I think it's safe to say that we've all played games, we all know what we personally like/ dislike. We all have different tastes for various reasons. I'd like to share some ideas that I feel would make all sorts of funs.
Without considering the technical/ financial / time constraints on building a game here are my ideas and the reasons for them. Feel free to share your own or comment on mine.
My idea is a game where you have virtually complete freedom of choice with what you do, however in the game world it's realistic enough so that there's consequences to everything you do/ not do.
So a 3d world, imagine Elder scrolls minus magic or weird races (just humans and animals).
Let me expand a bit more.
Imagine a game world, looks like Earth, except there's no civilisation, no buildings architecture or NPCs, no pre scripted story. The game start is that you just spawn into the world. You don't get to choose appearance or gender, you just spawn into the world naked. no tools or weapons. The only initial choice you have is, give your person a name.
So in this world you've just spawned into (as if by magic, but yet there's no magic in the game), you have to find a way to survive and clothe yourself. If you so choose. If you die, it's permadeath. Your characters body stays there till it rots away, or some other players comes along and buries you some how.
if you wanted to you could just keep spawning in new people, running to one particular area in the game world and just letting them die, piling up a bunch of dead bodies. if you can manage to do that. Since the world is basically a planet, to navigate to one location is no small task.
If you choose to survive and 'raise' your person, you have to start finding resources, crafting tools etc. But starting from scratch you're piratically a cave man/ woman. You'll probably need to start with crafting blunt object with rocks and sticks. Find way to chops tree build shelters eventually 'ageing' up. Going from sticks and stones to bronze and irons etc.
If you spot other players, you can work together, build a small village, start pooling resources so by co-operating you can age up faster together. Or if you've crafted superior weapons, you can totally find small villages and raid them for their resources. Could be considered griefing if players have been playing longer than others, especially with permadeath.
A mechanic I figure that can compensate for being 'griefed' is that, if you've built up a village with several players building can be assigned with a function.
For example a house is where you can store you're own items + resources and it's a place for you to spawn in the world. If you person dies, If you've built a building assigned as town centre, for example, you can spawn your new character directly there, walk to where your house is and essentially take over your previous characters possesions. If you haven't been robbed.
So town building, as you age up your town building resources you can start spawning NPCs (as if by magic). Why would you need NPCs? Since the world is stateful, when you're not playing, you need a system that will protect your town/ things from other players who just want to go around robbing, killing and stealing. So if you're like the self elected town leader, you can go to the town centre, look at the bank of resources your town has and spend it things the town may need.
Communications in game should be voice only, otherwise written on in game paper which has to be delivered or posted in some way.
So for example, if you've rallied together with a bunch of dedicated players who want to suggest improvements, by mechanic of the game they have to go to the town centre and post there suggestion on the bulletin board.
So if you're the town leader about to make some changes to the town you'll be prompted to look at the bulletin board first. Essentially it's like having a game forum, but all within the context of the game, as not to break any immersion.
So NPCs, if I wanted to spawn guards for example, I will need to make a person, so I may need some spend some meats. I need to give them weapons and armour, so I need to have those otherwise my guards will be ill-equipt. Want more guards, you need more resources. Need more resources you can gather them as players, or deploy an NPC.
So the gameplay grows exponentially, you can move from doing alot of grindy gameplay, or less grindy co-op gameplay, to just sustaining a town. Which gives players more freedom to explore and adventure time with other human players. But since it's a stateful world, you need to get the world to a state where there are NPCs to run things for you in the background.
If a rival town decides to conquer your town, demolish everything, but in doing so win all the resources that were in your town, when you come back to the game having probably be killed off, you'll have to decide to spawn in the rival town (if they want you) essentially being force to ally, or spawn somewhere else and start again.
So there's non-cooperative, cooperative and competitive elements to this game, which gives you freedom to do a variety of things. Kill, cooperate or go solo. There's stick and carrot for each choice, so each choice is fair in a sense, but the results may or may not be desirable depending on which perspective you're taking.
But what this means is that if this game has been running for say a year, and you've just started the game, you're a nub. The world would look populated and alive, there's builds burnt to the ground, castles built up surrounded by guards, some dude built a 100 meter tower in the middle of the forest, and just snipes out any player he sees with some bow + arrow contraption.
The sum of all the mechanics equate to an always changing world, there's always something to do, and it's meaningful when you do it. The value of information is high since you need to know who the trust worthy players are, where to go, where not to go. Game content is essentially all user created, so no two towns/ cities would ever look alike since a player has decide the architecture and the layout of each building, each building is based on the materials they're made with, like everything else.
What I really want to have happen, is essentially the world is divided into continents, and if you want to, if you've built your 'civ' big enough, you can send your army of human players across the water and have mahoosive battles, maybe even on the water.
NPCs who control things in the background, are almost like players in themselves, that you have to level up or equipt with the correct tools to make certain things happen. You could just have NPCs build a docks on both continents, then build a town on the other side, and start a trade route. Send NPCs down into the deepest mine, so if the cave collapses, your character is safe.
Maybe after a year or two all players in the world essentially all cooperate and build one ultimate city, that has the best everything, there's nothing left to do except PvP. Or maybe there'll be 4-5 ultimate cities/ countries that just constantly battle it out. With a commander telling which cohorts go where attacking who with what. sending out scouts to find out where the other armies are. But all real players.
I think that'll be awesome.
So lets see what we have.
World sized world
User generated content
maybe it's a good idea I don't know. Probably alot more to think through.