I’ve written here before about playing amazing games in dreams, and waking up, describing them eagerly to T, and realizing that actually they aren’t very good at all. The only one that’s actually been turned into a playable game is Nice One Squirrel (which was actually nothing like that in the dream, and even so is still a bit dull and fiddly to play).
This morning’s dream seemed to have a bit more potential for being fun, though. It’s a computer game which I guess is in the point-and-click adventure category. Your character explores a level through which are scattered an assortment of entities — people, animals, objects. You can interact with these by clicking on them. When you click on one, one of the following things happens: it changes into something else, it gives you an object, or you assume its form (discarding your current form). Which of these happens depends on (a) what sort of entity it is, and (b) what your current form is. If you’ve assumed its form, you may now be able to see different things about the room you’re in (eg. secret doors may only be visible to some forms) — and of course other entities may now respond differently to you.
You complete the level by collecting (by being given, or picking up) a predetermined and known selection of objects. So to accomplish that you will probably have had to change form several times, so as to see all the required locations and to elicit the required set of responses from object-holding entities.
Now of course this could just be a chaotic and frustrating exercise of rushing around madly clicking on everything so as to eventually brute-force your way to the solution. The game is quite forgiving, in that you can save anywhere and should be able to reverse any action, but even so it could be quite bad. So the skill of the level design will be in making the “correct” sequence of actions tell a good story — such that if the player moves in a logical story-like way, their path will be reasonably straightforward.
Of course, lots of adventure games include these sorts of elements. But this one has a narrow enough set of parameters and types of thought required that it would be suitable for quite casual play.
My feeling is that the theme should be fairytales. The sorts of actions and transformations that take place in the game are quite common in fairytale, and people should be familiar enough with fairytale story logic to be able to work out that in order for the X to give you the Y, you have to be in the form of Z, etc.
Unfortunately I’m very out of date with computer games, so this is the point where you tell me that there are already a spillion-and-one games just like this. (And remind me that I never get around to developing most of my game ideas anyway.)