For the past year or so, I've been playing with the design of a horse riding RPG type game and I find recently that it's pretty much been made to an extent.
Yes, I finally got Red Dead Redemption and my lord it is a FUN game. I never was a fan of Westerns...not after reading Shane. *shudder* it haunts me so. However, I'm changing my mind on the genre ever since the movie, "Australia" and I got the idea for a story about a rough 'n' tough unicorn herder. (It's badass...I just need to draw it properly.)
But RDR has gone ahead and done it for me pretty much with their Undead pack (which I will totally get just because I can rope and tame a unicorn.) I'm actually a bit sad someone beat me to the punch.
Well, it's certainly been inspiring for me and it kind of works like a demo in a way for what I was planning. It also shows me the scope I can take it if I go the 3D route.
Some things I might improve upon:
Horse Stamina Meter - needs more of an identifier, that mini-map circle seriously lacks clear symbols. I mean I get it after awhile but I had NO idea that a horse had stamina.
Speed differences - these are not terribly obvious.
What did I just catch? - There are horse breeds with specific stats but it's not obvious just by looking or even by catching one what kind of horse I caught. Except for the donkey or the sickly horse, all other horses have the same basic build. There's nothing wrong with this but a notification about what I've caught informs me the player if the horse I've caught is any better or worse than my current steed or one of the horses necessary for an in game achievement/quest.
Breaking Meter - I could go both ways on this one. Part of me likes not knowing how much longer I have to stay on and part of me wants some indication because it might tell me something about the stats of the horse. (Since I think that the best horse in the game should be the hardest to break.) This ties in more with the previous point.
Custom Paint Job - You know, get some local Indians to war paint the horse or something. >_> The game was called Grand Theft Horse in some review, I thought it'd be cute. ^^
Still, any game where horse riding plays a central role is awesome. I especially appreciate it when it's useful and not just horse showing. I mean seriously, I feel kinda bad that horses are obsolete and now only serve as recreational fun. Then again, as a kid I never wanted to own or drive a car because I wanted a horse to take me everywhere. ^^