2.10 - Married Rivals

Idea for November 29, 2007

Theme: Rivalry

includes topics that expand on the theme

  • Always competing
  • Decisions making
  • Partnerships?
  • Wealth?
  • For fun?
  • Twins?

Genre: Action/RPG

game genre with possible significant changes or important points

  • Possible Genres:
    • RPG
    • Sim
    • Action/Adventure
  • Gameplay MUST allow for significants parts for both sides of the rivalry


individual gameplay mechanics and mechanics categorized by system

  • Character Development and Abilities:
    • Each of the rival characters possess unique abilities to one another: the player will be charged with selecting one of the rivals at the beginning of the game. Each has different strengths and weaknesses, and will grow and develop along different skill trees.
    • How well they get along with one another will recorded throughout the game: although my may not like each other, the rivals are both professionals: they will develop respect and admiration for one another when hearing about the other’s deeds and accomplishments.
  • The Village and Reputation:
    • Each of the rivals was hired to the same village to help deal with some of its problems. They will tackle local challenges and other requests from the villagers to get back on their feet. However, each of the rivals came there on their own: they are NOT (for the most part) there to work together on assignments.
    • As they’re working independently, each of the rivals will develop a reputation with the villagers for their own deeds, accomplishments and failures. The reputation of each rival will affect what missions will become available to each, the overall treatment they receive from the villagers and what events and actions the rivals will have between one another.
    • Of course, since the rivals’ relationship is … rather rocky … they may not always be able to easily meet face to face (granted, that may be a good thing). BUT! When chatting with villagers, the player has the opportunity to hear more about the other rival’s deeds, and comment on what they hear. That could mean saying something complimentary, or something rather insulting.
  • Missions, Combat and Exploration:
    • The missions the rivals will be tackling in the game are nothing drastically different: objectives given to them by the villagers will need to be completed for the village to prosper and be restored back to its previous status.
    • Combat will be heavily influenced by specialized abilities and commands: we want to avoid as much hack-and-slash combat as possible. Players will instead use special skills in many different categories to combat different enemies, along with context-sensitive commands and attacks.
    • Depending on the mission’s objectives, the approach the player may need to take in combat will also differ greatly. Any missions in which the other rival is — either in competition or co-operation — will be the ‘primary’ missions of the game: both significants advancements in both story and character development (that includes stats and abilities!) will result.
    • The village will be located in a relatively enclosed environment that allows for a great deal of exploration by the rivals. Taking missions from the village is all good and dandy, but by exploring the surrounding area the player can reap all sorts of rewards. The village itself used to be part of a much larger (and more advanced) city, so the area around the village contains all manner of ruins and overgrown settlements. Not to mention that encountering your rival while wandering around will always be a treat …
    • Puzzles that the player encounters during missions (such as in caves) will change depending on which rival first enters first. How this will work … still needs some thinking.


narrative elements concerning plot, characters, world

  • The Rivals:
    • The 2 main characters are a mercenaries: a woman and a man. They share a preexisting relationship with one another: a bad one, at that. Each is from a different prominent ‘family’ of mercenaries (the Romeo and Juliet situation, only with a twist!)
    • During the game, actions by one will directly affect the other, so success and failure in different areas will leave opportunities for the rival to take advantage of. There is no ‘2nd place’ in most objectives: failing when competing against the rival will yield very little for the player’s efforts, but enough that it’s still worth it to try.
    • Each of the rivals will be distinct in both abilities and personality, meaning that it will be a completely different game when played through as each character.
  • The Marriage:
    • The big twist in the game will be that, after things get started in the story, the 2 families of the rival characters arrange for them to be married (without their approval, of course) in order to bridge the rift between the two families and become more prosperous. We find this is an uncommon situation in game stories: so many times are a man and woman thrust together in a situation with no actual ‘link’ to keep them together once the game is over.
    • This will, of course, lead to all sorts of less ‘serious’ issues between the two: petty squabbles and silly competitions over their mutual situation. This will serve as a point of amusement for the player: a light interlude between challenging jobs and combat. Nothing a rousing drinking competition after spending hours trudging through damp caves in the middle of the night.
  • The Village:
    • The rivals were called out to assist a small village in dealing with many of its hardships. The village has fallen on hard times: it used to be a booming city, but over a short few decades the place has wasted away into just a small group of inhabitants.
    • To assist the village, the rivals must explore the surrounding area where the settlement used to extend to and probe for dangers and other threats. By clearing these areas and dealing with requests from the villagers, they can begin to redevelop and expand, restoring their previous prosperity.
  • With the long term goals of the village, the game may take place over many months (even a whole year), so that seasons pass and the rivals actually grow to like the town, and deal with their unique situation. Hmm … that’s some awfully Harvest Moon sounding stuff, right there …


includes possible target user group traits

  • This will be a very driven, single player experience, but with all the different possibilities of developing the village, and playing the game through as the other rival, multiple plays-through can yield very different experiences.

Possible Technology

includes hardware that would best support the game


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

  • Mediator: Cody Church
  • Andrew Wong
  • Kevin Lee
  • Vincent Cua
  • Shane Morin
  • Holly Becker
  • Ethan Johanson
  • Tyler Nickel
  • Lanz Singbeil
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