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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Save the Wii U

    [08.13.13]
    - Danny Cowan

  • Jacqui Zarka, Freelance game designer and Vancouver Film School alumnus

    Nintendo's largest strengths have always been in uniting opposing types of gamers around one console. Just as the Wii brought families together, the WiiU has the opportunity to mend the gap between hardcore gamers and their casual counterparts. Two of the most popular game types right now are the shooter genre, and the social/mobile market. The WiiU's tablet combined with console offers a chance to bring these two markets together.

    The player has command of a pirate spaceship with the goal of hunting down other ships in the galaxy, breaking in, killing off the crew and dragging it back to a port to sell for sweet pirate booty. To do this, you will need two players, the Infiltrator and the Navigator. The Infiltrator jumps off ship to board the other vessel in typical first person shooter manner using the main television and standard controller. While the Infiltrator is making his or her way through the ship, it is the Navigator's job to use the tablet to hack into the other ship's main computer and ease the way for the Infiltrator. Both players will work together using separate mechanics for the joint purpose of capturing the ship. In the event that couch co-op is not an option, players can use the Internet to find another player or a detailed AI could be implemented to act as the other role.

    The Navigator's role is easily compared to the casual gamer. A series of code breaking mini-games are played to access the mainframe which acts as a hub for other puzzle-based games. To access the main hub, the player will be able to view a series of blinking lights after which they must replicate the pattern. Once inside, a game similar to Pipe Dream can channel the enemy ship's oxygen out, leaving enemies that the Infiltrator comes across sluggish and tired. Fitting puzzle pieces together unlocks the minimap for the Infiltrator, allowing them to view the ship's schematics. Playing around with circuits could overload the security systems, allowing the Infiltrator to go through previously unlocked doors.

    While the Navigator is playing on the tablet with casual puzzle games, the Infiltrator is playing a high-octane first person shooter game against the security personnel of the enemy ship. The Infiltrator has two options, they can rush to the bridge and avoid causalities. If the Infiltrator captures the Captain, they can force all enemies into escape pods allowing them to hope for rescue while you make off with the ship. Otherwise, the Infiltrator can systematically eliminate enemies with their own customizable loadouts, paving their way to the bridge with bloodshed.

    In addition to the single player campaign, a multiplayer aspect could be added as well. Teams of 4 (any mixture of Navigators and Infiltrators) would compete over who takes over whose ship with the Infiltrators racing to get to the enemy team's Navigator to delay their progress. Navigators would upload counter-Intelligence or play defensive games to put up a firewall to prevent the enemy teams' hacking.

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