So yesterday while going on brief walk in an attempt to get a little fitter (read: need to get a lot fitter) I had an idea, something that I have been thinking about for a while on the severe back burner, but which finally clicked into place.
We are talking about a game idea for a First Law: Override spin off with a strong theme around temperature management.
Sounds a little crazy I know, but hear me out!
From a fluff stand point: We have the 5 main regions on Honos, The Deadzone, The Badlands, the Midlands, New Brasilia, and the Frozen North.
Out of these regions, most fluff, and therefore gameplay focuses on the middle 3, The Badlands, the Midlands, and New Brasilia. The Deadzone and Frozen North are too inhospitable for people to travel around freely.
But what about a game that not only takes these ideas and plays with them?
The Frozen North, called so because it's biodome has yet to terraform the already frozen landscape from its massive ice block, but it has made the air breathable.
As part of the fluff, there is a massive amount of resources in the Frozen North, from raw materials such as minerals and fossil fuels, to research data including ancient alien artefacts.
In other words, exactly the sort of place the Honos Mining Corporation (HMC) would be interested in laying claim to...
What the HMC don't know however, the Frozen North used to be home to more than just ancient aliens and fossilised trees, as the region is now the resting place for numerous slumbering hives of monstrous bug like alien creatures!
This is the game idea that I've had swimming around for a while, I wasn't sure exactly the pretence, or who you're characters were, but this weekend it all slipped into place (I wouldn't be surprised if playing the new Dark Souls Board Game had something to do with it).
So the game is set in HMC mine RA-795 which has been recently abandoned, reports received reveal that they left in a hurry after digging too deep and releasing a long dormant threat.
RA-795 is positioned right in the centre of the Frozen North, meaning you can't travel it without external heating sources, originating from either powerful but unwieldy heat lamps, or the more lightweight, but less powerful, thermosuits.
Each organisation from Override is there, each presenting an agent of their own to try and capture information, but of course one important factor is that the organisations don't want to look like they are sending an aggressive force, and so are instead sending single units to work cooperatively and establish their goals, meaning you will have team goals, but also individual goals, some of these will be to retrieve research data, others will be to hamper others from achieving their goals (after all, the Trydan never play fair).
So we are talking about a game that is typically a dungeon crawler, only the differences here is that it is focused more on dynamic, thematic situations, all the while having the team very much aware of the encroaching cold and darkness.
Imagine if you will a temperature chart. When someone is in a safe room, under a heat lamp, their temperature is in the blue. We like blue, blue is good.
But that character, let's call them Jones... so Jones leaves the safe room and steps into the cold. They are walking along at a nice pace, the floor is well lit, so their thermo suit has kicked in, but is ticking into the green. Green is fine, not as great as blue, but it's fine.
But wait, the area ahead is dark, so on come Jones' inbuilt Suit lights, this drains the thermo suit even more, this knocks the suit down to the orange. Oh dear, Orange isn't looking so good.
Jones reaches the next safe room, but it's not powered on, Jones needs to power it up which is not good, the noise of the generator starting is sure going to attract anything and everything in the area... so Jones bunkers down and prepares to hold the area while the generator powers up...
Only problem, the thermo Suit has a routine kinetic charger built in, Jones is no now longer walking, but crouched down behind cover waiting for a wave of bugs to come crashing in, so the Thermo Suit has less power... now it moves into the red....
Red is really bad, Jones can't hold out for long in the red as the suit's power supply is pushed to the limits, Jones jogs on the spot to try and get the charger working, but it bearly blinks beyond red...
Then the wave of aliens arrive, with claws and teeth they leap at Jones. Jones' rifle fires off shots and the aliens fall to the floor, but not before one of them tears a small hole in Jones' Thermo Suit.
Instantly the cold air rushes into the suit, while thermo fluid pours out of the opening, the suit struggles, but it can't retain the internal pressure, it drops to Black and Jones can feel their body beginning to seize up from the cold.
Jones' health begins to plummet, the cold cloying at skin and bone. Within Jones' inventory there is a patch which is applied across the hole and restores it to a low level red scale.
The power turns on, the heat lamps activate, and light fills the room, and Jones' suit can reduce it's stress. It returns to Orange. Jones knows that a replacement suit will need to be sourced, or else with the slightest further damage, it will give up and death will be inevitable.
Jones sets out to explore what is left of the mine level, hoping to find a supply cupboard, outside the safe room it is dark, but Jones keeps the suit lights turned off, the suit can't take that sort of strain anymore.
Ahead there is a deep rumble and growl, Jones readies the rifle, but without the suit lights it is impossible to see more than a few feet in front.
A large alien creature prowls into view, it pounces and lands on top of Jones, it's claws tearing up the front of the suit.
The cold rushes in, Jones freezes in an instant, and is dragged off by the creature to be eaten later...
This is the pretence for the game, and it's only loose at the moment, with little back it up in terms of actual gameplay, and I'm unsure when I'll be able to expand on it, but it seems to me to be something that could be fun.
To date I've got the following characters planned, because unlike a normal game of Override, this game would have preset characters:
UEF Soldier: Comes with a high powered rifle, and deployable auto turret.
HMC Security: Equipped with a prototype Thermo Suit, better survivability, but less damage output.
Wraith Assassin: Melee combatant with a focus on dodging and movement.
Trydan Hitman: General overall combatant, great against single targets, but easily overrun.
Red Claw Warrior: Melee focus, tough to take down but inferior Thermo tech.
Regime Warrior: Toughly armoured, but slow moving.
Raider Combo: A 2 player combo, one plays a hacking Ghost with great abilities at interfacing with facility tech, the other with a custom combat mech, great for combat by unable to interface.
Working together, there is little these characters can't deal with, alone however they have massive weaknesses.
And that's it.
Sound good? Sound bad?
Let me know your thoughts.
Until next time, stay safe, and be excellent to each other!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley