Picking it Apart – NEXT: Part 2

I’ve spent some time, probably too much, poking holes in my design trying to make sure that what I have is A) worth keeping and B) Has meaning within the level and is not superfluous. To do that I’ve asked myself the following questions (most of which come from the NEXT document).

What is the goal?

Infiltrate the distribution center to scramble the tracking algorithm to help prevent the buying and selling of customer profiles to third-party data brokers.

Why achieve this goal?

Ecommerce statistics are bought and sold behind closed doors allowing companies to line their pockets and target consumers. This happens every second of every day and half the time we don’t even realize it’s happening. It’s time to take back our data, infiltrate the A to Z distribution center to scramble their tracking algorithm and help prevent the buying and selling of customer profiles to third-party data brokers.

Where is the extraction point?

The player will need to be X distance away to successfully get away.

  • Option A: Use the local car dealership and steal a car to outrun the drones/ guards (could use for a quick getaway even if they play passive/ stealth).
  • Option B: Leave on foot, sneak out and hide amongst the buildings/ parks.

Under what conditions does the mission end?

  • Success: The player is able to scramble the algorithm and escape (maybe a secondary objective that is optional – intercept a package)
  • Failure: The algorithm is not scrambled and/or the player cannot get away (player can be seen but it will be more difficult for them to escape).

What is the layout of the location where the goal is held and the surrounding environment?

The goal is located in a distribution center. It would most likely be at the edge of the map, in a more industrial-like sector, yet, is still close to residential areas. Misc. Office buildings and shops are nearby along the waterfront and a car dealership sits near the distribution center.

  • Is the approach to the goal open-ended or linear?
    • I am aiming for a bit of both. Players can approach from any angle. There will be a “golden path” that the player could follow, but I am trying to build in alternate ones that cross paths with the golden path.
  • What does the surrounding terrain look like? Are there any interesting natural terrain features? Are there unique landmarks nearby?
    • There is a lake nearby. The drone stack attached to the distribution center stands tall like a smokestack and has the company logo on all four sides. The car dealership had a six-story car display that acts like a vending machine. There is also a large park, maybe a dog one, between the residential and industrial areas.

To do:

  • Create Exterior and Interior Maps – try paper playthroughs to form objective and rework layouts.
  • Objectives – beat-by-beat walkthroughs for each playstyle.
  • Answer the questions
    • Is it possible to use stealth and avoidance to get to the goal and not alert any guards?
    • What does the escape phase entail?

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