Friday, July 11, 2014

Car Wars - I wanna see your IP in an MMO

There is a completely unrelated discussion about pen & paper RPGs going on over at Tolbold's blog for
the last few days and the recent turn of discussing "tactical" vs "role-playing" games got me thinking about one of my very favorite IPs.


Car Wars was a tactical pen & paper simulation game in which vehicles were equipped with machine guns, oil slicks, caltrops, missles and other equipment suited for vehicle combat warfare.

If this sounds like Mad Max, then yeah, that's exactly what Car Wars is because Mad Max was a key inspiration for the the tactical pen & paper game.

In 1985, it inspired one of the all-time great early RPGs called Autoduel.  You may even have caught TAGN mentioning this gem back in March as one of the "Five Games [TAGN Wants] to See Revamped".

TAGN explains why Autoduel can't make a comeback, but clearly the IP is solid.  WB Games has a Mad Max video game to be released on multiple platforms that you can already pre-order (18 months from it's release date as of this writing).

But a multi-platform console game simply misses the mark. Oh, I'll buy it.  Interstate '76, also inspired by Car Wars, is one of my favorite "LAN-party" era games.  Cars with guns has always been fun.  It was fun when I played I76 and it was fun when I played the early Twisted Metal games.

No, it misses the mark because this IP is absolutely PERFECT for a sandbox PvP game.

First, it's a cruel and heartless post-apocalyptic world.   Every man needs to protect his own interests and form bonds with others.  To get what you need, you have to scavenge and others want what you have and are willing to kill you to take it.  To protect yourself, you need to find friends and build yourself an arsenal and maybe, just maybe, you can build something together.

EDIT:  If you are curious why I'm not suggesting that the I76 IP is used, well, that IP is owned by Activision Blizzard and not exactly my first choice for a sandbox PvP game.  :)

3 comments:

Carson 63000 said...

I would hit that so hard. Very fond memories of the time in my youth spend causing havoc and carnage with those wee cardboard cars and motorbikes. And the odd pedestrian with a light anti-tank weapon.

tremayneslaw said...

As per TAGN's comment when he looked at this... Auto Assault. It may not be entirely fair for an entire genre to be damned in the eyes of game producers because of one badly-coded turkey, but that's the way of the world. When you're pitching to investors for tens of millions to make an MMO, they're more likely to go for elves and dragons (which have been proven to make a profit) than post-apocalyptic armed passenger vehicles (where we only have one data point on the graph, but it shows 100% not profit)

sid67 said...

And the odd pedestrian with a light anti-tank weapon.LOL

Auto Assault. It may not be entirely fair for an entire genre to be damned in the eyes of game producers because of one badly-coded turkey, but that's the way of the world.

I won't deny that's a solid argument but I don't know that an Indie developer less beholden to shareholders would be scared off by Auto Assault.