Game Design

Interesting Game Ideas: Bird Fight

Game Idea:
Bird Fight

A war between Pigeons, Doves, Ducks, Seagulls, and Humans.

I remember thinking about birds one day. My nickname in college was Pigeon, partly because I’ve had a fascination with these birds that wouldn’t fly away no matter how close you were to them. Even though most people call them rats with wings, they are doves, which almost everyone loves. In any case, I thought, “What if the pigeons and the doves also didn’t like each other?” Eventually I thought of the interaction between those birds and others, as well as with humans, and it wasn’t a stretch to think of a Bird War.

Possible Game Here?
Well, there is the obvious possibility of a strategy game. Whether turn-based or not, Bird War could place you in charge of one of the opposing armies. It would most likely have some comical elements, such as over-the-top weaponry for the Humans or Bird Dropping Cluster Bombs. For each of the birds, eggs would have to be protected at all costs to assure the survival of the species. Humans, of course, would want to eat them or destroy them. Statues could raise the morale of the Humans, but they could also be converted into makeshift bases for the pigeons if neglected. Doves might be able to use their high Adorability to infiltrate Human habitations for intelligence gathering. Ducks? They’ve decided to fight back against hunters and are now armed. The seagulls, on the other hand, are scavengers in parking lots, but they can be hired as mercenaries by the other birds.

What about other kinds of games? An action-adventure? Perhaps you’re a pigeon and you’ve learned of an evil Human plot against all birds. You’re the only one who can warn them. You’ll have to fly through the city to the park and warn the birds there. Birds in the neighboring cities are alerted, but the warning comes too late for one area. The birds nominate you their leader, and you must lead them to safety. Once there, you can regroup and fight back against the Humans.

Puzzle? The setting is a city park. There are certain Food Resources strewn about by people sitting on benches and litterers. You must pick the appropriate birds near the resources so that your side wins the food. Pigeons beat Doves, Doves beat Gulls, Gulls beat Pigeons. Or something. Maybe the birds also create alliances, so Pigeons and Ducks are on the same side. If there are more pigeons and ducks near the food, they get to share the spoils and chase out the doves and gulls.

It’s interesting what you can come up with when you take 30 minutes to think about an idea. Bird War can any kind of game, but an inter-species rivalry can lead to some whacky thoughts.

11 replies on “Interesting Game Ideas: Bird Fight”

I think that would make one of the funniest games since worms! I like your approach to game design, everything improves if you frequently spend some time stretching the grey matter! And I like this game idea in particular!

There arn’t enough light hearted comical games in my opinion. Or atleast they dont get enough attention, I might try fleshing out an idea me and a mate at work had at lunch on ‘one of those days’ which essentially involved flying round the building on office chairs attacking employees and office plants with various improvised weapons!

Alex: Actually, one of my other ideas is Cube Wars, in which corporate cube dwellers split into factions to fight for the rights to the water cooler, the one working elevator, and the bathrooms among other things. Rubber bands, stapler guns, and explosive dry erase markers?

As for comedy in games, I’ve read that it is supposed to be difficult. On the other hand, it seems difficult to make a popular game in the first place, so I don’t see how adding comedy would be a problem. Maybe part of the debugging/testing process is to determine if the comedy is as funny as you thought when you started? As I understand it, Lionhead had to remove any puzzles that weren’t ranked 4 or 5 in the Fun scale they had. It seems to me that you can do the same for comical elements.

I can say for sure and for certain that the most popular classes in all the MMO’s I’ve played is the one that controls a pet. From the necromancer and his undead friend to the beastmaster with his battlehawk or bear. So your human controling a flock of birds is a great idea. Make your human a Don Quijote type attacking mailboxes and making humorus passes at the local maidens would be a interesting side thing for your game. I think your idea is cool.

Good stuff! I think you have something here.

I think the hardest part of game design is coming up with something that isn’t old and tired. Your ideas seem fresh and interesting. I’d be interested in playing something along the lines of these ideas.

Keep ’em coming.

epic: Whoa! I didn’t say that a human controlled the birds, but that IS an interesting idea.

Jon: I’m glad you said that. I was worried someone would post “Uh, dude, Bird Battle 3 was published over two years ago.” I think the ideas are partly derivative, but there is plenty of room to innovate with them.

GB you said, “The birds nominate you their leader, and you must lead them to safety.” It made me think of a mezzer or beastmaster class thats all.

Make it I wanna play!

Dude, a game about birds as you didn’t think of making it a flight combat game? 🙂

“Pilot your pigeon in a life and death struggle against the Doves of Doom for ultimate control of Grant Park.”

What’s hard about comedy games, I think, is making sure that your jokes don’t get too old too quickly. The bird poop bombs, for instance, is an obvious joke, but if that’s the standard anti-human weapon then it’s going to get old (and gross) by the end of the first mission, maybe second. Humor is best when played straight.

I have this vision in my head of the birds from the “Producers” musical/movie now. I hope you can pull this one off. 🙂

Remember, though. Gameplay has to trump all. If it’s not fun to play, it doesn’t matter how funny it is.

Larry, you’re right. How did I miss the flight simulator potential? I guess subconsciously I was trying to avoid things that have been done before, but I may be arbitrarily limiting myself.

I also need to see The Producers now.

You haven’t seen The Producers yet? Shame on you! 🙂 The birds are the best part!

Have there been bird flight combat games before? I don’t know of any, but that of course proves nothing. Bird to bird combat in mid-air would be very interesting. (Unless of course you have mice on their backs as pilots carrying tiny machine guns, but let’s not get silly here.)

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