Man VS. Wild – The Game
Video game idea time – imagine a game where your only tools are a knife, a flint, and a canteen of water. Your goal is to brave the harshest and most dangerous lands on earth. You learn to eat, drink, and live on what you can find on your journey. You develop your instincts and your tolerance for worms, maggots, and dead animals as you find your way through the frozen tundras, humid jungles, and barren deserts. You cooperate with other survivors and learn to forage and struggle on the way to safety.
This – is Man VS. Wild: The Game.
Whenever I sit down and give the ol’ TV a spin, I make it a point to watch the Discovery Channel. Aside from the fact that there’s not much to watch, I absolutely love Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs, and most of the shows at any time of the day. Of course, one of the best shows on Discovery is Man VS. Wild. If you’re a nutball and haven’t at least seen Man VS. Wild, it’s a show that teaches survival tactics when stranded or lost in different parts of the world. The host, Bear Grylls, shows you how to find shelter, avoid danger, and save yourself from hunger and dehydration using different techniques and know-how. El doesn’t like Man VS. Wild much, probably because of Bear eats tiny tree frogs live and drinks from dead camel bladders. Add: Oh yeah, he also drinks PEE.
Awesome stuff. Now what could be better? Trying it out yourself! Ok… not really. Trying it out yourself without the risk? Fuck yeah! Thus, Man VS. Wild: The Game was born in my head. Just think of the possibilities.
It could be a single, multiplayer game, or even an MMO. You start by creating a character, your character. A deep character creation system that allows a myriad of customization options: height, weight, race, facial features, scars, clothes – the works. You get to pick from traits like increased endurance, strength, tolerance, speed, foraging, etc. This will define what kind of character you are and what set equipment you get at the beginning.
The game would be set in different places in the world or in a fictional mega-continent where dangerous remote areas are interconnected. Frozen wastes, burning sands, and lands that really push survival to the limit.
Beginners have to keep up with Bear Grylls and learn tips from him. What direction to go, where to rest, what to eat and what NOT to eat. If you ever miss his audio cues, you’ll be learning the hard way. As you go, you build up your survival level, your tolerance for ‘food’ and you sharpen your instincts. You’ll learn how to make a fire out of specific tree branches and grass, avoid encounters with predators, and hunt for your food using a stick. If you’ve been watching Man VS. Wild, you know the drill.
Combat? Hmm combat would be mainly against small animals but as you gain more experience, you could try taking on bigger game. If you manage to get enough tools, you could even try taking down a rhino (not recommended) or a lion (you could try). If worse comes to worse, there could even be PvP servers wherein you can knock out/kill another survivor and scavenge his stuff. Well, maybe that’d be going too far but we have to cater to the PvP community, y’know?
Your main goal is to make it to civilization or find rescue. It will be a long and dangerous journey, but you will be more of a man (or game character) afterwards. That’s pretty much what I’ve brewed in my head so far, and if any publishers pick this idea up, I’d be thrilled. If any TV show deserved to be a video game, Man VS. Wild gets my vote.
…Although a Dirty Jobs Grand Theft Auto-style game would be damn fun, too.