Results from Game Design Challenge: Reboot! [02.26.13]
- Danny Cowan
Chris Gile, Software Engineer, Shadow Hearts Wii U
The game I'll be rebooting is Shadow Hearts and it would be for the Wii U as that would provide the most chances to improve the Judgement Ring System. The Judgement Ring system is one of the strongest elements of the series is combine visceral rhythm minigame to offset some of the repetitive boringness of battles in RPGs. The Judgement Ring system is a quick minigame you play everytime you attack in battle, the player has to play a quick rhythm game to do more damage but by using the Wii U touch pad we can increase the variety of these minigames.
The old timing ring system could still be used but we would also use a more complicated Elite Beat Agents style game of taps and drags, a version of the game Simon where it would show the player a pattern real quick and they would have to input it back in the same order, or a touchpad version or DDR/Rock band where the player has to tap falling blocks at a certain point. This greater variety doesn't just offer us the chance to keep the game feeling new and fresh for a long period of time it also gives us a chance to mechanically differentiate characters as each character could make use of a different minigame.
The setting of the game would be a cold war era alternate world, where everyone in the world lives in a constant fear of war breaking out over the most minor of things. The main character of the game is a young man who was raised by his very religious father to be heir to their family's spiritual healing techniques. He has devoted his entire life to learning and mastering these skill and yet has found that the world at large which once admired and revered their abilities has now come to regard them as at best antiquated in the face of modern technology/medicine. He is resentful of modern technology and the change it represents and doesn't understand why anyone wants anything to change. In a desperate bid for relevance he decides to make a pact with demons to amplify his spiritual powers and gains the ability to take on several demon forms in battle which the player can grow and evolve throughout the game. This choice has him banished from the religious community that once considered him a prodigy and forces him to go out into world that considers him irrelevant.
He becomes embroiled in a Cold War era proxy war in Africa and throughout the game comes to realize that the reason people so greedily embraced technology and change isn't because they like change but rather because the previous system he idolized was only good for people like him at the expense of everyone else, and that what they wanted wasn't change so much as the same opportunities for things he was resentful of not getting by default.