I've been working on a game design concept that I believe would be ideally suited to the upcoming Unreal Tournament 2007. It would be nice to see it go forwards, but for the time being I'm really just looking to garner some interest from the modding community, and those that would play it. Constructive criticism would be great.
If the project is to go forwards, I'd ideally need a very strong project manager / leader to get it running. I'm a skilled game designer and a reasonably profficient programmer (although I've never yet dipped into Unreal, but I'm keen to), but I don't have the skills to manage a fairly large and unwieldy team of the kind that it would take to devleop a mod such as this.
I've not yet written any solid design documentation as I normally would, because of the modular nature of the concepts - in this instance if it's to go forwards I'd instead to propose a pseudo design wiki (one that can 'lock' the page sections once something has been set in stone etc).
Basically, it's classic multiplayer with the twist that you have to continually upgrade and look after your character between games; eventually affording you some advantages over those that do so more poorly than you. A bit of balancing can be afforded in the XP department when it comes to newbies versus the big baddies. I've already rigged a loose statistic system and will continue to work on it as the week progresses (I'm actually on holiday right now).
I'm going to keep my description quick and dirty, but you should get the basic idea. I'd really appreciate input and advice on where to go if I were to try and get the project running (or advice to the contrary if you think this is scrap-worthy).
In summary, the game is played in a very similar fashion to UT2007, save for several differences. Each player is a Cyborg, competing to gain experience (in a similar vein to RPG games) and money to upgrade themselves - something which they can do based upon certain factors in the statistical system before they connect to a server. This means that an encrypted 'save' file would also need to be placed on the player machine. Upgrades naturally confer advantages (and perhaps also disadvantages); but they shouldn't become too game dominating; players should not be so horribly outclassed by more experienced players. Level designs feature reasonably large derelict spaceborne wrecks, it's all part of the backstory and the gameplay reasons are also justified.
Specific and notable game features also include, but are not limited to;
- Crosshairs are ‘loose’. This means that the primary crosshair is able to move freely around the screen, and the character only turns when the crosshair reaches a screen edge, relative to the direction implied by that edge. Four keys are additionally assigned to toggle between views of to the left, right, fore and rear of the player.
- Weapons have limited fire-arcs, depending on how they are mounted on the character. Weapons each have individual secondary crosshairs that will follow primary crosshair, providing that the crosshair remains in their arc. If the primary crosshair is out of the weapon arc, the secondary crosshair will stop following at the edge of that arc and turn red. When this happens, that weapon is unable to fire.
- Gravity varies throughout levels, in magnitude and direction. The game is set in enormous drifting space-wreckages and asteroid bases; due to their derelict status, they are often unstable and prove highly hazardous, from dangerous machinery and chemicals, to automated weapons and unpredictable terrain.
- Player profiles represent a Cyborg; this Cyborg will gain in status as the game is played versus other players – it can also lose and permanently die, forcing the player to create a new Cyborg to play the game again. Cyborg statistical data is stored in an encrypted file on the player machine. The Cyborg will improve as the player plays more games; instead of equipment being equipped in the field, it is gained and pre-equipped before playing. The players are able to greatly customise their characters, which become their personal avatars on the battlefield.
- Most weapons carry infinite basic ammunition – the only limit is their need to reload. Some weapons may however always require acquired / limited ammunition to fire.
Lastly, I'll try to tempt with my poorly scribbled backstory - needs a bit of refining.
"A single grey streak tore through the dimly lit corridor, narrowly missing Urora and detonating against the bleak steel wall in a cloud of blazing orange-yellow fire. Debris flew outwards, scratching the refined steel plates of his armoured carapace, exposing intricate circuitry and the unholy amalgamations of delicate flesh and powerful machine beneath. Darkness settled around him once more, the plated bulkheads of the space borne silent, save for the whirring and clicking of ever-present machinery, the gentle hum of complex computer equipment and the sparking remnants of a deadly rocket’s death throws. Urora reared up on his rearmost legs, purchasing him a more advantageous view of the wide yet crowded and confined corridor and the many overlooking walkways and balconies. His biomechanical eyes rapidly adjusted to the gloom, but even with his perfect vision, everything appeared perfectly still, the aggressor nowhere to be seen. Unsatisfied, he settled back onto his six lower limbs, an unwanted gift from an enslaving benefactor, yet another upgrade, perverting what was once his body. He retreated to the safety of the hanger from whence he had come. He had once been a proud soldier, had a different name that he could no longer recall earning his respect in the armies of his people. In his most distant memories, he reflected upon the spiralling downfall that led him to become the Cyborg known to many as Urora. Hundreds, maybe thousands of years ago, he became enveloped in a secular war, an insane crusade against the convictions of mankind. The impious people of Earth, himself included, took to the stars to bring genocide to the misled believers of religion. Billions upon billions burned in the flames of earthly retribution, but Urora had come to realise the folly of his people as they strove to destroy their own people in a war of mutual destruction. Urora, along with many others rebelled against their former compatriots, seeking an end to the pointless persecution and bloodshed. But somehow, against all odds, Urora found himself fighting a losing battle. World after world found itself lost to the crusades, stripped of their former glory and enslaved in the shackles of the industrial war machine. Eventually, every last colony was cleansed of religion, and the inhabitants forced into slavery. It was belief that the crusaders had blamed for the foundation of the wrongdoings of man, but it had become obvious to Urora that the lack of it had been the undoing of humanity- the lack of vital morality that is promoted by religion. But simple slavery was deemed too great a concession for those who rebelled against the impious crusades; there were far more sinister plans in mind. Rounded up and equipped with simple weapons, compatriot was forced upon compatriot in gladiatorial bloodsports. The motivation was simple, murder your friend, or be murdered by your foe, those that refused to comply found themselves executed by the foul hand of death that ultimately decided their fate; the audience. The need was found to raise the stakes; each and every battle more spectacular and gory than the last. It wasn’t long before gladiator slave masters sought to improve and upgrade their unwilling entertainers, and with the introduction of prosthetic implantations and ultimately Cyborgism, the arenas themselves also changed to suit the new found abilities of the cyber-gladiators. With the advent of Cyborgs, slave masters could effectively immortalise their perverse creations; without the constraints of pure flesh the gladiator could withstand far more physical punishment than ever before and still be healed, even from the point of death and beyond. Emerging teleportation technologies allowed Cyborgs to be reconstructed instantaneously and put back into the battlefield, hap-hazardously constructed in the enormous space-borne derelicts, remnants from deadly space battles of the crusades. This however was no time for reflection; Urora had matters to attend to, his sole concern remaining unchanging; his own survival as the actor in the bastardised stages of sick and twisted playwrights. Urora’s early warning sensors kicked into action; barely audible movement could be discerned from the automated whirring and clanking of still functional hanger-bay machinery. Backing into the shadows, Urora pressed the bulk of his armoured shell against a large packing crate and activated the newly installed chameleonic system. At once Urora was rendered invisible, unperceivable to the mechanical eye save for the scant sparks of rapidly diffusing energy that leapt from the straining electronics. Urora flexed his spidery prosthetic limbs, and at once the cause of the disturbance came scuttling hastily into the corridor- two relatively small bipedal Cyborgs, significantly outclassed. This would be no challenge at all. Urora allowed the brash pair to continue their cautionless approach, noting that their lack of attention and haste as unusual. Either way, their destruction would be imminent and total, just as soon as they moved close enough Urora would give the audience the display they so desired. Sixteen, fourteen, twelve paces away, almost close enough. The lead Cyborg stepped into range but stopped immediately. Urora had been spotted; the time to strike would have to be now. Urora leaped from the darkness with unnatural speed, kicking his pair of chainsaw bladed forearms into motion. Razor teeth chewed through metal, flesh and bone, vomiting great spatters of red-black blood and blue coolant fluids as both blades plunged directly through the chest of the hapless fool. Machine gun fire battered ineffectually against the great hulk of Urora’s biomechanical form. Dropping the impaled, twitching cadaver of the fallen Cyborg into the violet pool of it’s own demise; Urora brought his heavy weapons to bear. A single shell impacted violently in the steel shell of the other with terrific consequences. The second Cyborg was torn asunder, chunks of scorched armour and flesh spread across the corridor floor, soft internal organs unfolded in a gibbering pile of offal. Urora was at once amused, that one wasn’t going to be remotely repairable. The computer terminal before Urora exploded in a shower of sparks and debris, the anonymous rocket sniper had chosen to make his presence known. Spinning on his many legs, Urora turned to face his attacker, but as fast as Urora could manoeuvre his bulk, he couldn’t escape the third rocket. The projectile tore through armour plates and detonated deep within the bowels of the machine. Urora’s cannon arm wrenched free of its holdings, the ammunition cache exploding in an intense chain reaction, ultimately removing several of Urora’s limbs and seriously damaging his vision. Urora was unaware of just how much more damage he had sustained, but he knew that he had no choice but to retreat and recuperate. He strained the powerful servos of his legs, but to no effect. He was immobile, he’d have to stay and fight as a sitting duck. Even a duck can have his day. Urora drew a bead on the form of the rocket-sniper; the resourceful creature had managed to access an overhead gantry and used the position to great advantage. It would also be his downfall. Urora brought any and all remaining firearms to bear on the suspended platform. Chaingun barrels span into action, vehemently spitting hot lead in the general direction of the enemy, who retaliated by readying a final pair of rockets. The first rocket tore through the air at great speed, spouting dirty-orange fire and lighting the dim corridor. Urora shot it down with ease, rocking the sniper and the gantry, ripping it loose from the flimsy holdings. Flailing Cyborg and solid metal plate plummeted into the murk underneath them, smashing into the floor below with incredible force, the resulting quake shaking the entire perceivable world around Urora. The crushed sniper continued to twitch ineffectually, yet somehow in its death throes, the second rocket succeeded in escaping its battered, broken casing, skittering wildly across the hangar floor. The unruly rocket made short work of the already fatally damaged Urora, killing him for what is finally, the last time."