Daily Design: Day 328

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;

Minute, Star and Chasing.

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

60-Second Survey


60-Second Survey is a game about exploring planets in a minute, which would be a lot harder if players didn’t take the role of a gigantic mechanical person who can sprint around a planet in seconds.

Players are pilots of these exploratory “mechs”, and it’s their job to explore newly-discovered planets for resources and to see if they’re inhabitable.  Because they’re on a tight schedule – aren’t we all? – they only have one minute to explore a planet as thoroughly as possible.

Firstly, the game plays largely like Mario Galaxy. Players land on a planet that’s relatively small for their size (so not like our regular Earth/Human ratio), and they run around exploring it. Each planet has small puzzles and unique challenges, though they’re all baked into the environment. For example, one planet may have a dried up riverbed, but if the player destroys a nearby rock the water will flow again, which can grant access to new areas – though of course, some puzzles are considerably more complicated.

Each planet has a unique challenge based on a theme. Some planets are frozen, some are deserts, some are boiling hot and others are more Earth-like. Each has a couple of things to do per planet, which act as kinds of “challenge” modes.

Firstly, there’s exploration, as detailed above. This is the first thing that must be done on each planet. After that, there are two more modes – colonisation and mining.

Colonisation involves making the planet suitable for human life, which is done by planting a terraforming beacon. The beacon has to be placed in a specific area, which is shown on a single 2D image before (and during) the mission takes place. It’s essentially a kind of “treasure hunt”, where the player has to find the drawn location on the planet and plant the beacon (in a minute, like with all modes). If the player can’t do this in a minute, the location changes randomly between a small series of drawings per planet.

Mining is essentially “hard mode”, where the player enters the planet’s underground and completes another tricky puzzle. These parts of the game don’t take place on a spherical map like the others, and as such have much more varied environments, though they typically play as a more difficult version of whatever puzzle was in the exploration phase.

That’s about the gist of it! The player travels the galaxy and explores, colonises and mines planets. Players earn in-game currency for completing these missions, which can be used to upgrade their spaceship, granting access to new and more difficult missions.

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


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