Protege at its core is a detective story with an old world feel. It deals with how the events of a two week period in the life of a skilled art thief named Grant Heckler leads to a greater conspiracy between unseen forces and Grant’s teacher, The Old Man. The goal of the game will be forcing the player to unravel the reasoning behind The Old Man’s actions, and the motives of the unseen forces/cabal. In this way the gamer will be able to play through several heist missions that will provide context and clues to The Old Man’s betrayal, all the while knowing that betrayal is imminent in the narrative.
High Level Concept:
Protege is a primarily stealth/adventure game with the elements and feel of a detective noir. The game will function on two levels. The first level will be the main narrative, while the second underlying level will be an ongoing chess game against your teacher. The first installment of the chess game will be at the beginning of the game, but will be taking place at the end of the narrative. It will be the structure for delivering the main plot points, and will be the jumping off point that the character will need to figure out how all the events leading up to that moment played out. Throughout the game the player will be brought back to the chess game where more and more of the conversation will be revealed.
High Level Goals:
Memorable Moments: There will be some amazing gameplay moments during the escape portions of the missions, where Grant will have to perform incredible stunts to get away clean.
Objective: The purpose of Protege is to create tension and suspense through the completion of the story arc or loop that is set up at the beginning. It is also to get the playable character through each mission in order to physically get to the end of the narrative. At its simplest, the objective is to survive long enough to find the truth, whatever it may be.
Challenges: Most of the challenges in the game will be in the logistical and tactical areas of stealth and theft. These will include casing museums and private residences and compiling a plan for each mission. Challenges will also include the player putting together the pieces of the puzzle explaining why The Old Man betrayed Grant, but this is on a more intellectual rather than physical level.
Ending: The ending of the game will take place where it started, in the room where Grant and The Old Man play there last game of chess. Grant will win because he has nothing to lose and his strategy reflects that, a strategy which The Old Man is unable to counter. The Old Man will say he is sorry for the pain he has caused Grant, but not for what he did. Grant will shoot him or spare him (The Old Man will shoot himself if spared) and disappear.
Grant Heckler (Knight): The protagonist. Apprentice to The Old Man, he was a former low level enforcer for the syndicate until he was taken in.
The Old Man (Castle): Grant’s teacher and mentor. He was a world renowned thief until he retired from the spotlight. He has a considerable amount of money, but lives austerily.
Rook (real name unknown): Grant’s mission handler who works for Bishop. He is mainly a voice, rarely seen in the game, who acts as Grant’s real-time eyes, ears and support.
Bishop (real name unknown): The contact and fence for the pair. He acts as the go- between for Grant and The Old Man and the syndicate they work for.
Killing: Killing is highly discouraged in the game space as it will draw serious unwanted attention that the player will not likely succeed in getting out of.
Mission Restrictions: Once a mission has been accepted and the plan finalized, the player must go through with it or resign from it until a later time.
Game Mechanics and Features:
Customizable Missions: The player will be able to choose what rare item to steal from a list of options. This will not affect the main story line, but will have small changes depending on the choice.
Hints/Help: These will mainly come from Rook while on missions. If you get stuck on a particular obstacle you will be able to request help. The level of help you get will depend on the difficulty setting you selected at the start of the game.
Stealth/Acrobatics: Mechanics will allow Grant to do many stealthy and athletic moves to overcome physical obstacles, but will still be realistic. If the player attempts to solve a problem using unrealistic means, he/she will fail.
Settings: Setting and environment will be modeled on accurate depictions of real cities, buildings etc.
Level Design Ideas:
The Louvre, Paris - The Vatican, Rome - The Metropolitan Museum, NY - The Guggenheim, Spain - The Smithsonian, Washington DC - The Syndicate Building
(see document in class folder week 5 for concept art)
Target Market: The target market for this game will be adults, male and female, who enjoy well developed story games with stealth and acrobatic heavy game mechanics. This will appeal to fans of Metal Gear Solid and Assassin’s Creed because of its heavy use of strategy to accomplish goals.
Marketing Position: Story and atmosphere are the distinguishing elements of this game, and are what will ultimately separate it from other similar titles. The game should be produced because of its unique focus on the emotive properties that the game allows the player to experience. Also, the attention to detail of the settings will be a major selling point (as if you’re really there but with a surreal/noir tint).