This was going to be a very different column.

Katsu Entertainment released the trailer for Doomwheel, a Warhammer-themed endless runner in which you play a bunch of Skaven piloting the eponymous Doomwheel to either conniving, furry glory or brutal defeat. And I got my hackles up.

Of course Games Workshop approves an endless runner, I thought. Don’t they know what we want? Can’t they see? They’re gamers, just like you and me! Surely, they know that releasing Warhammer licenses to anyone with a computer will dilute their brand! No-one wants another Space Hulk: Deathwing or Storm of Vengeance! What are they doing?!

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, or close up the wall with our microtransactions. In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man as a good Warhammer video game, but when the blast of cheap cash-ins blows in our ears, et cetera. I was irritated, which is worse than furious because I deal with being irritated by being loud about it online.

So I cracked my knuckles and got all snarky and wrote half of a Very Serious Pitch™ for Warhammer 40,000: Heresy Clicker, in which you play Cookie Clicker but it’s Warhammer so you’re stomping on heretic skulls because heresy ha ha. And then I stopped. Because you know what? I don’t have the time or patience to shit on people. And it’s a better world if I don’t.

Katsu Entertainment worked very hard on Doomwheel, I’m sure, and I’m also sure there’s people out there who are going to enjoy an endless runner filled with Skaven. More power to all of them. People should get to enjoy the things they like, even if I don’t like the same things.

Instead of a Very Serious Pitch™, then, here’s a few concepts for Warhammer games I’d like to play. I’m giving all of these concepts away for free to anyone who reads this, and will not claim associated copyrights. If someone likes what I’ve got here and makes a game that one other person likes, I’ll be happy.



Whispers of the Norn-Queen

Remember the Spore Creature Creator? The good part, that they released before the actual Spore game? It’s like that, but you’re designing new Tyranids.

I’m the type of gamer that’ll spend thirteen hours adjusting cheekbone sliders in MMOs and who gets inordinate joy out of playing Eclipse because you can design and re-design your own ships during the game. I love Magic’s Commander format because I basically get to show up with 25% of a boardgame that I custom-made. I get real, serious joy when I can take a direct hand in shaping the experience of the game I’m playing.

Combine that with my precious soulless galactic space locusts? Shut up and take my money.

Give me this, but with scything talons and twin-linked devourers and maybe a bonus Haruspex stomach-talon-thing oh and let me take those bio-electric pulse containment spines from the Mawloc and put it all on a Hormagaunt frame but make it Carnifex-sized. Hell. Yes.

(… and if Games Workshop is smart, it’ll sell you back the CAD files for your beasties at a premium so you can 3D-print your designs, sort of like what the Jackbox people did with Tee-K.O. … )



Tales of the Primarchs

Keeping with the classic X-meets-Y pitch formula, this one is like a bunch of small Skyrim or Fallout games, but with Primarchs.

My Imperial lore is rough because #xenos4life, but as I understand it, each of the Primarchs spends some amount of their vague-and-mostly-glossed-over-by-Black-Library youth exploring, learning from, and/or conquering the worlds on which they’ve landed before the God-Emperor of Mankind scoops them back up. With eighteen Primarchs, that’s a ton of material.

I would have a great time tooling around on Chogoris as a young Jaghatai Khan, for example. Start me off with the death of the Khan’s father at the hands of the Kurayed, and give me a first-person Fallout or Skyrim-style game where I’m totally free to round up all the tribes of the steppes into the Talaskars however I choose, defeat the Palatine, and set the stage to conquer the rest of Chogoris.

I’m definitely willing to play a Far Cry: Blood Dragon-sized video game where I can do that. And then no-one in real life will know that I actually secretly really like Jaghatai Khan and the White Scars.



The Eight

The last two pitches are clearly for gaming on your computer or console, so let’s hit that sweet, sweet mobile market for our next one.

There’s a weird, wonderful little game I’ve come across recently called Drag’n’Boom. You play a tiny dragon terrorizing the countryside, blowing up soldiers and sliding through levels at high speed. Like Sonic the Hedgehog meets Angry Birds meets something better.

The controls are genius. If you recall Angry Birds’ slide-and-release controls, this is similar, except you get two sliders—one for your movement, and one for your breath weapon. You control both simultaneously, and whenever you start to use one, you go into bullet-time—all the better for blowing up soldiers.

What if we combined this with just a little dash of Telltalestyle storytelling, and told stories of The Eight—Commander Farsight’s team of elite warriors who defend the Farsight Enclaves from Orks, Tyranids, and Imperials?

Give me a bunch of Command-suit variants leaping and jetpacking around levels, blowing up enemies with precise fusion-blaster fire and racking up points. Let me switch between the AI-controlled Ob’lotai 9-0 Broadside, the Riptide-wearing O’Vesa, and Farsight’s close-combat Dawn Blade heroics. Tell me stories in quick missions that I can play and replay to improve my times or score. Give me cool T’au guns at high speed. That’s all I really want.



What would you play? Let me know in the Facebook comments for this post!

Producer Josh can be found behind the scenes of the Dusty Auspex Podcast, Thursdays at 7 PM CT on Twitch and FB. VOX BLAST is his weekly column about 40K and anything else nerdy.