Daily Design: Day 91

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;

Offspring, Rich and Blackmail.

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

Re: Lied Upon

rich.jpg

Re: Lied Upon is a multiplayer strategy game about blackmail.

Players take the role of the child of a recently deceased billionaire, who expressly states in their will that their first child to earn a million dollars on their own will inherit the entire fortune. Unfortunately, there are (up to) 5 other siblings to compete with.

The ultimate goal of the game is to be the first to earn $1,000,000. Money can be generated by Businesses, which are split evenly amongst all players when the game begins (there are a maximum of 6 players, and a minimum of 3).

Think of Businesses like towns in most 4X strategy games – they exist on the map (which is an isometric view of a modern day city), and are colour-coded according to who controls them. Businesses will generate money over time, and can be upgraded at a cost to produce more in the future.

There are also neutral businesses that can be bought by any player with enough money to do so. The obvious downside here is that there’s an initial expenditure, and the goal is to earn $1,000,000. Neutral businesses must be bought, but player-owned businesses can be stolen (more on that in a bit). This means that buying a business not only costs money, but opens it to stealing.

At the outset of each match, every player is given one bit of “Information”. Information shows all Business information of one other player – how much revenue each is generating, for example. This information is hidden to everybody else (except the owning player), but can be sold or given freely to anybody.

The trick is that when you have information on another player, you can’t steal their businesses. This means that in order to steal their businesses, information should be sold or given to somebody else. Business revenue is always fluctuating as well, so players can’t just write down the Information before selling it.

Stealing businesses is done by physically moving your character to a business (the game flows in real time) and selecting “Steal”. Who’da thunk it? The problem is that this costs money, and only the player with Information knows exactly how much stealing will cost per business.

As such, the game revolves around players manipulating each other in interesting ways. If you have Information on somebody (and the game shows who has information on whom), then it’s easy to manipulate them into doing things for you by threatening to give the information out freely. Similarly, the game balances itself by making information on more successful players more valuable, because the information itself is obviously more important as the player comes closer to winning.

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

 

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