Design: Hellish Administrator. Feedback?
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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:59 AM
I think this game would work quite well on a tablet, as the time to play a level is not too long (5 minutes?) and the game would fit the touch and swipe input method quite nicely.
The premise is that the player is one of the administrators of Hell, charged with running punishment facilities in Hell. The level will have a shell in which the player must place various rooms which either fulfill the functions of reception, diagnosis, treatment, public facilities and staff amenities. A variety of preset room sizes allows the player to touch the desired room and then touch within the shell to place the room. The player then touches the required objects to place within the rooms. Staff need to be hired by the player, who will draw a regular "pay" from the power metre.
The goal of the game is to process enough souls to generate the required power as set on each level. The game takes inspiration from the Bullfrog classics and will be presented in a comedic cartoon style. Please feel free to leave any feedback on this idea as I'd like to see if it's worth developing the idea further. A very short design idea brief follows.
Thanks for reading.
You are an administrator of Hell, charged by Satan to maintain the operations of Punishment Facilities within the Seven Hells. Satan and his cohorts are off battling God and the angels, so you need to ensure the steady flow of soul punishments to fuel Satan's power. If you fail, Satan will fail. If you succeed you will be rewarded handsomly in The Chaos.
The campaign takes place over a number of levels. Each era of Earthly time requires the administration of each of the Seven Hells. Through the campaign you administer each of the Seven Hells during each era. The eras are: Anchient, Roman, Medieval, Renaiscance and Modern.
As administrator you are given a section of Hell to manage. You are required to process incoming souls, determine the punishment, deal the punishment and collect the extracted power. You will be paid for each service provided by you, which in turn is then used to hire staff, pay for maintenance and expand your operation. Each level will be completed when you have collected the goal amount of power from souls. As well as collecting power, your operations will have a satisfaction rating based on feedback from the processed souls. Satisfaction is rated on things like waiting times, ability to process required punishment, cleanliness and maintenance, as well as other factors. If your satisfaction rating drops too low you will fail the level.
The game is a real-time construction management sim, very much the same style of play as games like Theme Hospital, Theme Park and SimCity. In the allocated space you are required to build a reception area where incoming souls are processed into the waiting queue. From the waiting queue souls are required to see a Soul Practitioner who will evaluate the soul and recommend a punishment for the soul. The soul then joins the queue of the relevant punishment room and when the room and a Punishment Practitioner are available the soul enters the room and the punishment is dealt. If the punishment is the correct one for that soul, the soul's power is collected and the soul is free to leave the Punishment Facility.
In the event a punishment is recommended by a Punishment Practitioner and that punishment room has not been built yet, the soul will wait around for a short period of time hoping that you build the punishment room. If the soul's waiting time expires, the soul will turn to dust and be scattered on the floor. The soul has perished and will negatively impact your satisfaction rating. Punishment Practitioners can also make mistakes, thus decreasing the satisfaction of the soul. A Practitioners experience will determine the chance of a mistake being made.
The amount of power extracted is determined by the soul's life force. As a soul spends time in Hell, its life force depletes. It is important to process souls quickly, as the quicker a soul is processed the more power from its life force is extracted. Souls may only remain in Hell for a period of time before their life force is spent and the soul returns to Pergatory. One of the tools available to the player is to speed up or slow down diagnosis. Speeding up diagnosis will allow your Practitioners to process souls quicker, but increases the risk of a mistake being made. Vice-versa, if diagnosis is slowed down, the risk of a mistake drops but Practitioners process souls slower. A player can over-ride a diagnosis if they see a mistake has been made or to send a undiagnosed soul directly to a punishment room.
Punishments will be based on the seven deadly sins. Souls will have visual clues as to what sin they have performed to earn being send to Hell. Some clues will be subtle (such as a fat soul for gluttony, or a green soul for envy) whilst other clues will not be so obvious (for instance the liar). If a player recognises these clues they can take a risk and send a soul directly to the relevant punishment room. The liar is the hardest sin to diagnose, as not only can a soul lie verbally to the Practitioner, the liar may also display other sin's visual clues.
The game is won if the player collects enough power from souls to meet the level's goal. The game is lost if either the timer runs out, or the satisfaction level of the Punishment Facility drops below a set threshold.
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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:53 PM
I update this more: http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/158344-Not-Dead-Enough-a-zombie-apocalypse-simulator-now-in-production!
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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:50 PM
Please let us know if you make any progress with this, as I'd love to give it a try!
- Jason Astle-Adams.
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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:07 AM
Edited by Lord Darkshayde, 24 November 2012 - 12:11 AM.
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Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:12 AM
I very much enjoy the idea of this kind of game. Admittedly even though it is effectively Theme Hospital with a Hell skin thrown over it I love the imagination it takes to come up with such an idea in the first place and I applaud you for your ingenuity! I do think this would be worth pursuing as a development project and I believe with the right humor (you want to keep it lighthearted or it may offend more "conservative" gamers) and art style it could be a big success. If you get some conceptual stuff out there (artwork/gameplay) I believe you would find a decent following in no time at all. Good luck in your endeavors and I look forward to hearing more about this in the future!
Agreed on the humor. It can be a sensitive subject in some circles. But I think with a cartoonish style, and ludicrous humor it should take any connection to the religious angle.
BTW, I find ideas come to you in the strangest of situations, and my tablet isn't far away so I can also make a note to myself and come back to it later. For this idea, my son (who's 6) was sitting next to me on my tablet watching Youtube videos. I was watching some show on Discovery that was talking about Hell and the seven sins. I don't know how or why he watched it, but he pulled up a Theme Hospital video. That was one of my favourite games in my younger years and I was telling him about the game when it just hit me. "Imagine if instead of a hospital it was Hell!"
Like I say, ideas come to you at the strangest times.
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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:46 PM
The language you have used to describe Hell makes it sound very much like a hospital ("practitioner", "diagnosis" etc). I think that this is a good humerous angle, but wonder if it might be placing the game just a little too close to Theme Hospital. Perhaps you could tweak things slightly to better mesh with the Hell theme: the sweet spot might be somewhere slightly further along the scale between "practitioner" and "torturer", or "diagnosis" and "judgement".
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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:52 PM
I am hoping to have some cartoony way to depict the actual staff as Imps, or even just a selection of lesser creatures of Hell. And of course the person giving you the mission briefing just has to be a lesser demon.
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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:57 PM
Anyway, if you're interested in pursuing, here's what you have to consider: theme hospital had two things going for it: that is multiple types of diseases and multiple types of treatments. Basically the game had a way to get more complicated with time: you had to research more diseases, build new facilities etc. With the Hell Management sim I personally couldn't think of a way to gradually increase the complexity of the game. You could add researching new sins or new and more effective punishments for the sins, but that doesn't actually increase complexity that much if all you need to do to make hell operate more efficiently is introduce a few new punishment rooms. So if you're interested, concentrate on making hell administration a more complex thing then what you've described.
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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:43 PM
My intention is to focus on the cardinal sins. Whilst tradition says there are seven cardinal sins, Galatians 5 in the Bible notes the following mortal sins (what we call the seven deadly sins in modern times) as such:
This is a more complete list and as I see it, by increasing the number of these sins which you have to process provide a higher difficulty as time goes by. The increasing population of Earth over time is also another way to increase difficulty.
So not only do you need to adjust to more sins to administer, but there are more souls arriving to be processed.
A similar mechanic to Theme Hospital's disaster can be done through "a war on Earth" where a batch of souls arrive to be processed at the same time. Satan's Generals can also make increasing demands for payments of soul power during the level to ensure an increasing difficulty level.
Ultimately, it will be this multi-pronged approach which will provide the player a harder and harder game as they go through the levels.
PS: I used to play Afterlife too. Not a bad game at all! Of course, that leads to a sequel doesn't it, Heavenish Administrator. ;)
Edited by BRRGames, 29 November 2012 - 03:44 PM.