Thursday, March 24, 2011

Levels of Play (Concept)


A game concept where players essentially play several different, but interconnected, games.


WWII The Pacific Theater-esque Game

From level 1-35, players progress through enlisted ranks. They play as ground level soldiers (FPS style) and AA Gunners on ships (or the like). This gets players very involved in the nitty-gritty of the game. It's simplistic, familiar, and gets the players into the fight almost instantly!

From level 36-70 the players can play as an “officer”. An officer commands vehicles. They are devastatingly powerful but limited in scope. (They cost “resources” while soldiers can screw around if they'd like.) On land officers can command stationary mortar batteries, fly planes (bomber or fighter support), or even play as a tank (Light or heavy). This allows players to become familiar with the concept of “resources” and eases them into a more “command” position. (In that they move away from the “run & gun” style of gameplay)

At level 70-100 a player can play as a commander. This pits them against other high level characters in a RTS style game. They have a certain amount of resources that they have and and direct troop movement. It's a turn based system with heavy fog of war. Whenever a engagement begins, a new game is created for lower level players to join. A lot more resources means a lot more players can join one side or have better options to play as. Commanders can always play in a match they start. They can take part in “training exercises” (3-4 move matches), “theaters of war” (10-30 move matches), and “campaigns” (unlimited move matches).


A player can always play as a lower rank than they are. (You can always be a soldiers for example)

Players can always start simply quick-play matches. (Preset scenarios)


Players join a faction that gives them a bonus to certain things.


The United States has a bonus to their total resource pool during WWII.

The Japanese have harder to kill soldiers and have access to kamikaze planes.

The Russians have a static bonus to their number of players on their side of the field.


Players select what branch they want to be part of. This gives them special options for units they can play as.


The Army gives officers access to heavy tanks and heavy weapons as a soldier.

The Navy gives officers access to submarines and better anti-aircraft guns.

The Air Force gives officers access to escort fighter and paratroopers.

Playable Content


Aircraft Carrier



Submarine (Navy Only)


Torpedo Bombers


Kamikaze Fighter (Japan Only)

Escort Fighter (Air Force Only)


Mortar Battery (Stationary)

Light Tank

Heavy Tank


Infantry (Pistol, rifle, knife, grenades)

Heavy Weapons (Can swap rifle for: Rocket launcher, flame thrower, or heavy machine gun)

Paratrooper (Pistol, Sun-Machine gun, knife, grenades. Can deploy anywhere on the battlefield)

AA Guns

20 mm Cannons

Twin 40 mm Gun


“AA Gun”

“AA Cannon”


This essentially triple the content created (though on a lesser scale than a full-on game).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Three Act Format

(I'll get back to the other mechanics posts in a bit. I wrote this for a site I run.)


-Each plot has 3 parts. (Broken down into independent but interconnected events we will call acts)

-They are: the setup, the confrontation, and the climax.

-The SET-UP establishes the characters, the location, and the motivations. (Tell them who is involved, how they are related, where they are, and why they should care)

-During the first act a dramatic event occurs that will be the main focus of the plot. (This is often called the “call to action” in Joseph Campbell's “The Hero's Journey”... but that's a whole other can of worms we won't be touching)

-The second act is called the RISING ACTION by some. This is where a lot of the action starts. The character(s) are pitted against the dramatic event in the form of a challenge.

-This could be any kind of challenge. It could dramatic, spiritual, physical, or even an intellectual (ect) challenge. Don't just limit yourselves to fighting. (Though a slug-fest AWALYS works well :D )

-The third act has 2 parts. The CLIMAX and the DENOUNCEMENT.

-In the CLIMAX, everything comes to a head and all plots and subplots are resolved.

-The DENOUNCEMENT (or “resolution”) is that time between the CLIMAX and the actual END. It shows how the plot effected the characters and how they changed/grew. (How things are different)

-The denouncement doesn't have to be long.

-This 3 act structure is awesome. I encourage you to look for this it on 3 different levels. In your plots (the “episodic” level), in your character's entire run (the “developmental level”), and on a global plot level (on the “season” or “overarching” level. Let me worry about that though...)

Extra Reading:
-Dramatic Structure
-The Three-Act Structure
-The Hero's Journey
(Seriously... if you wanna be a good writer... this dude knows his stuff! Everything from Star Wars to the Odyssey and everything in-between follows this format on some level!!!)

Note: I know they are all wikipedia links... it's just a good place to jump off from. (Check the links at the bottom of the article!)