Daily Design: Day 42
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;
Concealing, Forever and Cross.
As such, the game I’ve designed today is…
Hunt’n’Seek is an asymmetrical multiplayer game. One team plays as “Hunters”, who have to hunt down and kill the other team – the “Shifters” – before their time limit is up.
The Shifter team play the game in third-person. As their name suggests, Shifters have the ability to shapeshift, and put that skill to good use. Shifters win simply by having a team mate alive when the timer expires in any given round.
They do this by shifting into one of many different forms that change according to the map they’re on. For example, if the level were set in a steampunk factory, they may have the ability to shift into gears, levers, boxes or junk. If the level were a forest, Shifters could change into different plants.
Normally, Shifters can move around freely, though at a slower speed than hunters. They can shapeshift anywhere and at any time, but once they’ve changed into an object they’re unable to move, meaning that clever concealment is much more important than turning yourself into a small object that’s hard to hit.
While transformed, Shifters can make use of their “Third Eye”, which lets them see from various points on the map (basically, security cameras). While using this mode, Shifters and spot and mark Hunters, which lets the entire Shifter team see the location of Hunters. In practice, this allows the Shifters to safely relocate if their position is tenuous or compromised in some way.
The Hunters play the game essentially as a first-person shooter. Wielding blunderbusses, the Hunter team simply has to locate and shoot the Shifters. One problem they face is that after each shot, reloading the gun takes a considerable amount of time, and the only way they can lose is by letting the timer expire. This encourages focusing on what’s out of place, rather than just shooting at everything until you hit it.
When hit by a Hunter’s shot, a Shifter is marked for the entire Hunter team to see for several seconds. The idea here is that running away should be possible, but not very likely – the worst case scenario is that the Shifter team would spend an entire match running away and avoiding gunfire instead of hiding.
Because players will spend so much time staring at their screen, this game would ideally have a pleasing, brightly-coloured art style, like my much-loved example Wind Waker, pictured below.
Objects should be easily distinguished from one another, and the game should – above all – be pleasing to look at. If the art style were to mimic something like The Division, I feel players would be bored much more quickly. Plus, this weird and quirky kind of mechanic lends itself well to a non-serious aesthetic.
To those familiar, this game is obviously heavily inspired by a mod for Counter-Strike. I played an unhealthy amount of the hide and seek mod for Counter-Strike: Source, but it had more than it’s share of problems, which I’ve tried to remedy in the design here. I think there was something very fun at the core of that mode, but a few problems held it back.
Namely, each match devolved into the hiding team turning into something small and jumping around. In the CS:S version, the hunting team would lose health for each shot fired, which meant that making yourself hard to hit was a very solid strategy, but not very fun for either team.
The other problem was that CS:S maps aren’t made for hunting down very small objects, so players tended to either be nearly impossible to find or extremely obvious. Plus, the maps themselves aren’t a whole lot of fun to explore in detail.
Still, the core idea was a blast, and I’d love to see a game that takes these ideas and runs with them completely while ironing out these issues.
That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back again tomorrow with another quick game concept.