Daily Design: Day 100

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;

Acquiring, Railway and Greed.

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

Train of Thought

Train of Thought is a competitive multiplayer strategy/action game.

The goal of Train of Thought is to infiltrate player-built trains and crack the safe within, stealing all their sci-fi train money. This money can be used to upgrade your infiltrator stats and equipment, and/or your own train’s defenses.

Money comes in two flavours – “laundered”, which can be spent immediately and, uh, “unlaundered”, I guess. This is money that needs to be processed for a certain amount of real-world time while sitting in your train’s safe, meaning that it’s prone to being stolen.

As such, the goal is to balance your infiltration stats and your train’s defenses. Focusing on one won’t work – you can steal all the money in the world, but if it’s left defenseless afterwards, there’s not a whole lot of point.

Train defenses are a big part of the game, and the customisation and upgrade options should be extensive. These range from things like the engines, which increase your train’s speed and give infiltrators less time to steal your cash, to more carriages, lengthening the distance players need to cross to get to the safe.

Train of Thought is side-scrolling, and players can cross over, under or through any given carriage (and change where appropriate). If infiltrators are spotted or do something suspicious, the “Alert Level” will raise (to a maximum of four).

As the Alert Level raises, so do the defenses, as determined by the defender. While customising defenses, each Alert Level has a “defense budget”, where each added trap or guard adds to the cost. For example, an armed guard may have a cost of 10, and Alert Level zero has a budget of 100. This means you could have 10 armed guards across your whole train.

However, Alert Level 1 has a budget of 150, allowing you to add 5 more guards (or whatever else up to the budget). Actions that raise the Alert Level include bodies being discovered, the infiltrator being spotted, carriages being decoupled (which eliminates all guards in the previous carriages) and other overt actions. Higher Alert Levels also lower the payout once the infiltrator cracks the safe.

That’s essentially the game! The stealth would ideally be snappy and satisfying, and I think of Mark of the Ninja more than anything. Of course, it’s easier to think about than it is to create, but so is everything.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept, and then 265 more. 

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