Find all previous editions of the PCG Q&A here. Some highlights:
- How do you feel about the state of VR in 2020? (opens in new tab)
- How do you name RPG characters? (opens in new tab)
- What's an old game you've come back to years later? (opens in new tab)
It's impossible to predict what's going to strike a cord with streamers next (opens in new tab). Among Us became a hit years after its initial release, and just when we thought everyone was sick of seeing people on the internet scream at horror games along comes Phasmophobia to prove us wrong. Whether new or old, what's a game you think should be as big on Twitch as Fall Guys, Genshin Impact, In Silence, or whatever has taken off in the five minutes since I wrote this?
What deserves to be the next streaming phenomenon like Among Us or Phasmophobia?
Here are our hot takes, plus a few from our forum (opens in new tab).
Robin Valentine: Deep Rock Galactic. I really think this clever co-op game deserves way more attention. You play a team of four space dwarves mining an alien planet, digging your way through caverns to find the best ores. It's a bit like a hybrid of Left 4 Dead, Minecraft, and No Man's Sky, and I just think the way it implements procedural generation in its levels is so clever and frequently pretty astonishing. I'd love to see it grow a much bigger audience.
Lauren Morton: Something with AI-generated content. Among Us and Phasmophobia have gotten popular largely thanks to their ability to create drama and surprise over and over again. Among Us due to the human element and Phasmophobia thanks to a combination of randomized goals and amusing enemy behavior—though it's also better with friends. I think the next big one will be something singleplayer, not requiring that you call up your pals, that still manages to create a newish experience with every round.
In the past, streamers have found that in competitive games like CSGO, PUBG, LOL, and Fortnite and all where other players are the element of surprise. I may be a big defender of authored content, but there's a real allure to the question "what's going to happen this time?" I think we're overdue another player vs machine phenomenon. I dunno, maybe I'm just describing a roguelike.
Wes Fenlon: When the Steam version of Dwarf Fortress comes out, graphics and all, I hope it's an unlikely Twitch smash hit. I want to see the Twitch community obsessed with the depth of this game, the personalities of their dwarves, the fear of flooding their fortresses with an aquifer, and all the other crazy shit that can happen in Dwarf Fortress I don't even know about. There's so much to this simulation, I can see Twitch audiences latching onto these dwarves and following their lives as closely as they would a TV show. So much potential!
Jody Macgregor: I'm tempted to suggest another game about dwarves. But no, given that people's appetite for watching players scream at horror games has proved endless, I'm going to suggest Silent Hill 4: The Room. The recently re-released cult classic mixes up first-person sequences where you're trapped in a degenerating haunted apartment with more traditional third-person survival horror in the town of Silent Hill itself. Two types of spooking, that's variety!
I would rather see let's play videos of this take off than the next Five Night's at Freddy's or whatever. Maybe the Game Grumps could finally go back and finish their playthrough (opens in new tab)?
Zloth: Factorio. Not only do you watch the game getting streamed, you get to see the streamer's surprise when they realize it's 2am.
ZedClampet: I have no idea, but based only on the store page description, I'd say "Fright Night Sex Fest" would have a shot in some alternate universe where Twitch wasn't run like the Mormon church.
McStabStab: In the same vein as Among Us, the old TTT mode for Garry's Mod (Trouble in Terrorist Town) was the best version of the "werewolf" game that I can remember. The cool thing about it was there was some more detective work you could do, analyzing DNA from corpses, identify bodies, etc. Plus Traitors could get C4 and other items to help wipe out the opposing players. Seeing that get popular again would be great.
XoRn: Whatever Unity prototype I manage to crap out this weekend. That would be nice. Oh you said "deserves".
Well it's a bit janky and inconsistent but BIGFOOT is a co-op game in a similar vein to Phasmaphobia, only instead of slinking around in a poory lit cabin, it's a large forest, and instead of a malevolent invisible ghost strangling your mates to death, it's a 3 meter tall ape man chucking them off a mountain.
Unfortunately it doesn't quite have the replay value of Phasmaphobia because you can't tap out at any time. Either everyone dies or whoever survives gets the glory of dragging an unconscious yeti back to their caravan where a cozy little cage works.