To create a diverse range of usable items a simple but powerful item interaction system has been implemented in Emerge that allows items to be easily scripted to act intuitively. When an item is held, using the primary action/fire button can start a variety of actions, depending on the item and what you are looking at. For example, if you have a credit card, holding the left mouse button on a card-swiping devise causes your character to insert the card to pay for an item.
Besides adding immersion, the important aspect of this item-using complexity is that it creates opportunities for quest/narrative events. Each item is capable of carrying meta-data and additional script objects; so your credit card is connected to your character’s account while a stolen credit card can allow access to that of another player or NPC. Likewise, a thumb drive item could hold a virus for a quest, where connecting the stick triggers the OnInteract event and allows the script object to handle the specific questline progression.
After two months of development, I’ve arrived at a stable alpha for a game I’ve titled “Coveneth” which explores the current trends in social gaming. Originally, the name was intended to be Conventry, but was changed due to the word be shared with the name of an English city.
The game is set in a dark, stylized environment and features a witch hunt among a group of 6-12 players. At the start of the match, players do not know who is a witch or an innocent villager and are tasked to complete quests to save their town from destruction. The coven members must complete their own quests without being discovered and can even inhibit the villagers from completing theirs. Should a witch be identified, however, the villagers may call a meeting to put the accused player on trial to be executed. The game ends when either the witches are all executed, the villagers are all slain or the town has been lost due to quest results.
Players have various items at their disposal, which can be looted from random spawns throughout the world. While witches are equipped with wands from the start, the villagers can find weapons of their own to fight back with. Looting items can provide vital tools to help combat the coven members, but also provides an excuse for witches looking to conspire and complete their objectives. The current line-up of items provided are simple and easily digested as typical items any gamer expects to find. A series of much more complex items has been experimented with and will likely be rolled out once it becomes clearer how it will affect gameplay.