Archive | January 2016

Daily Design: Day 31

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on three randomly generated words. Today, they are;

BrainMinus and Personal.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Hippo Campus

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Picture unrelated, but amazing

In Hippo Campus, players assume the role of a star student (enrolled in the Hippo Campus) who’s recently lost their memory in an accident. Players must help the protagonist rediscover their memories and live up to the lofty expectations aimed at them.

However, players are also assuming the role of a university student looking for love, which is where the bulk of the gameplay lies. As a hippopotamus dating simulator, Hippo Campus is about more than love or self-discovery alone as players struggle with both to find their place in the world.

Players split their time between studying, dating and trying to restore their memories. It’s up to you to decide what’s most important – who you were, or who you can become.

At certain intervals, players will be tested, and are expected to perform at their pre-memory loss level. If the player hasn’t spent enough time studying they may suffer detention, causing them to lose more time for dating and exploration, either of which may lead to important clues. If you frequently fail tests the punishments become more severe until eventually you’re expelled and fail the game.

However, players will soon discover clues that suggest they may not be the hippopotamus they were told they once were. As the plot thickens and conspiracies grow, can you get to the bottom of the mystery behind the Hippo Campus?

That’s it! Thanks for reading. It was the last day of the Game Jam, so I think a kind of delirium is responsible for this post. I’ll be back tomorrow with a regular update. 

 

Daily Design: Day 30

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on three randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Starting, Supermarket and Addition.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Managerial Duties

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Managerial Duties is a supermarket management sim in super-fast speed.

Like most sim games, the idea is to build a sustainable income of resources and successfully balance it against your losses. For example, you’ll constantly be bleeding money and workers at a certain rate, so you’ll need to at least break even.

The key difference is that Managerial Duties is hyper-fast, requiring players to make split-second decisions to manage their supermarket.

As a sort of joke game, Managerial Duties isn’t realistically designed to be won (though it should technically be possible, it’s not likely at all).

As a test in contrast of design, I think Managerial Duties could be interesting to see, but it’s hard to say if it would be successful on any level without spending a lot more time designing it.

That’s it! I’m at the Game Jam again today, so I don’t have much time at all for these posts. Thanks for reading!

 

Daily Design: Day 29

The three words of today are:

Drunk, Salesman and Persuade.

As such, the game of today is…

Inebriated Sales

In Inebriated Sales, players are tasked with selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door while drunk.

The gameplay consists of selecting what to say from a series of pre-written lines.

Players have to respond based on what the person they’re talking to.

The trick is that you’re drunk, so what you actually say is going to be slightly different from what’s written. The trick is to pick which sentence can be least interpreted as offensive, and hope for the best.

Thats it! I’m at the Melbourne Game Jam, so today and tomorrow’s post are both very short. Thanks for reading!

Daily Design: Day 28

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on three randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Travelling, truck and obligation.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Backup Plan

Backup Plan is a competitive delivery truck game, in which two players are tasked with delivering their cargo quickly and intact.

“Races” are between 2 – 6 players, and essentially plays like a typical racing game. Where Backup Plan differs is that you’re only partially scored on time, but mostly scored based on how intact your cargo is when it arrives.

This means that players need to balance careful driving with racing, all while trying to cause the other players to crash.

Tracks are typically very short – if you go as fast as possible, they’ll only take a minute or so to complete. This is because of the focus on “slow racing”, in which players achieve a higher score by completing the race safely rather than quickly.

Having said that, the best players know how to drive dangerously without endangering themselves in order to cause the other players to lose cargo. Heading into oncoming traffic can force some drivers into the other lane, for example.

While it may be hard to balance – especially since driving slowly often isn’t considered to be the pinnacle of fun – I think Backup Plan would be a really interesting game to develop.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another Daily Design. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this post or head over to the contact page. 

Daily Design: Day 27

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on three randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Wizard, Collide and Duel.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Coup de Mage

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Coup de Mage is a multiplayer “artillery” game, in which players take turns firing wizards at their opponent.

The basic premise is the same as “artillery”, in which two players are positioned on a procedurally generated 2D map and have to fire at the other to win.

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The original Artillery

The map is generated procedurally, meaning that the mountains and valleys will be different every time you play, and a lot less flat than the above image depicts.

Players aim by moving their cursor up and down, then selecting how much power goes into the shot. Just like Worms, wind is given a random direction and level of power which affects your shot, which ensures that you can’t necessarily just trial and error your way through a match.

Most importantly are the wizards themselves, which work like hilarious ammo. One key difference between Coup de Mage and other artillery games is the way in which your ammo is decided – before any given match, players can construct a small deck of cards comprised of different kinds of wizard. At the beginning of a round, players draw a card which acts as their ammo. Because simplicity is so key to enjoying this genre, deck building is extremely simple and can also be entirely automated.

While you win after hitting the opponent a certain number of times (which would need to be decided in testing, but would almost certainly be less than five and quite possibly just one), wizards make this harder to do than in a typical artillery game.

For example, shooting a fire wizard will leave a trail of fire that lasts through your opponents turn, destroying any wizard that passes through it. Similarly, an Earth wizard will raise a mountain wherever it lands, and Mole wizards work exactly like a normal wizard, only their trajectory takes them underground and bypasses surface obstacles.

Given the chaotic nature of the game, matches would be short and sweet. I think this could work well on PC, tablets and phones especially, though I imagine the appeal wouldn’t last for nearly as long as something similar but more complex, like Worms.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another Daily Design. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this post or head over to the contact page. 

Daily Design: Day 26

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on three randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Brigade, Apocalypse and Handler.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

No Tomorrow

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No Tomorrow is a real-time strategy roguelike.

 

Set after an unnamed tragedy has destroyed most life, the player takes the role of the leader of a group of survivors. This group starts out as just a few people, but more can be recruited to your cause as the game progresses.

The game is divided into two sections – base and field. In the base section, the player manages their troops, equipment, facilities and resources, all of which can be gained by successfully completing missions and exploring.

In the field section – as you may have guessed – the player will control their troops and try to complete missions. These range from rescuing survivors to gathering supplies and several other objectives.

The gameplay is fairly typical of an RTS, but with a higher focus on micro-management, as buildings can’t be constructed in the field. Think of Dawn of War 2, in which the player takes control of a squad of characters rather than a whole army.

Each character has a range of special abilities based on their training and equipment, and utilising these is the key to success. For example, one character may be able to throw a smoke grenade which provides cover for another character that can benefit from getting in closer or escaping to a better vantage point. Similarly, a character with thermal goggles could see straight through the smoke and it could be used offensively. When characters die, they’re dead for good, so trying to keep them all alive is a high priority.

What makes No Tomorrow a bit different is that while playing a mission (all of which are randomly generated), there’s a chance that another player will join that same mission (similarly, you never know if a mission you just started already has a player involved). You can choose to work cooperatively and split the supplies, but there’s no guarantee that they won’t betray you to steal your character’s gear or just for a larger supply of the loot.

Finally, but most importantly, your headquarters will also need to be defended. You can invest in defences like barbed wire, turrets and shielded cover, but remember that resources are precious and should be spent wisely. When attacked your soldiers will automatically defend under AI control, but if you’re online at the time you can choose to assume command yourself.

You’ll typically be attacked by NPCs, and assuming you’ve invested in defence you’ll generally be okay. However, you can also be attacked by players who are going to be a much trickier foe. If a player manages to kill your characters or infiltrate your command room inside your headquarters, they’ll be able to steal all of your supplies and equipment. What’s worse is that if your headquarters fall, it’s all over – you’ll need to restart the entire game from scratch.

Players can’t attack your base initially, though. They can only attack your base if you fight them in the field – dealing damage to any of their characters, intentionally or not, results in them locating your base of operations. Thankfully, you can stop them from attacking by eliminating their entire squad before any can reach an evacuation zone located in the field. If you decide to be aggressive, you’ll need to be very aggressive – otherwise you may find yourself on the receiving end.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another Daily Design. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this post or head over to the contact page. 

Daily Design: Day 25

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on three randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Cargo, Drumbeat and Propeller.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Sails Manager

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Sails Manager is a rythm game in which you load cargo ships to the beat of a song.

The player’s ship sits at the bottom of the screen, and cargo moves horizontally across the top. When the player successfully presses the appropriate button to the beat (which works essentially like other rhythm games), cargo will drop onto the ship and increase your Profit.

The key difference is that certain cargo is worth more than others, and you want to maximise your profit (but can’t fit all the cargo in any given level). As such, you have to balance your Rhythm bar with your Profits. Profits are essentially a score, and work like scores in most games – they’re simply there to show how well you’ve performed.

Similarly, Rhythm works like your “health”, and will reduce with every missed beat. The key is to hit as many beats as possible, but intentionally skip the beats with cargo that you don’t want.

It’s a simple premise, but also an interesting way to change the core gameplay of rhythm games with a small visual twist.

That’s it! Very busy day, so I’ve had to keep it brief. I’ll be back tomorrow with another one – thanks for reading!