Making games is something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time. I’ve dabbled in the past and even considered game design as an education path, but I hadn’t ever explored it to the extent we have in DIGC310. It’s quite an intimidating task, albeit a fun one that breaks you out of a lot of the ways a game consumer thinks, putting you in charge of things easily dismissed or criticised when playing what others have made. It’s still a long way from realistically becoming a reality, but I’m happy with the progress and development cycle my little game has had.
It’s funny to think that a joke about making a card game out of DOTA 2 actually became a viable project with some interesting applications. The process has allowed me to think about a game that would appeal to people like me by delivering a meaningful adaptation of the MOBA experience in an unconventional way. There’s a lot of familiarity in the way my rules and design has eventuated but I think there’s enough new systems at play and options for players to keep the experience fresh and not too infuriating.
I also want to take this opportunity to discuss a little more about the cyberpunk style of the game, one of the core aspects of the game that’s fallen to the wayside a little over the semester while I refined the basic rules and play. I really like the idea of a cyberpunk world in the style of Shadowrun as a setting for the game. A grimy underworld of tech and gangs clashing in a conflict that threatens the livelihood of a side. In terms of ability design, it gives a lot of room to creatively borrow key abilities from other games that often select fantasy as a core, all without it feeling too derivative.
It also provides some pretty cool options for characterisation. So far the classes for the game will be a central commander, a support character and a specialist. My small pool of six options (a small scale for balance and testing) gives players a cyber-technician and a heavy, modded up brute to face off against a mystic healer and an assassin. A big part of cyberpunk narratives is the clash of the human and tech, how the two interact and how they clash. The technician can fix defences and electronic components, repairing base fortifications while the mystic heals minions and the human parts of units. This is only scratching the surface of themes, references and inspiration that can be adapted, but I think it’s an engaging place to start.
That brings most of this research and work to a close, with some final plays and testing left for the coming weeks that’ll form the final dossier.