the ship’s technology and hates the ship’s creator, possibly but not necessarily for the same reason.

As ever, we found ourselves trying to work out what was most important in a winning entry, and as usual we found ourselves steered towards the submission which left the most open possibility for future months. After all, each new month’s element of the Ultimate Video Game will require participants to take the skeleton outlined by the previous winners and flesh it out in their own, new way.

Ultimately, it was (as it always is!) very close, but the winner was settled by our previous winners. Brandon (creator of our protagonist) and Luke (he who developed the setting) both felt that an AI left room for lots of interesting possibilities, leaving space for ambiguity about who or what the antagonist is in the game until a big reveal moment (and, in fact, there might even be a bigger villain in the person who created the AI in the first place, so Nana’s idea might still come into play!); there are plenty of gaps to fill in, in terms of the AI’s actual behaviour, motivations, and abilities, so future entries will pretty much have as much open potential as possible to come up with their own, new and original ideas.

Congratulations, then, to Triform Trinity – but a huge thank you to Nana, again, for having submitted an idea every month so far. We hope you’ll continue to take part, as there are still plenty of parts of our Ultimate Video Game left to develop!

Thanks for stoppin’ by!

Thanks to all who’ve taken part so far, to our esteemed and friendly judges, and to everyone who’s been reading – or even anyone who’ll read future instalments or come up with submissions down the line!

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