Daily Design: Day 40

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;

Adhesive, Embrace and Agenda.

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

Bear Hug


Bear Hug is a competitive multiplayer game about hugging bear races. The game can only be played with a partner, and only against other teams – no matches can be played solo.

The main mechanic of the game is planning out your moves, and then the race is viewed in it’s entirety. At the beginning, players will see a top-down map of the race track and work together to plot out their course.

Courses have obstacles laid out along them – such as pitfalls – that slow down your characters. You’re given a certain amount of movement points (say 5) and spend them how you wish. For example, you may choose to spend all 5 points on moving forward. This means that when the match starts, your team will move forward five steps.

However, because of the cooperative element, this gets a little more complicated. Your partner is also spending their movement points however they want, and your movement points are spent consecutively with theirs.

For example, say you spend 5 points moving forward, but they spend 5 points moving left. This would mean that your character would move forward one step, then left, then forward, then left, etc. (keep in mind that a lot of balance and testing would be needed to determine exact numbers, so “5 movement points” is purely hypothetical).

If your team has spent all of their points and not reached the finish line, the cycle will loop over until you either reach the finish line or the (short) timer expires, in which case whoever is in the lead will win.

To make it more interesting and a little less predictable, at the beginning of each game one random player is marked as the “Beartrayer”. This is known only to them, and their rules work a little differently – they win by ensuring their team comes dead last. If even a single team beats them, the Beartrayer loses. If a Beartrayer manages to win the game, the team that comes first is also considered a winner, so many (probably most) games end with a winning team and a Beartrayer.

The point of the Beartrayal mechanic is to make it so that you’re not entirely sure if you can trust your partner, because at the outset is seems as though very simple communication is all you’d need to easily win. While this can be remedied by only being allowed to play with strangers and having no communication mechanics, that’s a fairly rough fix that also stops you from playing with friends, which really sucks.

While I’m out of the time to think about it for today, a better fix may be to have a Beartrayer team that starts at the end and has to collide with the racing players to take them out of the race. This would make is so that players would have to reconsider taking the obvious route – whichever is quickest and safest – because there’s a higher chance of the Beartrayers utilising it.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back again tomorrow with another simple game concept. 

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