Archive | August 2016

Daily Design: Day 243

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;

Quiet, Scratch and Timing.

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

Vox

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Vox is a first-person VR horror game with a focus on using the player’s voice as an input.

The protagonist wakes up in a dingy dungeon (where else?) with no memory of how they got there, because I’m fairly sure amnesia is underutilized in fiction. They’re trapped in a locked room – the only exit being locked via voice recognition software. To escape, they have to speak the password out loud (password is quite handily left in plain site).

Here’s an important note – Vox requires a microphone to play. The game will pause if a microphone is unplugged or muted and won’t resume until the issue is fixed.

This is because the game is filled with horribly monsters, as horror games often are. Unlike most horror games, though, these ones are entirely blind; they’re attracted only by sounds. This includes sounds the player makes in-game (running, knocking something over) and any sounds they make with their voice.

It’s a stealth game, and there’s no way to kill enemies other than utilizing the environment. For example, players may be able to navigate in such a way that there’s a large pit between them and an enemy. Calling out to the enemy from there will cause them to run into the pit.

It’s also interesting that it requires the player to stay calm and quiet. Screaming can result in death, as can nervous muttering (which is something I hope other people do when they play horror games as well).

On the negative side, it also means the game can’t be played well with others around, or in a crowded household.

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

Daily Design: Day 242

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;

Pause, Pig and Momentum. 

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

Porker

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Porker is an adventure game, starring an Adventure Time original character.

It’s a sidescrolling game with a focus on momentum – the faster the player moves, the further they can jump and the more powerful their charge is, allowing them to knock down doors or barrel through obstacles.

Enemies work in the same way. They’ll charge at the player and do severe damage when they connect, depending on how much speed they’ve built up.

The unique mechanic at play is pausing, which probably doesn’t sound all that unique, admittedly. The trick is that pausing the game will eliminate all momentum from all characters, enemy or protagonist, allowing the player to manipulate the environment.

It’s largely a puzzle game, then. Players need to figure out ways to build momentum at key points while knowing when and where it should be eliminated to avoid enemies or drop out of a jump.

I imagine it’s similar to Super Meat Boy, in that it has small levels that can be reset instantly. Once a player knows their way around a level, it should be quite easy to finish in future.

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

Daily Design: Day 241

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;

Zoo, Grave and Rising. 

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

Zoombinosis

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Zoombinosis is a first person survival horror gameset in a zoo. Despite how overdone the zombie genre is, I feel like zombie animals are surprisingly underexplored, being how incredibly scary they’d be (at least to me, but then I find most regular animals sort of scary).

It’s a fairly straightforward first-person survival horror game, but the setting allows for all kinds of interesting opportunities. Zombie dogs are a terrifying given, but zombie monkeys are something that really ought to have more screen time in the world of gaming. I don’t know how things like zombie sloths and giraffes would go, but I imagine they’d be easy enough to make terrifying.

The player’s primary goal is to escape the (apparently enormous) zoo without dying, which I suppose is also the goal of everyone who visits a zoo. Weapons are extremely rudimentary, consisting of things like pipes, maybe a fire axe and a tranquiliser rifle that really shouldn’t work on something without a blood flow, but will in the game.

An enemy that’s tranquilised will get back up in a minute or so, but it’s the only gun in the game which makes it very useful. Smaller enemies can be fought off with melee attacks, or even killed after being tranq. Tranq rounds are, of course, quite rare – so use them wisely.

It really boils down to a traditional survival horror. The key difference is how broad enemies can be – being chased by a pack of mutated zombie meerkats isn’t quite the same as being chased down by a zombie rhino, for example. It’s partly inspired by Dino Crisis – real-life animals are fairly terrifying, and that’s something I wish games would explore a lot more. Even if they’re zombified for some reason.

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

Daily Design: Day 240

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;

Melt, Alien and Timer.

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

Scorcher

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Scorcher is a multiplayer shooter set on a planet with a sun hot enough to instantly torch all life. As such, the population of the planet is forced to live inside caves and underground, except for at night time. The planet also has a night/day cycle of a few minutes, meaning that they can only be above ground for a minute or two every few minutes (and have to get back under before the sun rises).

Because resources are obviously scarce, the population is battling each other, instead of just moving to a less shitty planet. Scorcher is a 6v6 team-based shooter, with a focus on utilising the environment over straight shooting.

Typically, one team is defending some resources while another tries to capture it, like Capture the Flag only with just the one flag. While there’s a traditional rifle as a weapon it does very little damage, and players are better suited to using the environment to achieve victory.

This is because each part of the map can be dug into or blown apart, except for very few reinforced areas (such as in a small vicinity immediately around the “flag”). The idea is that players can blow holes into the ceiling to let in deadly sunlight, or explore the surface at night and drop in from above. Tunnels can be collapsed, and bombs can be planted to cause players to drop to their deaths.

Because of this, most weapons are designed to interact with the environment more than other players directly. One example is a typical remote bomb that can be used either in a classic ambush way, or to collapse a ceiling on top of or out from underneath another player.

Another tool is the mirror, which can be placed and used to redirect sunlight into enemies. Players can use “drill bombs” to quickly explode the ground underneath them, which can be used to tunnel to safety or drop into the room with resources.

The idea, basically, is to have a shooter in which players interact with the environment more than the enemies, though how they interact with the environment depends on player action. There’s a lot of opportunity for different levels in terms of layout and type (a hazard from below, for example, such as lava) and each gadget could function differently in different circumstances.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. Possibly a little vague at the end, but I hope you get the idea. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept. 

 

Daily Design: Day 239

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;

Disease, Approving and Revenue.

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

Big Pharma

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Big Pharma is a game about testing cures for disease, which is hopefully more fun than it sounds.

It’s set in a world in which a single disease has ravaged large parts of the world. Other (read: richer) parts are still running mostly as normal, but swathes of researches are in a panic to find a cure or vaccine. Obviously, the player takes the role of one of these researchers.

The game essentially boils down to making a series of narrative-driven decisions, as well as managing funds. The first section (narrative decisions), is fairly straightforward; the player is posed a question, and selects from a set series of answers. As an example, there may be a risky way to improve the cure quickly, though it comes with a chance of losing huge funding or even setting the cure back (somehow). These decisions are story-driven and explained with some flavour.

Secondly, managing funds comes down to assigning how much money each department recieves. The researches need some, but PR also needs a bit to make money of their own. Security needs to keep out thieves or later on even rioters, and a resources department may need funds to keep up morale. Decisions and fund management will dictate how much money is earned as players progress, influencing all their future decisions.

It’s a simple game, and probably best suited to mobile. It’s also one that would likely rely on the quality of writing, which is something that isn’t terribly well demonstrated in blog-form. Still, it’s an idea with merit, provided play throughs are short enough and that the decisions are morally interesting rather than binary.

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

 

Daily Design: Day 238

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;

Turnaround, Slash and Cutting.

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

Orpheunage

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You know those VR horror games that have enemies you can’t look at or they’ll kill you? Orpheunage is one of those, only multiplayer.

Up to four players are trying to escape the Underworld, with a fifth playing taking the role of the Devil who’s in pursuit. The players have to navigate a randomly generated Underworld in first person in order to find an exit. They can’t fight, but each player receives a speed boost if they’re near another – if all four players are together, they move much more quickly.

The Devil can kill them quickly and without much effort if he catches them, with one caveat – the survivors are invincible until they look at him. Once they do, the Devil can kill each player (that’s looked at him) quickly and easily.

The idea is that the survivor group will balance splitting up with movement speed to explore the Underworld and move on, while the Devil player tries to ambush them around corners or by moving quickly into their vision.

The Devil player would potentially need some kind of guidance, like a minimap or the ability to see through walls, but it’s hard to see without play testing.

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

 

Daily Design: Day 237

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;

Sprightly, Blade and Clash.

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

To Do or Iaido

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To Do or Iaido is a game about killing people with swords, which is maybe not the most original idea on this blog, but definitely isn’t the worst.

It’s a game built for phones and tablets, and consists of a single action – swiping (how novel!). The game is about two samurai (or ninjas, I guess) having a swordfight, only each fight is determined by a single blow.

Both characters stand facing each other with their swords sheathed. They can’t perform any actions until the timer sounds; of course, this timer is slightly randomised, so reflexes are key. When the timer is sounded, players are shown a line on their screen; the first to swipe along this line is the winner. This is accompanied, of course, by an amazing fly-by sword fight where the two characters strike each other, and the loser is shown to be whichever one splits in half after a few seconds.

It’s dead simple, but could be quite fun in multiplayer. There’s a single-player mode as well, and players can earn cosmetic unlocks to customise their characters by winning duels. Cosmetic unlocks are tied behind challenges rather than a currency; winning 100 online fights may result in earning a new sword or a silly hat or something, for example.

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