2.09 - Dimensional Ninjas

Idea for November 22, 2007

Theme: Ninjas in a Changing World

includes topics that expand on the theme

Genre: Action/Adventure/Puzzle

game genre with possible significant changes or important points

  • Player will be using fairly straightforward adventure and platforming mechanics, but instead of traversing a variety of different environments, the player instead travels through the same area as it shifts from one dimension to another: it could be a filthy metropolis at one moment, and a medieval-inspired kingdom the next.


individual gameplay mechanics and mechanics categorized by system

  • Shifting:
    • The player will primarily gain access to new areas by shifting from one dimension of the city to another. In one dimension of the city a huge wall may exist where an open park stood in another dimension: the player must walk through that park in one version of the city, then switch back to arrive on the other side of the wall.
    • Inventory items will not retain the same shape, either. What might be a weapon in one dimension will be something completely harmless in another (like a flower, or newspaper). Only by shifting to another dimension will the player be able to sneak key items into areas where they will need to be used.
    • As the game progresses, more and more dimensions of the world will become accessible: the player may start out with only a couple versions, and it will eventually grow to 5 or more.
  • Triggering the Shift:
    • Shifting from one dimension to another will not be simple, or possible on command (maybe only at first, maybe not at all).
    • The player must instead activate triggers that will allow the shift to happen. Traveling to a specific location, talking to specific people, performing a specific action (like sitting down at a restaurant?) The scientists may also be able to make the dimension shift at will, making confrontations with them especially dangerous: if you are unprepared for the shift, all the items you brought with you may become completely useless.
    • Instead of specific triggers, we could also implement the shift using some sort of doorway, but that’s a little plain.
  • Seeing the Shift:
    • As it will be important to see how a dimensional shift will affect the player, and the environment around him, the player will eventually gain the ability to perceive different dimensions without shifting to that dimension.
    • As the game will grow to include more possible dimensions for the player to move through, keeping track of changes to objects and locations will become difficult (even for a character with great memory). If the player is able to see the other dimensions as a ghosty overlay on the current dimension, or perhaps it will create a small ‘window’ in the player’s view that will momentarily replace what they were looking at.


narrative elements concerning plot, characters, world

  • Player Character:
    • Player is charged with stopping members of a dangerous scientific organization
    • The player is forced to track them down after they activated a dangerous invention that disrupts the surrounding environment
    • The player is given special equipment that partially protects from the effects of the device
    • Due to the nature of the mission, the player character was selected due to his exceptional photographic memory: the world shifts constantly, meaning he can’t rely on physical objects to record what he’s done, where he is and where he’s been
  • Setting:
    • The device created by the antagonists creates a dimensional shift in the environment
    • The physical space retains some key, rudimentary elements, but everything else becomes altered:
      • People look the same, but possess different roles, histories, and slightly different personalities
      • The areas remain like they are (such as a lake, a city, a mountain) but change in vegetation, shape, ecological makeup
      • The city, the main part of the game world, changes with each dimensional shift: different eras, time periods, political systems, etc. (ex. might change from futuristic society to Japanese-style feudal castle)
    • The dimensional shift is a broad area that is centered on the device in question: an area-of-effect range, it covers a huge area (enough to encompass an entire city and the surrounding area). Saving this region from the dimensional shifts is a priority to the player.
      • Perhaps this area is continuing to grow as the game progresses, expanding the area the player is able to explore?
  • Antagonists:
    • The scientists created the dimension-shifting device, and therefore were able to create devices to counteract its affects (to some degree): by wearing special bracelets, they can retain their memories and personality (but not their social status or physical possessions)
    • Some of the scientists will NOT have these bracelets, and will therefore be unaware of their past crimes or be able to hold a specific position in the ever-changing world
    • Important accomplices of the scientists would possess bracelets or other abilities granted through devices given to them by the scientists. The player could possibly use these stolen devices to enlist the help of other characters in the game world.
    • Other than these specific characters, other people in the city will be just normal people: their situation (which is dynamic and dependent on what dimension the player is in) will determine whether or not they will assist, ignore or impede the player.


includes possible target user group traits

Possible Technology

includes hardware that would best support the game

  • Conventional systems would work best: PS3, Xbox360


includes GDDG members who contributed to this idea and were present during the discussion

  • Mediator: Cody Church
  • Billie Tan
  • Holly Becker
  • Alfred Darakjian
  • Tyler Nickel
  • Vincent Cua
  • Kevin Lee
  • Shane Morin
  • Ethan Johanson
  • Chris Walters
  • Lanz Singbeil
  • Samppa Raski
  • Michael Liu
  • Kyle Sakai
  • John Zhang
  • Alexius Matsi
  • Andrew Wong
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