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 Post subject: The Lost Island
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:10 pm 
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Location: Sweden
Title: Lost Island - Genre: Adventure, Action, Survival


This is actually an ideá that came to me during a dream, I was alone on this island where there were dinosaurs and I was chased and I was really scared the feeling of fear surged through my body and the adrenaline made me fast enough to be able to escape even the worst situations.


Image
(concept art not made by me, only logo)


Lost Island is an adventure / action / survival game (hardcore) played in first-person-perspective. The game is quite simply for you to survive a certain number of days on a deserted island waiting for rescue. The island is rich in plants and nutrition. It is a tropical island and much like the island found in Crysis.

Graphically I'm thinking a dense jungle mixed with some savanna and old warehouses as evidence that people has been there before.

Intro:
Your eyes opens slowly, you hear a strong wind blowing . You see the railing you are leaning over, when you look up you see the ocean, it's a really beautiful. The sun is slowly sinking into the sea at the horizon, making the ship you're standing on colored in a warm orange color.

You say:
* Relaxed sigh* it was a long time since I felt this relaxed.
* You get the opportunity to turn his head and look more at the surroundings.
* You turn your head to look at the surroundings.
- That's a nice view, this sure beats staying at home.
* Someone knocks you on the shoulder and your controller rumbles
* You turn around, and see a man standing there, he is nicely dressed in a suit and in his hands he's holding a cellphone.
- Excuse me, you've got a call.
* You take the phone and put it against your ear.
- Thank you.
* You watch as the well-dressed man walks away and puts the cellphone to your ear
* It is your best friend, he is a technical genius and seems to miss you
-Damn! I can not get it through my head that you went on that luxurious cruise! You should have taken me with you!
*Just when your friend completes his sentence the ship staggers and you accidently drop your cellphone over the railing, the throw out your arms in hope of catching it again but the cellphone falls to the walkway on the lower deck.
- Shit!
* Now you get full control of steering and you can try to walk around and explore the ship you are on. You are on the upper "deck" and will try to retrieve cell phone at "lower deck"

*After exploring you make your way to the lower deck and find the cellphone. You put your mobile phone to the ear again and notices that he is no longer there.

*You sigh. You take a couple steps towards the ship's front gazing out at the stillness, all of a sudden something big flashes past your eyes and brakes the ships' front 20 meters ahead of you. Water splashes into your eyes and you have a hard time to perceive what's happening. The screen slowly becomes a blur and debris is flying all around you and there are rubble everywhere. The ship is slowly starting to sink.

* You have 1 minutes playing time left before the next chapter, you are now aware of it however, during this time, you will probably try to get as far from the accident as possible, it might be that you run into the ship again and into different cabins.

Depending on which cabin you ran into in the corridors, you'll see various objects / items. These items you see will be the things you'll have available on the island at the beginning of the game, these items are however randomized and it's rare that you'll start out with the same items as any other player.

On the island:
*Everything is black, the only thing you hear is the waves and the wind gently breezing. Slowly your eyes open. You find yourself on a beach, you try to stand but your legs tremble and your body feels weak, so it takes a while before you get your feet. *control shakes a bit slowly as you stand up*

You turn around and look out over the sea, it is quite empty, you see a lot of garbage lying around, you see an axe laying there beneath all the debris. Ahh, It's the axe you saw in the cabin before everything went black. You go and pick up the ax, the sand shows your footprints and it's wet and messy. Since you have nothing other to do you start to explore the beach for more useful objects. You'll find some food and a first aid kit. There is not much left to do on the beach, you do not know where you are and you do not know if there are any other survivors, not here on the beach anyway.

You make your way up the beach, and into the jungle. You walk for a while in the dense jungle, you see rays from the sun penetrate the top of the trees. You hear yourself walk through the bushes as well as bird and insects, you move foliage out of the way

You approach a clearing and you see a rusty old shack, you walk up to it out of curiosity and find that it's empty and has some equipment inside. There is a radio and other smaller things scattered about. It seems like there hasn't been anyone there for a long time. On the wall you find a map, a very old map. The map is colored yellow and has lost some of it's color. The map shows an image of a big island, you keep the map since it might be of use to you.

** Here the adventure begins for real.
Is the map you have a map of the island? It could be a map of another island, you need to go to higher altitudes to be able to identify landmarks on the map. Where you wake up on the island is also randomized so each time you play you could end up on a different beach.

Features

Since the game is a survival game, I would place great emphasis on the "survival" part. I would prefer that the game should be entirely without HUD in addition to a compass and maybe a 90 ^-degree field of view instead of the usual 75th That it is hungry, tired, and so on marked by subtle changes in your vision, colors and motionblur.

One thing I think would be interesting is that your character needs to sleep. This also means that you will either have to find a shed or a cave or build up some kind of shack up in a tree. Every choice has its' pros and cons, though some are clearly better than others.

A big thing about the game is to explore, you go the whole island to explore and when you find new places and landmarks you can mark them or you map or let the game do it for you. You'll be able to chop down bushes and trees, create tools and traps. You will also eventually try to create a fire, either by finding petrol or something similar. You could do it by hand but this will take some time though.

One important thing is to find out what you can eat on the island, where the safe bets are usually fish or other animals such as rabbits and more bad cards such as berries, plants and insects.

Exploring the Jungle

When exploring a bit and you'll soon notice that there are traces of other, larger animals on the island. These are dinosaurs. There must be dozens of varieties the races, ranging from T-Rex and Velociraptor to smaller and larger herbivores. All these leave footprints behind, but also other traces such as poop and markings on trees and trampled grass.

Being chased

Image
Being chased is a main factor in the game, basically you have no chance against a T-rex or Velociraptor, not without weapons anyway. And that is why you often will have to flee. The best way to survive is to stick to places where you know they do not go as often and stick to environments you know. Eventually you'll have to move out of the area you know to take some risks and gather equipment or find other places.

When you do go out of your safe-zone, the game will become harder since you don't know any landmarks or the best way to escape if something were to happen. When you happen upon a dinosaur that is dangerous and has discovered you, you'll be affected by the adrenaline mechanic. The adrenaline mechanic enhances your vision when you are being chased, you see things more clearly, trees you can run and jump up on, you see branches that you can use to swing over rock formations. This mechanic helps you escape, it's the fear that makes you stronger and faster. To explore new places means that you must be prepared, scouting the area beforehand and have food, tools and other things that might help you.

During your exploring you'll happen upon books/notes/dairies that will help you, these will tell the story of the island and help you with tips and information about different parts of the island and it's inhabitants.

Hunting
During the game you will probably be able to create some basic tools and weapons such as bows and spears. These can help you hunt smaller animals as well as dinosaurs, combined with traps you might even lure the bigger dinosaurs. Hunting is beneficial for food and skinning. Skinning will help you create some basic stuff to wear that affects your camouflage, it might also hide your smell. A big part of hunting is the direction of the wind, tailwind can be very disadvantageous to you since most dinosaurs will pick up on your smell. Gathering dinosaur urine and poop might help as well to keep some dinosaurs away.

To save and to die
Saving can be made to do almost anytime, as long as everything is quiet and safe. Saving at your safehouse has it's rewards though, if you make it to your safehouse and save you'll start up the next time fully relaxed and energized.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost Island
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:49 pm 
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Location: Dorset, UK
Sounds Great. How do plan to go on with this?

And where did you find that great artwork?

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost Island
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:37 pm
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Location: Sweden
HarryP wrote:
Sounds Great. How do plan to go on with this?
And where did you find that great artwork?


Well I poked around deviantart.com for the artwork, well I would like to turn it into a mod but It's way to much for me to handle right now. I have checked out a mod-team that's creating something similar though, I might hop aboard them.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost Island
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:46 pm 
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I like the idea of learning skills, so you can improve at hunting and stuff.

It would be good if you could make yourself ill if you eat the wrong things, so you'll need to learn what you can eat and what you can't - this could be saved in a log book in the shed, or cave you find.

Then if you die, you could go back, find the log book and continue as if you were a different player (if you actually die in the game).

I like the idea of a rhythm action part to the game for starting fires and cooking for example, as if to replicate using a bow drill in real life.

Cooking would be important, some foods are not poisonous when cooked - some are poisonous anyway.

I like the idea of building a stronghold, with sharpened tree trunks dug into the sand to deter predators.

good work mate - let's see some mood boards

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost Island
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:38 pm
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Location: Preston, England/Larne, NI
From a dream hm? Awesome, I also often end up drawing on a dream as inspiration for a new game idea. Wicked cool answer when people ask you how you came up with it too lol "It came to me in a dream"

Intro:
I'm often tasked with presenting game ideas at Uni, and although the context here is perhaps different, if you intend to "pitch" this concept in future, it's a good idea not to get too caught up in specific intro sequences before you describe the features and mechanics of the game. Although it is a good way to introduce the spirit of the game (and I appreciate the notes about being able to move the view etc) in my experience designers can sometimes get really caught up in narrative early and forget to focus on mechanics.

Regardless, I like the idea of different cabins/quarters starting you with different random items (varying the experience for each player), although you may want to provide a hint at that point that the player SHOULD run back inside the boat, as otherwise they may choose to gain higher ground by returning to a higher deck, losing out on a selection of starting items.

On the Island:
Similarly, you are predicting the players actions quite a bit on the island. You cannot assume they will do things in the order you want them too unless that is the only choice they have. Do you have a method of funneling the player along the beach and into the jungle, and then along that specific path inside the jungle to the shack, where they get items clearly vital to the game experience? Given that the starting beach is also "randomised", all these different beaches will have to be somehow designed to funnel the player along that specific linear path. I assume that generally, the island is actually intended to free-roaming? Perhaps you could do something as simple as having smoke coming from the cabin to indicate that is where they should go first. Nonetheless, I like the landmark mechanic!

Features:
Overall, the game appears extremely open-ended, offering the player alot of choice, and relying quite a bit on their initiative. The problem with these kind of games, basically the chance the "role-play" a dangerous situation, relying on your instincts and ingenuity to survive, is that videogames must have limitations and players need to be guided. You cannot merely expect the player to assume they can chop down trees, to know what kind of branches and tools they need to combine to make shelter or spears, to consider the tactic of using dino urine to hide their smell, to utilise tailwind correctly, to know they need to sleep and why certain areas are good for sleep. If you imply to the player they can use their initiative to answer the games problems any way they can think of, they will hit a wall eventually, because you cannot prepare for everything they might do, you can only prepare the game for how YOU would want to deal and react with the situation.

To solve this problem, you need a way to inform the player of the actions they can perform, and how to perform them. My reccomendation would be pages of a previous islanders journal, picked up in the shack, basically a "survival guide" equipped with explanations of how to build shelter, hunt and make tools. To increase the idea of progression and layer on new actions and depth later, pages of the journal could be missing and scattered around the island (alongside the diaries etc), finding them could link into learning new skills and discovering new actions. The player would then always be aware of what they can do in the game world.

Everything Else
Positive stuff time! :P I love the adrenaline mechanic for the chase sequences (you should include a "look behind you" button, that would be really intense), the idea of including sleep and hunger (just ensure it doesn't feel like "babysitting" the player, make it something that happens at a realistically regular rate), the perspective is very well chosen (immersive and atmospheric, exactly what you want in this concept), and the extended hunting mechanics sound awesome. The players gradual journey from struggling stranded islander to a dino-hunting jungle man as they utilise more advanced techniques and tools would be great. Maybe eventually new people could appear on the island, and you have to protect them and teach them your survival techniques? Or they could be "bad people", and you could use your skills to take them on, Rambo style lol

Given the setting, storyline and title, I see echoes of Lost in the mix. A clear aspect ripe with potential is the mystery of your island, why the dinosaurs are there, the secrets of its areas and inhabitants. But clearly you have that covered with the diaries etc. Just don't make it about time travel or interdimensional rifts, god :D haha

I also really liek Andy's suggestion about food types, correct food preperation, and equipping shelters with defensive capabilitues. Maybe even you could learn how to set an "alarm" of sorts, so the player wakes up when danger comes knocking. lol, some really memorable sequences are possible in this game. I can imagine sleeping in a bad spot and waking up to a dinosaur looking me right in the face first person style :P

EDIT: By the way! I love your website. A real one stop shop for all things you! lol I wish I had all my reviews and articles in the same place as my portfolio..

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost Island
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:18 am 
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Location: Sweden
Great ideas mate, I have one as well.


I would like some kind of multiplayer component but not like coop or the usual modes. I really like what the game Demon's Souls did to their game. In the game you could see the souls of other players running around, not interact with them but only see them and where they died. Players could also leave pre-determined "hints" to each other at any place, warning about enemies or treasures.

I would like something the like for the game.

I propose the idea of leaving traces of players diary/journal. When a player die in your friend-list they will leave a part (like a page) of their journal at the place that they died. This page will be available for others on your friend-list to find for information. The information on that page will be added to the finder's journal, if the player already "knows" the information he found then tough luck.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost Island
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:01 pm 
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:19 am
Posts: 8
Location: United Kingdom, Hull
Cyphris I can honestly say you must have the most awesome dreams ever O_O

not only that, this game sounds amazing and I would gladly pay for this!
its hard to find a game that fully immerses me anymore and this sounds like one that would.

I would suggest maybe adding some form of building structures in, I dont mean like minecraft style, Maybe finding a blueprint when exploring allows you to create small huts to sleep in over night or tree huts that keep you safe from the scaryness of the ground.


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