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Mephs

Psycho Computer Survival Kit

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Mephs    354
Hey guys, Well it's been quite a while since I last posted as I've been thinking over all kinds of design ideas. I've come across a bit of inspiration recently that has pointed me in the direction of working on a game that is kind of a cross between pac man, a hacking simulator and an adventure game. The idea basically is that the player is a hacker stuck inside the memory of a crazy computer. The player has to survive twisted realms imagined by the computer by hacking and blasting themself out of the levels generated by the computer. Now, this is already a somewhat unique idea, or at least a minor twisting of existing ideas... it has similarities to The Matrix, Mr. Robot and Psychonauts, but is not quite the same as any of them. The further twist though that should really distinguish the design is that the hacking element of the game will not play like a stereotypical RPG, it should instead play more like an adventure game. The player will have access to a set of programs which can be used almost like the commands in an adventure game. Different programs will have different effects in different situations and the player will have to work out the connections to progress. The bonus is that because gameplay is also slightly action oriented, if the player gets stuck in the adventure portion of the game, they should be able to bypass the blocks by performing well at the action portion of the game. So far so good, except I'm struggling with ideas for a basic toolkit of programs. I have lots of ideas, but their uses are obvious and it doesn't currently have the adventure game feel I'm after. Ideas I have had for programs so far include: -Repair [Repairs damaged device] -Scan [reveals any defence programs on hackable targets within radius] -Trace [decloaks hidden objects in a radius] -Evac [return the player to a safe point] -Upload defence program [could be used in multiplayer to trap hackable devices] -Reboot [disable target for a number of seconds] -Control [take control of target for a number of seconds] -Corrupt [target picks random targets for 10 seconds, player and enemy included] -Feedback [directs energy feedback towards target causing direct damage] -Speed Boost [alters the game world to grant the player a speed boost] -Regenerate [grants the player health regeneration] -Ablative Armour [grants the player a temporary armour] -Remove Defence Program [removes a single defence program from target] -Shield [shields the player from all damage for a number of seconds] -Rapid Fire [Increases the players rate of fire] Now these ideas are mainly abilities or effects... they tend to have ony a single use and do not combine amazingly well to form interesting chains of actions required to beat an obstacle. I'm wondering if perhaps they need to be adapted to be more along the lines of adventure game verbs such as "walk", "smell", "throw" and so on, but obviously adapted to Hollywood hacking terms. Something similar to how Trauma Centre plays would be interesting, where the player has a set of tools for dealing with surgical problems and must choose the correct sequence of tools to deal with specific problems which arise. You might have to pump away blood or fluid, stitch up wounds or remove glass shards. Basically, I just need to decide on the "toolkit" appropriate to this game idea. So in this case, what kind of programs would you like to see in a toolkit designed for survival inside the memory of a psycho computer!? Cheers, Steve

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Mephs    354
I'm just downloading the demo as I type, but I think I have played Uplink before and if I remember rightly, actually it is rather different than what I am thinking of.

IIRC Uplink focuses heavily on the hacking element where the focus of my game will be on using hacking to bypass obstacles in a top down shooter with a kind of pacman/bomberman feel. Also I'm looking to incorporate a bit of humour to the design and have a slightly more casual feel to the game.

Hacking will be less realistic in my idea too, it will be more of a Hollywood hacking feel that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Anyhoo... it could be I'm wrong and haven't played it yet and was thinking of another game, so I'll check it out as it just finished downloading.

Cheers,

Steve

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Gyrthok    412
You can add Decker, and TRON to that list, both being pretty good hacking simulations (although TRON takes a more adventure approach).

Hmm, you could always give the player the basic abilities your average DOS user does. For example, possessing EDIT, COPY, DELETE, TREE, MOVE, ATTRIB, etc. allowing him to pickup more advanced programs as he goes like DELTREE, PKZIP, HEXEDIT, SCANDISK, etc. Combining could be facilitated by using Batch files, or finding a Compiler somewhere.

So if i wanted to protect myself, i'd create a batch to copy and ATTRIB myself to hide or give myself system file protection (which could be temporary, but while the programs distracted by the copies it would give me time).

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