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counterplan

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No updates for a while because I haven't made any progress in a while. The last week or so has been pretty busy. Last weekend I took a vacation to San Fran with my girl, that was fun. At work, the pressure has been up for the last few weeks to push the current game to release (similar to how the sphincter muscles contract when trying to expunge a piece of excrement). On friday, I got an expenses-paid trip to Boston for a job interview. That was pretty sweet. I think that was my first interview where they paid my travel expenses. It's nice to be at that point in my life =) . Then on friday night, I made it back for a Bloc Party concert, which was of course awesome.

Anyway, no actual progress to report, but I came up with a game concept. One of the questions that's been in the back of my head regarding this AI project is, exactly where am I going to use it? It's been harder than I thought to think of a game concept that would even take advantage of all this fancy shmancy AI.

Title: Counterplan
Basic concept: You must infiltrate a high-security location, form a plan to outwit the guards and security cameras, and accomplish some specified goal.
Some example levels: a prison level, where your goal is just to escape. Or a bank level, the goal is to get out the door with the money.
Interaction: Your character can manipulate various things in the world (set off alarms, lay traps, etc), and only a well-timed sequence of actions will get them to where they need. There's no combat or guns or anything. If you get caught, it's game over.
AI: The interesting part of this game is that there are several intelligent entities roaming around (guards), and they'll react to weird things happening in a rational way. In most cases, if you do something that the guards don't like, they'll just come straight at you and catch you. So the crux of the gameplay is, you have to think of what the guards will think, and trick them into believing something else. (an example, if you take apart some vent with a wrench, they'll get suspicious and catch you, but if you plant the wrench on someone else, they'll take him instead of you).
Graphics: 3d using some cheaply available engine. Also I'm thinking there could be an overhead map that can give you some rough idea of where guards are. And a text display that shows the guard's conversations, so that you have an idea of what the guards are thinking. (though you might need to find a "guard headest" item before you can see this).
Pricing model: As mentioned before, the game is episodic, which would make for a good pricing model. We give away 1 complete level for free. Then additional levels can be purchased and downloaded from our website.

As a side note, I came up with this concept while watching the show Prison Break =)
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I think it would be neat to have a game the other way around: you sneak into a location and then trick the guards into doing your job. steal uniforms, crack into the PA system, change work orders, etc.

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