Daily Design: Day 202

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on randomly generated words. Today, they are; 

Dentist, Task and Military.

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

Tooth Ops

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Tooth Ops is a single-player strategy game about a tiny special forces team that battles against tooth decay with special weapons and tactics.

The game is broken down into levels, with each level using randomly generated terrain. While they’re all set on top of or inside teeth (I know, it’s gross), the characters are so small that each tiny ridge makes for a big change on geometry and terrain, meaning that levels are rarely similar.

The enemies are forms of tooth decay, that obviously use guns of their own. Battles are short and lethal, with a single bullet often being enough to take someone down, whether they’re friend or foe.

Each level starts from the Strategy Map, which is a simple overview of the entire level. From here, the player chooses their entry point, then commands their squad through the entire mission. This is all planning – the player has to plan the entire mission from beginning to end without knowing precisely what the enemy will do.

As an example, the player may tell the team to stack up on a door, then breach and clear the room. They command one character to look right and another to look left to clear both sides. There are also preset commands to make this simpler.

Twice in each mission, the player can pause the game to reissue commands if something goes wrong, such as a team mate dying or resistance being fiercer than expected. However, most of the game is watching the planning (quickly) play out. Sometimes a new objective will be added part way through a mission, such as having to fill a cavity or bomb a dead nerve. In these cases the game is paused and the characters can be commanded without losing a regular pause.

This makes forethought and strategy incredibly important. While it’s easy to breach and clear a room, maybe you’d be better off stacking your team from multiple entrances first – but then that means you’d have to clear a “hallway”, which in turn carries risks of its own. Levels are loosely randomized each time, with objectives and rooms changing while general layout, objectives and difficulty don’t.

Characters can be commanded individually or as a team. It’s also worth noting that while enemies “roam” the area, most are contained in rooms they’re guarding, making each level essentially a series of mini-puzzles that are tied together.

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

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