A few years ago I really wanted to make some kind of realtime tavern simulator. The high level concept was: Build and manage your own tavern.
Eventually the project lost steam largely due to a lack of vision. The exact gameplay and goals never really solidified and other projects came up, so on the shelf it went.
But before being abandoned, there was a bunch of fun sprites and an actual playable prototype.
You could build your tavern by buying and placing wall tiles, bathroom tiles, stools, and tables.
Patrons would randomly spawn, enter your tavern, order a drink, pay for it, use the toilet, and leave.
You could hire a waitress to take orders, get drinks, and collect gold. You could even hire a custodian to clean the toilets.
However, it was unclear what the player’s role was. Divine builder? In-game manager?
Should the player be just building the tavern, or managing the staff and giving orders? There were limitless possibilities (which was a little daunting).
Also, what's the player's goal? Become rich and retire? Compete with other taverns? Survive a goblin war party occupation?
These were all questions that sounded fun to answer, but at the time I needed to be finishing games, not experimenting and practicing game design.
Tavern Sim is lost now in the void. It's tied to some specific version of Djinn (LDG's old game engine), and while I could proooobably get it working, it would likely take hours of frustration to get there (and it wasn't very far along anyhow). So on the digital shelf it stays.
I always thought the theme was super cool and the graphics were so fun to draw. I'd love to revisit it someday, but over time it's becoming a game that breaks too many of my game design principles for me to ever realistically finish it on my own.
Fortunately, other talented developers are working on amazing games within the tavern management concept, which you can check out here: