In the future, I'm looking to create a multiplayer game that's influenced by other games -- namely GTA IV, GTA Online, Watch Dogs, and a number of multiplayer shooters to create something both familiar and different at the same time. I've enrolled in college, and this is just something I've had in my head for a while and hope to make a reality in the future.
I'm sure we've all played GTA. GTA IV had multiplayer set in New York (or Liberty City), which had a fun assortment of modes but was rather simple. GTA V has GTA Online, which has some really good ideas, but I'm not the biggest fan of the execution. There are a lot of gimmicks involve that take away from the crime feel, and some questionable decisions. The game is still a lot of fun, but I want to take the best parts of it and create something new.
As mentioned in the title, the working name of the game is The Syndicate. I'm not sure if I can keep it, as EA has a game called "Syndicate" and I might have to come up with something else. But for now, that's just what I'm calling it.
The Syndicate is set in the East Coast. Specifically, the locations include New York (New York City, Long Island, Hudson Valley, a portion of Upstate), New Jersey (Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, and Edison), and Connecticut (Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, and Danbury). The reason I chose this area to be the location of The Syndicate was simple: It's the most populated area in the United States, and has a rich history of crime. It's also extremely diverse, even by American standards, so anyone could fit in with the environment.
The game is multiplayer, but I'm hesitant to call it an MMO. Rather, it's a shared world game. Everyone shares the games world, but it has the gameplay more reminiscent of GTA with shooting and driving mechanics not specifically tied to your level. Anyone can beat anyone, with enough skill. However, there are RPG and loadout mechanics with a sense of progression to make sure things stay interesting. Also, there are modes with separate lobbies, so that no one can intrude on the experience.
The Syndicate has a wide range of customization options. You can play as a male or female, and you can choose your character's race: Caucasian, Slavic, African, Native-American, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Latino. There's a number of ways to tweak out how your character looks, such as customizing your face, hair, eyes, etc. You can also choose what kind of clothes you wear, which you can change at any time. There are different clothes shops around the map, and each shop has different options based on its theme (example, one that's high end, another that's cheap). There are also tattoo options, if you want to express your personality or show loyalty to your gang, it's there.
There's a lot of options you can use to make your character your own. You can wear plain clothes to fit in with everyone else, or you can make your status as a criminal more obvious, such as wearing a skull bandana with a rolled up pant leg, and prominent tattoos. There are numerous themes you can fit into with the options available, such as urban, biker, mafia, casual, and yes, even hipster. The customization options are completely aesthetic, so as to make sure no one is at an advantage or disadvantage just because of the visual appearance they chose.
The Syndicate takes its cues from Grand Theft Auto. There are both on-foot and in-vehicle mechanics, and like GTA you can steal any car in the game by pressing Y/Triangle. However, there are crucial differences to the gameplay that separate it from GTA and make The Syndicate its own beast. In GTA, you could carry every weapon in the game, which meant there was no strategy in what kind of weapon you used. The Syndicate however, only lets you carry two at a time, and one of which (usually) must be a handgun. Not only is it more realistic, but it actually means you have to think about what kind of weapon you want to use in a situation. For example, an assault rifle has more range and power, but an SMG allows you more mobility and can be used inside vehicles. If you want, you can substitute a handgun for a rocket launcher (if you can acquire one), but while it's great for taking out vehicles, it's highly situational and you lose mobility with it. You can crouch, unlike in GTA V (for some reason), which increases your accuracy and can give you cover and stealth.
The game has RPG elements in the mix, so that there's a feeling of progression. When you first start out, you only have a pistol and a few hundred dollars cash. As you work your way up, you get options for what kind of weapons you want to use. There are different ways to acquire weapons, both legally and illegally. Having your weapon drawn out is risky, because you will get the attention of the police if one sees you. There are cover mechanics, and the ability to use stealth in order to silently take your enemies. A number of attachments are available for your weapons, and if you got the cash, you can get a really decked out gun. These include suppressors, laser pointers, sights, and grenade launchers. You can also paint your gun, to give it a unique look. You can use this to create your own loadout, which you can select before going out in the world or on a mission.
As for driving, there are a wide variety of vehicles at your disposal. Like GTA, all vehicles are fictional, but based off of real life brands. There are cars, bikes, boats, and helicopters. The vehicles should drive smoothly, as you'll be spending a lot of time behind the wheel. As with your character and weapons, there are shops where you can customize your vehicle both visually and in performance. Similar to GTA, if your car is destroyed, you can get insurance so you'll get a replacement in a moment's notice.
Similar to GTA Online, you can claim a vehicle as your own. There are also a number of safehouses throughout the map which can be purchased, and the coast depends on factors like the location and the features available.
If all goes well, I would like options for both third person and first person views, for a really immersive experience if one desires.
I'm hoping for at the very least ten factions, covering a wide range of criminal enterprises, that the player can become an affiliate for. The idea is that each faction pays bonuses for completing missions, killing enemy players associated with rival factions, and performing faction-specific free roam challenges. Each faction has their own missions. Also, the job payment will be based on enrollment numbers, so a faction with significantly more players than another will pay less, to ensure there's a roughly equal number of members for each faction. As you can imagine, the factions have their own characters associated with them, and their own personalities to match. Factions I'm planning include:
Los Diablos (Latin cartel)
The Forgotten MC (Biker gang)
Akagi Family (Japanese yakuza)
Rossi Family (Italian mafia)
Coastal Club (Street racing/tuner gang)
Lapin Bratva (Russian mafiya)
White Tiger (Chinese triads)
O'Malley Family (Irish mob)
Thompson Posse (Jamaican yardies)
Rollers (African-American street gang)
Why care about respect? Earning enough respect nets you perks that you can use in-game to make your life easier. It's entirely optional to join a faction, as there are neutral missions not involving the factions, but you'll be missing out. Perks include sending a mugger to another player, paying money for the cops to temporarily turn a blind eye to your deeds, and paying to remove your wanted level. You need a certain level of respect to achieve this. Your faction's respect is increased by killing players belong to other factions, and decreased by killing players belonging to the same faction, which should hopefully help prevent the "kill on sight" mentality from becoming too prominent.
Naturally, there are PVP events where people from different factions compete against each other in modes like deathmatches and races. They compete for money, XP, and to increase Global Faction Points. Speaking of which...
To encourage joining a faction and fighting for your colors, there are Global Faction Points. Every offensive action you take against another faction earns YOUR faction "Global Faction Points", which improves your faction's Global Ranking. Killing players from other factions, defeating other factions in certain activities, and possibly through other ways. The faction with the highest Global Ranking will earn some sort of bonus at the end of each month, be it a unique clothing item, money rewards, or whatever. This gives players motivation to choose a faction and stick with it, helping to serve a higher purpose by actually working together with their fellow faction mates for a monthly reward. Then the ranking resets at the start of the next month.
It should be noted that not everything is tied to the faction. Players can work with each other regardless of their affiliation, and play modes like deathmatch, capture the flag, races etc. without contributing to the GFP. It's special Faction vs. Faction modes where they go against each other.
The Open World
At the forefront, there is the shared world open world experience taking place in the hub of crime. The game world is referred to as the East Coast. This is your playground, where you explore, do jobs to earn money, and work with others to do crime. Or simply kill each other. This is likely where you'll be spending most of your time. Jobs here are different from missions. A mission takes place in a separate lobby, while a job takes place in the open lobby. A job has you doing things that can go in any way, due to the nature of the open world where everyone can meet each other. You can bust a drug deal and take the money for yourself, but someone else can crash the party and take the money from you, just as an example.
There's a system called Most Wanted. Should a player kill a lot of other players, they will become Most Wanted. Then there will be a cash prize for killing that player, with a large skull marker appearing on the map, and regardless of faction, you won't get a decrease in respect. There are mini-games available, such as bowling, air hockey, darts, and pool, where you can play with others -- and bet money, if you wish.
To make sure it's not completely chaotic, one must deal with the police going after you for causing trouble. The police will react when near you, or if someone calls 911. Since the East Coast covers different locations, there are different police officers for each area. They are not as cheap as the ones in GTA V, but shouldn't be underestimated either.
The idea is that one could only play in the East Coast without playing the other modes and still be satisfied with the game, so naturally, this will get a lot of focus.
There are a variety of different modes to play in The Syndicate. They're familiar, but with a twist. It takes full advantage of the world, featuring large maps and vehicles to ensure that it's not just your standard mode. Also, most modes have a Best Play, which is like Overwatch's Play of the Game, where you see a brief clip of the best play in the game, often involving a multi kill.
Deathmatch: Free-for-all deathmatch with a large map, and vehicles in the mix.
Team Deathmatch: Like the above, but in teams.
Team Capture: It's Capture the Flag, but with a briefcase. Two teams try to break into the enemy team's side and steal their briefcase, then bring it to their side. Similarly, it involves a massive playing field and vehicles.
Race: Pretty simple, it plays like a racing game where you try to race to finish to first. You can't leave your car, and there are respawns if you fall upside down or wreck your car too much. No slipstream, no catch up (ahem), just you and your racing skills.
Syndicate Race: When racing takes on Syndicate rules. Instead of respawning, you get out of your car and steal another. There are weapons on the map, which you use to kill your enemies to win.
Fragile Alliance: It's a semi-competitive, semi-cooperative mode that's directly inspired by the mode of the same name in Kane & Lynch (which I consider the only good thing about that game). The players are in a crew where you try to rob a bank. At first, everyone works together to secure the money and fight off the police. But there is friendly fire, and one can kill their teammates to get a bigger cut of the score. It's a risk vs. reward mode where you can either work together, or kill each other for more money, but that's assuming IF you can complete the mission with more cops after you and less teammates to help.
Crime Work: Each player competes over being the first to complete a set of objectives, which can vary wildly at any time. Whoever completes the most objectives by the end of the timers wins.
Wanted: Basically, it's this version of Horde mode. Four players face wave after wave of police officers, who aren't exactly taking prisoners. The whole map is yours, but the team must stick together in order to have a chance of surviving all the rounds against the increasingly tough police officers.
As with other open world games, there is a licensed soundtrack. There are stations that play classic rock, EDM, alternative/indie rock, hip-hop, hard rock/metal, among others. There are also websites you can use, which increase immersion of the world and serve as a gameplay mechanic, where you order vehicles and weapons. You can also check the news, and get updates on the world around you. The internet can be accessed through a computer, or just by using your phone.
NOTE: This is a work in progress and more will be added/changed as I time passes. If there's anything you'd like to say or suggest, please let me know!