For the character game design project I was given three random cards:
- Robotics (automaton/programming)
- Disease (outbreak/multiplying)
- Medicine (cure/treatment)
With these three themes I will have to design an environment, characters and a mechanism, the method how to play the game.
I have started by looking up different games and ruling out the ones that won't be translatable into this project, for example abstract strategy games like carom, chess and go would not be suitable as they don't have environments or characters, no narrative and pen & paper RPG like dungeons & dragons or LARP (live action role play) are unsuitable as well as world and play style change drastically depending on how your game master is interpreting the rules and because the characters are often made by the players themselves so the game would not have the restrictions an MMO RPG for example has.
The games that would be suitable for this project include "European type" board games (which are apparently particularly popular in Germany, I always took them for granted) which usually accommodate 2-6 players and last 1-2 hours which makes them perfect for light entertainment, they also focus on keeping all of the players in right till the end and unlike Monopoly, do have a proper and satisfying ending after a certain amount of time.
Arcade games would also be a nice choice as they have an environment, a simple objective and usually a few characters including hero, sidekick, damsel in distress and enemies.
RPG's on consoles and PC, FPS, card games and browser games or phone games (apps) will also be considered.
My ideas so far are:
A first person shooter in which the world is made out of disease, the player is a robot but with human intelligence (and characteristics) who's objective is to shoot medicine at viruses that pop up in front of him. He (or she) works in a small team of 2 or 3 and has to complete one objective to move on to the next level which increases in difficulty.
A board game where the world is made from robotics, it's squeaky clean and sterile but somehow the motor oil got corrupted by disease. The players objective is to roll the dice and make their way around the board collecting treatment which comes in different "colours and forms", several formulas will work but cannot easily be obtained by chance so players have to swap treatments with others and are slowed down or sped up by pick-up-cards.
A strategic PC game has the world made from medicine, robots farm it and collect it in right parts to fight the diseases, an outbreak would mean game over - the player has to plant and harvest the right kind of cure for the specific disease approaching before it's there so overview and organisational skills are of the essence.