ON THE STREETS
A playable prototype
On the Streets is a playable prototype of a mobile game and the main basis for playtests, research studies and publications so far. The development of the game started in march 2004 in collaboration with two study projects supervised by Helmut Eirund and Richard Sethmann. Since february 2005 the technical system is developed by student assistents, from february until june 2005 under the lead of Marcus Knittel, from october 2005 to october 2007 under the lead of Sonja Gröning.
The game is played in a part of a city that is divided into squares, we call fields in the following. Players are organized in gangs of 2-6 players that are controlled by a ŇbossÓ who is located in the homebase. The goal of the game for each gang is to gain power and influence in the city by capturing as much territory as possible or even to capture the homebase of all other gangs. All players have a virtual map of the game territory on their PDAs where they can retrieve detailed information about the field they are currently in and the eight surrounding fields. They also have access to their inventory and their character stats indicating their player and gang identity, their life energy and others.
In the game area there are also neutral, non-conquerable fields. They contain hospital buildings, that can be used by all gangs. Other fields contain bank buildings. These fields can be conquered and the gang who owns it will get money on their gang account in periodical intervals. The gangster boss can buy virtual robots with this money, so called Bots, place them on the map and let them defend conquered fields for him.
When players enter an empty field it is automatically passed into their holdings. If one player enters an occupied field both attacker and defender can choose whether to fight for it by virtual means or to flee quickly. Fighting players and being hit will lose life energy, which can be recharged in hospitals. If a player misses to recharge himself soon enough he will become deactivated and can only reactivate himself in his homebase, as long as it is in the holding of his gang.
Within his Master's thesis Thomas Lorenz developed an intro for the game between fall 2004 and February 2006.
From March to October 2006 we developed a demonstrator of a mobile game using On the Streets as an example for the Mobile Research Center, Bremen.