Daily Design: Day 128

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;

Interfering, Manufacturer and Starving.

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

Industrial Revolutionaries

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Industrial Revolutionaries is a single-player over-the-shoulder stealth action game set in an alternate history of the industrial revolution in (alternate) Britain.

In this world, the working class toil to manufacture advanced steam-powered machines, used for everything from military conquest to central heating. While machines in this period are more advanced than they were in reality, they’re still limited. The idea is that they’re fairly believable, if not at all realistic.

There may be, for example, steam-powered tanks that fire powerful explosive shells, but are prone to severe overheating that can cripple them.

The game follows a player-created character who’s up and decided to overthrow the government, as one does. They do this by running their headquarters out of an abandoned factory and recruiting followers to their cause, slowly building their own army.

The game is broken down into missions that are accessed from a map of the city. Missions reward currency, intel (that lead to more missions and crafting recipes) as well as crafting materials and equipment. All of this is fairly traditional – currency is used to buy consumable items (ammunition, healing items, etc), crafting materials are used to craft items and equipment and equipment itself increases various statistics and allows for more options.

For example, soldiers in the world of Industrial Revolutionaries are equipped with steam-powered armour;

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Players can craft their own stealth-focused versions, which allow for things like a wrist-mounted grappling hook (nearly as impractical as it is awesome) which allows them to reach new areas. They can also get steam-powered boosters to move rapidly, as well as releasing a steam cloud to blind and disorient enemies. Abilities like this are all from the gear system, and finding new pieces and crafting recipes is key to success.

Missions are broken down into four categories; Story (major objectives that move the plot forward), Sabotage (difficult missions that reduce guard presence and effectiveness in different areas of the city), Stealing (missions focused on gathering resources, gear and currency) and Stronghold (missions that upgrade your headquarters).

Though these missions have different focuses, all can contain upgrades, resources, currency, gear and intel. Many missions are unlocked just by playing the game, but finding intel in other missions is important for completionists or those looking for a boost through optional mission rewards.

The game itself is a third-person action stealth game, though the focus is very much on avoiding detection. Combat is somewhat clunky, with players having a hard time even in 1v1 combat. Enemies can be taken down in direct combat, but it’s loud, time-consuming and risky. Enemies can also be knocked unconcious silently, but players are rewarded with bonuses for “ghost” runs, in which they evade guards entirely rather than knocking them out or distracting them.

I’ve always found that the best stealth games reward, believe it or not, being stealthy – Mark of the Ninja being a prime example, in which players can complete levels without guards so much as being aware that something was happening. It always bothered me that in Splinter Cell I could knock out every single guard in a building and escape only to be heralded as the stealthiest agent in existence. It’s great to have those options, but stealth itself should be rewarding enough that players will opt in to it.

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

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