Daily Design: Day 267

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;

Mortal, Wall and Pilgrimage. 

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

Off the Wall

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In Off the Wall, players take control of a randomly generated protagonist. They’re part of a tribe of people who believe that enlightenment can be reached by physically walking to a utopia. Of course, this utopia exists at the end of an enormous pilgrimage – one that takes several generations to reach.

The tribe travels across an enormous mechanical wall, and their entire existence is based around travelling in a single direction. They hunt, grow crops in gigantic wagons, collect rainwater and even have children all while travelling the wall.

The protagonist begins as a child, and the tutorial covers the most vital lessons about life on the wall. Essentially, the player has to make decisions in regards to how to manage themselves and their family, and eventually may become the leader of the entire tribe, which adds all sorts of problems to deal with.

These are typically broken down into decisions that have to be made. The core mechanic of Off the Wall is simply decision-making; for example, somebody may fall off the wall. The player has to decide if they want to risk going down to search for them, how many people and resources they want to dedicate to the task and more. The decision-making will have a knock-on effect for all future decisions, and comes with slight randomization. For example, the person who fell off may or may not have been carrying some vital equipment, or may be especially skilled in something the tribe relies on. They also may or may not have been friends or family – all of which is decided at random and will change the player’s decision-making.

This is important because when the protagonist eventually dies, their child will take over (and become the new chief if the previous character managed it). Then, the player begins the journey as this new character. All progress in terms of distance traveled is carried over from the previous journey, and if the former character dies without having a child, the player can still continue – they just won’t have the same legacy, or begin as chief (it’ll have to be earned again). Each play through permanently affects the tribe at large, though.

Think of it as 80 Days if each play through was affected by every previous run. It’s a setting that’s easy to write for – there are plenty of themes about culture, tradition and religion right at the forefront, and plenty more to explore that’s well beyond the scope of this blog. This is important because it’s a game that would need to be carried by the quality of writing.

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

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