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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Road Trip!

    [07.26.16]
    - Danny Cowan

  • Jay Cork, GIS Technician, The Great Trip

    Overview

    You play as a middle-aged TV presenter that recently became unemployed after causing a ruckus. When everything cooled down Primeflix pitched a 12-episode travel show, were you have the freedom to choose were you go and a co-host.

    The game is a business simulator with rouge-lite elements. There are two major systems that drive the game. A content system that has the player producing footage for 30 minute episodes, and a reactionary audience system. Successfully managing these systems results in high viewership which means the show won't get cancelled (GAME OVER) and will be renewed for another season (NG+). The show is managed through an in-game laptop you can use when your co-host is driving. You can manage the entire production including; budget, emails, and (most importantly) route planning.

    Content

    There are filming locations everywhere. The player has to choose which to visit while balancing time, costs, and each location's attributes in order to create consistent quality episodes.

    Each location is unique and has different attributes. A holiday park could have a high entertainment value and but takes a while to capture usable footage. A player may choose to increase filming time in order to increase the concentration of high-value footage. Locations also fall into different categories such as; nature, food, people, historic, etc. These variables have profound effects on the audience's expectations and helps mold them.

    These locations can be permanent or be events. Events normally have superior stats, as missing them can leave the player with a lack of content. At the end of a week the player decides what proportion of footage is used from each location in an episode. If there's a lack of content, then footage intended for shorter segments can be used to fill out the episode. Diluting content results in badly received episode, and will effect audience retention.

    Audience

    The season premiere generates scores of interest and views. It's up to the player to keep this number high. As weeks go by people stop watching the show, leaving behind fans of previous episodes. The player has to puzzle out who the audience is, and what they want, using different data sources. An audience's makeup can be affected by age, class, gender, etc. A player that's curated a high percentage of young viewers might find that avoid filming in historical locations is in the shows best interest.


    If a show's low viewership doesn't get it cancelled mid-season, then Primeflix will generate an end of season report. If the show's numbers are too low, then it's game over. A marginally better performance will mark the show as "on support" resulting in budget cuts and sponsored content forcing filming locations for more money. Exceeding viewership expectations can have positive outcomes like providing a larger selection of co-hosts, a larger budget, and open up filming opportunities... "Hello Mr. President!" Player's finding the game too easy can increase the show's episode run-time which naturally increases the challenge.

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