Daily Design: Day 41

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;

Sleep, Hunting and Leisure. 

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

Heavy Sleeper

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In Heavy Sleeper, players takes the role of an assassin who kills people in their dreams, which somehow kills them in real life. It’s pretty cool.

Exclusively single-player, this is basically just Hitman in a much more interesting setting. My long running problem with Hitman (a series I absolutely love) is that the settings often aren’t very interesting in and of themselves, with some exceptions.

While these environments are usually well designed and provide plenty of opportunities to explore and puzzle about before killing your target in cold blood, they’re more often than not a bit boring to actually explore. They’re only interesting in regards to the items contained within that let you kill somebody.

Compare this to Dishonored, where the environments were considerably more interesting, but the focus on utilising that environment was diminished. Not to say the level design was worse, but the games are very different – where Hitman is about using disguises and the environment to kill your target, Dishonored is more about using your powers and skill to avoid detection and then kill (or capture, or worse) your target.

A combination, to my mind, would be amazing. A Hitman game set in ridiculous environments, where a giant man-eating plant could take your target out, assuming you set it up correctly. Or maybe you could just fire them into space.

The issue here is that fantasy worlds need to have rules developed, and if every world is different this means that the rules have to be developed in very little time. For example, how do you know about the man-eating plant? Does a citizen get eaten walking past? Why is it in an area where it can casually grab people? Do you colour code objects that are lethal, and does that make the game too easy? Is it (too) unnatural?

These are all important questions in design, and in-depth analysis is well beyond the scope of this post. For now, I think a good launching point would be some kind of indicator that certain items are important in some way, whether to avoid detection or kill an enemy. This could be something as simple as a HUD indicator or highlight, or something more diegetic.

That’s it! I know this post was a little vague in terms of actual game design, but hopefully the idea came across well enough. I’ll be back again tomorrow with another quick game concept. 

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