Everyquest Early Prototype


Super Early Demo Footage

Artist’s Statement

Admittedly, this is a game I’ve wanted to make for a little while, and I kind of used this assignment as a way to get myself to get started on it. I was pondering a general theme of the future, and how we have no idea where it might take us. I wanted to try and explore multiple facets of that theme through my story, which is what led me to come up with the characters of Marilyn and Bhrugu (see the attached Design Doc). They both represent entirely different unhealthy ways of coping with the future’s unpredictability; giving up on life, and trying to control everything.

Once I had my story and themes, I went to try and create gameplay that fits them well. I ended up with a Roguelite-style Tactical RPG where you have a lot of free rein in customizing your character (in preparing for future challenges), but are always at the mercy of RNG in actual fights (still have no control over your future).

In terms of the kind of game and story I’m going for, Everyquest’s main inspiration is definitely the Persona series, though I’ll admit to there also being a little bit of Deltarune and Omori in there too. In terms of the Battle System, the main inspiration is Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. 

In the end, I ran into a time crunch with the demo, and having to make it during finals week. So, I ended up having to go with a very simple demo, with no UI elements, and…let’s just call it avant-garde enemy design (in my defense, I did have a squirrel model I found online, but Unity was refusing to behave when I tried to load it in, and this had to be enough). In the demo, I showcase a simple randomly-generated overworld, and a single battle, both of which are explained in detail in the design doc.

Frame of Reference

How to Play:

  1. Find an accomplice who does not mind having someone they don’t know take pictures of them.
  2. Find your player. Make sure that they have not met the accomplice before. Tell them that you are playtesting a new game in which you need someone to take pictures of various objects around town. Once they take a picture, they should send it to you, and they will be scored from 0 to 100 based on how well they took a picture of the object.
  3. Set up your accomplice near the photo site, doing something innocuous, such as taking a phone call or working on something on their computer.
  4. Send the player to that site, along with some made-up criteria you’ll be judging their photo by. The true criteria, of course, being whether or not the accomplice is in the photo.
  5. Once you receive the photo, send the player their score, and ask if they’re satisfied with that score. Once they say yes, tell them to await further instructions.
  6. Repeat Steps 3-5 with each photo site, or until the Player realizes that the same person has been appearing in most every photo they’ve taken.

Playtesting Experience

After many, many delays due to scheduling issues, I finally managed to track down two friends of mine who don’t know each other; the person who ended up being my accomplice is our very own Timothy Doyle, who you’ll be seeing in quite a few of these pictures. The player was Charlie Liu, a current business major here who I knew from being in the same 12th Grade English Class. The pictures from this playtest are attached to this post.

  1. Shillman Hall This one was primarily a warm-up. I just had Charlie take a picture of the cat statue out front, with Tim nowhere in sight.
  2. Forsyth Street More warm-up. This time, flagpoles.
  3. That one archway outside Snell with all the broken screens inside of it I positioned Tim on a bench nearby, but Charlie never went around to the other side of the arch to actually get a picture with him in it. After around five pictures getting similarly low scores, Charlie gave up. I felt like having Tim move to the other bench would be too noticeable, so I just decided to move on.
    1. I had Tim sit where he had been on the bench after the playtest, and I myself took a picture of that, just to include in here as an aid in visualization.
  4. Curry Student Center F1 I asked Charlie to take a picture of the posters from the outside, and had Tim pretend to be busy on his laptop at a nearby table. This one worked like a charm, and had Tim in the shot on the second try.
  5. Curry Student Center F2 Tim talked to “his mom” over the phone behind a window, and Charlie took a picture of the Husky Statue in front of said window. Couldn’t have gone better.
  6. Ruggles Station This time, when asked to take a photo of the Customer Service booth, Charlie rotated around it when he was scoring low, which means that he did eventually get a shot of Tim definitely buying a ticket and not just kinda pushing buttons.
  7. Centennial Quad With this one, I wanted to see just how far I could take this. I had Tim hide behind the 2 of the big 125, and peek out with a grin and thumbs up. Charlie did take the picture of the 125, but he also definitely noticed Tim. And with that, the game was up. I debriefed my player, and we all went home.

Artist’s Statement

AKA “Jackson, why on Earth did you do this?”

I was inspired by games such as Uncle Roy All Around You, and the way it has the Game Master navigate two players out in the field that interact with each other in interesting ways. I wanted to try and create a game that emphasizes just how little we pay attention to our surroundings. The world we live in can be so incredibly distracting sometimes, and everyone’s always got something important that they need to be doing. By making Charlie focus on this one task of photography, he was completely oblivious to the things that the actual people around him were doing. Furthermore, I believe that there’s something to be said about how the points he was getting for the photos didn’t really make sense, and yet he didn’t really question it.

I guess, in the end, what this intervention is meant to show is that as you live your everyday life, you should strive to be aware of the people around you. As you hustle about through your day, don’t forget that everyone around you is doing their own thing as well. Also, be willing to question authority, and to ask for clarification when something doesn’t make sense. Because otherwise, you may end up playing into a completely different agenda without even realizing it.

Trickster Tycoons

For my appropriation project, I was inspired by Town of Salem’s Jester Role; for those of you that haven’t played Town of Salem before, the Jester’s goal is to trick the town into voting to hang them. Jester is the only role in the game that actually wants to be hanged, and this counter-intuitive gameplay is a fun and interesting challenge. That got me thinking; would it be possible to implement a similar mechanic into other games? And so, I came up with this ruleset:

  1. Choose a game to play. This game must be a multiplayer game for three or more players, where players are not eliminated as the game goes on, players directly compete with each other and/or have some way to affect each other’s performance in the game, and at the end of the game, players must be ranked based on their performance. For my playtest, I chose Mario Party.
  2. Either create your own cards, or use traditional playing cards. There must be one card for each player, and one must be very notably different from the others (such as a Joker). Shuffle the cards, and give one to each player. The player that receives the unique card is playing for last place. Everybody holds on to these cards, and nobody is allowed to show each other their cards until the end of the game.
  3. If the player playing for last is in last place at the end of the game, they steal victory from first place. If they come in first place, then second place wins instead.

When playing under these rules, any multiplayer party game can in theory be turned into a social deduction game, which is a dynamic that I personally think is incredibly interesting. Now, every misplay builds suspicion; when someone makes a non-ideal play, it sets off red flags in everyone else’s mind. And once players are sure they know who’s playing for last, it could turn the entire game on its head.

Sadly, my playtest was not able to capture the full potential of this premise; due to scheduling constraints, I was unable to assemble a group that was entirely familiar with the game we were playing. Dros and Kate were playing for the first time, and so were unable to more accurately choose the level they were playing at. It became way too easy for them to dismiss any suspicion I attempted to throw at them as pure incompetence. Furthermore, I feel like this could have played out better over a longer game, with more opportunities to lose Stars, give them to other players in Duels, lose coins to the slot machine, and wait for better Star Prices. Although the playtest was not a complete success, I would still argue that the potential is there; it simply needs a second opportunity to find it.

How to Build a Watertight Container

(1) Take stock of your materials. Look for anything that could hold the water within itself.
(2) Arrange the materials into a shape of your choosing, that you believe will hold water. Make the shape such that you believe the water will not mind being contained within it, or perhaps even enjoy it.
(3) Fill the container with water, and invert it to test your design.
(4) Watch water escape through the cracks.
(5) Refine your design. It may not be as beautiful as the previous design, but that’s okay. This way, the water won’t escape as easily.
(6) Test it once again, and watch the water escape once more.
(7) Repeat steps 5 and 6. It is natural for water to want to escape, and to feel clever and uncontainable. But contain it you must.
(9) You have now successfully built a Watertight Container.

By Jackson Green

Demonstration can be found here.