Anyone who knows me, even a little bit, knows how big of a Sega nerd I am. I grew up playing games on my various Sega systems (even the 32x, CD, and Nomad for crying out loud) and I count those games as some of the biggest influences on my career path and the designs I come up with. So, from time to time, I like to imagine what some of my favorite Sega titles would look like if they got a new entry on today’s consoles. One of the games I played religiously after school everyday was Crazy Taxi. To this day, I still think that game is a great example of simple-yet-engaging game design. It’s been on my brain for a couple of days so I thought I’d take the opportunity to list out some ideas that I would love to see if we were ever blessed with another Crazy Taxi title.
So many games have tried to capture what made Crazy Taxi special but it was usually by sticking you in another type of vehicle and then mimicking the timer aspects. What I want to try and do here is build upon the core concepts, while adding in some modern gaming conventions. With all that said, here’s what I would love to see in a future installment.
Let the player build their own cab company
I don’t want to make the game overly complicated but I would like to give the player a sense of ownership over their game. Let them start up their own cab company. They could choose a name, cab colors, and create their own crazy cabbie. The money they gather while playing the game would go towards their company and affect their ability to buy better cabs and possibly better offices. The licenses that they acquire would either build up or bring down their reputation as a company. A higher reputation would unlock more challenging fares on the different maps, while a bad reputation would keep the fares relatively simple.
Not only would this give the player a sense of ownership, it would allow the game to evolve as the player gets better at the game. The player wouldn’t just be trying to achieve a large amount of cash and a good license for the sake of it, they would be doing so because it would benefit different aspects of the game. This would hopefully get them to become repeat players.
This ones a little bit shorter in detail but a fourth Crazy Taxi needs to have multiple cities. Let the player start up their company in the entry city (maybe a revamped version of the original map) and then they can expand into the harder cities as their reputation and wealth builds up. This would provide an opportunity to bring back the cities from the first three games and possibly add in two or three more new maps. Having multiple cities would really help remove some of the monotony of only playing the same map over and over.
This is probably the biggest no-brainer but it’s also one that opens up so many possibilities. Imagine an ever-present competition between you and your friends as you try to build your cab company into the largest one around. Anyone on your friends list, who owns the game, would be represented and fighting for territory amongst the games five to six maps. There could be an “auto-log”-like feature that updates the player and lets them know that their friend’s cab company just earned a higher reputation amongst the patrons of the Pizza Hut near Big Hills Park. Leader boards and the like would be a natural extension and would show who the top cab company in the entire world is (how much money, how many S licenses, reputation, etc).
Another natural extension would, of course, be online play. If a player saw his/her friend online, trying to beat their score, they could jump into that map and either try to block their friend from completing the fare or quickly try to elevate their own standing. Four players would probably need to be the max on something like this since you don’t want the map to become overly crowded. Players could also have the option to allow people who aren’t on their friends to jump into their city and compete for territory. And, of course, there would have to be a matchmaking option for people who just want to play a standard game of Crazy Taxi with four strangers online.
Online Crazy Box
This one should probably go into online play but I’m separating it just because of how much fun I think it would be. The crazy box challenges are incredibly fun on their own but imagine how fun it would be if you could play them with your friends. Maybe a few frames of crazy bowling, see who can get the most drift points in a set amount of time, or who can land the longest crazy jump. Any of the challenges would be playable with friends or strangers and there could even be a few special co-op challenges just for the multiplayer.
Those were the ideas that have been banging around in my head the past couple of days. There’s probably some holes in there that need fixing and there’s probably a lot more that could be done other than what I have written. So, what do you think? Anything you’d like to add? I’d love some feedback and to possibly hear any ideas from some fellow Crazy Taxi players.