/ #Dev Diary 

GGO16 - Day 1

As my cousin has already so eloquently explained the GitHub Game Off 2016 started a few hours ago and the theme is hacking &| modding &| augmenting.

Since we’re in the GMT+2 timezone and the announcement was made at 13:37 PDT (GMT-7), day 1 of the jam was essentially staying up late enough to see what the theme is before going to bed… I’m really happy with the theme as it fits in nicely with a game idea I’ve been thinking of for a very long time!

Game Design

So let’s start with the elevator pitch:

Imagine a 4X turn-based strategy game set in the world of Syndicate… So you’re an executive of a mega corporation from the near future, charged with expanding your market into a new city by any means necessary - the means will be the judicious application of violence against your competitors by a small army of cybernetically enhanced super soldiers that are under your full control. I might throw in some brain hacking if there’s time…

For anyone not familiar with the original Syndicate game it was created by Peter Molyneux at Bullfrog in the early 90s. It’s a RTS set in a dystopian cyberpunk future where massive corporations are gradually taking over from traditional governments. Here’s a gameplay video to show what it’s all about:

Since I want to make a slower paced strategy game my game will be very different from Syndicate though… the main influence from Syndicate is thematic. My gameplay mechanics are much more likely to resemble Chaos Overlords - a game from the mid 90s that isn’t very widely known. Here’s another gameplay video:


So the outcome from day 1 is I have a plan. First steps to implement are:

  • Top down grid of CityBlocks.
  • Player has a Squad that can move between blocks.
  • Moving a Squad into a CityBlock captures it.
  • Ending the turn gives the player some income from owned CityBlocks.

Matt Van Der Westhuizen

Back-end service developer at Ubisoft Blue Byte by day - wannabe game designer & developer by night.