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Modern Times

Member Since 16 Aug 2012
Offline Last Active Aug 13 2016 11:57 AM

#4970341 Brainstorming: skill ideas for satirical adventure game

Posted by on 16 August 2012 - 03:19 PM

Dear GameDev community,

I'm working on a satirical, text-based multiplayer adventure and role-playing game set in modern-day London. The game is supposed to be fun because of a myriad of (venomous) allusions to all the things that go wrong in this world.

Some details about the game

Players can choose between character classes like bullshit artist (consultant), bankster, lawyer, mobster, celebrity, politician, etc. In order to complete the game, the player has to live so sinfully with regard to any of the seven deadly sins that a demon is willing to offer them a contract of sponsorship. (The player then has the option to play again with slightly different rules.) On their quest to live a sinful live, characters explore more and more locations of modern-day London (on a GoogleMap), fight "monsters" like insurance sales agents or Jehovah's Witnesses, and complete quests, like building a PowerPoint presentation out of marketing buzz words, selling overpriced loans to poor bastards, or following any of the seven sin paths. Defeated monsters sometimes drop their contact details, and after some "treatment" -- bribes, seduction, threats, blackmail, etc. -- the contact can be exploited in different ways. One of these ways is to combine several contacts to setup a crime. For example, two bribed bureaucrats of some influence, a hired smuggler, two blackmailed doctors and five threatened poor fellows result in a successful organ trafficking operation. Unfortunately, crimes and exploiting contacts result in bad conscience, which players have to get rid of in order to be able to continue their mischief. There are more mechanics, but I think you get the idea.

Brainstorming session

Players can have three kinds of skills: passive skills just provide some kind of bonus in the background. Battle skills can be used against "monsters". Non-battle skills can be activated outside of combat for various effects, buffs, cures, etc. Battles are over when one of the combatants is subject to a nervous breakdown (0 hp), or if any of a monster's special win conditions is met. (See below for examples.)

I would like to ask you to come up with funny ideas for skills that either the player characters or "monsters" in the world might possess.

Here are some examples that I have already implemented:

- The bullshit artist's standard attack is babbling. ("Our biggest challenge is cultivating fully operational performances at a much shorter duration and more limited scope" and other such nonsense.) Babbling adds a battle effect called "babble momentum", which makes successive babble attacks more deadly.
- Middle management manager guys try to setup a meeting. If that succeeds, the player is trapped and their skills are blocked with a certain probability. While trapped, the manager can waste the player's time, causing a high amount of sloth damage.
- Sales agents try to sell the player worthless items for cash. Lulling them into a positive relationship increases their chances of succeeding but makes them more vulnerable to getting finished off before they can finish their combo. (If they succeed, the fight is over and the player has lost.)
- Jehova's Witnesses appear randomly throughout the game and give you the current issue of the Watchtower. If the player collects too many of these, they become a Jehova's Witness themselves. (Groups, societies, and affiliations offer access to special skills, so this is not necessarily a bad thing.)

Collaborative game design

The project is an experiment in collaborative game design. The current code base can be found at github, and once my development preview version is finished, it will be uploaded with options for designers, texters, programmers, and gamers to add their own ideas, jokes, drawings, and game elements to the game. But feel free to join right now!


The working title of the project is "Modern Times". If you can think of a better title based on what I outlined in this thread, please let me know.


2012-08 - London.jpg 2012-08 - Battle.jpg 2012-08 - Contact.jpg