Again, a work made for a Game Design Challenge, that was “Making Maps”. The original is here.
The ideia of my game is being the support of a police squad. Instead of shooting and driving around the city searching for trouble, you are the one who analyzes maps and information, giving your team orders like “You two go there and discover what they know, and you go to the house of the victim and discover why he suffer”.
Saying that, I can begin to explain the core mechanics of the game. The player will be, basically, on the “Board Screen”. This screen’s all around the idea of keeping track of your task. In your first case, for example, the Board have a map, and when you find that there was a witness, the Board is updated with a brief description of their report. But the most important feature is the Map.
The Map is, of course, the map of the city, and in the beginning of the case it just have an indication of where the crime happened. The more you advance, more points are marked: If you discover the house of the supposed murderer, the house is marked on the map. If you found the weapon of the crime, it’s location will also be marked. Also, is by The Map that you interact with your team.
The mapmaking aspect of the game is based on the proper investigation. When you are making your case, you must proof that your solution is possible. So when you are making the final preparations, you must use all your data to indicate where the crime happened, if the criminal had the time to throw away his weapon, or discarded his vehicle. After all, if the timeline don’t fit, there is something terribly wrong in it and you may had arrested the wrong guy, and you will fail your mission.
But where is the difficulty in that? Simple: You can’t do these actions forever. You have a limit of days, and each action have certain cost. So the analysis of something may take a few days, but the interrogation of a witness just a few hours. In the most basic cases, you have basic crimes, or you may not need to spend time in the murder weapon, because it may be easily recognized by someone. And not just the time factor affects your gameplay, but also the media factor. If you are following a serial killer, the media will be pressuring you, and by doing that you will need to show progress.
If you found the weapon, you may give that to the press, but at same time your assassin will be more focused, and you will have at same time less time to find the killer and less evidence in future assassinations. This moment you have few options, like investigate just the key evidences, or try to finish the case using the evidences you already collected.