I’ve been asked before, “Where do you get your ideas?”
Today, I do something different.
Today, I take you through the entire process of where it all started, and where it eventually went.
In the end, you’ll see that you don’t have to be crazy to write here… but it helps!
All this took place in about three minutes in my car.
I was cruising along on the way home from work, and thinking about the design that Tesh did for me just this last week.
Tesh has really been great for no reason other than that he’s a great guy, he’s done these designs just from fun and a love of creating cool stuff, and I wanted to show him how much I appreciated the work he does making this stuff just because “I thought it would be cool, would it be hard to draw?”
So, I asked him if I could send him a shirt from the store, and he’d said yes… the awesome one he’d done a while back based on my son’s idea for a Fish Tanking Pet.
I got shipping notification today, so that got me thinking about the shirt, and that led to me thinking about the original design Tesh did, and where it came from.
Thinking about that design reminded me of how cool it was that Blizzard introduced the Companion Pets that are fish floating in bubbles of water. When we’d originally talked about Alex’s idea, the open-topped fishbowl with the attachments just rocked, but there was nothing in-game to link it to.
Shirt design… floating bubble fish.
So, we’ve got pet fish in the game now, something that didn’t exist when the shirt design was made.
What if… what if we took the design, and the bubble fish…
The original goal was a mechanical Engineer-crafted combat pet for Hunters.
We’ve got a fish pet now. It’s in a bubble of water. So, all that is missing is the mechanical stuff for the fish to ride inside.
Like a mount.
Like the Engineer would craft a vehicle, like a tank chassis, and you’d let your fish pet enter the vehicle, and then THAT would be your Hunter combat pet.
So a Gnomish Engineer could make, in effect, a reverse submarine! The water goes on the INSIDE, and all you do is let your fish get inside, and then it takes control of the mechanical chassis. A little fish-driven turbo tank with drill arm attacks and turtle-style shields. And portholes showing the blue water inside.
Heck, maybe even the fish occasionally opens the top hatch and sticks his head up, wearing WWI biplane goggles, to take a peek around as an idle animation!
That would be so freaking cool.
The purity of the vision, a land shark with a goldfish inside, overcompensating for NOT being born the king of the sea.
Almost like a short Gnome surrounded by giant idiot humans, overcompensating by building giant destructive devices… would there be some kinship there? Some sense of “You and me against the world, we’ll show ’em what we’re really capable of. The fools. For science! Muahahahahahaaaaaa.”
Okay, but we’ve got the Gnomes, but Engineers are traditionally Gnome and Goblin.
Gnomish Engineers already have one style of Engineering crafted pet, while Goblins have another. Why not Gnomish and Goblin-specific mechanical tank chassis that goes with your Mists of Pandaria Fishy pet?
On both the Horde and Alliance side, every player that completes the quests for the Pearlfin Jinyu or the Forest Hozen are rewarded with Fishy, a fish in a bubble. They don’t have to get it by fishing. So it’s a pet that you as a designer could reasonably expect every level 85 either would or could have.
So, since every character that does the quests will automatically get the Fishy, and it’s Bind on Account, and limited to those players at level 85 qualified to do Jade Forest… why not build around that?
Goblins and Gnome Engineers could have their own inspired design for the Fishy Tank.
Yes, that’s right.
THE FISHY TANK.
You don’t like it, deal with it. I said it, it’s done.
And come on, you know that the Gnome Engineers would be the first to think of something that crazy. A tank designed for a Fishy to drive, with gear-styled wheels (of varying sizes, probably), and drill arms like Tesh designed, and a big engine on the back with pipes puffing out smoke.
But the Goblins, seeing that… you just know that they’d have to design their own, more impressive counter to this.
Something that has that crazy shark-grin painted on the front cowling.
Oh, how insidious that design would be. A goldfish piloting a vehicle with a sharktooth grin painted on the outside. Oh, lord.
I could even see it occasionally going off on it’s own to pounce on Seagulls and other fisher-style birds, like you see the coyotes and wolves in the wild do in-game. Like… getting revenge. You’re just strolling along on the beach, and your goldfish goes tearing fin across to pounce on and destroy a seagull.
Oh, hell yes.
I can see it. Oh lord, it’s like a shining light, coming down from the heavens.
Goblins. Gnomes. And a design war on who can build the deadliest, most over-the-top Fishy Tank.
That would let Blizzard have fun designing two different approaches to a Fishy Tank, and it would give Hunters a new mechanical-based combat pet they could craft themselves towards end game…
What if this was the alst thing that finally opened the door to allowing Gnome Hunters? We’ve already got Goblin Hunters, why not Gnomes, especially if they could eventually have a mechanical combat pet?
Good lord… Gnomes. Pets. What if the formerly Gnomish Engineer-only companion pet Lil’ Smoky became the design foundation for the starting Gnome Hunter pet?
Gnomes, wielding complex guns, with fancy goggles, sending their programmed combat machine out to destroy the enemy… tossing Big Daddys and smoke bombs here and there…
The horror… the sheer, beautiful horror….
There. You see? That is exactly how we went from a starter idea, to whatever the heck we have now. Pure stream of my wandering crazy.
Look, I tell you these things, I tell you exactly how deep the hole is, and if you keep coming back here to read them, don’t blame me when we all ascend into madness together.
I warned you!