Last edit: May 27, 2017.
Development / design starts in May, some time after I’m done with the Video Game Writing by Video Game Writers project. If you are interested in working with me on this game, I am happy to negotiate some kind of a revenue share contract.
An Episodic Single Player Action Adventure Game with Turn-Based Combat and Rogue-Like Elements.
Think Dreamweb (1994) POV and atmosphere with timed choices that matter from The Walking Dead (Telltale Games) meets inventory management from Deus Ex meets meets Fallout (1997) combat with rogue-like elements:
- Top-down graphics & real time movement and inventory interaction out of combat.
- Turn-based combat like X-Com (limited to 2 controllable characters), except with a time limit for each turn.
- Time-based dialogs like in The Walking Dead or other Telltale games.
- Room placement of “key rooms” with NPCs / items that advance the story is randomized, same as the “corridors” of the game, creating high replayability of each episode.
- Experienced Unity developers (C#)
- 2D (concept / texture) artists
- 2D animation / environment artists (with Unity experience)
- pixel artists (with Unity experience)
- A composer of ambient electronic music
- Alternatively, somebody willing to invest at least $55k for the development of the first 2 episodes, in which case I can use my ad filming / movie contacts to make the game in FMV on digital art backgrounds.
All the below is far from final.
Be Male or Female.
Play as a Marine (gun combat), Psychic (mind control), or Cyberninja (melee weapons).
You control your character by clicking the area where you want to go in the game world. You can press SPACE or Right mouse key to select contextual action.: if it’s an NPC, talk to the character or look at the character, if it’s a box or door, open it or close it, if it’s a special action, take special action, eg., step on someone’s fingers when they’re hanging off a ledge, or help them up.
In combat, you control your character & companion by clicking on a tile to move, clicking on an enemy to shoot, clicking stance icon to kneel or go prone, etc. Cloned from X-Com games.
Interface & Interaction
When you talk to a character, your portrait is displayed in the left bottom side of the screen, and the character you’re talking to is displayed on the right.
You can select from a series of various dialogue options below the screen. Possibly use an all-encompassing overlay over the dialogue screen, like in Fallout 1 and 2.
Key characters would be a Talking Head if the resources would allow it. If not, similar to the above, except with a top-down perspective, like this:
Asking an NPC something or reading / otherwise learning about something in the game-world can open up different dialogue trees when talking with other NPCs.
You will often need to talk to NPCs or do something for them to progress. These dialogs are timed so you only have a few seconds to decide on what to respond / how to react to a situation as you watch a time bar diminish once you are in the dialog.
Looting dead enemies and completing bounties can give you cash and loot that you should be able to sell or trade with in-game merchants. Merchants can travel through the map, or be placed as special rooms or inside rooms with other important story-related NPCs or actions. Ammo, health items along with weapons and quest-related items. Implants can be slotted in special Implant inventory like in the original Syndicate.
Inventory management is limited by a grid, like in Deus Ex:
You progress by advancing in one of the skill trees (you advance a combat skill by using it).
Your key stats are set at the start of the game and seldom change.
You progress the story by completing the dungeons (hospital, mine, etc.) and equipping better items. Each dungeon gives you a little story. Every time you die in a dungeon, or on the way to one, you are rebuilt as an android at a save point (in the central hub)? The dungeons are re-generated, and you lose all your non-cached items. Narrative explanation for ‘dungeons’ regenerating: you remember the world differently.
The main attraction of this game is replayability. Often, when an episodic game comes out, everyone would buy the first episode, but not the second (unless it’s an extremely well-crafted, high-budget production everyone is crazy about).
There is a story, and there are “key” rooms with “key” NPCs, but the world in-between consists of a map, on which you travel to what are basically randomly generated dungeons with key NPCs. Some locations would be closed off prior to completing certain action (killing a boss, or taking an item to an NPC, or talking to an NPC, for example).
These tiles should have elements for taking cover and strategic combat against randomly placed enemies in every game.
Easy, Medium, and Hard would affect the size of the dungeons (amount of tiles), as well as increase the damage output for both enemies and the player character.
QIABAA (Questions I’ll Answer Before Anyone Asks)
But Max, aren’t you afraid somebody is going to steal your idea?
Ideas are easy. Execution is hard. And if somebody makes a game like that, it would should sure save us a lot of time and effort, as it’s a game I really want to play!
How committed are you to developing this game?
I think that while there’s quite a bit of programming involved, it’s not an unrealistically complex project. While I have other writing commitments, I think it’s realistic to have at least a prototype ready by mid-2018, even while working full time and studying at uni. If nobody with programming / Unity experience is going to join me on this one, I’ll just hack at it alone.
Do you think this game can generate money?
Don’t you think all this is just a silly pipe dream?
To quote Mark Hamill’s Twitter bio, “Believe in yourself! Work hard, never give up & anything’s possible. OR: Kick back, relax & aim low-you’ll never be disappointed.”
Thank you for reading. If you are interested in collaborating on this the project in any capacity, please drop me a line to max AT wordcowboy.com.