Daily Design: Day 138

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;

Collapse, Choice and Dash.

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

Head Cannon

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So, I won’t lie – today’s design is just the “Smash Cannons” map from Counter-Strike: Source, because I can’t believe there hasn’t been a full game made out of it yet.

For the uninitiated, Smash Cannons is a custom-made map in CS:S. There are two teams – one consists of 2 players that control cannons and try to destroy a series of platforms (pictured above), and the other team is comprised of every other player on the server who’s just trying to survive.

After a certain amount of time passes the “survivor” team is teleported to a ramp at the base of the cannons – if they manage to survive the run up the ramp, they’re given guns and can easily take out the two players in charge of the cannons.

The cannons are a bit hard to aim, as well – it’s first person, and the cannons are actually controlled with the keyboard rather than the mouse. Physics affect the cannonball as it flies and drops, which means aiming above your target is important.

Still, the cannonballs are massively destructive. A well-placed one can topple an entire platform, but there’s nothing quite like being a player on that platform and narrowly jumping to another one just the previous one collapses. Similarly, there’s nothing quite like hitting a player dead-on with a cannonball.

A full game version would have some neat trappings – cosmetic unlocks, different maps and so on. What’s important is that the core gameplay isn’t changed, because it’s such a blast (pun completely intended, save your applause until the end of this post). It could be tweaked; in the original map two skilled cannon players could destroy the entire platform before time expired, which was obviously unfair. Similarly, the ramp section wasn’t much fun as a cannon player, because all you’d really fire straight down.

Still, it astounds me that this hasn’t become a full game yet. I recognise that this is almost cheating, as this is a blog series about designing games, but the best ideas are unoriginal (don’t steal that quote, it was mine originally).

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

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