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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Road Trip!

    - Danny Cowan

  • Charles Radloff, Raw Deal

    Concept: Raw Deal is a four-player cooperative game about a trans-continental arms dealer whose family business is flourishing despite the fiery end of the world as we know it. Pick up a delivery, load it into the good ‘ol RV, and drop it off at the residence of the highest bidder. Sounds easy enough, right?

    The Perils: The potentially deadly encounters may include but are not limited to: the weather, the local wildlife, raiders and thieves, rival arms dealers, and less-than-satisfied customers.

    The Characters and Aesthetic: The feel of Raw Deal is an ironic one. Though the future is bleak, the world in ruins, and the remains of humanity is generally populated by murderers and madmen, the RV dwellers have taken scant notice, still believing that they're on the ideal family road trip, and managing to stay obnoxiously cheery at all times. A typical American Dream family, the Johnsons travel the continent with mom (Sandy), pop (Dan), a son (Billy), a daughter (Jenny), and a loyal (though hopefully not rabid) golden retriever (Buddy).

    The RV and its occupants are exceedingly tacky and dorky, sparing no expense to meet every stereotype of the ideal family of the 1950s. The chaos and impending doom of the surrounding countryside is humorously contrasted by the upbeat, classic toons that consistently leak from the RV's old radio -- for reference, listen to a couple songs off of the "Family Road Trip" station on Pandora Radio.

    Though the RV happily bumps along, the family will frequently need to fight for their lives using an arsenal of mostly reliable homemade weapons. As one might expect, shooter/combat mechanics while aboard a vehicle moving at breakneck speeds can feel quite hectic. The more ridiculous and adrenaline-injected the game plays, the more silly and entertaining the backdrop of an innocent family road trip becomes.

    Progression/Locations/Events: The long term goal of Raw Deal is to make as much money as possible. The game revolves around arms deals, which are the Johnsons' primary source of income. Deliveries are picked up at survivor colonies and are generally delivered to the the friendly neighborhood warlords at whatever death fortress or rat-infested shanty town they happen to be holed up in.

    In order to ensure the success of the deliveries, the Johnsons are capable of amassing a stock of frugally obtained weapons. The Johnsons' arsenal can be upgraded by collecting scrap from all over the country and returning it to special locations called Chop Shops where the rusted faucets and carburetors of the wasteland are refined into whatever havoc-wreaking tools of death the mechanics see fit to create - for a small fee, of course.

    While making deliveries, all sorts of unexpected things can go awry. Sometimes a delivery may be made to a warlord whose compound is actively being sieged by an opposing warlord. Other times, the market competition kicks it up a notch by trying to run you off the road. The possibilities are endless!


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