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Life of a Bab
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The next game being developed by DNA Studios
Life of a Bab is a local multiplayer game being developed as I’m writing, and it is all about the daily activities of the Babs. Who are those Babs, you might say – even if it is quite a shame to ask? Those adorable characters dwell at the centre of our graphic universe since Tower of Babel, our second game published on AirConsole.
 
 
Everything happens within the famous city of Babtown. There, you play the life of a Bab, from youth to old age. As the game begins, you are given a specific characteristic that will define you through your whole life. But this information is hidden to the other players – it is your secret. You obtain success points by fulfilling objectives, following the method you prefer.
We are developing this game for AirConsole ( www.airconsole.com ) and in this one, we would love to explore the unique possibility given by this platform : the duplication of the screens you play on: a main screen (in the browser) on which is displayed the city, and a secondary screen (your smartphone) on which are featured your controls, as it usually is on AirConsole. But to use this potential for the best, the phone screen will also give you the informations hidden to other players. It will also be used to show you the interior of the building your character is visiting, for example. When the Bab’s inside, this is what you’ll see on the two screens :
 
 
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In this game, you play a regular Bab (just like a regular Joe, but in the Bab world) living his its life in Babtown. Each Bab has an unique characteristic the others players are not aware of, because it has been displayed on your phone at the beginning. This is what the first screens should look like, approximatively :
 
 
Moreover, each Bab has a reputation gauge. The actions you’ll accomplish during the game will make you gain – or lose – fame. A Bab with a very bad renown could be chased in the streets by the police force and, if he’s arrested, he shall wait some time before being able to play again. But for the police to get out of the commissariat, you will have to go there yourself and report him – thus losing reputation…
 
 
To gain points, the player have to accomplish a given objective. This objective is common for all players, but the methods to get there are numerous. The player will have to talk to NPCs or walk inside buildings to find a way. When he’s found it, he will have to go through series of actions, which are done into buildings or by talking to other NPCs. For example, if the objective is “find a job”, the player will have to talk to (let’s say) the butcher to know if he’s hiring and, if he is, under what conditions. The player then has to match those conditions by doing several actions.
Each objective is only available for a certain amount of time. Beyond the time allotted, the Babs who have done their duty receive success points – and the ones that did not manage to do it obtain nothing – just as they deserve. Then, a new objective comes up, and the game goes on. At the end of the life, the player with the highest points wins.
There’s always many ways to finish an objective. Some are good for your reputation but won’t bring you many success points, and some will damage your reputation – but they are worth a lot of points. For example, you could try to be elected as the mayor within the existing legality, or… well… hum.. without the legality.
All methods to fulfil an objective are not always available. If, in a game, you’re hired for a job because you’ve done some actions, this way won’t be possible in the next game. Indeed, the buildings won’t be at the same place, and furthermore, all methods are not activated in the same game. If there’s (for example) 10 ways to find a job, only 4 of them will be available in a given game.
The game itself will be divided in three phases, each of these corresponding to the Bab’s age. It begins with a youth phase (from 14 to 25 years), an adulthood phase (from 25 to 60 years) and a phase of old age (60 years and more). The objectives will be matching these phases – we won’t ask a retired Bab to “find a job”, for example, this is not France.
The famous city of Babtown is composed of different buildings, but each map will be randomly generated. There, we will find among others a temple, a town hall, a bank, a  university, a shopping mall, etc.
When a player enters a building, he disappears from the main screen and then, everything happens on the phone screen. Other players thus don’t know where you are, unless they come in too.
 
 
NPCs also live on the streets of Babtown. There, you could meet the mayor, or a policeman, maybe a criminal, another regular Bab… Interactions will be possible with every NPCs.
The key point of our game (besides that it will be very funny) is its high replay value.
Each objective can be fulfilled in several ways, and all of these are not available in the game. There will be no way for the player to know wich method is available before they talk to some NPC.
Moreover, the unique characteristic of a Bab change a lot what the player will be able to do. If the Bab is, let’s say, an atheist, then he won’t be able to enter the temple. That closes lots of door for certain objectives. The impact of this on the gameplay is very important.
Finally, the player won’t be able to walk directly to his favourite building, because the maps are being randomly generated. In each game, you will have to find your path by your own means. That means, they will always be an exploration phase.
That’s all for today, folks. More info coming soon !
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