Archive | April 2016

Daily Design: Day 121

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;

Railroad, Pouring and Wet.

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

Waterway

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Waterway is a single-player strategy game in which the player manages a train full of water as it makes its way across a desert world.

Waterway is largely inspired by 80 DaysWaterway is largely text-based, but contains a 3D map that players use to navigate the world. Their ultimate goal is to get the water to Terminus, a paradise-like city that all tracks inevitably lead to.

To get there, players need to balance their supplies, including the water they’re meant to deliver. Each delay means the crew is forced to drink more of the water, and the less water you have when you reach Terminus (assuming you make it all) the worse the ending becomes. Larger crews also mean more water is consumed daily, but a bigger crew will mean more options.

Each ‘day’ in-game, the player decides which track to take, assuming they’re at a junction. Otherwise, the day begins with watching the train move along the world. At certain points (and sometimes randomly) events will trigger that are handled via text-based decisions. These range from the potentially beneficial (meeting more crew) to the disastrous (being attacked by robbers). All of these moments are handled with text decisions, and the outcomes are affected by the player’s current resources. For example, a larger crew may be able to fight off robbers, but attempting to attack them with a crew that’s too small will result in a massive loss of life.

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

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Daily Design: Day 120

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;

Slide, Invasion and Button.

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

Dry Run

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In Dry Run, players are part of an elite unit tasked with defending their nation from invasion. On the eve of such an invasion, it’s their job to use the Super Defense Slide to activate their defenses with a button located at the bottom. Of course, the invaders are actively trying to stop them, and the slide itself is designed to keep out all but the most elite.

The game is divided into levels, or “Slides”. Each Slide functions differently and offers a different level of challenge, with hidden optional Slides offering the highest level of difficulty.

Players have to simply reach the bottom of each Slide alive, which is easier said than done. They do this by rolling to either the right or the left or by jumping; a combination of these three will get them to do the bottom. Think of it as an Endless Runner on steroids, only, uh, not endless. Each Slide would run well under a minute, assuming the player is successful.

By completing Slides, players unlock new Slides, environments and (cosmetic) upgrades. Additionally, players can also create and share Slides of their own, with the caveat that they must be able to finish their own Slide before it can be uploaded – completing Slides also unlocks new props for the Create-A-Slide.

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

Daily Design: Day 119

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;

Muddle, Continuum and Anger.

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

Blind Rage

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Blind Rage is a singleplayer story-focused game about a character who can accidentally influence the spacetime continuum (if they get too angry).

Mechanically, players walk around a game world to talk to characters and advance the plot by making plot-influencing decisions. In this sense, the game is best compared to Life is Strange, as the player has limited rewind capabilities to see the immediate outcome from their decisions, if not the long-term ones.

On top of that, players also have optional puzzles to contend with that also influence the plot, though they can be skipped entirely. Different puzzles have different outcomes, not all of which are positive.

These puzzles are all based on time manipulation, with a focus on the fact that certain objects can’t be manipulated. The goal is to move these objects to a new point by influencing time on the objects around them. For example, time can be moved forward until a tree has died and fallen across a chasm, which will allow the player to cross it with the object. When the player rewinds time they’ll be physically moved back and the tree will recover, but the object will always stay put (and out of time).

The problem the protagonist faces is that they can’t always control their abilities, especially if they become angry or upset. While there’s no “Anger Meter” or anything, remaining calm is a major part of decision-making, since the player should try to avoid situations that would aggravate or upset their character.

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

Daily Design: Day 118

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;

Trumpet, Momentum and Special.

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

For Embouchure

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For Embouchure is a rhythm game crossed with a multiplayer racing game.

Each player is riding a rocket-powered hoverboard, because there’s literally nothing more amazing than that idea. However, these hoverboards are powered by trumpets because technology is still limited, unlike my imagination (and word generator).

The game is in third person, with a typical racing-style camera showing the player from behind. A button can be held to look back or the camera can be toggled entirely with another button. Players move with the analogue stick – the difference is that their acceleration and speed are determined by their ‘Rhythm’.

Throughout the match a bar is displayed in the UI similar to the fret board from Guitar Hero. Face-button icons will float down this bar and the corresponding button must be pressed by the player when it reaches a certain point. Each correct button press will increase speed and acceleration and each miss will reduce it – a perfect press will result in an instant boost on top of the regular speed increase. Physically crashing your board will also reduce your speed and acceleration to zero.

Combos can be built by hitting a lot of notes in a row, resulting in incredible speed boosts. However the higher your current combo, the more difficult the song gets, which is also true depending how far ahead you are of the other players. So the most difficult songs are played when the player is in first place with a large combo, which is designed to even out the playing field.

While this does mean more notes for them to hit, each will result in a small boost than normal. Similarly, players that are performing poorly will have less notes overall, but each will be worth drastically more. The idea of this system is to constantly challenge every player without letting any get too far ahead (unless they’re ludicrously skilled).

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

 

Daily Design: Day 117

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;

Target, Hit and Coloring.

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

Azure Seals

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Azure Seals is a four-player competitive first-person shooter.

Players have four colours to select from – Red, Yellow, Blue and Green. Players all start as a separate colour; so there’s a red player, a blue player, etc. Players are invisible while standing on their own colour, with spots of the four colours scattered around the map.

When a player scores a kill, all of the opponent’s colours are shifted to the killer’s. For example, killing the yellow player while playing as the red will make all yellow spots turn red. The idea here is to reward players who attack first rather than camping on one of their own spots – however, players only have one life per match and don’t respawn, meaning that caution is still key.

Players also only have one weapon (a slow-firing rifle) that kills an enemy if it hits them at all. After firing players are visible for a few seconds, so firing randomly into the distance is a bad idea. However, when players moved around on their own colour there’s a subtle footprint animation in the paint, making it possible (albeit difficult) to see them anyway.

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

Daily Design: Day 116

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;

Intensive, Warm and Padding.

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

Playing it Straight

Playing it Straight is a single-player endless runner with awful QWOP-esque controls, which is a sentence that must sound totally incomprehensible to at least 95% of the global population.

In the game, players take the role of a patient in a mental asylum, who’s currently running away from some unspeakable horror through endless twisting (and randomly generated) hallways. In typical endless runner fashion, the goal is to survive as long as possible to generate score and buy upgrades and cosmetic unlocks, such as new maps and characters.

While I made a comparison to QWOP, the controls aren’t quite as bad here. The main challenge is how the hallways suddenly and randomly twist, and don’t necessarily make any geometric sense, especially since the longer players survive the more warped the world will become, eventually twisting in impossible directions, or even flipping entirely upside down (though not too often or for too long, since that can be so annoying).

Rather, the issue is that your character will continue running straight unless otherwise directed, resulting in running directly into walls unless the player stops them in time by switching directions. This is done by a single button press (A or D, or using an analogue stick) which will make the character lunge in the chosen direction. However, they will do this whether or not there’s an opportunity to move in that direction, so timing is essential. If players press a button at the wrong time (or fail to entirely), their character will slam directly into a wall, slowing them down considerably.

So, it boils down to what’s essentially an endless runner with a spooky twist. There’s room for Eternal Darkness style insanity events happening as well as the run goes on, which could be extremely effective if well handled. Things like the geometry starting to become unrealistic would be effective, as long as these effects never directly interrupted the core gameplay.

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

 

Daily Design: Day 115

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;

Closure, Highway and Inclining.

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

Incline Season

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Incline Season is a competitive racing game for up 12 players.

Each player controls a car as the competitors race up-hill. As they do so, obstacles are rolling downhill towards the racers, and a single collision will eliminate a player. Players that collide with each other aren’t penalised, but being knocked off the track results in elimination.

As the race goes on, the obstacles that are being dropped come more frequently and become quicker and larger, and hence more dangerous.

There’s also no finish line – more simply, the last player ‘standing’ is the winner. This means the focus is on slamming into other players and trying to knock them either off the course, into other players or into obstacles. There’s a bigger focus on simple chaotic fun than racing mechanics, and it’s a game that would best in short bursts, probably with friends (and played locally). Bots could stand in for the missing drivers, or the game can just be played with any number of players from 1 to 12.

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