A Tale of Two Brothers
*This is an original story concept for a quest chain and not part of the actual game.
Anpu and Bata are brothers. They live on a small farm. Anpu has a wife, her name is Inanna. Anpu owns the farm and is leading the workers.
Bata is responsible for the shipping of the produce to the nearby town.
Recently the shipments arrive spoiled. Bayek is asked by a Quest Giver in the town to investigate why.
Quest Story Overview
Bayek talks to Anpu, who says that Bata receives the produce in good condition and there must be something wrong with the shipping.
Bayek then talks to Bata, who says that raiders are giving him trouble, which leads to delayed deliveries and spoiled produce.
Bata asks Bayek to take care of the raiders for him.
Bayek attacks the raiders camp and finds a note that suggests that Inanna, Anpu's wife, instructed the raiders to disrupt the shipments.
Bayek returns to Bata and informs him that the raiders are no more. Bayek shows Bata the note, but Bata is not surprised, he says that Inanna secretly loathes Anpu and probably sent the raiders to hurt Anpu's business.
Bayek confronts both Anpu and Inanna. Anpu is outraged and tries to kill Inanna when he hears about the raiders. Bayek stops Anpu and kills him in a fight.
Inanna becomes the new owner of the farm and Bayek reports back to the Quest Giver in the town that the shipments of produce will no longer arrive spoiled.
The player might feel conflicted about killing Anpu and that Inanna's plan ended up being successful, since she got rid of Anpu and gained ownership of the farm. However dealing "justice" to Inanna may cause a halt of deliveries to the town, which is not what the Quest Giver in the town wants.
- Receive quest from Quest Giver in town
- Talk to Anpu about deliveries
- Talk to Bata about deliveries
- Kill raiders
- Find out about Inanna's plot
- Get reward from Bata for killing raiders
- Confront Anpu and Inanna
- Kill Anpu
- Report back to Quest Giver in town
Inspiration and References:
The story background for this quest is loosely based on the ancient Egyptian story "Tale of Two Brothers". Much of the original Egyptian text, such as the rebirth of Bata are not part of the quest and some details, like Anpu murdering his wife, play out very differently in the quest. The ancient Egyptian foundation of the quest's story make it fit well into the setting of Assassin's Creed Origins.
Daemon Sword is an action-puzzle game for touch screen devices wherein the player slays monsters by solving swiping patterns.
Game design document:
King Ka-Ching's lust for gold has gone too far! His taxes are so high, that no-one has any gold left to pay them! You must sell your organs to pay for your taxes, but make sure to keep enough of you inside of you, otherwise Grimmy the Reaper knocks on your door!
All players start with a full set of Body Cards. Clock-wise, every round King Ka-Ching visits one player. This player must pay King Ka-Ching the Gold Tax of 20 Gold. If the player is unable to pay, they need to pay Grimmy the Reaper a Death Tax of 3 HP. Players can freely choose if they wish to pay the Gold Tax or the Death Tax, but they must pay one of them!
Players have 20 Body Cards:
Body Card Gold Worth Health Points
Brain 40 Gold 3 HP
Left Eye 15 Gold 1 HP
Right Eye 15 Gold 1 HP
Left Lung 20 Gold 2 HP
Right Lung 20 Gold 2 HP
Heart 40 Gold 3 HP
Liver 10 Gold 1 HP
Left Kidney 5 Gold 1 HP
Right Kidney 5 Gold 1 HP
Intestines 5 Gold 1 HP
Stomach 5 Gold 1 HP
Left Arm 15 Gold 2 HP
Right Arm 15 Gold 2 HP
Left Hand 10 Gold 1 HP
Right Hand 10 Gold 1 HP
Left Leg 15 Gold 2 HP
Right Leg 15 Gold 2 HP
Left Foot 10 Gold 1 HP
Right Foot 10 Gold 1 HP
Total Gold in Body Cards: 280
Total HP in Body Cards: 29
All players start with 5 Gold. If a player drops below 6 HP, they will die and lose the game. The player who survives the longest wins!
During a player's turn, that player can sell their Body Cards to other players for Gold. Sometimes it's better to sell a Body Card to another player, rather than paying the Death Tax with it. Only one Body Card can be sold to another player per round.
Players can sell their Body Cards for Gold to Stanley the Butcher. Stanley is a cheeky haggler with a bad temper, so when a player decides to sell a Body Card to Stanley, they must roll three dice and multiply the resulting number by the HP of the Body Card that they want to sell. The resulting number is the amount of Gold the player receives for selling the Body Card to Stanley.
If a player has rolled the dice, they must sell a Body Card of their choice and cannot change their mind. Only one Body Card can be sold to Stanley per round.
A total of two Body Cards can be sold per round: One to a player and one to Stanley.
King Ka-Ching Tax includes material for up to 5 players:
- 30 "20 Gold" cards
- 50 "5 Gold" cards
- 55 "10 Gold" cards
- 50 "1 Gold" coins
- 100 Body Cards (20 per player)
- 1 King Ka-Ching marker
- 1 Grimmy the Reaper marker
- 1 Stanley the Butcher marker
- 3 dice
- These rules
Setting up the game
Each player receives one "5 Gold" card and a full set of Body Cards. All other Gold cards/coins are placed in the middle of the table. Also in the middle of the table are the Grimmy the Reaper marker and the Stanley the Butcher marker. Every player roles the 3 dice once and the player with the lowest number will receive the King Ka-Ching marker. Now the game begins.
The play of the game
- The player with the King Ka-Ching marker needs to pay their taxes.- The player can decide to sell a Body Card to another player or to Stanley the Butcher.- Once the Gold Tax or the Death Tax has been paid, the player's turn is over.- The next player to the left receives the King Ka-ching marker.
The Thumper is an exotic bolt-action marksman rilfe with a unique weapon talent:
Every bullet that hits an enemy player, prolongs their active cooldowns by 1 second.
Skills that are not on a cooldown are not affected. The Thumper has no other weapon talents.
The weapon has two main purposes:
1.) PVP - Increase an enemy player's active cooldowns by about 10 seconds (if every bullet hits).
It being a bolt-action marksman rifle keeps it from being used to chase players quickly around cover - this helps with reducing it's value in PVP combat and making it more situational. The weapon also does very low damage.
2.) PVE - Use the weapon during a specific boss encounter in a mission or incursion.
There is a boss that throws a smoke bomb that disables all player weapons for 10 seconds. During this time players must scramble for cover and wait the smoke out. The Thumper is immune to the smoke, so can be used to continue shooting the boss and increase the cooldown of the boss's smoke bomb. If enough players on the team have the Thumper, the cooldown of the smoke bomb can be increased indefinitely, making the encounter much easier. This is the only boss that the Thumper's cooldown increasing ability works on.
In general the Thumper is very suitable for group content, both PVE and PVP, due to it not dealing a lot of damage and requiring group members for the main damage output and thus encouraging teamplay.
The ability to reduce player cooldowns in PVP makes the weapon appealing to those who enjoy PVP content.
The usefulness of the weapon during the boss encounter makes the weapon appealing to those who enjoy PVE content.
Players can receive the Thumper via two ways:
1. Via a direct drop
2. Via assembly of three weapon parts
There is a PVE route and a PVP route to get the weapon, so that players are not forced into a mode that they don't like.
The PVE route:
- Players that play one specific instanced mission will receive the first weapon part. Every player receives it at a 100% drop chance.
- Once they have the first weapon part, they can play any mission from a selected pool of missions and the boss at the end of each has a 40% chance to drop another weapon part.
- Once players have all 3 weapon parts they can be assembled to the Thumper.
The PVP route:
- The action takes place in an instanced part of the Dark Zone.
- A boss enemy is supposed to arrive at a location. This location is being defended by NPCs that arrive in waves.
- After 5 waves have been cleared, the boss enemy arrives.
- Two teams of players must compete for the kill.
- One player of the team that kills the boss will receive a guaranteed drop of the assembled Thumper. All other players from that team receive a guaranteed weapon part.
Players that do not have the Thumper are not missing out on much, since it's usefulness in PVP is very situational, the incursion/mission can be completed without it and the weapon doesn't do a lot of damage.
The Thumper is a status symbol.
Created in Unity. I apologize for the rainbow colours, they help me design where the player's attention goes.
Today I played Thief (2014) on the hardest possible difficulty mode, because I believe that it provides the best experience. Stealth games tend to benefit from a harder difficulty.
Selecting the master difficulty in the original Thief from 1998 unlocked side objectives that gave you a reason to explore parts of the map that you would otherwise never enter.
Anyway, I sneaked up to a guard and pressed RB to take him down. My finger was still on RB when I noticed the light of another guard coming around the corner. Taking down the guard in front of me was a bad idea. I would get spotted immediately. I had to get back to the shadows and hide.
Garrett had not performed the takedown, because my finger was still on RB. In that moment I realized that the game allowed me to change my mind in the last second, even after I had pressed the button. You need to press and release the button quickly in order to perform the action. This applies to most buttons in Thief. So releasing a button after holding it for too long doesn't perform the action.
This quirk of the input controls saved my life and gives players more freedom when making decisions. I like it.
I'm currently developing a video game called "Meteorhead's Trip for Milk" and this is a short test recording that I made with OBS.
One – Do not limit your pool of inspiration
I like to think that people come into the games industry because they want to make something that is like their favourite game. Seems like a good reason to me.
When I look at what is available on the marketplace, a lot of games seem to be heavily inspired by the work of others.
I made a list of games that I like, but quickly realized that this would be limiting my pool of inspiration.
Rollercoasters inspired Ken Levine's design of Bioshock Infinite.
TaleSpin influenced the design of Brendon Chung's Quadrilateral Cowboy.
So I instead made lists of everything else:
- Experienced that I had
- Places that I have been to
- People that inspire me
I learned not to limit myself to the creative output of the video game industry.
Two – Take all points of views seriously
The things that I like are probably the things that you hate, but I want to create a video game that we both like.
So when I talk with friends about video games and we disagree on something and have different opinions, I write it down.
I incorporate feedback into my games that I'm not necessarily agreeing with.
Three – You do not have to be unique
Mark Twain said:
"… substantially all ideas are second hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily used by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; …"
Four - Respect your limitations
I keep my limitations in mind when designing and programming my games, but I'm not letting my limitations stop me from trying new things.
Motivation is the most valuable resource to me. I have a 9 to 6 job and I work on my games in my spare time.
Usually when I come home I'm tired and have no motivation left, but I still want to use the weekdays to work on my games.
So I have multiple projects going on at the same time, because it gives me the freedom to switch between them whenever I want. It prevents mental blockage and keeps me going.
Another positive aspect of this is that ideas often overlap between projects. While working on Meteorhead's Trip for Milk I experimented with touch controls. What I learned from that inspired me to change the design of another game I'm working on.
We all have what we think are great game ideas and if we don't, then we can come up with one if we tried. However, all of our great game ideas are only worth something, if we know how to execute them. Otherwise the greatest idea is worthless.
Ojiro Fumoto gave a talk at GDC about how he designed his game Downwell around one key mechanic. I like this approach and wanted to do the same for my game Meteorhead. The key mechanic for me would be the "being a ball and rolling around" mechanic. I came up with tons of ideas for how this mechanic could be used and designed my levels around that, but when I started programming the mechanics I hit a wall and couldn't get them to work.
I didn't let this stop me. I re-designed the game and the levels without any of the mechanics that I struggled to program.
This changed the direction of the game dramatically, but resulted in new and exciting gameplay. My limitations forced me to find creative solutions.
I learned to appreciate my limitations and turned them into a strength.
I've been playing the Remaster of AC Rogue over the last couple of days and noticed some surprising similarities to AC Origins.
There is an enemy type in Rogue called the Stalker, that doesn't actively hunt you down like the Phylakes in Origins do, but the Stalkers are a hidden threat to you during free-roam and really add a sense of tension while you're exploring the world. It wouldn't be far-fetched to think that the Stalkers from Rogue fathered the design of the Phylakes in Origins.
The river valley in Rogue also reminded me much of the desert in Origins, in that it's a vast space that is sprinkled with a lot of smaller settlements and outposts, as opposed to the more empty frontier in AC III or how the other main AC titles only have big city maps.
The Phylake system of Origins provides a strong foundation and I would like to see it return with more complexity in future AC titles.
Specifically the "Nemesis system" of the Shadow of Mordor games can serve as inspiration for how to develop the Phylakes further. Assassins's Creed could expand it to more than just individual enemies, but any number of complex interactions between entities in the games.
It could be the genesis of a persistant interaction with the open world. Some possible uses:
- Viewpoints (or any kind of territory) is being recaptured by the Templars and needs to be re-taken, but enemies are defending the viewpoint and grow with the player's overall progression.
- You must defend a target from being assassinated by the enemy, but if you fail and the target gets assassinated, you must capture/defeat the attacker.
If you fail and the attacker escapes the area, then the attacker becomes stronger due to the XP they receive from the assassination and will be more difficult to defeat the next time you have to defend a target.
- If a Stalker/Phylake manages to kill you, they will gain XP (become stronger) and you have to be more afraid of them the next time.