Hi. I can tell you something about another project from this competition - my own
It is called Being and from genre standpoint it's an immersive sim (FPP game, in which the player has significant impact on many aspects of the game world and all problems have multiple solutions – more about this genre can be found here.), disguised as an old school FPS.
Player helps developers of an old school FPS game with freeing Eva – a woman who worked in their company as gameplay designer but one day, just like in TRON movie, she was sucked into the world of unfinished video game she was working at. To set her free player travels through game world as stereotypical “silent marine with huge gun”, using developer tools, game bugs and unfinished levels to his own advantage. Finally he/she confronts the mystery of thinking being trapped with flesh and bones in virtual world.
Short mockup movie edited from footage taken from other games (required by contest rules) I was inspired by (it's in polish, you can find transcript quoted below):
The foundation for Being video game is created by classic gameplay mechanics taken from old school first person shooters. There is no health regeneration, cover and shield systems are gone.
You can find med packs on the ground and levels resemble labyrinths and arenas with multiple secret areas.
Enemies has various sizes and shapes, they are present in huge numbers and their main tactic is swarming or charging at the player.
But very soon that old school gameplay is going to be turned upside down – and that’s because Being is a game about… playing the game.
Player’s main goal is to help Eve, a gameplay designer who, just like in TRON movie, was sucked into her own unfinished game.
Eve is perfectly aware where she is and tries to communicate with the player sitting on the other side of the screen, even if it is seriously hindered by shooter gameplay mechanics.
[scene from eXperience 112 video game]
EVE: Are you from the company? If so, move the camera vertically.
<player moves camera horizontally>
EVE: No… you’re not. Then who are you?
Environments are very diverse, but what’s more important – unfinished. Full of placeholder objects, unfinished textures and (specially designed) bugs as walls without collisions or physics anomalies that Eve notices and hints to the player how to use them to get an advantage over hordes of enemies.
Eve also teaches the player how to use (specially designed) developer console, where by using certain commands he/she can for example lower the gravity or see through walls. Therefore cheats are transformed into another gameplay element. But frantic gameplay is not all Being has to offer.
Between epic fights, player and Eve are exploring fascinating world of the game. Eve comments on bugs that she sees or tells funny anecdotes from gaming industry. Over time specific interactive relation starts between her and the player, relation that forces the question about the boundary that game makers should never cross.
As you can see whole concept is based on reminding the player all the time that he/she is playing the game! In other games bugs and incoherence of game world breaks immersion – here they only helps to realize that player’s avatar do not interact with the real world, but an artificial system – the one which rules can be bent or even broken using appropriate tools.
And there is Eva – woman who is aware, on the same extent as the player, that the world she is trapped in is not the real one – moreover, as a game developer she knows its every secret.
He only problem is, she used to know her game from God – Creator perspective and now she is only a mere NPC that has to obey the same rules that every other object in the game. Despite the lack of dialogue mechanics (Who designs interactive dialogs in old school FPS, right?), she tries by all means to directly communicate with the player sitting on the other side of the screen (totally ignoring in-game avatar) – finishing the game together is the only way for her to get back to “the real world”.
Thanks for reading, please tell me what you think – every feedback is mostly appreciated.
Also If you think that this is quite good and I have some perspectives in the field of game design, please put a vote for this concept.
It's the same link as Hiszp provided, but the game is called Being. Now you at least see two submissions.
Thanks a lot