Little Blog Adventure

A gaming "sketchblog"

Monday, March 27, 2006

Assignment 3 Concept 1

I've been thinking about autonomous AI entities (yarr, that's my blog- a little side-project of mine) a lot lately. What I want are game characters that can go about their business with minimum input from players. I want to use these as the basis for a mobile game- my idea is to make a game for busy people, where they can issue commands to their character(s) at a certain time of day and have said commands be carried out during the rest of the day. From this little idea, me and my group have come up with a few massively multi-player mobile game concepts- oh and just for reference, I'm imagining these games would be implemented for 3G networks and fairly high-tech phones with nice big colour screens and all. Here's the first of em.

Idea 1: Veni, Vidi, Vici

This is a multi-player game based on the idea of conquering territory (like the name says :P). Players can choose to be one of two types of characters- A military unit with combat capabilities or a research unit- belonging to a faction (players can select a desired faction but may be allocated another one if there are too many players on the desired faction) ; of which there are 7 (the number has no significance- I've chosen it arbitrarily to illustrate this example). At the beginning of play, each faction has a home territory and all military units are at level 1. This home territory is mapped onto the real world- using Singapore as an example, Tanjong Pagar could be the home of one faction, Woodlands could be another. To conquer other territories- of which there will be 50 contested ones in addition to the 7 home territories of each faction(again, a random number)- players must physically be in a territory and then "drop off" a military character into that territory with instructions to "tag" it with their faction's symbol. However, a player can return his character to his/her home territory at any time without having to be in the physical space corresponding to the home territory.

The objective of the game would be to conquer all the territory in the game- a faction whose home territory is taken over would be "subjucated" into the faction who took over their territory. Meaning that all players of the losing faction would be added to the strength of the winning one- perhaps with the caveat that all military characters would be lowered to level 1.

Gameplay is exceedingly simple- players simply choose to "drop off" their character into an area and the character will act according to the status of the area it was dropped into. A military character in a home territory will defend the territory. A military character in a contested territory will seek to "tag" it- if there are no characters from enemy factions this is done automatically (a successful tag will take one uninterrupted day) but if there are enemies there, the character will engage in combat with said enemies. Players can select one of two behaviours for a military unit- favour tagging or favour combat. A character who favours tagging will try to tag the contested area while other characters will distract the enemy characters in combat. For example, if there are 4 characters of faction A and 5 characters of faction B in an area, the first character in faction B who favours tagging and is not engaged in combat (which is one-to-one) will start the tagging process.

Levels are important for military characters- just like in RPGs, characters with higher levels are more powerful. How do characters gain levels? Well, the original idea was to have the researcher characters be sort of "treasure hunters" who could be dropped into special neutral regions to "hunt" for treasure which could be used to upgrade the military characters. An alternative (which would negate the need for the researcher characters altogether) is to have military characters gain experience in battle- say, a gain of 50% experience for each battle won and 25% percent for a battle lost.

What'll make the game (hopefully) interesting are the social dynamics that should emerge between players- a large degree of organisation will be required for players to defend their home bases and attack other territories. Players will be given the option of dropping off their character in EITHER the territory that maps to the physical location they are at OR at a territory corresponding to a physical location another player of the same faction is at. This is done by "sending" the first players character to the second player. To facilitate all this social interaction, the game will have a built-in chat client (like MSN Messenger but for phones).


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