Truly Custom Consoles


#1

(Warning: Wall of Text ahead. Read at your own risk :smiley:)

The Custom Console is a really nifty addition to the game. It requires a very significant investment but can provide great returns. There is just one problem: It isn’t really that customizable.

The problem is, that its bonuses to various game genres mirror those to the mBox and Playsystem lines. Action games, RPGs and casual games.

What I would like to see is: Customizable genre and audience bonuses.
When building your consoles, you can pay extra money to put specific hardware boosts to certain game functions. This will, in turn, give a bonus to specific genres of games.

The console starts out with a minor penalty to all genres. This penalty is similar to the penalty on non-favored genres of other consoles. (Like Strategy games on a Playsystem 4).
Each Genre has two, potentially three, options that can boost it.
The Choosing one option will eliminate the penalty, Choosing a 2nd option on top of it will make your console boost the sales of that specific genre.
The Console will have a neutral appeal to all three audience types by default.

Streamlined Controller Shape: (Minor Boost to Action Games) (Gameplay Specialist)
“No Loss” graphics card: (Minor boost to action games) (Graphics Specialist)

Photorealistic backgrounds: (Minor boost to adventure games) (World Design Specialist)
Quest E-Notepad peripheral: (Minor boost to adventure games) (Storyline/Quests Specialist)

Cutscene rendering Chip: (Minor boost to RPGs) (Storyline/Quests Specialist)
‘ReelSpeech’ Soundcard: (Minor Boost to RPGs) (Dialogue Specialist)

Motion controlled controller (Minor boost to simulation) (Engine Specialist)
Screen in Controller (Minor boost to simulation) (Level Design Specialist)

“Creation” RAM enhancements (Minor boost to Strategy games) (Level Design Specialist)
AI Learning Memory banks (Minor Boost to Strategy Games) (A.I. Specialist)

Camera Peripheral (Minor Boost to Casual games) (Gameplay Specialist)
Voice Recognition (Minor Boost to Casual games) (Sound Specialist)

Portable (Boost to market share, cannot do AAA or Large games, -2 tech level penalty) (Engine Specialist)
Microprocessor Memory Boost (Requires Portable, allows Large games, reduces tech level penalty to -1) (Graphics Specialist)

Custom OS(Counts a 3 picks, eliminates all non-boost penalties, ) (Requires Two Technical Specialists And Two Design specialists. Tech level becomes N/A)

Interactive Avatars: Boosts appeal to Young gamers (A.I. Specialist)
Interactive Social World: Boosts appeal to Everyone (World Design Specialist)
Home Theater integration: Boosts appeal to Mature (Sound Specialist)
Family Friendly Branding: Boosts appeal to Young gamers, penalty to Mature (Dialogue specialist)*
Darker and Edgier Branding: Boosts appeal to Mature gamers, penalty to young (Dialogue specialist)*
“In the Know” Branding: Boosts appeal to Everyone gamers. (Dialogue specialist)*

*(can only pick one of these three)

Each aspect needs to be researched. While they will be researched by your normal employees (rather than the R&D lab) they will be expensive in terms of research points, so you will likely need to have the lab running with no project to generate the RPs needed.

Each feature you add to a console will add time and money to the development project. Further, each additional feature you add beyond the first will cost more money. While you could theoretically add every single feature to your console, it would cost so much that you’d never make back your investment no matter how many units you sold or how many hit games you have on it. The costs would be such that you could add about 4-5 features and have the console cost about as much as it does now. Fewer than that and you’d have a much cheaper but less flexible console. More than that, you’d have a more flexible but more expensive to develop unit.

The end goal of this is to allow the player to choose the boosts to different genre/ audience types, rather than having them dictated for you. It would also allow the player to turn their console into a PC alternative like the G64 (By using the custom OS option) Or a portable system like the GS (With the portable options)

This would make the custom console viable for any company, regardless of what genre(s) they choose to specialize in. It would also lend further importance to having a diverse array of specialists. It would make the investment in a custom console a more strategic decision: Do you pay more to have a more diverse array of genres it is good with? Or do you hyper-specialize but limit your flexibility?


More "Custom Console" things
#2

This is amazing! I hope the August update will add your proposed features. If not, they better add modding API…

Props to you!


#3

I can see how most of the boosts would apply, but I’m not sure you understand the requirements of simulations very well. I don’t understand why those features would boost simulation games.

I would also quibble with one of the RPG ones. Instead of a special rendering chip, ‘hyperfast storage media’ would be more helpful. RPGs tend to be massive (in terms of the world that the player interacts with). Being able to retrieve large amounts of content quickly would make it easier to develop really impressive RPGs.

Personally, even though I’m not a Strategy fan, I would so go out of my way to buy a system that had special hardware features for AI development. I would want so badly to see how that hardware was used.


#4

It would be good with a few of my own touches-

You start with a blank, white console. You can choose what kind of power button, controller, the colors of just about every single part, if your using disk or cartridge games, and if you want the gem thingy on the top.


#5

The names were just placeholders that I came up with at random. I don’t know enough about computer hardware to really know what parts bear the heavy load genre by genre. The main thrust of the suggestion was a 2 options per genre with a wide variety of specialists needed to unlock them…

I’ll admit I don’t play enough of most genres to know what is good for them, except strategy. I know strategy would benefit from a whole memory bank dedicated to driving the AI.


#6

This is a really good idea, I was disappointed that my series of Strategy games wouldn’t have been viable on a custom console, and this would both fix that and make them much nicer overall.


#7

That fact alone is exactly the reason why I came up with this idea. Strategy and Adventure both get the short end of the stick when it comes to being boosted by consoles. Accurate, yes, but not as good for gameplay.


#8

The Accurate excuse only works for the actual historical consoles - which is the point. A game dev house that’s getting into Hardware is going to produce hardware that supports their ideas of gaming. If their focus genre is Strategy, the console they make is going to be good for Strategy.

Actually, that gives me an idea. What if the ‘base’ effectiveness of the console was determined by the ratio with which your company produced games in each genre? Your most-used genre would be the console’s best genre, your least-used genre would be the console’s worst. I’m thinking that you’d be able to see the ratings before you published the console, and you could spend a little extra to tweak them from that baseline.


#9

That would be an idea, though it would take away a little flexibility. Maybe you have a company that’s been doing nothing but adventure/RPG games since its birth but now wants to make its own console and get into, say, Simulation games because they just hired a bunch of tech employees. They wouldn’t be able to use that as an option since their custom console would be hardwired to be good for adventure/rpg games due to the company’s history.

It also might cause games EARLY in your company’s history (the garage era) to have an undue influence. I would hate to have my console list Action as its best genre just because I made one too many action games early in my company’s life even though I haven’t made a single one in 10 years.


#10

They should definitely add this to an update


#11

I like the idea of boosting certain consoles. I’d like to see other ‘competing’ consoles be able to keep advancing past 25 years tho. Like maybe add certain additional enhancements. (not a big story add).


#12

I would like to see the other companies make consoles after the game ends so I a can keep making consoles that are not always the best on the market


#13

Not only the best, but what about cost & additional features? V7 graphics with the other upgrades each time? Sound doesn’t improve since surround? I’d even take a ‘playsystem 5’.


#14

Add unique console designs like Vena oasis but with playsistem 5 controllers and mbox next gem but with your own colours (e.g camo, golf and white, black and read)
Also the ability to make PC’s, iPhones/iPads, ds/gameboy and switches.