Phase 3, week 2 in reflection
This has been the first week we've used the google sprint methodology to create game ideas and develop prototypes. It hasn't been easy, with half of the team away as it's reading week and some of the team being unwell during the mid week as well as not being scheduled in to university, working together and communicating was never going to be as easy however we all worked well to put the effort in to, generate ideas, develop prototypes or just communicate and have valuable input. This was the week we worked on the idea of legacy, indirect connectivity and how experiences can be passed on and changed. We spoke briefly the week before about some rough ideas and this sparked a game idea or at the very least some interesting talking points in which we discussed during the podcasts, we decided to make two this week to fully discuss everything we wanted had on the subject. I suggest giving them a quick listen, although they are well over an hour each.
Although this week started slow, I am genuinely interested in the idea of how a game can be played, then once finished, passed on to a different person and they have parts of your game play in as well, be that your ghost or things you've touched have moved for them, or people you talk to remember the previous player. This idea of indirectly affecting the next player's experience is really interesting and new, nothing like this has ever been used as a game model before now. An important thing we wanted to consider was creating something more that just a very short experience, we wanted to create something with a little more meaning, a little more character. Working from the idea of a seed generator in regards to a game experience, players can pass the game on via a line of text after they are done, for example in a tweet, another player inputs this and can follow in their footsteps within the game. This is a really interesting idea and I was looking to find a break through that would turn this from a good idea into a good game. Although a lot of this was spent staring at a bunch of notes that wouldn't figure themselves out while I get increasingly more annoyed I eventually began work on the idea of two a dual experience, players than open a world and players that succeed a world. The first player must venture entirely on their own with the understanding that the game cannot be completed within their character lifespan and must leave behind something for another player to be able to have a chance at beating the world. I started to think about how the game might work, and I believe some kind of adventure challenging game might be the best way of getting this sense of working towards something, having to clear areas of danger and light up the way for other players has some kind of appeal, marking routes and creating safe areas give create a contrast between the areas that people have put time into and the unexplored dangers of the unsolved. Exactly how this would work I'm still not sure about and many of the details would still need to be ironed out however after talking during the middle of the week with the team and then I worked on writing an abstract that outlines a potential game I believe that this has real potential and can potentially be a really strong game. I will include the abstract version one below:
The objective of the game is to connect and find companions by venturing to a large landmark that is said to bring people together (somehow) the game has two types of players, forerunners, and successors, forerunners are the first players within the world while Successors are players to inherit the world after the forerunner has passed on. The world starts dark and cold with little to no clues on how to get to the destination. The players must venture out lighting the way leaving behind warnings and suggestions for other players to follow (Exact method TBD) Each player only has one life that must be protected/sustained. Forerunner players will come to understand that one life is not enough to complete the game and upon death will drop their spirit, containing character information such as name and appearance. That player then has the opportunity to pass the world to someone else via a seed or simply random assignment. Successors have the opportunity to pick up players spirits allowing them to have a deeper connection with that player, (they may point out potential dangers later on by appearing to the player in a dreamlike state) this spirit will become diluted as players proceed to pick them up aiding them in reaching the destination. Upon arrival and completion of the game, they will be able to release the picked up spirit revealing all the previous players and forerunner.
For a break down of notes, processes and thoughts along the way I suggest looking at both the podcasts from week two and this page detailing things I looked into over the first two weeks and how this generated the base game ideas for week two.