Daily Design: Day 92

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;

Hide, Corpse and Antidote.

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

Expiration Date

Expiration Date is a singleplayer stealth rogue-like, in which the player has to avoid hordes of the undead in order to deliver an antidote to the humanity-destroying plague. This is a third-person over the shoulder game.

Initially, the player selects their character from a group of survivors who have found a cure to the undead plague. At the beginning of each game, the group’s truck crashes, killing all but the player character (and starting them in a random location). From here, they have to try and deliver it themselves by sneaking to the friendly stronghold in the center of the city.

These aren’t regular zombies, though. The player is tasked with sneaking through hordes of strange, undead creatures, who are capable of running at extreme speeds and killing instantly (and brutally). There’s no form of combat, though enemies can be killed via clever use of the environment, such as dropping a car from a freeway onto an enemy. However, these typically attract attention and should be a last resort.

Expiration Date uses a map system similar to Faster Than Light, where after each area the player selects where to go next in the city. There are different sections to select, each with different challenges and rewards. Heavily infested areas, for example, are a lot harder to sneak through, but typically bring the player closer to the stronghold much more quickly.

The player starts totally unarmed, but can find equipment through exploration. While there’s no combat, players may find limited use items that allow them to stealthily kill an enemy, or to distract groups of them. While these aren’t so necessary early in the game, they become so as enemy density ramps up.

Players can also unlock new characters through careful exploration and by completing hidden side missions, such as finding special items and delivering them to survivors. Unlocked characters can be used in any subsequent run, and each character comes with their own perks and weaknesses.

The player wins by successfully sneaking through the final area and delivering the antidote, allowing them to replay on high difficulties and/or with a bigger map. Like the best of the genre, the idea is to promote replayability as much as possible, with more difficult challenges granting greater rewards.

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

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