In response to "The (Slightly More Than) Twelve Games of Christmas" from The Escapist Forum: Reading this article, I was thinking of one developer that really could land a Christmas game hit - the makers of the "Lego" games. Even though I've only spent limited time with them (a couple hours distributed over the demos of various ones), I think a "Lego Santa" game could really work. Think about it - it would have cooperative play, naturally bringing a family together, is relatively easy and thus not frustrating, and there are already a few lego lines that have Santa/Christmasy stuff (iirc).
The problem would be that the mechanics would the "Lego" games would be geared more towards platforming, a genre which (I agree) you say does not work well with the general idea of Christmas. But evil penguins aside, I think it could work decently well - maybe avoiding the eyes of insomniac children, or bopping on the heads of "Scrooges" that for some reason hate Christmas. I dunno - but it could be worth a shot.
I don't see why it specifically has to be specifically a Christmas game though. It could just as easily be a video game about the holidays in general, much more broad, and it won't come off as some pretentious company trying to shove their religion down your throat...as much anyway.
Frankly, whenever I see a commercial that says they have a "Christmas Sale!" I turn to the next channel. If they have a "Holiday Sale" they get bonus points from me. Though that may be because I'm jewish :P
Besides, when was the last time you've seen a Hanukah video game, hmm? All the more reason to make a great "Holiday Game" rather than specifically a "Christmas Game", and even broaden the audience a bit more. Hell, I could even see a fun game out of that.
In response to "The Family Gathering Survival Kit" from The Escapist Forum: ROFL! The imagery in this article is inspiring. I must say, bouncing off of a turkey, landing in a pool of lazy cabbage rolls, and emerging with a 1UP mushroom would certainly make my family feast more entertaining.
Jeffries, you must be lucky enough not to have any beligerent drunks in your family. I know several people who would jump headlong into those same irrational urges after a few ounces of Christmas eggnog.
As unimaginative as it is, my favorite survival tool is a good excuse to miss out on the torture. Levelling your professions counts as having to work late, right?
In response to "The Game of Giving" from The Escapist Forum: Heh, I was playing a game today. I was about to leave (lunchtime was over) and I automatically went to use my "dead" med pack on the lowest health person.
The game in question is Left4Dead, so seeing that i'm replaced by quite an altruistic AI character kinda detracts from my parting gift.
However, in most FPS where it's a team game, my guns/equipment disappear with me (there is no AI replacement and a player replacement starts with default loadouts normally). So in the majority of FPS games, altruistic parting gifts are just that.
You've already mentioned the not grabbing the "loot". But in Left4Dead, there are some very altruistic actions. Heck, they even put achievements in for em. "Dead Giveaway", or "BACK 2 HELP" - Leaving the safe house to successfully rescue an incapacitated player...
Of course it does help the score in the Versus campaign, but they'll respawn anyway on the next map load anyway, and damn those hunters are agressive.... :-)