Daily Design: Day 137
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;
Ambassador, Confusion and Protecting.
As such, the game I’ve designed today is…
Diplomatic Immunity is a cooperation action/strategy game for up to four players.
Players take the role of bodyguards of the ambassador of an unnamed country who’s sent to fulfill a certain objective (that changes throughout the game). The players must see this objective through to completion without letting any harm come to the ambassador.
It’s a sort of strange mix of Hitman and Left 4 Dead, only inversed. Players play in third-person and navigate large worlds full of NPCs, any of which can be an assassin in disguise. Each level is broken down into two phases; preparation and action.
In the preparation phase, players choose what gear to take into a level as well as what security to employ. This means laying out an escape route through the level (done by drawing a path on a top-down map), setting up security cameras (placing a cone that represents the field of view on the map) and selecting what actual equipment to bring.
Different equipment brings it’s own issues. Large arms (such as rifles) are much more powerful, but come at the large expense of being heavy, causing players to move more slowly. What’s worse is that unconcealed weapons will cause a panic if a player is seen carrying one in most areas. If a character selects a heavy weapon, they should stay away from crowds – they’re well suited for snipers or characters guarding areas that aren’t open to the public.
Players can also select the kind of armour they wear, from light, medium and heavy. Each adds armour at the cost of weight, meaning that heavier ammo can take more punishment but slows the character down more.
Once the preparation phase is complete, players move on to the action phase. Here, the goal depends on the level. In some, the ambassador may have to attend a meeting, reach and access a safe deposit box and more. There are several goals per level that are randomly selected during the preparation phase.
In the action phase, players have to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. Players can make an arrest on anybody at any time by “aiming” a cursor and pressing the corresponding arrest button. It works like a gun in most games, only without the gun part, which I hope makes more sense to you than it does to me.
When somebody is arrested, they can respond in a lot of ways. Some may run even if they’re innocent, but guilty suspects are a lot more likely to run. Some may surrender, some may fight back. This is largely influenced by “panic”.
Panic is a resource that must be carefully managed. Panic begins at zero and can raise to 100. If panic ever reaches one hundred, the crowd will begin to panic (what a twist), which makes it extremely difficult to spot any would-be attackers. Going into a public area with an unconcealed weapon, firing a gun, arresting an innocent person and more will raise the panic bar, though it drops naturally over time.
There can be multiple assassins, which is based on difficulty. Higher difficulties contain more assassins who are each more crafty than in lower difficulties, and may even attempt “accidental” kills. These are things like items dropping from above onto a target or faulty wiring electrocuting a pool of water – things that can’t be prevented simply by staying near the target and looking for weapons.
Finally, because this is a game about bodyguards, there’s a “dive” mechanic. If the target is about to be shot and there’s a player nearby they’re given the option to sacrifice themselves and take the bullet. Just before the assassin fires time will slow down and a button prompt appears for a nearby player – pressing it causes them to dive and take the bullet. This kills the player’s character (regardless of health and armour) but slows the assassin down by a couple of seconds, which can be crucial.
That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept.