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Hey, First off, I'd like to say that I'm a programmer, not a writer, so this is going to be a really scatter brained explanation of my idea. Anyway, it's one that I think is good and could lend itself to some pretty cool experiences for the player. The game takes place in the present. You play a police officer who is kidnapped by a group of "terrorist scientists" (called RADIUS) who once worked for the U.S. government. However, feeling underappreciated (and slightly insane and power hungry), they left. Needing some sort of man power to accomplish their plan (overthrowing the government), they began looking into and testing with re-animation. They set up a research center ("The Compound"), and were successful in bringing matter back to life, but found controlling it to be near impossible (Frankenstein). So, they came up with a better idea: bring the matter back to life, and develop some sort of AI to put inside of it. This is where your kidnapping comes in. You, unknowingly, after being kidnapped had a "chip" (sci fi is awesome) implanted that will learn from everything you do and think. You will fight your way through the compound, killing the re-animated monsters (helping RADIUS), and also giving them the information they need to build an army of you (again, helping RADIUS). "The Voice", the leader of RADIUS, will talk to you during your trip. Also, being able to track you (via the chip), he'll set up plenty of bad situations for you to get out of. About half way through the compound, a bad storm will cause the power to go out. This puts the chip and it's system offline, so now you're untrackable in the dark. However (didn't mention this earlier), the re-animated monsters fear light, and love the dark. Your only source of light will be matches (come in 10 packs and only burn for about 10 seconds). this area of the game will feature many nasty areas, with the player having to "feel" his way around to keep from falling, etc (pit and the pendulum stuff). Anyway, the power eventually comes back on, and "The Voice" and the other RADIUS members are in a panic. In a last act of desperation, they begin building "Organic Robots" based on the AI they've gathered from you so far, and these things come after you. So, the last part of the game has you battling re-animated monsters, Organic soldiers, and them battling each other, as well. Eventually you witness the murder of "The Voice" by his own monsters. But, how do you clean the compound of the remaining monsters and escape? The final "puzzle" will make you use your head. Throughout the compound, you'll come across many "Re-Animation Chambers", which are used to do just that. Any matter put inside them is "killed", or sucked of life, and then "zapped" with life. The matter comes back to life after a short time. Sometime during the game (during the panic), you will encounter a RADIUS scientist who was sent down to find you. He was supposed to detonate the "bomb" that blows the compound and all life inside it to nothing (but wiping out all research, as well, this is why it was a last resort) but he became too scared and basically hid in a corner. He tells you of the bomb, and you help each other for a little bit. He turns on you later, but that's not important, now. With the knowledge of this bomb, the player can end RADIUS. So, you hit the detonate button, run down the hall to a Re-Animation Chamber, hit the switch, hop in, and your life flashes before your eyes as the chamber kills you and zaps what's needed to revive you. However, until this kicks in, you're still dead, so the explosion happens, and you come back to life with the compound laying around you. You've destroyed the Compound and RADIUS. Any comments are welcome! EDIT: I broke it up into paragraphs. Hopefully it's a bit easier to read. I said it was scatter brained. [Edited by - fragface on June 1, 2005 5:06:48 PM]

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I like it - is has echoes of Doom (3), Half-life (1), and alone in the dark - all worthy titles to emulate.

But, like everything else - it's how well you pull it off that's going to count.

P.S. Don't make it too dark - D3 suffered from over-darkness.

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I would also point out that unless you're talking about the gameplay, it's more an issue for the Writing For Games forum than Game Design.

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Thanks very much, ScootA!

Yeah, actually, I'm a big fan of the original Half-Life, and "The Compound" will definitely bare a few resemblances to Black Mesa. :)

The game (hopefully) wouldn't be too dark. The section where the power goes out is pretty brief, and "matches" will be pretty abundant.

I'm looking into working on this idea soon - hopefully as a mod using the Source Engine.

EDIT: Kylotan, sorry. Move the thread if you need to. :)

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Quote:
This is where your kidnapping comes in. You, unknowingly, after being kidnapped had a "chip" (sci fi is awesome) implanted that will learn from everything you do and think. You will fight your way through the compound, killing the re-animated monsters (helping RADIUS), and also giving them the information they need to build an army of you (again, helping RADIUS). "The Voice", the leader of RADIUS, will talk to you during your trip. Also, being able to track you (via the chip), he'll set up plenty of bad situations for you to get out of.
A good idea would be to make the beginning creatures rather dumb. Kind of like a feral animal, only relying on base instincts. As the game progresses, new creatures are released with early versions of the new AI. This would help in keeping the difficulty level steadily increasing.

Quote:
About half way through the compound, a bad storm will cause the power to go out. This puts the chip and it's system offline, so now you're untrackable in the dark. However (didn't mention this earlier), the re-animated monsters fear light, and love the dark. Your only source of light will be matches (come in 10 packs and only burn for about 10 seconds). this area of the game will feature many nasty areas, with the player having to "feel" his way around to keep from falling, etc (pit and the pendulum stuff).
You might want to replace those matches with maybe...5 glow sticks? Matches are as useful for lighting your way as a baseball bat is for chopping carrots. ;)

Quote:
Anyway, the power eventually comes back on, and "The Voice" and the other RADIUS members are in a panic. In a last act of desperation, they begin building "Organic Robots" based on the AI they've gathered from you so far, and these things come after you. So, the last part of the game has you battling re-animated monsters, Organic soldiers, and them battling each other, as well. Eventually you witness the murder of "The Voice" by his own monsters.
I don't know about their beginning to build robots. I'd bet that if they'd planned this out, they'd already have "test models" built and ready for re-animation. It might be better to explain that the "hardware" is installed before re-animation. They then transmit a new AI program before re-animation. This "hardware" also contains a "killswitch". Unfortunately, the power outage fried that part of the system and the creatures are now on a rampage.

Quote:
With the knowledge of this bomb, the player can end RADIUS. So, you hit the detonate button, run down the hall to a Re-Animation Chamber, hit the switch, hop in, and your life flashes before your eyes as the chamber kills you and zaps what's needed to revive you. However, until this kicks in, you're still dead, so the explosion happens, and you come back to life with the compound laying around you. You've destroyed the Compound and RADIUS.
I have 2 questions here:
How do you survive the explosion? Reinforced Re-Animation Chamber?
Will you be as "messed up" as the other specimens? Will you act normally?

I like this kind of plot. Zombies and "where did the people go?" types always have a spot on my computer. You know if you changed RADIUS into a massive corporation, you could insert the terms 'OCP' and 'Security Concepts' right in somewhere. ;)

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Was it fatal frame where your main weapon was a camera? I guess using the flash on a camera would be copying the point too much. :p

Here's a cool little idea about the AI. Since the player is being modelled, I think it may be reasonable to alter the AI for the creatures later on based on the modelled player actions are. So, depending on a person's style of play, no two players will match up against the same type of monster behavior. Make walkthrus for the game just that much harder to write. :p So, the monsters really learn from you.

Probably build some sort of user modelling agent, or evolve a finite state machines along the way. Then the monsters can use slight permutations of the FSM generated so far.

Probably give a choice to have the user blow himself up too?

And to bypass the question of what happens, if the re-animation chamber can survive the blast, when you come back to life, you can have the chip be sophisticated enough to actually store your behavior pattern. So, the AI is actually on the chip, and all the researchers were doing was wirelessly copyinh it off at different times. Thus, when you get re-animated, the chip kicks in and you will kind of just start from scratch....still being yourself, but with maybe limited memory of the past....

Just a thought....

And to back that up, you can have the chip implanted into the player be a new prototype chip of the same stuff being implanted into creatures that are re-animated. This will justify why the chip will kick in when you get re-animated.

Just some ideas....

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What sort of game will this be? FPS? Side-scroller? Isometric? If you're making this game, I guess you know better than I do your programming capabilities and inclinations, so I won't offer any advice there. But if you give some more details on gameplay, we could offer more suggestions on designing it.

I'd like to see enemies picking up skills from you, and having some kind of dynamic system to do it would be great. Lots of games already add skills and abilities to the enemies' repertoire as the game progresses, so just doing that won't really be enough. If I routinely pick up planks and pipes to beat down enemies, and then they start to do the same thing after a while, I'll be a little spooked. Same thing with long-range shooting, or hand-to-hand fighting. Heck, it could be like a dynamic levelling system, except your "experience points" level up the bad guys, instead! In terms of meta-gaming, I think any hardcore gamer would be impressed by that little nuance.

Because your post was so writing-focussed, I can't help but wander a little off-course here. What if the enemies acquired some of your human frailty, as well as your combat skills? Early enemies would be dumb brutes, with terminator-like tenacity and stormtrooper accuracy. Later, they'd be wilier and more skilled, but also hiding from your fire, and feeling pain when they get wounded. In time, they might also develop a sense of self. Heck, if the chip starts to glitch out, your personality and memories could be transferred, too. Nothing quite like riddling a half-humanoid monster and having it gasp your wife's name as it dies.

Whoa. Now I'm creeping myself out.

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YES!

All of you are hitting on points that indeed are planned for the game. I didn't want to write everything in to my initial post as it would have gotten even more long winded and scatterbrained. ;)

I do want the first re-animated monsters to be somewhat "dumb" (that's why they're afraid of light, think primitive). They basically don't think, but simply react as if the player and everything else is a threat to them.

YES! I do want the soldiers from later in the game to be designed using the style of play the player has chosen to use. This would be a great challenge, I think (both for the player and me, the programmer ;)).

Also, about the final puzzle. The way the chambers work is by first "zero-ing out" all life inside the chamber (essentially killing it). Then, it's "zapped" with all the information that is needed to bring it back together (almost as if each part is given a "link" in a chain of where it fits in the final piece of matter). Then, after a few moments (this is where the explosion would take place), the matter is put back together. Thus, the chamber really isn't needed after the matter is zapped.

When the player is revived, I'm not sure how I want him to come back. My first idea was that the chambers need a sample of DNA to revive matter, and the scientist's "evil" DNA samples (from themselves) caused the monsters to behave this way. Thus, when the player uses his own DNA at the end of the game, he comes out as (or close to) himself. HOWEVER, I think it would be pretty cool to end the game with the player as a half-mutant! (maybe a little depressing, though!).

Iron Chef Carnage:
I really like the idea of memories being transferred. I had an idea of The Voice toying with the player by recreating memories of his youth and perhaps (lost?) family. I couldn't really think of a way of incorporating this into gameplay, though (unless they morphed into some sort of enemy, but this is rather dumb and cliche).

EDIT: Almost forgot. The game would be from the first person perspective, and never leave this (like Half-Life). I really want to use physics as a big part of the gameplay, and this is why I think I'm going to look into using the Source Engine (via a HL2 mod).

[Edited by - fragface on June 3, 2005 10:28:50 AM]

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Original post by fragface
This is where your kidnapping comes in. You, unknowingly, after being kidnapped had a "chip" (sci fi is awesome) implanted that will learn from everything you do and think. You will fight your way through the compound, killing the re-animated monsters (helping RADIUS), and also giving them the information they need to build an army of you (again, helping RADIUS). "The Voice", the leader of RADIUS, will talk to you during your trip. Also, being able to track you (via the chip), he'll set up plenty of bad situations for you to get out of.

About half way through the compound, a bad storm will cause the power to go out. This puts the chip and it's system offline, so now you're untrackable in the dark. However (didn't mention this earlier), the re-animated monsters fear light, and love the dark. Your only source of light will be matches (come in 10 packs and only burn for about 10 seconds). this area of the game will feature many nasty areas, with the player having to "feel" his way around to keep from falling, etc (pit and the pendulum stuff).



If a match would cause fear in the monsters, I would imagine that running through the compound prior to the power outage you would not encounter ANY monsters due to their fear of the light.


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The only thing that hints at any thought of gameplay is this line:
"player having to "feel" his way around to keep from falling"

can you expand on how you are going to have the user "feel" around or how you would even simulate it? Perhaps some very nicely designed sounds could help you determine if you were tripping over an object or running into a wall. I think the best you could do would be to allow the player to explore an area in the beginning of the game with the lights on and then require her to return to this area in pitch black. This way the player can at least guess what is going on and where to go, otherwise I feel it would just be annoying T&E.

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If a match would cause fear in the monsters, I would imagine that running through the compound prior to the power outage you would not encounter ANY monsters due to their fear of the light.


Most rooms (upon first encounter) will be very dimly lit. The compound isn't used (the section you're exploring, anyway) anymore. So, a good strategy for the player would be to try and find light sources that are turned off and turn them on (much the opposite of Splinter Cell), making monsters scatter (or attack in fear).

Quote:

The only thing that hints at any thought of gameplay is this line:
"player having to "feel" his way around to keep from falling"

can you expand on how you are going to have the user "feel" around or how you would even simulate it? Perhaps some very nicely designed sounds could help you determine if you were tripping over an object or running into a wall. I think the best you could do would be to allow the player to explore an area in the beginning of the game with the lights on and then require her to return to this area in pitch black. This way the player can at least guess what is going on and where to go, otherwise I feel it would just be annoying T&E.


You're right. If it were that dark, the player would have no chance. However, this part of the game will be VERY dimly lit, not "pitch" black. Movement will be detectable, and nearing of deep pits, etc, will be given away by (as you mentioned) sound effects. Water dripping, with echo, etc, will be good tools for the player to figure out where they are.

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Heres a quick question: If you have a chip installed on you to make the re-animated smarter, than shouldn't the re-animated become smarter as you go and become more aware of your tactics that you use? That way you couldn't use the same tactic over and over and over.

Edit: I think iron chef carnage already asked my question. But I do agree with him, if monsters started doing what you were doing that would be really freaky! Its a great idea to!

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