Presentation complete and after a few minor changes (my entire game), I have a concept I am really excited about. The game is called Immunisation, creative I know, as a working title for now, the basic concept is a real time strategy defence game, sending units out to destroy pathogens before they spread and damage enough of the body to be contained. You control 5 units (at this point), the Macrophage, Neutrophil, Killer and Helper T-Cells and B-Cells. If you want to find out more about how these units function (I did) that is my research for today, down below. Each unit has a specific function and set of abilities, making it a specific tool to use in the fight against infections, these will need to be used at appropriate times to drive off the invading pathogens. The setting will be inside the body, but with personified versions of the friendly cells, the viruses will either be personified, or monstrous versions of what they actually look like. The presentation went well, I still need to work on making my presentations more concise, especially ones with so many details to get across, need to put more visuals in that get the message across and less text blocks. I also need to make sure I have more actual mock-ups for the GDD as well as future presentations to give people more of an idea of what I’m trying to say.
Your Immune System (in a nutshell) Research
I have been through a few different sources, trying to find reliable and simple explanations for some very complicated systems, but one I found that seemed to have exactly what I wanted was a book titled How the Immune System Works, by Lauren Sompayrac. The book does a great job of giving an overview of each of the core cells jobs in the immune system, the 5 I am focusing on at the moment are described in detail by the book. The Macrophage is a garbage collector, scout, chemical weapons expert, biological wonder, they are the first to the fight and do the majority of bacterium destruction, they can be found just about anywhere in your body, just below the surface of areas that may be exposed to infection (under skin, in lungs etc.). After the Macrophage enters a fight, they secrete chemicals to draw more defence systems and alert the body to an infection to start producing any needed components. The next to the fight is the Neutrophil, another phagocyte (it eats it’s enemies), these are the most common, making up around 70 – 80% of the white blood cells in your body, as the infection continues, more and more of these foot soldiers are sent to the battle through the blood stream. The neutrophil are very dangerous cells, they can eat their enemies, but can also act like grenades, turning into acidic pus and dissolve the enemies while also damaging the tissues around them. The T-Cells are broken up into 2 varieties, Helper T-Cells, which secrete chemicals to help organise the fight against invaders and to activate B-Cells to produce antibodies, and Killer T-Cells who are some of the few cells able to kill native cells if they have been taken over by a virus (some viruses are basically zombies). There can be focused and unfocused killer T-Cells, depending on if they have been activated by a Dendrite Cell to kill a specific type of infection. Finally there is the B-Cells, these are the Antibody creators, activated by helper T-Cells, they are programmed to mark one type of pathogen for death and stop it from multiplying. The B-Cells are produced and when they find what they have been programmed to kill, they proliferate, multiplying to fight back against the invaders. There are more cells I am thinking of incorporating in different ways, like the Dendrite cells I am thinking of having as a building (similar to their depiction in Cells At Work, I am also considering making the production of Helper T-Cells an aspect of the core buildings upgrade system, as they typically do not venture into the heart of combat, but would be close at hand to secrete Cytokines and activate B and killer T-cells.
Within the next week there are a few things I need to do
- Set up GDD to help organise what I need to make
- Set up initial unity game files
- Find out who I can get to make various components I will need
- Finalise the exact mechanics I want in the game
- Settle on an aesthetic sense to be able to explain what I am looking for
- Successfully settled on Idea and created/presented pitch
- Have been Green-Lit to begin creating my game
- The slides looked pretty awesome (if I do say so myself)
- Preliminary research has been complete (see above) however I will likely be rereading all my literature as I go through more progress in making mechanics interesting (the human body is scary cool)