Daily Design: Day 234
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;
Gentle, Civilian and Contrary.
As such, the game I’ve designed today is…
Super Citizen is about the perils of superhero life. Specifically, how they handle life once they’ve retired.
The game is set in a world where being a Superhero has become outlawed. Superheroes (who are naturally born into the role) are identified and taken to a special facility where they lose their powers and are reintegrated into society.
The protagonist is having none of this bullshit, but also doesn’t particularly want to help people or dress up. They just want to live without someone jamming their style, or doing horrendous experiments on their body.
It’s essentially a physics game like Octodad: Dadliest Catch or Surgeon Simulator, only it’s set in a fairly large open world. The protagonist lives in a city, and each day is broken down into a level. In others words, day 1 is a level, but day 2 is a separate level. These can replayed endlessly once unlocked. Each day is broken down in a “To Do List”, and checking off the objectives leads to completion.
At first, the main problem the protagonist faces is handling their super strength. The first day, for example, may be to go shopping. The level takes place in a supermarket, and the player has a list of things to buy.
Picking things up is done by squeezing one of the controller triggers – but not too much. Pulling it all the way will crush whatever they’re holding, and if it’s not held in enough they’ll drop it. Moving the analogue stick will move the item and allow it to be placed in the trolley, but moving too quickly may result in throwing it.
The player earns experience points by completing tasks, which can be used to “downgrade” themselves and become more normal. These allow for things like making the trigger fail radius smaller for players, and increase their max move speed before they throw something.
Unfortunately, the protagonist actually accrues more superpowers over time, each of which comes with their own challenge. It’s essentially a kind of sandbox physics game where each environment and power introduces a new challenge. Walking too fast may result in flying forward at super speeds, for example. And how will they hide their identity if they’ve been asked to give a speech, but their new power is unstoppable (and always-on) laser vision?
The game is also an easy way to explore themes of homogenization and conformity. Unfortunately, this post is not a good place to do that, because it’s already run a bit long. Food for thought, though!
That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept.