Apple Thief

January 18, 2011

I know my last post was about dreams, but I needed to get this awesome idea out of my brain and onto the internet.

I had a dream last year (that’s right, it’s so brilliant that I’ve been sitting on it for a year) that involved me playing a video game, although I wasn’t “playing” it so much as I was living it. You might call it a virtual reality game. Anyways, it turned out to be one of the coolest things I’ve ever done (asleep or otherwise) and I wanted to share my experience with the world.

The premise of this game is simple: The main character (the player) has no distinguishable features other than the fact that they wear shabby clothing, like a medieval peasant. The player begins in a rectangular field slightly larger than a football field, which is surrounded by an unending forest. Across the field from where you start, a troop of boy scouts is returning from a mid-day hike, each of them carrying a beautiful, shiny red apple. Your ultimate goal as the “Apple Thief” is to thief those apples.

At first, this might sound like an easy task. Go up to some weak little kids and use your large adult muscles to take their apples; simple, right? Wrong. Because guess who’s travelling alongside that troop of boy scouts… A SQUAD OF COLONIAL-ERA REDCOATS, WITH BAYONET RIFLES!

That’s right, those puny boy scouts are being escorted by 18th-century British soldiers who want nothing more than the satisfaction of shooting your Yankee ass to hell and back, and then to hell again. NOW WE’RE TALKIN’ BABY!

But you can’t defend yourself against guns, right? You’re just a simple Apple Thief who runs through fields wearing peasant clothing; you have no weapons! Wrong again. You have two weapons: 1) Your sneaky mind, and 2) An active camouflage suit which makes you invisible for roughly 10 seconds before shutting down.

So here’s where it all comes together. Using a combination of stealth, speed, and your active-camouflage, you must navigate the field towards the boy scout troop, steal one of their apples, and escape from the pursuing redcoats with your life. If you are shot once by a soldier you may be able to escape momentarily, but if you are shot repeatedly or are mutilated by a bayonet, you die, and the game restarts.

Since I remember the layout of this whole dream pretty vividly I drew a detailed map of the playing area, so you can get a better feel for the gaming experience. Here’s a top-down view of the field:

I hope you enjoy this picture, because it took a long friggin' time to recreate this field from memory. There are still details I left out, for time purposes.

The dotted red line at the bottom represents the area where the Apple Thief begins at the start of the game. Likewise, the arrow and apple at the top represent where the boyscout troop and redcoats are entering from.

The structure in the middle is a shed, which I could never seem to get into. There are no doors, only windows which are boarded up. If I’d tried I might have been able to smash my way in. But as they say, hindsight is 20-20. The shed has a barbed wire fence on either side, which doesn’t seem to serve a purpose other than making life difficult when I’m trying to scale a fence in order to escape capture, and my hands get all shredded up. Ouchies.

The thing on the left that looks like an almond, or a weird vagina, is actually just a really muddy area. I assume whoever owned the shed used to spray a hose into one spot of his/her field, for fun, and thus a plot of mud was born. It’s not the strongest theory, I admit, but I don’t know what causes mud so for now we’re going with that.

The sticks on the bottom right are giant wooden logs. Maybe the shed’s owner was a logger? Or perhaps he bought the logs with the intention of building a new shed, since the first one had to be boarded up for some reason.

Regardless, the owner of the logs and the muddy spot and the shed has vacated the premises. With no one to tend to the field there is very tall grass growing everywhere (hence the green squiggly lines). The green circles, if you couldn’t tell, are trees, which would provide momentary shelter from the redcoats when I got far enough from the thieving point.

Taking into account the fact that I still actually left out details from this field, not wanting to spend more hours in Microsoft Paint than I needed to, and the fact that you have an unlimited amount of lives should you perish, there are most likely an infinite amount of ways to try to escape the redcoats with the fruit of your labor (ha).

Maybe I’m just biased because this was my dream, but I thought this game was fucking awesome and I would play it every single day. Being a virtual reality game, it was incredibly immersive. I felt like I was going to fucking die every second, but it was awesome since I would immediately re-spawn anyways and could try again and again and again if I failed, which was convenient since I always failed.

That’s right. I, Mike Cowell, subconscious designer of Apple Thief, have not yet beaten Apple Thief. And it pains me.

Please, someone, anyone, make this game. I need to win.

I WILL GET THAT FUCKING APPLE IF IT’S THE LAST THING I DO!

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