I like to brainstorm ideas for RPGs and other kinds of games to keep my mind in motion during periods of relative inactivity (i.e. lack of work or studies).
There is one such idea I've been mulling over for the past few days. What if you could take the gameplay and skill-building mechanics of Alpha Protocol (and sort of by extension, the first Deus Ex) and use them to create an FPS/RPG set in the Aliens universe?
Right now I'm thinking that the player character is a female Colonial Marine named Corporal Bethany Munroe. You develop Munroe's skills throughout the game by completing objectives and killing Aliens. I'm thinking that the following should form the game's skill set...
Circuits - your ability to hack into computers, which enables actions such as unlocking sealed doors, opening containers holding valuable items (special ammo and medkits and other items), and even activate or change the targeting settings of automated sentry turrets. This skill also enables you to get more use out of electricity-consuming items like motion trackers before they need a change of batteries.
Mechanics - your ability to use a beam torch to weld plating onto doors (to create barricades against Alien incursions) and cut through steel grating (allowing passage to otherwise inaccessible areas, which can aid in completing mission objectives or finding useful goodies). Also, increasing Munroe's Mechanics skill decreases the chances of weapon jams.
Navigation - your effectiveness at using items that aid movement through the game’s levels and detecting Aliens; increases in your Navigation skill result in a clearer feed from Image Intensifier Goggles, the ability for Munroe to tune Motion Trackers so they can discern elevation and the exact source of movement signals (whether they are part of the environment or stemming from Alien activity), and finally brighter and longer-lasting flares. Flares have a variety of uses in addition to illuminating a small area. These include burning flammable substances from a safe(ish) distance (which can be useful for killing Aliens) to distracting the motion sensors of Turrets and Smartgun-equipped enemy Synthetics.
Dexterity - Your movement speed and reload speed. I need to expand this a bit more.
Toughness - Your maximum health and susceptibility to panic, a game mechanic that takes into account the frequency and intensity of Alien encounters and accordingly calculates reductions in the accuracy of your attacks. I need to expand this a bit more.
Science - Advancing Munroe’s knowledge of the Aliens’ biology allows her to create useful items from their remains. Example: a special pheromone that temporarily renders her “invisible” to the Aliens...or a leg harness made from the tendons of an Alien warrior (allowing Munroe to fall from great heights without incurring any injury).
First-Aid - Determines the kinds of actions you can perform with Medical Kits.
Rifles - Your proficiency with the Pulse Rifle and Smart Gun.
Heavy Weapons - Your proficiency with the Skeeter Launcher and Phased Plasma Gun.
Close-Quarters - Your proficiency with the Shotgun and Flamethrower.
Sidearms - Your proficiency in close-range engagements using a Pistol and Combat Knife (which are always equipped as a single item, are always available, and have unlimited ammo...but require a great deal of practice and skill to use effectively). These weapons offer no impediment to Munroe’s agility and are most effective against enemies that rely on ranged attacks (such as the Spitter [an Alien that attacks by expelling acid from its mouth], the Sentry Turret, and the Synthetic) and Facehuggers.
I know the system's not perfect. There are probably exploits and loopholes in what I've just described that I don't even realize right now, but it's the best I can come up with at the moment! More to come if you guys are interested, such as the plot, other characters, what kinds of enemies you encounter, etc...