Patrick Curry’s Thoughts on Game Design

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October 16th, 2006

Game Idea #42: Newshound

If you like black coffee and cigarettes, this game idea is for you. :-)

High Concept:

Newshound is the game of investigative journalism. You play a rookie reporter working for a daily newspaper assigned to the cop beat. It’s your job to report on crime and police business in your fair city. As such you get to interview and interact with a colorful cast of characters: cops, criminals, lawyers, public servants, and elected officials… not to mention your editors and the hardened veteran reporters you work with. But can your reporting really make a difference? You bet it can!



Why it needs to be made:

I’ve always wanted to make a game about free speech and the free press. I think Newshound would be a great way to do just that.


In Newshound you play as a reporter for a newspaper in the state capital. One morning your editor calls you into his office. “Listen, someone just made off with ten million bucks from First State bank. Get down there and find out what’s going on!” You rush down to the bank to find the media circus in full swing. You pull out your reporter’s notebook and get to work interviewing as many people as possible about the robbery – asking them the who, what, when, where, why and how of what happened.

You interview a bank teller and the bank manager until the bank’s public relations people show up and say “no comment.” You interview customers who were inside the bank about what they saw, as well as passers by who saw the robbers leave. You interview police detectives on the scene. You now have pages of notes, little facts, and some colorful quotes. Now it’s back to the newsroom to turn this into a full-fledged article.

The day after your article runs you get a phone call from a man who refuses to identify himself, but says he has information about the robbery. You arrange a meeting at an out of the way bookstore, and he insists you come alone and make sure you’re not followed. When you arrive he explains to you how this was no random robbery, but part of a much larger plot that needs to be exposed. He gives you just enough information that you have an idea of who to interview next, and which topics to bring up. The rest is up to you!

Why it will be fun:

It’s fun to be in the know. It’s fun to have the inside scoop on things. And it’s fun to explore and solve mysteries. I see each “article” in Newshound to be a form of a puzzle. Some would be as simple as a Mad-Libs where you have to fill in the facts, but others would be complex logic puzzles, where people, dates and places have to be matched up like a giant Sudoku board.

Final Thoughts:

There are so many different ways you could implement Newshound. It could almost be anything… a purely text-based adventure where the keyboard is your only interface… all the way up to an open-world adventure game where you have to navigate to different locations for interviews. Either way there’s fun to be had as a reporter in a big city.

2 Responses to “Game Idea #42: Newshound”

  1. Aaron Bulger commented:
    posted October 16th, 2006 at 5:03 pm

    I like this idea. It sounds similar to the old Carmen Sandiego games (which were great). I would love to see this in real life.

  2. Gameplay blog » 52 commented:
    posted January 7th, 2007 at 10:59 am

    […] , Stubbs The Zombie, . . ( ) . 52 , Newshound. […]

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