Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Dating Game?

In the shower tonight I had an idea for a game based on dating... I won't get into where this came from, but I was thinking that the search for a significant other could potentially make for an interesting strategy game.

I was thinking there could be people in the "dating pool" - and those people would have Requirements, Likes, Dislikes, and 1 Dealbreaker. Some of this information would be hidden, and as you go on 'dates' more and more of it would be revealed to you. You will have some attributes in several categories, and the more of their likes you have (and the fewer of their dislikes) the better. If you reveal a Requirement that is not met, then you can't go on another date with that person until or unless you somehow change your attributes. If you don't match the Dealbreaker, then you get "dumped" immediately. You won't know the Dealbreaker going in, but the category will be given at the outset, and each date revealing information will also yield clues to deduce the Dealbreaker condition. You could either set up your attributes to meet that Dealbreaker, or you could stop dating that person knowing it wouldn't end well anyway.

The idea would be to find "The One." I think you would probably add up a score for each person you're dating, maybe +2 per Like and -1 per Dislike. Of course you have to meet the Requirements or you can't date that person anymore. If you get to a certain threshold then you are considered "Going Out" with that person ("Going Steady," "Boyfriend/Girlfriend," or whatever). However, as more info is revealed you might lose points, or you might not meet the Dealbreaker requirement (thereby getting dumped immediately), so you might want to continue to date other people. Of course if you are "Steady" with someone and still dating other people, that would come with the risk of your Boy/Girlfriend finding out and that should be bad.

I thought there could also be some other aspects, like Scheduling, where you have to juggle timing with the different dates (people are only free on certain days, and you can't be in 2 places at the same time), and a random Event deck which mucks about with your schedule or attributes somehow, like you get a different job. This event deck could throw you curve balls like making you change up your schedule, or making your Bf/Gf surprise you on a certain day of the week (when you better not be on a date with someone else!)

I'm not sure, but I guess the win condition would be finding "The One" (which maybe means falling in love, or getting married, or whatever). Getting to the bottom of a card (a certain number of dates with that person) and satisfying the Dealbreaker.

I wanted to jot this down before I forgot, because it sounds like the idea has potential. It is a sort of deduction/set collection game with a theme that everyone should be familiar with. I'm not sure how the interaction would go, except that there's a limited number of people in the dating pool, and everyone's trying to date the same people - thus you want to schedule well, and you want to find a stronger match than that person has with anyone else.

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