While games can be great for a touch of escapism now and again, sometimes you long for something real, just a little different to your day-to-day.
Look no further than this week's Team Talk, where we're pondering what might make the best simulator, inspired by the release of PowerWash Simulator this week. It might be a lightning bolt of inspiration which exists only in your overly-active imagination, or perhaps it's something that already exists or is it an established classic like Microsoft Flight Simulator, one of the first and most enduring in the genre.
What would you choose? What makes you excited to play it? Let us know in the comments.
Garden Bird Simulator | Liam Andrews
A quick internet search tells me there’s a few bird simulator games knocking about, including a Pigeon Simulator, but I’m interested in playing as the smaller garden birds that I often see frequenting my garden feeder.
I’d call the game Garden Bird Simulator, not just because that’s where the gameplay would take place (and it’s where the birds live), but also because I don’t think Tit Simulator would get past any diligent marketing department.
You’d play as either a Blue, Coal, or Great tit in a sandbox environment, flitting from garden to garden, hopping between the branches of bushes and trees in the search for nutritious insects or places to nest. Rarer birds, such as Long-Tailed, Crested, Marsh, or Willow tit could be unlockable characters.
Some gardens could contain easily accessible bird feeders, but these come with hazards, such as neighbourhood cats or circling predator birds that are waiting to pounce, adding a risk/reward element to gameplay.
The end goal would be to find or build a nest and successfully raise a set number of fledglings, protecting/caring for them both in the nest and after they have fledged, but I’d also include a no-objective, dive right in mode so players can just relax and enjoy the roleplaying.
Guitar Maintenance Simulator | Chris Brand
When it comes to mundane activities that are oddly cathartic, PowerWash Simulator is going to be hard to top. But, top it I have, with this concept for Guitar Maintenance Simulator, the side of Guitar Hero that you don't see.
I've spent many a lazy Sunday afternoon sedately, yet thoroughly, cleaning and restringing my guitar. It's one of the few pursuits in which I get that feeling of satisfaction from a job well done and I think it would transition excellently to video game format.
At first, you'd start with simply cleaning, restringing and tuning, before moving on to more intensive work, like repairing and replacing parts. I envision scores of different makes and models, each with their own distinct (and authentic) sound, which could be modified as you unlock and install new parts. Amps and effects pedals could be added for further depth, giving players a huge range of true-to-life sounds that could be created.
A "free play" type of mode would allow me to build the sort of digital collection that I'll never be able to acquire in stupid real life and could potentially teach me the skills needed to finally fix up the fixer-upper I received from a friend some months ago.
Much like my colleagues' ideas, you wouldn't need to be an enthusiast in order to enjoy it, but you'd get more out of it if you were at least somewhat interested in the subject matter. On that note (ahem), a basic understanding of music theory could be picked up in a casual way, if anyone has dreams of becoming a rock star, like I am.