I would like to simulate the childish joy of chasing a friend or running away from a friend in a playground. In order to achieve this feeling, I will be making a dexterity based game with chasing as its core mechanic. My goal is recreating the situation of the player assuming the chase role vs. the player assuming the escape role in a video game. Since the player character and non-player character will be playing tag, hereby I will need to develop a non-player character with a behavioural pattern (a very simple Enemy AI).
Elevator pitch: PACMAN (arcade game) meets Tag (playground game) in Journey (adventure/art game).
Platform: Mobile iOS (iPad)
Example games with chasing mechanic:
* It was challenging to find chasing mechanic heavy games which were not FPS or stealth. These are the examples, which I feel that suit the most to what I would like to achieve.
Tag - Why good? :
Simple game without many rules
Generates freedom of movement (free flow space) and intuitive play
PACMAN - Why good? :
Even though the game space is closed, the design of the space and portals supply freedom of movement.
Grid based design, walls and the portals allow the character to get into the alternative routes and escape/catch the enemies.
The goal of the game is to eat all the dots before getting caught by the enemies. The goal justifies why the player is trying to avoid/beat the enemies.
The story of the game and the core mechanic is inspired by the celestial myths about the endless love of the Sun and the Moon, and the ancient Persian poem, Layla & Majnun.
Player character: Sun
Non-player character (AI): Moon
X-statement: Sun and Moon playing tag, causing an eclipse in each catch.
5 Key Feelings: joy, unity, ambition, adrenalin, versatility
Core Mechanics & Related Feelings:
Runafter (Chase) mechanic: childish joy and ambition of chasing a friend
Catch mechanic (Eclipse): feeling of unity
short silence as if the time stops, and then the nature awakens and animals start chanting
Changeover (Transition of roles): eventfulness/versatility
Moon becomes the chaser and Sun escapes - If Sun catches the moon, solar eclipse / If Moon catches the sun, lunar eclipse
Runaway (Escape) mechanic: childish joy and adrenalin/exitement of running away from a friend
Other Mechanics - Nice to have:
Time relativity: both an environmental enemy and a booster
areas on the map with fast/slow time flow (affects characters' speed)
allows strategising for trapping/boxing the enemy or for catching up and cutting in
Gravity: tethering mechanic (Example: Tethered PS4 game)
pulling forces placed on the map, causes uncontrolled movement and change of location of the characters
Stars: group of little enemies causing obstruction and noise
I believe that circular movement transmits a feeling closer to the real-life experience, compared to the linear or sharp, grid based movement, so I'll do my best to design and build the game on a circular layout.
“The circle is another of the basic formats for children’s play, and a number of circular games include an element of running and chasing.” [from British Library article about chasing games]
Visual thinking/Idea generation Sketches:
These photos from my notebook show the development process of the game idea.
Pinterest Mood Boards:
I have prepared quick mood boards on Pinterest for the art style, design (game layout), narrative and chasing (core mechanic) of the game.
British Library Chasing Games Article
Tethered Game Manual
Pop Cap secrets