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2. Doomed puzzle game

Date:     01/06/2018
Author:   Sponder
Category: Game


Rough draft of story:

The world you inhabit is doomed and slowly falling apart, the planet you are on is going to implode no matter what you do to stop it. However, in this struggle to survive you are still able to obtain humanity. You live in a world filled with the marvels of technology and science but devoid of true-to-heart humanity. On the way you meet various characters at each ‘checkpoint’ and decide their fate, to join you or leave them to face their inevitable end. However, you cannot save everyone as your ship can only save a certain number of people. Each character you meet has their own justifications for you to save them, but ultimately you must decide in the end whether they live or die. Some might be perceived as being evil or malicious but can help the journey along, others dimwitted but kind and gracious. The player seeks to obtain the rocket parts in order to actually build the rocket and escape, and the characters the players chose will help facilitate this in some way or another (help or hinder).

(reasons for the planet imploding such as a direct antagonist and the direct setting are up to debate, but ultimately not important for the moral backbone of the game) (would prefer there to be no antagonist but a natural reason for the destruction, the forces of nature fighting against you. Also the imploding planet could be changed to a sun going supernova or red giant etc. and the world could change accordingly i.e getting hotter or colder, environmental changes, scars on the world)

Hidden around the world are also the remnants of a long gone religion, found in caves, areas of worship represent a previous collective struggle to understand the world then superseded by technology. Could also foreshadow the destruction of the world in the form of a prophecy or prediction, coinciding with a loss of humanity (the adoption of science, technology etc.). Contrasts primitivity with humanity but ignorance or the world and technology with understanding of the world and ignorance of humanity.

Despite the technology you have you cannot prevent fate, and this will hang heavy over the player and his/her decisions.


One of two (or many, many more) outcomes:

  1. The end screen is just the rocket flying away with you and the survivors you picked, you do not get to see the people you left to die, it is left to the imagination and up to the player to ponder their decisions and the outcome that they obtain.
  2. The end screen shows the player at the last moments of the collapse of the planet… unable to escape but possibly having obtained humanity/nirvana.


Themes:

Sprinkled humor mixed with melancholy, the world the player inhabits is starkly lit with hope despite an ultimate fate.

Rough style + mechanics: Puzzle game, the player must navigate the environment using some assortment of tools and make text based decisions with fellow survivors and planet inhabitants to collect the rocket parts and make it out. Ideally you could contrast this to something like portal but with a heavier focus on decisions and humanity, the ability for a moral journey to take place. A heavier emphasis on individual decisions rather than an on-rails amusement park journey through a polished world, checkpoints merely serve as a way to push the player through the world but not hinder the individuality. The world of this game shouldn’t feel too polished it should have cracks and faults as it should, and this should be reflected in the writing also to some extent. Its gritty and internally conflicted like life itself.

“The journey is often better than the outcome”