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Super fast summary: Player gets taken into an "underground colosseum labyrinth" and has to compete for freedom, between contests she has to live in the dungeons. Devious Devices essential.

 

Location: I imagine this place using assets like draugr halls. Very tall with spectator stands for scheduled events. All competitors would start from same place, lets say from the middle of the arena. Arena itself would be build to be some kind of simple labyrinth, perhaps even some big walls slowly moving in realtime. I know objects can move, see Dragonborn DLC... But these things moving is very important so that all races feel different for player. You may know a path but it might not work next time.

 

Starting up: The event hosters would be a little mysterious cult of some sort. Posters in main cities would appear, leading player to start a quest to the place. Where is it? Lets say a new dungeon will be built on the left side of mountain where Labyrinthian is, i don't remember the scenery exactly and this is very flexible. The event hosters want both competitors and audience to get interested. Player could come in both ways. After the contest she could sign up as a competitor and taken in. When taken in, an agreement should be signed after which there are no second chances.

 

All competitors are required to wear a hood, then on they are anonymous. These hoods could have a number on them at forehead or just 6 different colors, i'd prefer colors i guess. This way they would be unable to call for help from audience, for getting into predicament they didn't fully understand.

 

The competition: I guess it could use a scoring system. The harder goal you do the more points you get, highest points wins. 2 lowest scorers might get to do some special service afterwards. The lowest scorer might get caged to entertain the leaving audience in a petsuit/pony/something set. Aside from player there would be competing NPC's, lets say 5 of them. It will be a challenge to make hard objectives that AI can also complete. At the very least if they are math, puzzle or IQ challenges then they would definitely be harder for player than AI that simply completes them in a random time, just after reaching the place. Simplest objectives are just to reach end of a path and toggle a lever.

 

I guess the most points (at least triple) would be given from a paired challenge that needs 2 person to complete, and only the winning person from that duo would get any points at all. But if you do end up finding a pair challenge then you may have to wait for someone to come there... they might not end up that path even till the end.

 

The one who wins the contest will be able to walk out, but only if she doesn't have debt to the event hosters. The audience will never see things like someone getting out, those happen in other time and in actual practise only to player to not make this too complicated.

 

There would be unexpected situations to hinder the competitors, all sorts of traps. Even audience would have ways to influence the contest in some ways. Perhaps they are the ones toggling the walls to move.

 

Behind the scenes: Living under the arena is its own challenge. If you were one of the 2 losing competitors you might end up seeing what the cult is all about, their weird powers gained through sex. In their view, sex is best right after unequipping a rubber suit from women after they have worn it for days in a warm place.

 

Meanwhile the normal side of dungeons involve guards, cages to sleep, tasks like carrying heavy barrels (could be just inventory object, not animated), sweeping floors or something.

 

One possibility of a map (red line is where wall is then, yellows are randomized objectives) :

Spoiler

map.jpg.c1e9cc09debceca091a5db7b73899023.jpg

 

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Other thing about the arena is that its paths from center should all look identical. There might even be ways to fool the indoors map so it's all black. Basically if all contestants start facing a random direction then you start disoriented which gives the variety this needs.

 

Walls of the race labyrinth should be high enough that player can never see over them even by jumping, but so that audience can see in from above. And wide enough to not cause any collision problems, lets say 4-5 NPC could fit side-by-side.

 

Edit: Damn compass would still be a big orientation hint. Need to randomize objectives themselves a bit too, and maybe if it's even possible, rotate the whole arena.

 

And there is absolutely a lot more ideas i could think of. Doors that close after walking through them, opening after a time for example.

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