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DreadnoughtStudios

Open-World Game Idea: CONVOY (Very Long Post)

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Hello all,

Below I’ve detailed my idea for a game called Convoy. Convoy would be an open-world sandbox game with RPG elements centering around Truckers, Motorcycle Gangs, and other outlaws in the US in the period falling the Second World War.

Please comment and tell me what you think of my ideas. I would love to get any new ideas from you guys, as well. This game has been an idea of mine for a very long time, so I thought I should try and get its ideas down on paper. It includes some ideas that were initially meant for other games, but I decided to mesh them into this one.

Please do note that this is only a CONCEPT for a game; I fully acknowledge its impracticality as currently proposed, but I wished to propose it in this way nonetheless.

PLEASE ALSO NOTE that this post is not complete at the time of initial posting. It has taken me quite a while to write all of this so far, so a lot of it is incomplete. I may add to the post later on if I like any of the ideas you guys come up with. Please try and read all, or at least most of it before responding, as I explain some things in more detail further down the post.

Thank you for reading!

Dreadnought

 

Introduction

Convoy would be an open-world, first-person sandbox game. Beginning in 1973 on the East Coast of the United States, the game’s story centers around Patrick O’Hannigan, a 26-year-old who returns from the war in Vietnam to his home in Gatesville, North Sylvania (a parody of Greensboro, North Carolina - more on that below). Patrick returns to find the family business, the O’Hannigan Trucking Company, in disarray, due to his younger brothers abandoning the business to protest the war. His father, ill from Parkinson’s, is barely able to continue working, so Patrick takes charge, helping to run the business.

However, soon after getting the business up and running, Patrick finds that things are not all as they seem. On one run north to Calvertston (Baltimore), Patrick encounters one of the family’s trucks burning on the side of the road. He is able to figure out that a biker gang, the Idolatrous, destroyed the truck after the driver refused to hand over his cargo of liquor. Patrick is enraged until he talks to his older brother, Walter, who informs him that the driver who was killed was in with a rival of the Idolatrous, the Archangels Motorcycle Club. Patrick arranges a meeting with their leader...

The Game

Convoy would be a first-person game, centered around driving, shooting and other combat, as well as NPC interactions and other activities. In this way, Convoy would be a mix of traditional sandbox, open-world games, such as Grand Theft Auto or Saint’s Row, as well as Role-Playing Games such as Skyrim or Fallout. In the first part of the game, driving would take up a lot of the player’s time as he works to deliver loads for the family trucking business. As the game progresses, the player would become more involved in the violent world of outlaw motorcycle clubs, and combat would become more common. Throughout the entire game, interactions with NPCs would be very important, and be essential, not only to progression of the story, but also for side activities, missions, and quests.

Gameplay

Convoy would be a first person game. The player would control Patrick O’Hannigan, a 26-year-old who has just returned from the war in Vietnam.

Since gameplay is such a varied topic, I will go through the various features proposed in each area of gameplay.

 

Core Features

Movement

Patrick would walk at a moderately quick pace by default, though he would slow down once indoors. Holding down the run key would speed you up slightly, while hitting it repeatedly would make Patrick break into a sprint, though this is possible only over short distances. Hitting the jump key would allow not only short hops, but also allow Patrick to dynamically cross obstacles - think Battlefield 3 for this one. This would not only be possible for static props, but Patrick would also be able to, say, dive through or out of a window.

Crouching and going prone would both be possible relatively easily, as well as various other dynamic poses - such as leaning against a wall, pushing an object such as a car, etc. Further, there would be a ‘stealth’ pose, which would make Patrick walk slower and make less noise, as well as running between crouched poses. This feature is from Red Orchestra 2 - the player is in a crouched or prone position, and is able to run a short distance and then immediately go prone again. This is very important in combat. Various other combat-related movement is detailed below.

 

Customizing your Character

While Convoy would not allow the player to make their own character model from scratch, it would allow the player to dress Patrick as they see fit. While this will change the appearance of Patrick, it will also apply some small statistical differences to him. For example, if one is wearing a pair of running sneakers, they will be able to run faster and longer than if they are wearing a pair of heavy boots. However, the player still has to dress appropriately for the weather outside if realism mode is activated - see below.

Patrick would also be able to get different haircuts and grow facial hair.

 

Driving

Driving would be relatively standard, at least when going forward. As said above, there would be an option to enable manual transmissions on cars that have them. The difficulty in driving would be maneuvering trailers, especially when backing up. Like many trucking games, delivering the cargo on time and with a minimum of damage would allow you to earn a higher profit. However, unlike many other similar games, hazards in this game would not be limited to road obstacles - there would also be rival gangs trying to take out your truck, as well as shippers trying to shortchange you.

By the 1970s, freeways were in full use in the area that Convoy’s map covers. This means that a lot of driving between major cities would take place on an open freeway, with a minimum of grades or other difficult obstacles. Of course, an ever-present obstacles of the police would be present. Unlike most other games, the police in Convoy would be looking out for cars and trucks that are speeding. Further, sometimes your truck will be forced to submit to inspections at weigh stations. In the case of interference by the police, bribery is always an option, as is attempting to run from the police. This is detailed further below.

Besides freeways, smaller roads, including many two-lane country roads, would crisscross the Convoy map. Driving on these is more difficult due, not only to corrupt ‘County-Mounties’, but also dangerous country drivers, wildlife, etc. Fortunately, a lot of driving in trucks would be on the freeway, but country roads would certainly still be a major part of the map.

 

Non-Player Characters

Another way that Convoy would be different is its focus on Non-Player Characters. While there would naturally be a lot of NPCs simply roaming the streets of large cities, boarding buses, driving cars, etc., every NPC would have thought put into their identity. Every pedestrian on the street would have a place they are at least tentatively going to, and which they might actually go to if the player sticks around to watch them.

Pedestrians would still spawn in and out of an area normally, instead of always being active around the entire map, but would spawn with a location they are going to in mind, instead of simply spawning and driving around aimlessly, hoping the player will drive out of range before they notice their wandering. This would allow the player to observe life going on around them with much more realism.

For example, if the player wanted to go from Queensbridge to Dandridge by train, they would be able to drive to the train station. They might see a taxi on the way there that is going to the train station, as well. When they get there, they would be able to watch the NPC in the taxi get out, pay the driver, and go in to buy their ticket. After doing so, it would be possible to follow the NPC onto the train and, in Dandridge, see them get off and go to a hotel, or a house, or something of that nature. In this way, pedestrians have a story behind them. This might not be possible due to coding limitations, but it is an intriguing concept.

You would also be able to speak to random pedestrians and respond to what they say to you. In addition to this, there would be many, many NPCs which have small errands, missions, or quests for you, in addition to the main mission-givers of the game. This can range from a guy wanting you to help him move his broken-down car out of the road, to a construction site manager wanting you to drive a truck for him. In this way, many odd jobs would be available that would expand replay value.

 

Interaction

Being a mix of an RPG and open-world sandbox games, Convoy would have a different interaction system than most sandbox games. Rather than having a set of things that the player says in response to NPCs, the player would be able to select what they want to say. For example, if discussing a mission with someone, the player would be able to influence how the mission was done by selecting the way they want to respond. Rather than selecting exactly what to say in response, as in Bethesda’s system, the player would select how they want to respond - for example, positively or negatively, affirming or denying, etc. etc.

This would be a very important part of the game because it would affect what type of missions you would get, and how NPCs feel about you. For example, if you constantly dislike the plans of a certain mission-giving character, he will stop wanting to give you missions, and you may eventually stop getting missions from him. This is detailed further below.

Besides talking face-to-face, it would also be possible to talk to NPCs over the telephone (landline only) as well as over the CB Radio. This is a special part of Convoy; the CB (Citizen’s Band) radio would be a way you could communicate with other drivers and get warnings about the presence of police and other hazards, as well as warning NPCs of these dangers. Of course, CB slang would be used when communicating this way: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_CB_slang .

 

 

Affecting the Story

Convoy would also be different from most open-world sandbox games in that actions would have momentous effect on the story. Many characters would be killable, which would have a major effect on the story line. For example, if you go to meet with the member of a motorcycle club and kill him, then, if the club finds out, they will be very upset with you unless you had a good reason to do it. In this way, the player would be able to individually affect the storyline in a big way.

Naturally, the player would have to select to save, or something of that matter, in order for the storyline to be affected. If he accidentally ran over an important character, he would have the option to go back and undo it, so the storyline isn’t affected in a negative way.

 

Non-Human Non-Player Characters

Besides the many humans present in the world of Convoy, there would also be a lot of wildlife since Convoy is set in a forested region of the United States. Animals like deer, bears, raccoons, foxes, wolves, snakes, hawks, and jays would all be present and contribute to the world either by their presence or the noises they make. Deer would run into the road and may get hit by your car, and, if you encounter a bear or a snake, it might attack you instead of simply running away.

All of this would contribute to the somewhat dangerous nature of the woods. As the player starts to take on biker gangs, many of which hide out in the woods to escape from authorities, they may encounter wildlife on their missions to end the bikers, which in turn may kill them.

 

Law Enforcement and other Authorities

Another major NPC aspect in Convoy would be the police and similar other authorities, like the Federal Investigation Directorate, which try to stop the player from doing illegal activities. This includes not only things like killing people or brandishing a weapon, but also speeding in a truck or refusing to submit to an inspection.

This would work via a ‘notoriety’ system, which would depend on the authorities recognizing the player. Basically, if a police officer observes or is told of a crime the player has committed, they will look to find the player and try to pull him over for questioning, or arrest him. The player can then submit or try to resist arrest. If they resist arrest, then the police officer will communicate to other officers about the player’s whereabouts and, for example, what car they are driving. If the player kills the officer, then he will be unable to do so, but others may witness that crime, and, in turn, report it to the authorities. The more or worse crimes a player commits, the more notoriety he gets.

This would be both a long and short-term system. For example, if a player flees a certain town because they committed a crime there, then the police will recognize him when he returns.  

 

Combat Features

As Patrick is drawn further into the world of violent crime, combat becomes more and more common. In the beginning of the game, combat mostly focuses around melee combat - fists, brass knuckles, tire irons, etc. The melee combat in Convoy would employ not only standard punching and kicking (bound to separate buttons), but grapples, throws, and dynamic use of nearby props. For example, if fighting a rival trucker at a truck stop, one would be able to grab a nearby brick and throw it at the assailant. The world around you would be a part of all fights, since it allows almost infinite variability in what you can throw at your assailant, or throw your assailant out of. Furthermore, weapons like firearms could be used as melee weapons, especially if they are empty.

Later on in the game, firearms and other weapons become more important. Patrick begins to carry a shotgun in his truck soon after his first encounter with the Idolatrous, as well as a pistol. Gun handling would be very refined in Convoy. Unlike similar other open-world sandbox games, Convoy’s gun handling would try for a very fluid, realistic system, instead of a rigid set of animations.

An example of this would be the system of aiming. When a weapon is equipped and out of its holster - it would be possible to equip a weapon but keep it holstered, to allow it to be pulled out at a second’s notice - the player holds it in a ‘low rest’ position, at the very bottom of the camera. Firing in this mode would be relatively inaccurate, though nothing crazy; bullets fired forward would go forward. After this mode, there would be the ‘intermediate aim’ position - the gun is raised, but the player is not aiming down the sight. This makes fire considerably more accurate than ‘low rest’, but still allows quick movement. Finally, there would be the ‘iron sights’ position - aiming down the sight. This mode is, of course, the most accurate, but you are unable to move quickly while in this mode.

Combat would employ a fluid cover system, which allow you to take cover dynamically, and peak over and around corners and obstacles. Blind-firing would also be an option, though it is more difficult since the game is in first person. Furthermore, shooting out of vehicles would be a big part of the game, especially when defending your trucks from enemies. Firing while running or fleeing would be possible, but would have about the same accuracy as blind-firing from cover. Contextual aiming would also be important in very close quarters - if right up against an enemy, for example, Patrick would point the gun directly into the enemy’s body.

Patrick would also change the way he holds a gun based on the situation. If Patrick is very hurt, for example, he might not hold a pistol with two hands. Instead, he would use one hand to hold his wound and the other to hold the gun. This would be less accurate, of course, but still possible. In the same vein, carrying and brandishing a weapon would be two different things in Convoy - for example, a player would be able to equip a rifle and keep it around his shoulder, but still equipped, and then be able to actually brandish it, instead of having to brandish it whenever it is selected. This is because brandishing a weapon would be considered a crime by most police, except if hunting or something like that.

Finally, reloading would employ several animations instead of only one. Since Patrick is not a special-ops soldier, it would take him a good few seconds to reload a gun instead of magically conjuring another magazine in place of the one already in his weapon. In the same vein, ammunition would be extremely limited in Convoy - unless the player has specially equipped some sort of military gear to enable him to carry many magazines, he would probably have only one or two reserve magazines in his pocket or waistband, especially if he is carrying something larger like a rifle. To compensate for this, bullets are much, much more powerful in Convoy than in similar other games. A single shot from a pistol, fired at a normal opponent, would be enough to incapacitate or kill them in most circumstances. A shot from a rifle is devastating to any opponent. Not getting hit in Convoy would be a lot more important than surviving the hits you do take.

 

Explosions and other Violent Events

In the same vein, explosions and similar violent events, such as car crashes, would take on a more realistic vein in Convoy than comparable games. An explosion in Convoy has a very, very good chance of killing you, not only from the blast but also from fragmentation, which can not only kill people but also cause mutilation - more on that below.

Explosions would be relatively rare to compensate for their violence. Shooting a gas tank on a car, or flipping it over, will not cause it to explode. However, if an explosion does occur, it has a good chance of not only killing the player but flinging them, even if they do not die. This would be another way Convoy would employ realism - the player being thrown distances would be quite possible and realistically done, both through ragdoll physics and damage modeling. If a player is thrown 20 or 30 feet by an explosion, it is likely they would hurt themselves quite severely.

In the same way, poor car safety in the ‘70’s would make car crashes quite damaging. It would be possible to break your leg or arm in such a crash, and this would require visiting a hospital to remedy. Realistic mode would then cause your arm to be hurt for a while afterwards, while regular mode would assume instant healing.

 

Maintaining your Health

Rather than a health bar, the player’s ability to stay alive would be measured in the condition of their various body parts. For example, if the player is shot in his leg, that leg will be damaged and will require healing at some point, or the player will adopt a limp. It would not really be possible to die from being shot in the leg (unless you bleed out) but being shot in the chest or head is a completely different matter.

If the player is shot or damaged, they will have to heal themselves by visiting a hospital, an illicit doctor, or using a bandage or first-aid kit on themselves. The ability to heal oneself is limited, though, especially if hurt in a vital area.

Naturally, realistic mode would make damage to your body a much more serious condition. Healing would be much slower in this mode, especially if one does not visit a doctor or hospital.

 

Bleeding and Other Damage Effects

If shot or hurt, it would be possible to begin bleeding. If this happens, it would be very important for you to heal yourself or someone else to come to your rescue, or you could die from it. This will vary based on where you are damaged and what damages you, as well.

Besides bleeding, shock is another effect caused by being shot or hurt, or if an explosion takes place nearby. This effect would be somewhat similar to shellshock, and would be relatively rare, but possible.

 

Death

If the player does die, they would be set back to their last checkpoint, if during a mission, or respawn at their last save point, if in free roam. If the player simply passes out before dying - which would happen when the player took enough damage to pass out, but not enough to die - they would respawn at a hospital, or possibly where they passed out, if no one was nearby to take care of them.

 

Realism Features

‘Realism’ Mode

One of the more important features of Convoy would be the ability to switch from normal to ‘Realistic’ mode in the settings. Realistic mode would be meant for those who enjoy role-playing and managing their character, while regular mode is tailored more towards the typical gamer who just wants to be told a story and have fun.

Activating Realism mode would add several dimensions to normal gameplay. The player would have to keep track, not only of Patrick’s health, but also his hunger and need for sleep. If the player goes too long without eating, Patrick begins to lose health and is unable to perform as well - he can’t shoot accurately or run far, for example. Similarly, if the player goes too long without letting Patrick sleep, then he will become unable to focus and may even pass out, forcing the player to sleep even if they don’t want to. There will be more detail on these features below.

Besides role-playing elements like eating and sleeping, realism mode would also make the game slightly more difficult due to more stringent police mechanics, and, perhaps, a manual driving mode for cars and trucks. Since a lot of cars and almost all trucks during this time had manual transmissions, the player would have to manually shift while driving. This feature would also be available in standard mode, but be disabled by default. Some cars would have automatic transmissions, which means you would not have to shift them yourself.

 

Eating and Drinking

If realism mode is enabled, Patrick will have to eat and drink regularly to maintain performance. This would be able to be done at many, many locations, ranging from street vendors in Dandridge to truck stops in the countryside. This system would take a bit of inspiration from the GTA: San Andreas system, whereby if you eat too much unhealthy food you will begin to gain weight. It would be important to maintain a healthy diet by eating a variety of foods.

Besides that, what you drink has an effect on the player. Similarly to drugs (see below), drinking a high-caffeine drink like coffee or soda would boost Patrick’s energy level, making him more alert and able to run farther, etc. for a short amount of time.

 

Alcohol and Drugs

The ability to drink alcohol would also be present, at bars and other locations, but it would have a significant effect on the player’s ability to function. The player would have a set tolerance for certain drugs which can be built up over time. For example, if the player drinks beer consistently for a long time, they will eventually be less affected by it.

Besides alcohol, there would be other drugs with various effects. Alcohol would make it difficult to drive and numb Patrick’s sensitivities, making him able to take more pain, though he is less coordinated. Other drugs like marijuana would make him more mellow but make Patrick unable to move as quickly.

 

Sleeping, Rest, and Various Other Mechanics

Sleeping would be an important mechanic because it allows Patrick to stay alert. Sleeping could be done in-session by finding a suitable place and falling asleep for a number of hours, or could be done by saving the game at an appropriate location. These locations would include homes, motel or hotel rooms, and the sleeper cab in your truck. If desperate for rest, however, the player could fall asleep just about anywhere, though there are associated dangers with this.

Besides sleeping, rest in general would be important. This means that if the player runs around for awhile, he will need to stop and rest in order to gain the ability to run again. Refreshing oneself by drinking or eating something will speed up this process.

Besides this, some other proposed mechanics include:

  • Bathing. The player would need to take a shower or a bath every once in awhile, or people would not want to be near them.

  • Exercise. If the player constantly goes to the gym or goes running, etc. he will eventually be able to run farther and such, and be able to build up his muscle mass.

  • Dressing appropriately. If the player wears only a pair of shorts out into freezing weather, they will become very cold and may be killed by hypothermia.

 

Company Features

A major part of Convoy would be managing and directing the family trucking business, and making smart decisions that allow the company to grow. This would take many forms, including purchasing new real-estate for the company, purchasing new trucks, as well as managing accounts and workers. In this way, you have direct control over how profitable your business would be. If you don’t want to manage the business, you can hand it off to someone else, but they might not be able to make decisions as well as you can.

Besides the family trucking business, it would also be possible to buy new businesses and expand into other areas. The family trucking business could take on illicit contracts for gun-running or smuggling, while the player would also be able to buy various other businesses such as taxi companies, restaurants, stores, or even small railroads. All of these businesses would produce missions and would require managing, and they could be linked together to form a coherent brand. In this way, the player will be able to influence the world around him in more ways than just shooting and driving.

 

Side Missions and Activities

This part details side missions and activities, while main missions are detailed further below in the story section.

Side Missions

Another way that Convoy expands replay value is a huge number of side missions. Besides the side quests mentioned above, side missions would be a repeating string of activities for a player to do. An example would be delivering a certain cargo to a factory, such as lumber to a sawmill, or driving a tow truck.

Beyond that, the player would also be able to gain employment in almost any job they could think of. The player would be able to drive an ambulance, a bus, or even a train, in order to gain more money. They would be able to be a mechanic and do mechanic mini-games (such as a quick-time event for changing tires, etc.) or even work in a restaurant as a short-order cook, doing a cooking mini-game. In turn, these little side missions or jobs would expand the player’s contacts and give them even more missions. In this way, the player would have an almost infinite amount of missions and activities to do in Convoy, which could be expanded endlessly by DLC or expansion packs.

An example would be an expansion pack which lets you run for sheriff in a certain county, or in any county. You have to run your election campaign, and give speeches. The type of speech you give would be determined in the same way your responses in conversation are. Then, if you win the election, you would become the sheriff and be able to direct your sheriff’s department in the same way you direct companies. This would provide many missions related to being sheriff, as well.

In this way, Convoy could be a practically limitless game with no end to the number of things you could do in it.

 

Activities

Besides the many missions available in Convoy, there would be activities you could do outside of missions. These would include things like being with your family, going out on dates, as well as playing sports or seeing movies. All these things would expand the replay value even more.

It would be possible to make new friends as well as enter into dating relationships. How much a person likes you depends on how you respond to them in conversation, and what types of activities you do together, as well as how often. It would be possible for you to set up activities yourself, but your friends or dates might call you and want to set up an activity in that way.

Activities would be anything imaginable: going to restaurants, going to movies, taking a walk through a park, touring museums in Dandridge, etc. etc.

 

The World Around You

The world in Convoy would not be static, either. Besides buying existing buildings, it would be possible to order the construction of new ones. Then, you could go to the construction site and watch over time as the new building is built. In the same way, buildings under construction at the start of the game would eventually be completed. Some businesses would randomly close due to lack of business; others will move out of an area due to high crime, etc.

In this way, if a player chooses to expand into a certain area with illicit activities, this could cause the failure of many businesses there, which would be visible on the streets. Businesses that were doing well would board up and move away, or simply close forever.

 

The Passage of Time

Convoy would begin in September 1973, a month before the ‘first oil shock’ in October 1973. Time in Convoy would pass noticeably - a few weeks into the game, oil prices would begin to climb until, in the first few months of 1974, the price of oil is incredibly high. Lines are seen at gas stations as people need gas. Then, the National Maximum Speed Law is passed, and cops become much more stringent about pulling the player over for speeding.

In this way, real historical events are reflected in Convoy that reflect the problems truckers faced during this time. Not only that, but other events, like civil rights protests, the first years of United Rail (a parody of Amtrak), and references to events like the death of Jim Croce, the bombing of the ITT building in New Truro (New York), and the Saturday Night Massacre would be visible throughout Convoy.

Not only are historical events referenced, but the seasons change. The game starts out in fall and transitions through winter and into spring and summer. This brings snow and cold weather, which the player would have to account for in their dress.

Furthermore, since there is so much political drama around this time, elections would be another mechanic of the game. While the player may not be able to run for something like senator in 1974, they would be able to watch as the campaign unfolds. There may even be missions to affect the campaign, through things like fundraisers but also, potentially, assassinations, or preventing them.

 

Entering Buildings

While it will probably not be possible to enter every single building in Convoy, due to space limitations, a good amount of buildings will be enterable. This mostly means stores and industrial buildings - a good few houses will probably not be enterable.

Furthermore, enterable buildings will usually feature a reason for being enterable; for example, you would be able to go into restaurants to purchase food, clothing stores to purchase clothing, hardware stores to purchase tools to use as a mechanic or handyman or as weapons, and perhaps even grocery store to purchase food to make yourself at home. You would also be able to rob a great many of the stores you enter, but this will have consequences, of course.

 

The Environment

Convoy would also feature the ability for the player to directly destroy the environment, be it by ramming into lightbulbs or mailboxes, but also by driving through storefronts or other buildings. It might not be possible for the player to completely destroy a building, but it would still be possible for them to destroy it in a limited sense. Think of the chase sequence in Fast & Furious 8 when Dominic Toretto drives through the flower shop - it would be the same kind of thing.

Besides that, players would be able to affect the world by starting fires which may spread into huge wildfires if started in the wrong place. Or, if the player robbed a store, or killed the clerk, it would close for a few months while a new clerk was found. Or, if you kill the owner, then the store may never re-open.

 

Transport and Traffic

Besides driving yourself, the player would also be able to access trains, planes, and buses to go from place to place, as well as taxis. Buses can be either intercity or regular city buses, and would follow a set course with the player able to step on and off. Taxis would function as you would expect, with the player paying the driver to take him to a certain spot. Trains and planes would function relatively similarly; the player buys a ticket, gets on, and travels to wherever they chose to. Naturally, these modes of transportation only reach certain spots, so the player will have to hire a car or drive themselves to places out in the boondocks.

Traffic would be another important NPC feature of Convoy. Convoy would strive to realistically represent traffic, not only through the behavior of NPCs, but also the variation of cars in traffic. If you’ve ever observed traffic carefully in real life, you will notice that it is very rare to see two of the exact same model of car anywhere close to each other. This would be represented in Convoy through the sheer number of cars available, in addition to the multiple generations of each car - rather than just a single model year, each car would be represented by several different model years, with appropriate facelifts.

Drivers would each behave differently, similarly to pedestrians. Some drivers would be more aggressive and cut you off if you’re trying to merge, while others are overly cautious. Some drivers speed, others do not.

 

Various Details

Besides all this, Convoy would also feature many of the little things seen in life that make the world complete. Drivers fixing their car on the side of the road, random accidents, police pulling over NPCs, in addition to rare events, like an NPC robbing a store or a plane crash, would all take place throughout the world of Convoy. The aim here is to represent the randomness of real life as completely as possible.

Besides that, the player would be able to read the newspaper or watch TV and see world events. Not only that, but the player would be able to see all the things like classified ads, and be able to interact with them. For example, if an NPC was selling a car, the player could call him up and buy the car from him. Or, they could look up his address and go and steal the car. The goal here is also to allow infinite variability and replay value in the game.

 

The Story

...Patrick meets with the leader of the Archangels, Robert ‘Kay’ Kimberly. It turns out that Patrick’s driver had arranged to illegally transport alcohol and weaponry to Archangel clubhouses in Calvertston and Dandridge, due to it being almost impossible for the Archangels to get the supplies across state lines on their motorcycles. Patrick is initially angry with his driver’s decision, until ‘Kay’ suggests that Patrick can expand his business by agreeing to run alcohol and guns north for the Archangels.

Patrick finally agrees to do so, but only for very steep rates which ‘Kay’ reluctantly agrees to. This begins Patrick’s foray into the underworld. His business of running supplies to Archangel clubhouses quickly becomes very successful, and allows him to expand O’Hannigan Trucking. He does all this without informing his father or brothers of his actions, until one of his best friends and drivers, Jake Gardner, accidentally mentions the new line of business to Patrick’s mother. Rather than being angry, Doris O’Hannigan decides to help Patrick keep the business a secret from his father.

This backfires, however, when the Idolatrous, connecting the dots of O’Hannigan’s trucks visiting the Archangel safehouses and the increased firepower wielded by them, decides to attack one of the O’Hannigan’s warehouses in Gatesville. After the attack, which completely destroys the warehouse, Patrick demands protection from the Archangels. He tries to pass the attack off as a gas explosion to his father, but Michael soon contacts the police who investigate the scene. Finding shell casings and evidence of dynamite, the police inform Michael O’Hannigan III that the warehouse was probably attacked by a gang.

Michael confronts Patrick with this information and Patrick fesses up. Michael is outraged that his son would try to hide this from him and tries to take the business away from him, only to find that Patrick is too deeply entrenched to be removed easily. Instead, Michael makes his oldest son, Andrew, the nominal CEO of O’Hannigan Trucking. After doing so, Michael leaves Gatesville for the coast, fed up with the insolence of his son. He leaves instructions that he will arrange for Patrick’s arrest if he finds out about more illegal activities.

 

Here, the player has his first large choice of the storyline: will he attempt to continue the illegal business under his father’s nose, get out while he still can, or try and  get his father to agree to allow the transport of illegal merchandise?

 

Gangs, Unions, and other Organizations

As the story progresses, gangs, unions, and other organizations besides your trucking business become increasingly important. These include gangs besides motorcycle clubs, such as the Irish Mob, the Dixie Mafia, the Jewish Mob, and the Black Liberation Army. All these gangs compete with each other for influence, cash, and supplies, and all of this competition trickles down to affecting you and your business.

Unions also affect your business because your truckers may organize to try and get higher wages. You may try to break this up, or you can try and milk it. A group similar to the Teamsters would come into your life somewhere in the game, and you may have no choice but to let your drivers join.

Further, the Mafia and Federal Investigative Authorities soon begin to interfere with your operation. The Mafia and other mobs will want you to drive for them, while the Federal Investigative Directive (FBI) will want you to hand over information about your activities. All of these groups will crisscross throughout the story, making it very difficult to choose sides.

 

Content

Below is a glimpse the many different characters, vehicles, weapons, and locations featured in Convoy.

Characters

In Convoy, which decisions you make with regards to the story will strongly affect the characters who will be in it. Below I’ve listed the characters who will be in Convoy no matter what decisions you make - the O’Hannigans and the Archangels. Other characters may not appear at all, depending on what decisions you make.

The O’Hannigan Family

  • Patrick ‘Clubs’ O’Hannigan - the main protagonist of Convoy, Patrick O’Hannigan has just returned from an extended tour overseas as a gunner on a battle tank in Vietnam. His nickname came from the large club icon he painted on the side of his tank. Patrick is a 26-year-old who completed his college education before volunteering for the war, which alienated him from his two younger brothers. Patrick feels detached from his family save for his father and older brother, whom he defends without question. Patrick is an intense man with some impulsive tendencies, who rarely gets angry, but he feels shellshocked by his experiences in the war when he returns home.

  • Michael O’Hannigan III - Patrick’s father, Michael is 76 years old when Convoy begins. An old man suffering from Parkinson’s, Michael was the son of an immigrant, Michael O’Hannigan II, and was born and raised outside Oaksboro. He moved to Gatesville in his thirties to start O’Hannigan Trucking, and he dedicated his life to building the business. Michael is a strict, strong-willed man who has a general disdain for those he perceives as lazy - including his two youngest sons.

  • Doris O’Hannigan - Patrick’s mother, Doris is 72 when Convoy begins. A small, doting woman, Doris hides a secretive other side that is only revealed very occasionally, such as when Jake Gardner accidentally informs her about Patrick’s decision to run guns and alcohol for the Archangels. She is very good at keeping a secret and ad-libbing to save her favorite son, Patrick, and helps to secretly support her two youngest sons.

  • Andrew ‘Sixes’ O’Hannigan - Patrick’s older brother, Andrew acquired his nickname of ‘Sixes’ from his skill at playing dice. 31 years old when Convoy begins, Andrew is the only son of Michael’s who has maintained the family business while Patrick was in Vietnam. An overworked, quiet man, Andrew has trouble keeping control of his drivers who often take advantage of his nature to extract unearned wages out of him. Andrew used to be a much happier and more upbeat person, until an accident made him much more quiet..

  • James O’Hannigan II & John O’Hannigan - Patrick’s two younger brothers, James and John were born five minutes apart and are fraternal twins. Both 19 when Convoy begins, James and John are much more rebellious than their older brothers. Rather than working in their family business - neither even have a truck license - both decided to join pro-Socialist Worker’s protest groups in the year before Patrick returns. They now live together in a tiny apartment in Dandridge, working as cleaners in the Capitol building.

The Archangels Motorcycle Club

During the first part of the game, the Archangels are your only allied motorcycle club.

  • Robert ‘Kay’ Kimberly - The president and leader of the Archangels, ‘Kay’ served for a year in Vietnam in 1964 before returning home. 41 at the time Convoy begins, ‘Kay’ is a resourceful, scheming leader, who enjoys messing with his enemies through many plots and ploys. He is initially hostile to the partnership with O’Hannigan trucking, but eventually comes around to it.

  • Gary ‘Gaz’ Joiner - Vice president of the Archangels, ‘Gaz’ is a cool, collected sort of man who often has to calm down his president. Despite this, ‘Gaz’ secretly wishes to overthrow ‘Kay’, something that he confides to Patrick a few missions into the game. This taints Patrick’s view of him, despite the fact that he is a fiercely loyal member of the club.

  • Herbert Chance - Chaplain of the club, Herbert is a former minister who had his church burned by the Idolatrous for building on their territory. He has a large scar on his shoulder from the attack, which has left him battled and bitter. Despite this, he is a wise, old one - nearly 55 by the time of Convoy’s events - who guides the club’s younger members through difficult times.

  • Randall ‘Jockey’ O’Hara - Sergeant at Arms of the club, ‘Jockey’ is another Vietnam veteran who served in an armored company, similarly to Patrick. Randall is an intense, somewhat paranoid man who distrusts outsiders, and habitually cleans all the firearms kept by the club until they sparkle. He is also initially hostile to the partnership with O’Hannigan Trucking, but becomes very endeared with them quickly.

 

Map

The map for Convoy would naturally be quite large, due to it being a game about trucking and transport. The map would replicate an area from approximately Baltimore to Charlotte, though at a reduced scale, somewhere around 75%. The distance between these two cities is approximately ~400 miles, which means the map would be somewhere around 300 x 325 miles, which, in the world of huge video game maps, is on the smaller end: http://i.imgur.com/DgHvbe7.jpg . The map would be a little smaller than the Just Cause 2 map.

The difference, of course, is that the map for Convoy would include loads and loads of activities to do, as well as many characters to meet in the large spaces between the huge cities. Speaking of which, there would be a good amount of cities featured in Convoy. Like Grand Theft Auto, these cities would be parodies of the real cities, with different names. Let’s look over the cities that would be featured in the game, from north to south.

  • Calvertston (Baltimore) - The northernmost city is Calvertston, a major port near the nation’s capital in Dandridge. However, its affluence has begun to slip in the 1970’s, and the center of the city is filled with abandoned warehouses and factories, which are rampant with crime. The port area is where a good amount of deliveries are taken by the player, though the city, which is home to a powerful chapter of the Idolatrous and other gangs, becomes very dangerous very quickly.

  • Dandridge, FCR (Washington, DC) - The Federal Capital Region of Dandrige is a very active place in the 1970s, due to the many protests taking place in the Nation’s Green. The city still has scars from recent race riots, as well. Though the city is not a major place for truck deliveries, it still has vital importance in the game due to the lobbying efforts of the O’Hannigan Trucking Company, in concert with several criminal elements.

  • Whitechapel (Richmond) - The capital of Algonquien (Virginia), Whitechapel is a rapidly expanding city. This means many truckloads of supplies and other revenue is delivered to the city regularly. This also means that the city has recently been attracting the attention of northern gangs and motorcycle clubs, who wish to kick the city’s resident club - the Army of Northern Virginia - out.

  • Staunton (Roanoke) - A modestly sized city, Staunton is home to a major rail center which makes it a popular destination for truck shipments. Staunton is relatively far away from most other cities, being closer to the mountains than any other large city. This makes it an area of expansion for many gangs, as well as the drug business due to recent employment crises.

  • Dorset (Norfolk) - The second largest city in Algonquien, the main interest in Dorset is the huge naval base. Naturally, this attracts a good amount of business from the trucking company, though many gangs take interest in selling their paraphernalia to sailors and soldiers at the base. This creates a good amount of tension in the area around Dorset. Nearby Algonquien Beach (Virginia Beach) serves as a popular resort town, and also as a place for gang leaders to meet to discuss differences.

  • The Triangle (Piedmont Triad) - An area of three cities in North Sylvania (North Carolina), the Triangle is a major hub for the O’Hannigan Trucking Company due to its headquarters being based in Gatesville (Greensboro). The other two major cities in this region are Franklin-Wachovia (Winston-Salem) and Junction (High Point). This region produces a good deal of trucking business due to the many factories and interstates intersecting here, but also presents a rife target for gangs wishing to expand into North Sylvania.

  • Oaksboro (Raleigh) - The capital of North Sylvania, Oaksboro is an important city early in the game due to the headquarters of the Archangels MC being located here. Besides that, Oaksboro is a relatively modest sized city, though it does produce some business for the trucking company. It becomes a flashpoint for tensions between the motorcycle clubs midway through the game, however, and a location of many protests against new government regulations.

  • Queensbridge (Charlotte) - A large city in the south of North Sylvania, Queensbridge is the southernmost major city featured on the map. This city is mainly known as a mill town, with many surrounding towns producing fabrics. Thus, it produces a lot of textile business. Queensbridge also serves as a rail junction, as well as a greeting point for gangs coming up from the south. This means gang violence is not unheard of in Queensbridge.

As can be seen, there would be quite a few cities in Convoy. Since a good part of the game would involve trucking, it is important to have many destinations that cargo can be hauled. Besides that, the number of cities in the game would allow for a huge amount of replay value because of the number of characters in each city, not to mention the many small towns and villages in between the larger cities. They are too numerous to name, but will be discussed further when pertinent. That being said, Calvertston and Dandridge would be much larger than the rest of the cities. 

Vehicles

As said above, convoy would feature a large array of different vehicles, and would feature not only a single model year but several different ones. In addition, trucks, which did not really vary between model years, would be available in many different configurations.

Here are some examples of this type of vehicle and the variations you could see.

Trucks

Fallesen Diablo - Mack B-Series

https://www.trucksplanet.com/photo/mack/b_long_hood_b-cab_/b_long_hood_b-cab__5303.jpg

Single-Axle Tractor

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/00/0c/81/000c816bbf0946c45774be36fe7850d3.jpg

Dual-Axle Tractor

http://img06.deviantart.net/ab74/i/2008/164/0/0/mack_b_series_by_ldlawrence.jpg

Straight Truck

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fc/Flickr_-_jimduell_-_6-18-11_MACUNGIE_ATCA_TRUCK_SHOW_%283%29.jpg/1024px-Flickr_-_jimduell_-_6-18-11_MACUNGIE_ATCA_TRUCK_SHOW_%283%29.jpg

Cement Mixer

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/00/1961MackB95.jpg/1024px-1961MackB95.jpg

Fire Truck

http://www.bigmacktrucks.com/uploads/1234744774/med_gallery_1293_632_1924695.jpg

Bus

As you can see, the Diablo would be available in a huge number of variations. The Diablo is a very popular truck, so not all trucks would appear in this many forms, but you get the idea. Here are some more trucks.

 

Fallesen Abbot - Mack F-Series

https://www.trucksplanet.com/photo/mack/f-series/f-series_6022.jpg

Fallesen Porter - Mack LT

https://www.trucksplanet.com/photo/mack/lt/lt_5416.jpg

Fallesen Poulette - Mack L-Series

https://www.trucksplanet.com/photo/mack/l-series/l-series_5391.jpg

Fallesen Wesley - Mack R-Series

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Mack_R_model.jpg

Gerlinger Abercrombie - Kenworth 500 Series ‘Bull-Nose’

https://www.trucksplanet.com/photo/kenworth/bull-nose/bull-nose_2432.jpg

Gerlinger Anadem - Kenworth 524

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/68/2a/51/682a51e17d52e0bbac38c4fbb9b2012f.jpg

Gerlinger Bandit - Kenworth W900

https://www.trucksplanet.com/photo/kenworth/w900a/w900a_2059.jpg

Gerlinger Caroline - Kenworth K100 Series

https://www.trucksplanet.com/photo/kenworth/k500-k900/k500-k900_2402.jpg

In-Game Media

Radio Stations

Radio would be a way for the player to get information while driving. Unlike other games, radio stations would change based on where you are on the map. If you are in the north, for example, you will be able to hear radio stations from Dandridge, but not radio stations from, say, Queensbridge. If you are in the south, the opposite is true, and vice versa.

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE this post is a work in progress and will be updated as I add more information.

 

Thanks for reading.

Dreadnought

Edited by DreadnoughtStudios

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Holding down the run key would speed you up slightly, while hitting it repeatedly would make Patrick break into a sprint

DONT do this, even in Bully where it was only used for the bike riding people complained about it. Think of it as wanting to watch a movie, yet every second you need to hit the play button.

 

Crouching and going prone would both be possible relatively easily, as well as various other dynamic poses - such as leaning against a wall, pushing an object such as a car, etc.

How is it easy? What is pressed and why even bother with the leaning?

 

NPC would have thought put into their identity. Every pedestrian on the street would have a place they are at least tentatively going to, and which they might actually go to if the player sticks around to watch them.

Not needed and very difficult to do; especially if the characters are persistent.

There are some important studies on how to do this kind of thing in a game, the whole follow AI around thing, it can be done if you only add data to a character based on how long it's watched.

In short it is extremely difficult, resource heavy and costly to do, not worth the little player investment it provides; that is why you don't see it in games.

 

Interaction Being a mix of an RPG...

 

Affecting the Story Convoy .... Every character would be killable...

This is a exponential crisis, every important NPC added and every choice will exponential increase the amount of work that is needed to a point where it can't be done.

If a player can select 3 choices and 3 more and 3 more you get 3*3*3= 27 possible states that you have to make. That is why games don't make very choice significant. The NPC death will add a whole extra dynamic to it.

 

Unlike similar other open-world sandbox games, Convoy’s gun handling would try for a very fluid, realistic system, instead of a rigid set of animations.

How could this even be done?

 

An example of this would be,..

You are in fact describing a normal state animation system like Unreal and Unity uses.

The few states you describe here alone is going to cost $500 - $1000 to make.

 

In the same vein, explosions and similar violent events...

The reason there are whole games like Metal gear rising, is because destruction is so difficult to implement and so cost heavy, that if you do it you should build your game around it. Adding it in as a second hand effect isn't worth it.

 

Rather than a health bar...

Tried and tested, the problem this has is that it lacks the feedback that a simple health bar does and costs a thousand times more.

 

This effect would be somewhat similar to shellshock

Yes, but how would you allow the player to experience it?

Shaders could work here, however it's very limited in conveying what shell shock is.

 

In this way, Convoy could be a practically limitless game with no end to the number of things you could do in it.

Every mission you add into the game will cost around $1 000 for a simple fetch quest to $100 000 for a well planned mission. Unless your budget is practically limitless, this isn't going to happen.

Note: the prices is for implementing a mission and the minimum content needed to make the mission possible.

 

Besides that, players would be able to affect the world by starting fires...

This takes a lot of setup, doing something like this for my own game. It has to do with how you indicate what can burn and the fire AI.

 

in addition to the multiple generations of each car - rather than just a single model year

It costs about $500 - $50 000 (Low poly - High poly) to implement a secondary vehicle and about $1000 - $100 000 if the player can drive it.

Characters go from $1000 - $1 000 000, yes a million as you hire animation artist, actors and directors, programmers and 3D artist to get it done.

 

 

You made a very basic mistake: you planed a game without ever making one.

This game couldn't even be made by a full AAA studio if they had a budged of $270 000 000. Even at the simplist graphics it's going to cost more than $5 000 000 to make.

Some of the things you describe is only theories and concepts, with no way of implementing at the moment.

 

My advice is this: make a simple road, with a truck to drive on it. Remake Sega's Road Race with these; you will need it all as part of your final game so start here.

Then after you made this consider your game again.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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Scouting Ninja,

Thank you for the reply. The point of this post was simply a listing of ideas that I had for a game. I quite understand that it would be very expensive and difficult to make this game as I have currently proposed it, but I simply wished to propose it nonetheless. I don't intend this as a practical idea for game that can be made tomorrow. As you said, this is all 'theories and concepts' - that is exactly what I intend it to be. I do not intend this to be something easy to make or perhaps even possible at the current moment, but only a proposal for something which may or may not be possible.

Dreadnought

Edited by DreadnoughtStudios

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but only a proposal for something which may or may not be possible.

That is why I recommend you start with a remake of Road Race, it's the basics of every car game ever. Doing it will give you a much better understanding and will be your first step on a long journey.

If you don't start some place then all of this is meaningless.

 

I am very interested in knowing about the leaning and your idea on the quick crouch and prone thing.

Could you explain about these a bit?

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but only a proposal for something which may or may not be possible.

That is why I recommend you start with a remake of Road Race, it's the basics of every car game ever. Doing it will give you a much better understanding and will be your first step on a long journey.

If you don't start some place then all of this is meaningless.

 

I am very interested in knowing about the leaning and your idea on the quick crouch and prone thing.

Could you explain about these a bit?

 

Thank you for the tip, sir. 

 

As for the leaning and quick crouch and prone thing, I meant to elaborate on the types of poses which would be possible with the character in the game. By 'leaning' I meant that the player would be able to push themselves up against a wall when in cover and lean out from behind it - this sort of thing has been implemented in several shooters, such as Call of Duty: Ghosts and Red Orchestra 2. I suppose I shouldn't have used 'dynamic' which is a word which has been used to death and doesn't really mean anything. By that word, I meant that the player would automatically change their pose in relation to their environment; for example, if moving along a wall which transitions to be shorter, then the player would crouch down automatically.

What I meant by crouching or going prone 'easily' is that some games make it impossible to go prone in some places, while other games do not have a prone pose at all. I suppose that word 'easily' was directed more towards the prone pose than the crouching pose.

The quick crouch and prone thing is directly from Red Orchestra 2. This is demonstrated in this video:

https://youtu.be/m6WeHo0P6-g?t=43

The player can go directly from being in a prone position to running, and then directly back to prone only by holding down the run button. 

Dreadnought

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What I meant by crouching or going prone 'easily' is that some games make it impossible to go prone in some places,

The reason for this is because of how animations is made, they aren't real time events, they don't respond to the world around them.

There is almost no way to go prone on any surface or in any place, so triggers are used to see that the character only attempts it when it is given the all clear.

A trigger is also used to see if a character can lean out, having this trigger around moving objects could lead to some very funny glitches. They don't even fully work on static objects, that is why there is so many bad cover shooters.

 

The prone to run I like, few games do it. The problem you have here is that most players will often forget they can go prone, maybe the easy death mechanic you have will remind them.

Maybe if the players character went prone a few times in stories it would help the player get use to the prone mechanic.

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Thank you again for your feedback, Scouting. Again, I really would like some feedback since I am not an expert game developer and so a lot of the things I have listed above may not be possible. The 'going prone easily' thing is just one example of that.

Do you have any other tips for avoiding creating a bad cover shooter? I can agree with the fact that there are quite a few games which do this sort of mechanic poorly, which is why many games simply avoid it altogether.

As for the going prone a few times in stories, I can agree with that. I will start posting my ideas for missions soon, to go along with the story. I will probably change the idea that you can kill any character though, since that does create a lot of problems. It was a bit of an iffy idea in the first place, but I thought I should include it to see what others thought. Perhaps there would be several opportunities to kill characters which might otherwise be important, rather than just letting you do it whenever. This way will cut down on the exponential problem you noted above.

 

Dreadnought

Edited by DreadnoughtStudios

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Do you have any other tips for avoiding creating a bad cover shooter? I can agree with the fact that there are quite a few games which do this sort of mechanic poorly, which is why many games simply avoid it altogether.

There is no easy answer, no trick or any tips that will help you. The best advice I can give is the same you will hear anywhere: Break your idea down, make each part work on it's own and bring it all together.

Chances are that the only way your game will have a good cover shooting element, is because you made a cover shooter while learning it to make your game.

there would be several opportunities to kill characters which might otherwise be important, rather than just letting you do it whenever. This way will cut down on the exponential problem you noted above.

This is a great middle ground, you still give the player the game changing choice while allowing yourself to make the content that makes it a meaningful choice.

I will start posting my ideas for missions soon

If you plan on making a lot of post the Blogs is a better place to do it. You get less views however people follow the content.

If you posted each topic on it's own and your progress, you will get a lot of good feedback from the other Bloggers and the readers.

Where if it remains a topic most people will stop reading when a lot of comments appear.

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Scouting,

Thank you again for your feedback, it's been most helpful. I will look into starting a blog and see if it is the type of thing that I'm going for, which I think it may be. 

I'm glad you think my idea for affecting the story is a good middle ground. I can say that feature is pretty integral to making this game, but other features, such as the Pedestrian walking feature, may just be 'icing on the cake' that won't affect the game too adversely if removed, or scaled back.

 

Dreadnought

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