Thursday, February 2, 2012

‘Vigilante’ gameplay – Arkham City’s fan design

Long time no see! Let’s get right into the post-

I’m a big batman fan, most people who read this blog can tell, and I’m a big gamer too; needless to say when the two come together, it’s a given I’ll have a good time. After I finished Arkham City’s storyline, in the X360, I vowed to wait for it to come out on the PC where I would pick it up again and then play it through and through.

And so I did: played it again twice on the PC. Nearly had a 100% game too, but I made the mistake of unlocking an achievement and leaving the game right after finishing the campaign that gave it to me, making me another victim of the dreaded save game bug.

Well, some things are meant to happen! No permanent harm done, I’ll end up playing it again soon. The whole game was brilliant: better combat, more challenge maps, incredible story and the list continues, but perhaps the thing that stuck with me the most from the game was was the horizon, though. True story, I kept thinking about the life outside those walls, how Batman went about one case to the other and all the other small things he did, saving citizens from harm and abuse, preventing gangs from going to war and all that. I craved to play as the vigilante, not only as the badass detective in cape & cowl.

This too, remained: the desire to play and deal with all the casual stuff the man himself would. I took it to heart and started thinking about how I’d do it, how I’d design a system for procedural side-missions to be delivered to the player – and how these side missions would play out – now I come here to show the results of that.

The idea’s inception happened around 3 weeks ago, I took the time from then to now to perform some research, as the text explains. I’m pretty proud of the results because I had an original idea which was AWESOME, yet completely unfeasible. The research I did and the time I put into thinking about it finally convinced me that what I had was cool, but insane from a technical standpoint: it featured hundreds of missions, multiple ways for them to unfold, multiple free-roam cases and a lot of other stuff which was completely out of context with the initial proposal: a side-mission system.

So then came the time to actually put the ideas into paper, permanently (at least for the time being) and deal with what I had. I started reviewing all my paper scribblings and  putting my ideas together, that was about two days ago.

I took to writing the final piece and promised to stop working on it in two days since that’s the time I had left in my vacation. Then I’d close file and forget about it; turns out I actually finished it. I kept my word and didn’t touch it since I stopped writing: so the work hasn’t been proofread (except spelling mistakes and get over them) and I didn’t go through the trouble of describing everything before I actually meantioned it, therefore it’s not a simple read, take it for what it is, a fan made game system outline – it’s also about 12 pages long, so not all will read it through. You’ve been warned.

I’ll post it anyway and, hopefully, just enough people will go through the trouble and give me some feedback, and hey: any feedback’s better than none at all.

It’s a high-level design so I didn’t go through the trouble of setting up excel spreadsheets and actually building the mathematics behind everything, but that’s exactly what the next step would be and I did go through some of that, but not enough to justify putting it in there. Therefore, you won’t see any math – sorry if that’s what you’re expecting!

You can access the whole document, or download a copy of it for better reading, here.