Patrick Curry’s Thoughts on Game Design

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November 22nd, 2006

Game Idea #47: Maid to Order

Only five game ideas left after this one…

High Concept:

You’ve just gotten a job with a high-class cleaning service. It’s your job to make sure your clients’ homes are spick and span before they get back from work. Use all of the tricks and tools of the trade: vacuums, brooms, dusters, scrub-brushes, squeegees, and buffers. Bust dust! Remove stains! Kill germs! It’s just good clean fun!


PC / Web

Why it needs to be made:

Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those “there need to be more games made for girls” ideas. No, I just think this is a fun and funny game concept. Cleaning is a fact of life, and as such it’s a good way to communicate some complex game mechanics to gamers of all ages and genders.


Maid to Order is a fast-paced casual game. You’re presented with a house, office, or apartment to clean, and a certain amount of time in which to clean it. If you don’t finish in time the owner comes home and throws a fit! The earliest levels of the game consist of single-room apartments only in need of some dusting, but by the end of the game you’re cleaning huge mansions and doing a number of cleaning duties.

Each type of cleaning has a slightly different mechanic, all played with only the mouse. While they’re all their own mini-games, they’re all played on the same board. Run the vacuum by tracing a line through the house over all the carpets. Sweep by drawing several short strokes in the direction you want the dirt to go. Scrub by spinning your mouse in little circles.

As you prove yourself and your cleaning prowess you get put into more and more wacky situations, eventually cleaning the homes of the rich and famous… giving you a candid look into their outrageous lives.

Why it will be fun:

There’s a grand tradition of games where you have to “clear the board” to win. In checkers you have to capture all of your opponent’s pieces. In Pac-Man you have to eat all the pellets. And in Maid to Order, you have to eliminate all of the dirt, dust, and grime. Making the “dirties” slightly anthropomorphized, a-la Dr. Mario would make the cleaning all the more fun. “See ya later, Dust-Bunnies!”

Final Thoughts:

This game idea began as one about doing chores, but like most kids I always hated doing chores… so it morphed into a game about being a maid. Besides, with this idea I get one step closer to my goal of creating the Bottle Rocket game.

4 Responses to “Game Idea #47: Maid to Order”

  1. heavyness commented:
    posted November 22nd, 2006 at 11:52 am

    this game feels like a true sequel to Dinner Dash! this could be really cool if it’s just a series of mini games [once again, a Nintendo Wii version would be great]. if Rockstar games were making it, you could also pocket any fancy jewelery you find and hope the house owner doesn’t have any hidden cameras [or that is a mini game in it’s self].

    this game could pay for itself with ad spons. roomba and dyson vacuum upgrades, 409, Lysol bleach wipes, carpet cleaner… you start with generic cleaning material and things take longer to clean. but once you get the Lysol products, its faster [but houses get larger in size to balance that].

  2. erik commented:
    posted December 2nd, 2006 at 4:17 am

    ok, um, hang on a second.

    what’s the Bottle Rocket game ?!?!?!

  3. Patrick commented:
    posted December 2nd, 2006 at 3:12 pm

    It’s all the fun of heists, getaways, being on the lam, disguising your identity, and yes… cleaning motel rooms. You can even be the zero out in the car.

  4. Alexis commented:
    posted March 21st, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    WOW! i love that idea.. i would really like to play that game.. and i hope it goes through! i will be the first in line. :)

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