We had our first team meeting of the week today, before our lecture tomorrow.
Our game designer, Bob, brought to the meeting a great idea he had worked on that we have decided to adopt as our game pitch (inspired by our ‘colour’ theme from last week’s brainstorming session).
The core mechanic is an extension of Paint the Town (refer to the previous Team Meeting post, Week 2), whereby the colour of the player is spread to townspeople on contact. However the rest of the game is very different from that point in.
Our game pitch is called “I Am Zero” – a 3D, 3rd person game with a gameplay genre best described as ‘strategy’. This game is a two-player game where each player begins as an incorporeal cloud of pathogens and chooses a target to be their ‘Patient Zero’. They then possess this Patient Zero for the rest of the game to spread their disease amongst the town’s AI inhabitants.
The game is won when:
- All villagers are infected and a player has majority %, or
- When a player finds the opponent’s Patient Zero and destroys the disease at its source.
The AI villagers can also win if they notice the disease(s) and have time to build a successful vaccine.
There are two approaches to gameplay: stealth vs speed, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Players can choose to adopt one or both as they play for victory.
(+) The disease’s outwards symptoms are minimal; thus the AI will not attempt to run away from infected villagers and will not begin producing a vaccine until much later in the game.
(+) There is less chance of the opponent finding the player’s Patient Zero if the player chooses to infect villagers less frequently or through symptoms that are not outwardly showing.
(-) Fewer outward symptoms means it is difficult to transmit the disease between villagers, slowing transmission dramatically.
(-) If the AI notices it, the disease may not be able to overcome the remaining healthy villagers before a vaccine is produced.
(-) If the disease’s spread is too slow, the opponent may win by infecting the majority % of villagers.
(+) If the disease is spread aggressively, there will be visible outward symptoms meaning rapid transmission and infection of villagers.
(+) Having more villagers producing visible outward symptoms of sickness makes it far easier for Patient Zero to blend in and actively spread disease while remaining unnoticed by the opponent.
(-) The AI will notice the disease far quicker and start building a vaccine against it immediately.
(-) AI villagers will avoid or run away from other infected villagers that display visible symptoms of sickness.
(-) If disease is spread too aggressively by Patient Zero the opponent may notice and will move to destroy Patient Zero.
Bob and Jack are excited at the prospect of working with some AI and I am looking forward to planning the logistics of disease spread and triggers for AI reaction.
Lexi is pleased because she feels she is able to express our core game concepts using a fantasy-like environment and models (think Lemmings).
We have produced a PowerPoint describing the mechanics of our game to pitch in the lecture tomorrow.