Game Story Concept: The Reverse Assassin

This is an exercise from Game Production and Documentation class, where we were required to add backstory and character to an established game project based on predetermined criteria.

Title: Dark Matter

Named after the main character, the title is based on the theoretical particle that makes up the bulk of the universe but remains unseen, reacting with Dark Energy to create an opposing force to gravitation. It suggests Dark Matter’s ability to remain unseen yet affect his world in profound ways. It also suggests his world is dark and bleak, trying to pull everything down as he fights to resist its grasp.


Hero: Dark Matter, aka The Dark (street legend)

Born in a place unknown, approximately 32 years of age, he grew up an orphan on the streets known as Griffin until age 16 when he was approached by a high ranking government agent who ordered him bound and taken to a secret facility. There he was trained and used as an assassin for ten years before being excruciatingly bonded to a high tech suit for extreme mission targets. Seeing the crimes committed against a number of victims by his controllers, some of them children, he vowed to bring his Commander to justice, working hard to circumvent the missions he is on while making it appear as though he followed through, lest he be executed for failure. A number of legends swirl as to how he got his name. Some say he went unseen through a fully lit white walled complex without being seen; others say he is a creature of the night who came from the stars; some don’t believe at all. But those who do believe agree that he is something to be feared. Dark Matter himself does not like these legends, and does not go out of his way to perpetuate them, only following the faint hope that he might one day be able to live normally again.

Villain: The Grim Titan

A victim of the early bonding process which sought to make bionically enhanced humans into walking tanks, he is cursed with having eight hundred pounds of heavy armor containing a number of brutal weapons designed to engage heavy military one-on-one. Wanting the same kind of revenge that Dark Matter wants, he rules over the government’s expendable soldiers with a stern but compassionate hand, yet harbors a burning hatred that would see millions burn for their destroyed lives.

Archenemy: Commander Harrison Wade

Raised in a respected and highly decorated military family, Harrison Wade was given little approval from his domineering father in his efforts to live up to the family name. On a drunken tirade that left Harrison’s mother dead and Wade himself in a three-week coma, he emerged from the ordeal a brand new man. His mind no longer able to process emotion due to the traumatic overload, he saw a futility in life from his experience and sought only to build himself up above others. The only valuable thing his father had taught him was that power is necessary and vital to survival. He lacked it and was crushed. Wade has fought and schemed and manipulated to change that paradigm of his life ever since. Though not a skilled fighter like Dark Matter, his ability to control the black nano-bonded suits of his assassins allows him all the insurance he needs to scrub away his enemies in his efforts to rule whatever he lays eyes on.

It is not entirely accurate to say that Harrison Wade has no emotion. The one emotion that drives him is fear. Fear of being dominated by those who loom their statures over him like that drunken juggernaut of a father that sought to kill him and every living thing that made so much as a footfall in his household. Being rich on the side is just a little icing on the cake. He has tactical knowledge of military craft, infrastructures, and chains of command, as well as information on every name in government and business. He owns the technology infrastructure of the planet, and therefore owns all.


Quicksilver Crossing – A place where death comes swiftly to those seeking to break in or out, Quicksilver Crossing is comprised of a cube structure serving as a prison surrounded by a deep lake of mercury. The harshest and most dangerous are brought here, dangerous often meaning those who know too much thrown into pits with those who’ll take care of the problem. Dark Matter is capture and brought here as a method of torture to force him back into service. The only way of escape is to find the fabled “freedom shaft” that served as an access passage during construction which allegedly leads through each floor to the warden’s chambers at the top where access to a prison ship can be had. It was rumored to have been filled, but sometimes strange echoes carry through the walls at night.

Eden’s Aftermath – A strange and alien forest that grows underground and fed by shafts of light from the surface, the flora and fauna of this subterranean expanse proves both beautiful and deadly as Dark Matter makes his way through the winding, seemingly omni-directional paths in his search for a substance that may be able to separate him from his suit. The Grim Titan, however, has plans to claim the place for himself and his people who fell victim as Dark did.

Nitropolis – The hot seat for entertainment and commerce, the city sees all manner of interplanetary citizens coming to see the sights and sounds of the greatest mecca in the galaxy. It also serves as a front for the operations of Dark Matter’s commander, and is the staging ground for the final battle with The Grim Titan and his army, who wish nothing more than to destroy those who cast them off as freaks while destroying the government that made them. It is a place of high glass towers and maze-like streets that will see battle taken from the streets to the rooftops and across open chasms of air.


Design Spaz #1: Forcefield

Design Spaz is a new series in which I will lay out a spontaneous game design idea as a brainstorming exercise for both myself and you, the reader. Ever had those moments in school when someone antagonized you time after time and when you finally retaliated they called you a spaz? I hate that. But I’m over it. I’m over it…anyway, that’s where the Spaz comes in. Make lemonade, right?

The Big Idea

Title: Forcefield

Genre: Puzzle, Action.

Perspective: Third Person

Similars: Portal, Portal 2

Concept: Forcefield  is a third-person action puzzler where the player uses a force field device allowing them to create different shaped energy barriers that interact with the physics of the level in different ways. Instead of simply blocking projectiles, you will have to use the force field in strategic ways such as creating a bubble around a high powered laser cannon that can hold the energy within and then release it with explosive power at the target. Other fields will be able to allow certain types of matter and energy to pass through while filtering out others. This could mean blocking certain spectrums of light to activate color coded triggers for moving platforms, doors, or even weapons. And that’s the pure puzzle part. Now onto the action.

We all know what force fields do. They bounce things back from whence they came, and that means the enemy. Reflect their ammo back at them for devastating results. But what if they are immune to their own ammo type? No problem. Bounce a different enemy attack from you to them and watch them explode. Imagine a scene with five different enemy types, each with a different type of attack. Energy attacks, physical attacks, reality-altering attacks.

Scenario: Three different enemy types are present in the room. One shoots adamantium slugs from a high-velocity chain gun, another uses a particle manipulation beam to alter the matter around you (a nod to the portal gun), and drones that fire standard lasers. Now let’s say the goal of Matter Manipulators is to open a hole in the spaceship and let the vacuum of space suck you out. The Adamantine Troopers wear armor that deflects their ammo but can pierce virtually anything with their metal slugs. The drones fire a standard laser weapon but are immune to the slugs and matter manipulator.  These enemies are standing in the way of you getting to the top deck of the imperial cruiser. What to do?

When the Matter Manipulators fire at the floor below you, reflect their beam at the Adamantine Troops. Then catch the laser fire from the drones, and release at the MM’s. This basically fries them, as they have no protection against energy weapons. Once they’re done for, place a forcefield bubble around the drones and let their own laser fire build up and melt them down. Then you can use the molten metal on something else! Maybe there’s a door that needs sealing and troops are about to bust in!

Thoughts? Ideas? How would YOU design a game like this? Could the enemy fire be used to activate triggers to help you clear the room? How?