Daily Design: Day 52

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;

Band, Drinking and Hire.

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

Contra Band


In Contra Band, players take the role of the manager of a band. The problem is that they’re broke, and must pay the band entirely in alcohol.

Mechanically speaking, Contra Band is a simple balancing game. In-between gigs you can view your (randomly generated) band members – a guitarist, vocalist, drummer, bassist and triangle player. Each has a different level of skill that can be increased through successful performances, but be careful – if a band member is lost for any reason, they’re gone for good.

Gigs take place at preset times, with more coming the more successful your band is. Gigs are played automatically, and the outcome is determined by four things:

  1. The skill of your band members.
  2. The difficulty of the song.
  3. How much alcohol each has consumed.
  4. A bit of luck!

Different songs with difficulties can be selected before each gig, by constructing a playlist. Playing it safer means you’re more likely to succeed and earn a small increase in skill for your band, but will also make less money. Harder songs are more likely to result in failure, but also stand to reward you with more.

The core mechanic of Contra Band is to decide how much alcohol to give each band member before they perform. More alcohol makes them happier and increases their skill level – to a point. This point isn’t easily discerned, as the only clue as to how close you were to their optimum amount comes from the gig itself.

After a gig, you can see the performance of each member. This is determined by their sobriety, skill level and the difficulty of the song. By comparing each after a few songs, you should start to have a good idea of how much alcohol each band member needs. Too much and they won’t perform well, resulting in a massive loss of money – if you end up bankrupt, the game is over. Too little and the band member my refuse to perform at all or even quit. Balancing is key, and trial-and-error is the best way to learn.

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


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