Passengers

Overview (simplified)

Context

Sometime in the future, calamity nears. Filtered through the leaking murmurs of the powerful, rumours of this threat begin to circulate throughout the Population. As this pressure builds, an authoritarian government heightens its efforts to oppress individuality and free thought.
 
Among the growing uncertainty, a more obvious disaster materialises. The heavily relied upon near-instantaneous transportation system* has failed for no discernible reason. With motor vehicles prohibited between population centres, the majority of people are effectively stranded. The Government, having foreseen -or planned- such a crisis, has maintained major roadways, along with a fleet of vehicles for its own implementation. With the inter-city prohibition in effect, only the government and those in direct resistance utilize the few remaining intercity roads.
 
An immediate sparsity of supply has led to widespread famine within the large population centres reliant on outside sources for resources. Pockets of anarchy rage throughout the world as the Population’s entire way of life collapses. The Government combats these pockets with clenched fist. Government sanctioned supply becomes the main source of food and medicine as the world transitions toward a completely government reliant existence.
Throughout this, it seems the Government are quietly implementing changes, as if in preparation. For what, they have not deigned to share.
 
*read as ‘teleportation or something similar’
 

Description

A narrative focused adventure game set in a pre-apocalyptic world, Passengers will place the player in the shoes of Driver as they journey ever northwards on an unknown quest. Beginning the game with little information or context, the player must discern and decide Driver’s motivation and intention through interaction with NPC’s and the surrounding environments.
 

Mechanics

At its core, Passengers is a game about a car on a road. As the player drives, they will encounter partially randomised events which will help or hinder their progression. However, as it’s name implies, Passengers is more about character interaction than driving mechanics and random events. During the journey, Driver will encounter various NPC’s, many of which will are ‘recruitable’. Through various actions, dialogue, and events, these NPC’s can become a passenger. Each passenger has their own personality, story and agenda. And each passenger will affect Driver’s story in a myriad of ways, whether the passenger’s hot-headedness causes trouble at a traffic checkpoint or they happen to carry an item that allows you to try a different option in an event. Each passenger will cut off, or open up, narrative paths in their own, unique way. This variability is where the game will hopefully encourage replayability, along with exploration through dialogue.
 
Some early concepts below.
Passengers

My first concept build. The environment constructed by partially randomised tiles (as shown by the numbers).

An experiment in 3D to explore non-random landscapes and a set camera (using splines) for a more dramatic emphasis. The concept was to have preset locations that could possibly trigger events (randomly, or as a result of variables). A car control scheme was also designed (again, using splines. Ugh).