Game Design Exercise: Kill Box

Elevator Pitch: This one is based on an intellectual exercise in combat design. The player is placed in a room. The room will be of varied size/shape and will have physical architecture such as blocks to hide behind, a vent to hide in or a tower to climb. The room may also contain hazards and traps, such as acid, crush blocks or automated turrets. It also contain weapons in pre-selected locations or in the players inventory. At a given time(s), a set of enemies will spawn into the room. The player must defeat all enemies to win.

Core Mechanics: The ‘design atoms’ of the game are weapons, physical space, environment and enemies. These elements will be changed for each killbox scenario to promote strategies. There may be one winning strategy or many, and some strategies that  will be designed to disguise the winning strategy (red herrings).

Example Killboxes:

Fish in a Barrel: Players are presented with pistol, shotgun and grenades. Enemies are large, heavily armored and do considerable damage at short/medium range. Environment is small but includes an air vent system that is too small for enemies to enter. Suggested strategy is to enter air vent and then lob grenades at enemies from safety of vent.

Toxic: Players receive pistol and flare gun in inventory. Players face off against enemies with toxic gas grenades. Gas slowly accumulates in room and will poison player if not dispersed. Environment includes fire suppression system that can be triggered by firing flare gun at heat sensors. Fire suppression will suck all air out of the room when triggered, flushing toxic gas.

Now you see me: Players start with a sniper rifle. Environment is a long room with an exposed sniping position at the end opposite of the enemy spawn. Enemies are invisible, melee only but do lots of damage. Weapons in the room include a knife, sword a chain-saw (all red herrings) and smoke grenades. Invisible enemies will disturb the smoke as they move through it, allowing the player to snipe enemies.

Nik Davidsen Clause (Monetization)

Pay for content model – first 20 killboxes are free, then each set of y killboxes after that costs x dollars. Sets include new killboxes, weapons, enemies, etc.

Game Design Exercise: Intelligence Officer

Elevator Pitch: 

An free to play, asymmetric co-operative multiplayer game where a player assumes the role of an intelligence officer covertly uncovering enemy secrets. Encourages slow, deliberate play with short play sessions spaced out over long intervals. Complete functionality on mobile platforms. Integrates with team based first-person-shooter (the intelligence officer’s ‘field team’). Works to encourage communication and teamwork between two very disparate player bases.

Core Mechanics: 

The intelligence officer’s main goal is to increase their pool of intelligence, which is a resource that can be generated and spent. Intelligence can be increased by:

  1. Website Hacking (minigame)
  2. Research (minigame involving custom built wiki/microsites/social sites)
  3. Developing intelligence assets (minigame of turning an enemy target)

Once intelligence has been generated, it can be spent on a number of things, including:

  1. Training – increases your minigame proficiency
  2. Field Assets – items like keycards, UAV drones, medical support, improved weapons or airstrikes that can be given to a field team for use on a mission. A field team can also request a field asset from an officer at any time for immediate use, provided the officer can pay the intelligence cost.
  3. Special missions. Special missions can only be carried out by a field team and give large bonuses to both sides for completion. (See Example Special Mission).

An intelligence officer builds ‘reputation’ based on how many of their special missions are successfully completed. It is in their best interest to provide good field assets to their teams to increase their chances of success on special missions. Reputation is visible to all field teams when choosing to accept a special mission.

Example Special Mission:

  1. An intelligence officer spends points to learn that a high value enemy terrorist leader will be meeting for an arms deal in Munich for the next week. The mission is to assassinate the leader at the arms deal. The officer must find a field team within the week window (real time) to execute the mission.
  2. The mission itself is a timed based objective, where the field team must eliminate the enemy target within a variable time window (can be shortened by the target discovering he is being attacked). The enemy leader will have an escort of guards (computer bots) that will defend him if attacked.
  3. To aid in the success of the mission, the intelligence officer can supply items like remote explosive charges, sniper rifles, UAV strikes, access to the terrorist leader hotel or even the real-time location of terrorist leader himself by spending intelligence points.

Nik Davidsen Clause (Monetization)

An intelligence officer can use ‘private funds’ at any time to purchase extra intelligence points immediately. Some situations (special missions, field team requests, developing assets) will have time based requirements for intelligence points, making it crucial for intelligence officers to have the needed intelligence points (or purchase them if necessary).