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mp stealth action game concept, looking for feedback

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I've recently come up with a concept for a multiplayer game and I'd like to get some feedback on it.

The game is a top down shooter, controlled like Alien Swarm or Walkover and respawning players shoot each other for points. The twist: Everybody's invisible.

Since you're normally invisible you're usually save. But to score points you have to show yourself. Here are some ways of encouraging the player to show himself that I thought of:

  • Shooting makes you visible for a short time

  • Collecting items makes you visible, too, or at least everybody sees the items vanish

  • You may be forced to walk through water in order to avoid making a detour, creating ripples and splashes that give away your position

  • There could be powerups like a splash of paint that makes people walking through it leave footprints or traps that release smoke when someone walks through them

  • Some items may simply reward points, forcing players to become visible if they want additional score

  • Gamemode: King of the Hill, where you need to carry a crown or something to score points but are permanently visible while carrying it

  • Gamemode: Capture the Flag, where you're visible while carrying a flag (Teammates see each other)

  • Players that are close to death might leave blood traces - that would make hurt players an easy target. Is that desirable?

Items I've thought of so far:
  • For the beginning there should be only one weapon, with the possibility to add more later. It has limited ammo though, so you need to pickup more.

  • Healthpacks

  • The two powerups I mentioned earlier, paint and smoke traps.

  • The score pickups, as well as the game mode related pickups (crown/flag)

What do you think of the concept? I believe it could be fun. Can you think of ways to enhance it? More items or ways to become visible?

In case you're wondering: I'm planning to do this using the Unreal Development Kit, I've wanted to take a look at that for some time now.

So long,
Mr. Wonko

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Just some thoughts:

1. Camping:
It is really easy to camp important spots like items etc.

2. Level-size dilema: when you make your map too large, it would be really hard to find some action. If you make your map too small, there are only a few important locations (i.e. item respawn) which will be heavily camped.

3. High potential of frustration:
In fact it is an extrem version of camping. It will be fun for the camping one, but the victim will be frustrated.

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Original post by Ashaman73
1. Camping:
It is really easy to camp important spots like items etc.

Right, camping could be a problem.

I wonder how to prevent it? As I said, players need to be encourage to show themselves from time to time. Especially campers.

Maybe players need to regularily pickup new batteries for their cloaking device...
Or killing is not the primary source of points, but collecting the score items. And while killing someone may get you some points, its main function could be to have the killed player wait for like 10 seconds before he can respawn.

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interesting idea. I would suggest adding specific objectives that require you to reveal yourself. For instance, Bases/Nodes that must be destroyed to gain resources which either increase the characters rank (another player objective), or whatever else you can come up with.

Another idea is to include deployable detection items. Perhaps include them as a necessary resource for players to use. So when they are attacking a specific base, or going for an item, they may choose to deploy the detection unit so that they have some type of defense.

The bases would require the players to meet at different places on the map instead of running around aimlessly. It would also give the player a reason to reveal themselves.

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The biggest issue I see, aside from the camping mentioned above, is that it seems like it'd be really easy to shoot and miss. Missing slightly will gain nothing for the shooter, and make him/her extremely vulnerable.

If you're planning a free running game, there are ways to compensate for this (like aim-assist, large spread for weapon fire), but all of these take away from both skill and the value of invisibility. Perhaps something like a cloak energy meter that depletes while moving, but recharges when standing still would help. So that a player has to stay still sometimes, giving a shot a better chance to hit, but some strategy will still be involved in deciding when to shoot.

It might also be worthwhile to some kind of system that alerts players when someone else is nearby, like a sound effect or vibration. They still can't see the other player at all, but they can be more careful and observant. Otherwise I envision a lot of blind groping around near powerups.

Another idea is that items spawn in random locations and are more valuable for a player to collect than to watch and camp near. Maybe most items are worth just points, encouraging players to collect them immediately most of the time, with powerups being dropped by players who are killed.

Have you thought about using a restricted movement system, like a grid with a limited movement range/limited number of moves? This might make your game feel to restricted, but it's just a thought.

Cool idea though, it's an interesting mechanic that I haven't seen before.

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