Save Your Souls is an entry into the Feed the Pig game design challenge. It is a first-person shooter and adventure game about escaping the underworld. Demons try to outsmart the player by miring him or her in debt and needless expenses, requiring them to pay in souls.
What is Save Your Souls?
In Save Your Souls, the player is trapped in the underworld by a cartel of demons and must try to escape by defeating them one by one.
The main currency in the game is souls, which the player collects by defeating monsters such as imps or giant cicadas. (Pictured in game screenshots) The player will be required at certain points in the game to pay unanticipated expenses in souls. If the player’s health reaches zero, a certain quantity of souls is removed from his or her inventory. If they decide it’s necessary to buy a new piece of equipment, debt will be incurred and after a certain period of time, souls will be removed. If the player cannot pay a debt in souls, the game is over.
The art style of the game has not been finalized, and could range from a retro-style to pay homage to classic first-person shooters or a more modern but still stylized look. In contrast with the potentially heavy imagery and subject, the style of the game should be light, accessible, and fun. It’s important that the game is either humorous or light-hearted so that the concept feels tongue-in-cheek. One way to do this is to present the antagonists of the game as less than intimidating. We imagine the demon Mephistopheles as a kind-looking elderly woman, masking her ill-intentions towards the player and helping her to trap players who aren’t prepared.
In order to collect souls and navigate the underworld, the player will have to explore hidden passageways, defeat monsters, and learn how to outsmart the demons before they trap him or her into an inescapable debt or expense.
What is the purpose of the game?
Save Your Souls is designed to encourage people to save money by presenting unexpected costs with heavy penalties to players that incentivizes them to save for emergencies.
The antagonists will constantly offer the player better weapons and armor, but these upgrades will offer little advantage over their current equipment and almost always leave a player worse off than he or she started. Normally, this would be considered bad design, but in the context of Save Your Souls it’s a feature that is incorporated into both the mechanics and the plot of the game.
In the scenario pictured by our proof of concept screenshots, the player is offered a shotgun by the demon Mephistopheles in exchange for five souls. The player has no souls saved from the previous area, but feeling intimidated, accepts the shotgun. He defeats three giant cicadas and collects their souls, but finds that there are no more enemies left to defeat and cannot locate any more souls. Without enough souls to pay Mephistopheles, he suffers the consequences. Had he saved - either in the previous level or when offered the weapon - he would be able to progress through the level.
Certain obstacles may require sudden, unanticipated payment to cross safely. This will be the primary form of unexpected cost confronting the player. Additionally, players will face penalties when their health bars run out and they need to be revived. Other hidden costs may include a penalty that must be paid when a weapon runs out of ammo. Instead of running out of ammo and being left unable to fire, a helpful demon will automatically refill your ammunition - at an unavoidable cost. These frequent costs teach players that they need souls at all times and can’t operate if they spend every soul they earn.
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