Game Brief

There's this site that asks 10 questions about that game you're creating. It helps you in sorting your thoughts that are likely in disarray due to massive enthousiasm, longing and an intense desire to create the perfect game in honor of your imagination.

And so here is mine about Spaceport EXO:

Game Brief

1. What is your project?

A strategic top-down spaceport simulator, where the player is the Commander of a planetary spaceport on some distant unknown exoplanet.

2. What does your game aim to do?

The spaceport, practically nothing more than a small, dusty old terminal with one runway, is only known in the direct region and used to reach the local pub inside the crater next to the spaceport. Your task is to make it a massive, thriving epicenter of intergalactic transportation. The player will experience a feeling of accomplishment and importance as financial and political issues are avidly dealt with, or fail miserably and see the spaceport hijacked, overrun, claimed, bombed or otherwise being taken over.

3. What format are you shooting for (use specifics: PC, iOS, Android, screen sizes, required graphics detail, etc.)

Android, 480x800. Future screen sizes: optimisation for tablets Future platforms: Anything that runs Java

4. What are you designing with? Who? (Try to be specific)

Alone for the time being. Graphics are dummy placeholders from lostgarden's free to use and abuse scifi graphic packs. Custom graphics I make by hand using GIMP. A lot of animation and colour manipulation is done by code.

5. What is your Target Audience?

Average 16+, interested in science fiction and playing a manager. Things that help: A problem solving mindset where hidden variables need to be deduced from the information streams in order to optimise the flow of the game. A sense of collaboration with the fictional characters that you need to keep as a friend. Their provoking actions should challenge the player to give manipulative responses in order to get what you want.

6. What does your game appeal to / how will it affect people?

The game is supposed to make the player feel skilful and important with a wave of satisfaction through accomplishment by letting them solve financial problems, requiring them to spent their money responsibly and take educated guesses when it comes to investments. Political issues, confrontations, stalemates and even wars are at hand as well, giving you increasingly more awesome feelings of importance as you manage to juggle your way through, and come out better in the end.

7. What are some inspirations? (Try to be specific.)

Airport Inc. (later Airport Tycoon 3): the sense of importance through attracting contracts. EVE Online: the look-and-feel of typical scifi information interfaces, that stuff Mass Effect: but really any good scifi movie/game with stereotypical characters, they inspire the political setting Papers, Please: wait, what has that to do with any of the above? Well, the feeling of importance, having control, yet heavily constrained by matters from those controlling you. Sharkworld, manage your team, figure time schedules, and keep the highly respected chinese Chairman happy. Boy that game demands some heavy decisions from you, and if you screw up...

8. What are some competitors to your game? (Other games that do the same or similar things)

Airport Tycoon? But that game is ancient and buggy as hell. There's the facebook variant: Airport Ville (of course). Heavily based on clicking the screen, bothering all your friends and their friends, and giving your real money to buy fake money to buy stuff.

9. What will your game do different from them?

I suppose there are more likewise games as listed above (both inspirational and competitive), but the one that combines serious spaceport management skills with the science fiction genre and a rich intergalactic political problematique I have yet to find.

10. What is your budget?

The big milestone is a working prototype game in the google play store with a challenging but FUN start. FUN being both graphically appealing, lively animated (in great detail) and interesting little stories keeping you playing to see more. I would be willing to pay someone who shows a similar vision for the game and contributes intellectual knowledge to help achieving the feeling of importance, gaining management skills and accomplishment for the player. How much I'd pay? For a prototype... I'd pay 50 bucks for recreating the assets that the player starts with, once I'm happy with the look and feel. I'd keep asking for more and pay increasingly more linearly with my growing confidence of the game's potential. I guess that's not a very convincing contract for any designer, but for me the most important thing is that it fully remains my child as I envision it. 3 years ago I started it, and I would drag it with me another 10 years if needed, until I find the artist that can evoke the emotions I want this game to offer.