With Microsoft’s flight simulator airborne on Xbox and lawnmower simulator on the way. We take a look at what other tasks (if any) need a simulation game.
1. Tile Layer Simulator
I’ve done a small amount of tiling before, i couldn’t get the tiles to cut, so i settled for mosaicking the bathroom floor by shattering the tiles into little bits. It was messy, tiring, and not much fun at all. Needless to say for the kitchen i hired in the professionals.
So why would i want to simulate this horror in a video game?
Well while pasting down tile adhesive and grout and breaking tiles I’m exhausted. I’m dirty, I’m frustrated that i can’t get it how i want it, and i hate that I’m going to spend the next few months clearing the thin layer of excess grout off the lot which i didn’t realise wouldn’t just brush away!... Sorry, it’s a sore subject.
But conceptually i like the design aspect, and even the actions of putting down a tile into a squishy adhesive seem satisfying. As long as i don’t have to get my hands dirty, and as long as my getting it wrong wont truly affect me. I’ve got to live with that bathroom now, grout and all. If a game punished me by knocking me down to a C grade for utterly fucking it, i can live with that.
2. Punch and Judy booth operator
Now i think I’ll lose any non-UK readers here, and maybe even those too young to remember. As I’m not too sure it still exists. But back in the 90s going to the sea side would often involve traumatising your kids with a show of Punch and Judy.
I can’t recall all the specifics, thankfully, I’ve repressed at least a chunk of those shows. But Punch and Judy is a hand puppet show that would take place in a little square tent, adorned with stripes of red and yellow, and generally looking like something at a medieval festival. I think Shrek might have had some in their fairy tale land, that’s how quaint and fairy tale England used to be, it’s not just put on for show.
So, Punch and Judy would yell in horrid high pitch voices, and fight over strings of sausages, and I’m pretty sure murder would be involved. It’s really something no kid, or anyone, should have to see.
However, as far as unique simulator concepts go, i think it could be a winner.
We have the lemonade stand business sim aspect of keeping your business afloat, when I’m not even sure how it made money. These was just on the beach front, we didn’t have to pay.
Managing your show, finding the right version of the show for the right audience, then even performing the show. Leaning the actions which would go with the script and making sure to grab all the right sausages or beating sticks at the right times while the game voices over the demonic high pitch lines. You’re rated by the boos or tears of a dozen upset toddlers, if there’s tears, you’re doing it right.
3. Department store simulator
Now i want to preface this with an assumption that there already is such a sim out there. If not department store then supermarket.
But as I’m going in blind, we’ll just have to share credit for this great idea.
A department store is an open bazar where many brands would set up shop and sell under the same banner. For UK readers, it’s Debenhams (RIP), for our American comrades, i think Macy’s might be it? I’m not sure, but we’ll assume I’m right.
Working in one of these enlarged retail experiences is not something I’ve ever done; it seems like a decent job with variety. Now, I’m sure that optimistic take on the role isn’t shared by those working there, but for the sake of a simulator game just go with me on this.
Unlike a convenience store sim, where you would just stack some shelves and sell to customers. A department store offers a myriad of different tasks for you to endure. The makeup counter, where you can draw the lipstick on the faces of punters looking for a makeover. The perfume section, seeing how many passing people you can spritz.
I’m not making up the mini game for all of these, but there’s bedding, home items, babywear, clothing, shoes, jewellery, and so much more. Probably even a food department in the big USA stores.
There’s also being the manager as a role, maybe one you can work up to, and chasing down shoplifters.
There really is a buffet of simulation experiences to be had. And like with most good sims, you can always choose to just fuck it up. Throw the diamond rings at passing babies, build a fort out of the towels, spritz the same guy so many times that he punches you. All the things you couldn’t (shouldn't) do with your real department store job.
4. Army chef for the trenches
I’ll apologize now for all the UK centric references in this article, but if you remember Blackadder, the episode where they try to avoid going ‘over the top’ by signing up to be cooks. This.
Presented with an ever dwindling supply of ingredients and having to make do with what usually isn’t considered ‘food’ would make for a challenging romp.
Like ready steady cook, but the mystery bag of ingredients consists of some old boots, a rat, 1 actual carrot and a suspicious powder that you suspect is dried mud.
Make what you can, satisfy the troops, or you’re back to the trenches and over the top.
Now obviously some of the meals will be played to comic effect, but we Brits understand the humour of a shit situation. We wont focus on the war itself, though in game events such as the field marshal’s favourite carrier pigeon showing up in the supplies could be fun, but rather stick to the chefery. It would really point out just how crappy the conditions were in those trenches, an education disguised as fun. Or at least that’s how I’ll market this one to the schools.
5. Pyramid construction simulator
The great pyramids of Giza are a true wonder. It is mind blowing that all those thousands of years ago people had the ability to move such massive stones into place.
Playing as a builder pushing the rocks, we could speculate at exactly how it was done. Big whips, rolling trunks taken from the back and placed at the front over and over. Maybe some lost technology that we no longer understand. Perhaps it could even be the aliens the history channel would have us believe.
I mean, maybe.
But the beauty of a simulator game is you can lean into the whimsical and strange. We could start the game pushing the blocks around, upgrade to some hover rollers, eventually end up piloting a flying saucer to levitate the blocks up high.
We could even have the manager sim for this one too. Or slave driver as they may have been. Keeping the workforce motivated. Preventing biblical exodus’ when Moses gets up to his tricks. Appeasing the alien overlords who are demanding we build these interstellar way points... hey the history channel speaks facts.
So these are five simulator games i think should simulate their way into existence. I’ve gone in blind, so if i have created one that’s already there, please drop a link in the comments.
Also, if you want to create any of these in no way terrible games, let me know.
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