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Steampunk exploration adventure game theme

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mithrilwisdom's picture
Joined: 03/20/2014

Hey everyone,

This is an idea I've been playing around with for a while - I'm playing about with some ideas for game mechanics, but I figured some feedback on my theme idea would be a good place to start.

Setting: Victorian London (Steampunk style)
Players take on the role of one of the Guttersnipes - young urchins in the employ of Messers Spoots & Boone, Purveyors of ancient and arcane artifacts.

The players have to explore the smog-filled streets and buildings of London to locate enough artifacts to please their employers. The first guttersnipe to collect 1000 gold pieces' worth of artifacts and return to Spoots & Boone's emporium becomes an apprentice of the duo and is declared the winner.

The city is filled with dangers; downed zeppelins block the way, other factions may attack you, what looks like treasure may actually be a trap ... and the smog may also reclaim part of the city, cutting you off from the rest of the game.

Some player types that I'm thinking would be used:
Brawler - good at fighting but not intelligent
Tinker - Intelligent but lacks cunning
Pickpocket - Cunning but slow
Jackanape - Speedy but weak

Still a very early WIP (read: everything is still in my head) so any feedback is welcome.


Joined: 08/28/2012
Some ideas

You mention cutting players off via smog. This could in effect change the map. If the map uses a dynamic layout, either with pathways and nodes (locations), or just nodes, it might be possible to move things around during the game as a result of the smog (either eliminating pathways, or temporarily hiding nodes). You could also have nodes be able to move around, either by magic or technology (geared city, floating buildings).

Perhaps one of the way that artifacts are revealed are through rumours or intel (perhaps identified on face down cards). Smarter / more cunning characters can peek at several of these cards, while dumber characters can only peek at one of the cards. Players could also gain "peeks" by spending money, intimidating people, visiting special locations, etc. Perhaps some of these could be taken and held in a player's hand (like if it is a clue, like a map or something). Players may be able to sneak a peek at someone's hand if they are in the right location, and fast / strong / smart enough. Different artifacts may require different levels of stats to obtain, depending on how / where the artifact is located (I'm working on an idea for a mercenary game using this idea).

The theme seems fine. It would give a lot of options as far as items, missions and locations are concerned, so it doesn't seem to limit you in any particular way. If you find it is limiting you, or you are getting caught up on it sometimes (even with the language), then maybe try generalizing it for a while as you focus on the mechanics and game play.

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