It’s been a busy few months working at Dambuster Studios and The Chinese Room; despite not getting much time to do actual development my Google Alert for Cold War comes in everyday with information, articles and stories about a war that ended 25 years ago. These are a few of my favourite links, some of which will undoubtedly appear in the Spy Management Game.
NCAP (National Collection of Aerial Photography) have a released a wonderful collection of images gathered during the Cold War of various locations from East Germany, Egypt and Syria. NCAP’s images will help add some visual detail to mission briefings.
As well as assets there are so many stories from the Cold War, this one from DailyNK about the use of Radio in West German, giving the East Germans an insight over the wall. Hopefully the shear breath of stories and ideas from the Cold War will help make Spy Management Game be an interesting place to spend time.
Finally an article from Tech Insider shows how the Cold War references were used to help create the world of Fallout. It’s just nice to see examples of games drawing from the rich history of the Cold War.
So what is happening with Polyology and Spy Game at the moment? Well unfortunately I don’t have time for the next few months as I’m currently busy working for Dambuster Studios and The Chinese Room on upcoming projects. I’ll still bring Polyology to Steam, I’m still going to continue the Spy Management Game but in the short term I need to be practical and make sure I have enough money.
As all good developers I try and spend some time on personal development. I’ve been watching some of the talks from the Full Indie Summit 2014 and amongst them was about player centric design by Nels Anderson (Lead Designer on Mark of the Ninja), which currently has a criminal number of views so you should probably carve out 40 minutes and watch it yourself.
Enjoy it? It mostly made me think about how I want the player centric design of Spy Game to play out. Using real life ideas such as love and betrayal to help generate interesting player centric stories.
Perhaps Agent Alpha is captured, however Agent Juliett is in love to Alpha, so she throws her current mission to rescue him.
Do you send in more agents to help with the rescue? If they come back alive to you keep both, one or none of them as active agents? What are the consequences of Juliett throwing the mission?
So it’s been a few months since posting, mostly due to being hard at work at doing Freelance work, learning Unity and developing new game ideas.
First of which is a Spy Management Game! A very under utilized genre in my humble opinion. There are a large number of espionage series in contrast; Homeland, Alias and Spooks to name a few. They typically have strong themes like betrayal, the greater good and intense action sequences. Ideally these themes will come across in this spy management game.
The game is set during the Cold War as it has a rich history, isn’t entirely focused on electronic surveillance and gives a great visual theme. The game will recreate historical events, such as the Space Race, but allow the player to influence it’s outcomes and changing how events play out. Importantly, like any good game, the focus will be on the characters in front of the rich background of the Cold War.
As well as the management side of the game; hiring agents, selecting missions and worrying about funding. There will be top down stealth missions; sneaking into a lab to steal rocket plans and assassinating that communist dictator. Finally there will also interactive fiction sections of the game; interacting with other agencies, turning agents and undercover interactions.
Anyway I obviously have a lot of work ahead of me so I doubt this project won’t see the light of day for a while. But it’ll always be ticking along in the background, keeping me furiously scribbling down notes or implementing another gameplay idea. Just encase I wasn’t enough I’ve also got another lovely puzzle game idea I’m developing…maybe next blog post.