Drive-By Shooting: Clandestine

A playable core mechanism

Clandestine is a mobile roleplaying game, designed, developed and tested as an elementary prototype by 15 students during the bachelor project WS2008/SS2009 at the Hochschule Bremen, University of Applied Sciences. Jörn Loviscach (only WS2008) and Barbara Grüter supervised the project. The results of the project are the game concept, an elementary playable prototype, a teaser and a conference paper.

Problem

Drive-By Shooting declares a crime due to the tradition of the game "Grand Theft Auto". The goal of the project was to design, develop and test a mobile game human computation game. In mobile games (Koivisto 2007) the players are walking in a game world, that contains both, the real environment and a virtual dimension. Human computation (Ahn 2006) tries to solve problems that computer are not able to solve. Humans become involved in the problem solving process. They do it voluntary and even with fun, because the tasks and the solutions are part of a game. The problem to be solved in our case is the identification of landmarks for pedestrian navigation. Humans navigate through their world by means of landmarks. Landmarks are meaningful markers of a way or a location. What and why something becomes a meaningful landmark, depends above all from the actor and the actor's activities. Locations, routes, landmarks further permanently change. The consequence is the automatic determination has to be complemented by human determination of landmarks. The determination of a landmark by means of taking photos and tagging or Drive-by shooting (DBS), as we call it, is the mechanics we deploy in the game design.

Concept

Clandestine is a vampire role-playing game, which uses the Human Computation paradigm in the field of mobile gaming. The serious purpose of this game is the production of landmarks for mobile navigation, useful not only for this or other mobile games, but for mobile navigation of pedestrians in general. To ensure that the geospatial information generated by the players fits into the everyday world, we designed a Janus-faced game world, consisting of the world, as we know, and the vampire underground.

In our game the player takes the role of a vampire and has to fulfill missions to reduce the influence of competitive vampire clans. She accepts and accomplishes quests and thereby earns good, skills and reputation. As common in role-playing games, the quests telling stories, have to be developed by the players themselves and can be combined to larger-sized campaigns. The clans, among themselves, have complicated relationships, but all in common that they try to hide their actions from humans. So the vampires have to stay undiscovered while undermining the human society. However acting as vampires the players risk to become discovered. The way the players deal with this dilemma defines their game experience.

The core mechanics of the game Clandestine: The player develops a quest. He traverses the area and chooses a place, a building, a memorial or benchmark of the real world. He takes a photo and the coordinates and describes it with tags. The quest is developed in the form of a riddle, the other players have to solve.

The project investigated how to combine the concepts of user created content regarding to special places (landmark-production) and human computation games (verification of landmarks). The game Clandestine is a rpg-style game in a vampire setting. The player slips in a role of a vampire and has to fulfill missions to reduce the influence of competitive vampire clans.

The core mechanics of the game Clandestine: The player develops a quest. He traverses the area and chooses a place, a building, a memorial or benchmark of the real world. He takes a photo and the coordinates and describes it with tags. The quest is developed in the form of a riddle, the other players have to solve.


The Core Mechanics of the Role-Playing Game Clandestine

The character starts at any place he wants looks for nearby quests provided in a form of a list with short descriptions. He chooses a quest and starts to solve the entailed riddles. At first he must find the location. Assuming, that he is at the right coordinates, he takes a photo and tags and gets the appropriate feedback. If he succeeds in solving the riddle for the location, he has to fulfill a task that is located there, for example a fight with a creature. After that, he gets one further snippet of the quest.

Publication

A work in progress report [PDF, 201kb] was written by some students and Barbara Grüter and presented on the annual conference Informatik 2009 - Im Fokus das Leben. 39. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI) 28. 9. - 2. 10. 2009 in Lübeck.

Project team


The project team: M.Frerich, J.Küster, T.Hartge, M.Ziegenbalg, K.Kerney, L.Harzem, M.Jung, S.Wolff, S.Özyuert, D.Gieseler, M.Tietjen, T.Druckmiller, V.Dadaschjanz, E.Weber, C.Hubatsch, C. Hülsemann, B.Grüter