Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New game alert: Tree of Life

So with Pond Wars up and earning a solid 10 cents a month, its time for me to move on to my next game.

I've been toying with the idea of a Book of Mormon themed game for a while. The game won't be overtly religious, this is an exercise in making a entertainment product rather then a missionary product. Fun is still the main objective. But instead of zombies or aliens or the like it would be Nephites and Lamanite. The initial idea was an RTS describing the various battles from the war chapters in Alma. You've got generals, heroes, resource management, diplomacy. The backdrop is all there for an EPIC strategy game.

And there is the crunch. One man can't do EPIC with all capitals in between work, family, church and everything else that is this thing we call life. epic maybe, but not Epic or EPIC.

So my next idea was an infinite runner. These are pretty easy to build. Trouble is its almost two easy. The coding behind these games is pretty straight forward. The games get their appeal from content. Mostly in the form of art work. If Pond Wars taught me anything its that I should avoid games that rely on heavy art work.

But an infinite runner got me thinking heavily on the Tree of Life theme. Its one of the most iconic stories from the Book of Mormon. Every primary kid grows up knowing about it. And while its full of religious symbols, the actual content is not that religious. At the face value the story is simple. There is a tree. There is a path leading to the tree. Lehi is attempting to get people to the tree. There are a variety of environmental hazards (rivers, mists of darkness) preventing this objectives. This is all starting to sound like some backwards tower defence game.

So that's what I'm building at the moment. A sort of reverse tower defence game, where the objective is to build towers to help the critters reach the end. And you loose points for critters that don't make it. There will be some RTS elements thrown in as well, you'll be able to send out units to help.

One core mechanic I'm keen to include will be a light/darkness. Mists of darkness will actually prevent you from seeing what's happening in game. Critters will also be affected by darkness, with reduced line of sight and movement speed. Units like prophets and pastors, or buildings like temples, will all provide light to dispel darkness.

The other core mechanic will be faith. Critters with high faith will stay firmly attached to the iron rod, no matter what they can or can't see. Once they loose faith they will tend to wander at random and be subject to the various environmental hazards. Prophets and missionaries will increase faith, as well as buildings like chapels.

I'm currently working on prototyping the light/darkness system. Look forward to seeing a demo of this system soon.

4 comments:

Brian Evans said...

Hey interested in the design just wanted to know if the demo was finished or released?

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great idea for a game. Are you still going to do it?

Tyler Lemke said...

I just posted above. I am interested in this game as well. I was just thinking of doing a RTS with lamanites and nephites this past week. I think it is possible to do if you take an open source RTS engine and skin it (0 A.D.). I am very intrigued about your game. Also I went to CCNZ! Email me tyleris(atsymbolgoeshere)gmail.com

Richard Gubb said...

I'm currently not actively working on this, but I did steal some of the concepts for a RTS I'm working on now.

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