One of the most exciting things to me is that PlayTonic is looking to build a shared universe where any random NPC could have a story worth telling in his own game. While obviously Rare has done this before with Diddy Kong Racing where they introduced Banjo, Conker and even Tricky The Triceratops to the world before they each appeared in their own game (Tricky's was a Star Fox game tying Star Fox in) but now they're saying they're looking to do it not with characters most of whom are already playable in a kart racer. They're looking to do it for NPCs. It's as if they've said "Yes. We're willing to make Better Call Bloatazin once our Bird and Snake (I'm betting Snake) duo are dead." I don't know about you, but I want to play Better Call Bloatazin. Who wouldn't?
(Concept art created by Scraps69)
Anyway, so. We'll be getting a lot of NPCs in this game and everyone is, evidently, potential spin off material based around how we like them and what opportunities they present from a design perspective. What sort of NPCs are you looking for and what sort of games do you want to see? I'll list 3.
Platformer: Very DKC inspired platformer. I'd look for a thief or a roguishish character for it. Somewhere between Nathan Drake and that Sly character whatever he is. I picture a lady fox named Fox McClure. I imagine he can Dive Kick in the style of the characters of the eponymous game Dive Kick. Could be robbing tombs, could be robbing folk, could be a bit of both. Also could be some Rocket Raccoon in there.
Narrative Driven Fighting Game: I just recently saw Rocky. I would like a character who's a professional fighter who either never made it or made it big long ago. Their game would be them making it. I'd imagine it like Punch Outs meets Rocky. Maybe it's set in Brooklyn. Anyway I'd imagine it'd be quite bizarre. It'd be mostly training, plot and city life. Like Persona meets Punch Out. At the end of the game you fight Apollo Seed. Oh, also all the characters are Acorn People. Did I mention that?
Metroidvania: Rare never did a Metroidvania, Metroidvanias are great. Maybe they could make it work. Dunno if it'd be their thing since Metroidvanias have usually been pretty light on story but I think they could manage it. Maybe it'd be rich in Left 4 Dead type story telling. All in the small details of the world. Metroid Prime, a favorite among the PlayTonic staff, also did that sort of thing quite well. Maybe could take after that. I imagine the hero would be a Turtle.
Those are my three ideas. What have you got?