Parasites Reference 1.0

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This is the first reference guide for the Parasites project. It's intended to the go-to source for information about the Parasites storyworld.

The detail of this version focuses primarily on the game but we'll expand it - maybe with your help - over the coming months and years!

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Parasites Reference 1.0

  1. 1. Parasites Reference Guide 1.0 Date: Oct 2009 Version 1.1
  2. 2. Change Control DOCUMENT ORIGIN Author Robert Pratten Producer Sept 2009 Name Job Title Date DOCUMENT HISTORY Version Ammendment Issued 1.0 Initial draft. 11 Sept 2009 1.1 Additional details and wireframes added 9 Oct 2009
  3. 3. Contents 1.1 What is Transmedia? .......................................................................................................................................... 4 1 The Development Process ......................................................................................................................... 4 1.2 Interlinking The Media ...................................................................................................................................... 4 1.3 What’s Unique about Parasites?..................................................................................................................... 6 1.4 Themes ..................................................................................................................................................................... 6 2.1 Timeline ................................................................................................................................................................... 7 2 Parasites: The Story So Far........................................................................................................................ 7 2.2 Sects and Characters ........................................................................................................................................... 8 2.2.1 The Kings ..................................................................................................................................................................8 2.2.2 The ParaMachinErotica ....................................................................................................................................9 2.2.3 The Dark Dharma ................................................................................................................................................9 2.2.4 The Parasites ....................................................................................................................................................... 10 3.1 Playing the game ................................................................................................................................................ 14 3 The Game: Overview ................................................................................................................................. 13 3.1.1 Adding Complexity ............................................................................................................................................ 14 4.1 Starting the game ............................................................................................................................................... 16 4 The Game: Details ..................................................................................................................................... 16 4.2 Player profile page ............................................................................................................................................. 16 4.3 Player Status page .............................................................................................................................................. 18 4.3.1 Goodwill ................................................................................................................................................................. 19 4.3.2 Energy..................................................................................................................................................................... 19 4.3.3 Experience ............................................................................................................................................................ 19 4.3.4 Reputation & Attention .................................................................................................................................. 19 4.3.5 Infection ................................................................................................................................................................. 20 4.4 Socializing & Trading ........................................................................................................................................ 21 4.3.6 Karma, Death and Reincarnation.............................................................................................................. 20 4.5 Missions.................................................................................................................................................................. 22 4.5.1 Casual Missions .................................................................................................................................................. 22 4.5.2 Problem-Solving Missions.............................................................................................................................. 23 4.6 Weapons & Skills ................................................................................................................................................ 24 4.5.3 Adventure mission............................................................................................................................................. 23 4.7 Propaganda ........................................................................................................................................................... 24 4.8 Attacking ................................................................................................................................................................ 25 4.9 Locations................................................................................................................................................................ 25 Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 3 of 25
  4. 4. This short section describes what we mean by “transmedia” and how we’re approaching the 1 The Development Process project. Feel free to skip directly to Section 2 but it’s been placed here so that everyone knows what the project goals are and how we might achieve them. Parasites is a transmedia project. That is, it’s a storyworld that exists across multiple media (movie, 1.1 What is Transmedia? game, live events) where engagement with each successive media heightens the audience’ enjoyment and affection for the project. To do this successfully, the embodiment of the storyworld in each media needs to be satisfying in its own right while enjoyment from all the media should be greater than the sum of the parts (see Figure 1). Figure 1 What is Transmedia? To achieve a satisfying inter-linking of all the media components, I believe it’s first necessary to 1.2 Interlinking The Media follow the process illustrated in Figure 2. That is, define the following: the world: dystopian Britain in 2512 the characters: totalitarian government (Kings) vs two experimental communities (PME & • DD) • • the general plot/goal 1: overthrow the Kings and restore liberty 1 This is often referred to as the “metaplot” but there seems to be no standard definition Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 4 of 25
  5. 5. These are all defined with reference to: the genre: sci-fi the premise: “modern life is rubbish” 2 • themes: see Section  • • The “final” step is to see how this storyworld can now be embodied in the various media… which is actually the tough part! Figure 2 The Development Process 2 This is the soundbite at least. It might be better expressed as “maybe the meaning of life is just to see it”? The inspiration is an essay called “As It Is” by John Gray in which he argues that we’re kidding ourselves if we think Mankind has made progress. Sure, he says, we have all this technology and everyone is so busy “doing stuff” but we’re still fighting over scarce resources and all this activity is just a distraction from the truth that our lives are meaningless. So it sounds bleak but he says we should just enjoy the world’s natural beauty that we’re surrounded by but which we ignore daily. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 5 of 25
  6. 6. There are several things that make Parasites a groundbreaking project: 1.3 What’s Unique about Parasites? • It’s open-source: this means we’re sharing all the information, code, digital assests • It’s collaborative: anyone is free to take part • It’s a multiverse: nobody has a monopoly on “the truth” • It’s free: unless you’d like to pay for premium assets. Parasites explores the following themes: 1.4 Themes perception as reality and the manipulation of perception through communication the rise of the surveillance society and the spread of CCTV, databases & tracking technology • widespread disaffection with politics and the rise of an unaccountable political elite • faith in science & technology to solve the world’s problems • relentless human activity & consumption to fill the void left by the death of spirituality • the impact of global warming. • • Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 6 of 25
  7. 7. Parasites is a storyworld set in a dystopian Britain in 2512. The country, ravaged by global warming 2 Parasites: The Story So Far and political corruption is ruled by The Kings - an unelected elite with its heartland in Central One 3, an inner city-within-a-city in central London (see Figure 3). Opposing The Kings are two ideologically different experimental communities 4 that live outside Central One: The PME (ParaMachinErotica) – transhumanist cyber-punks who live to the south east of Central One (The Wastelands) in the most urban decaying areas and who wish to restore • social democracy and accountable government The Dark Dharma - anarcho-Buddhists living to the south and south west of Central One (The Allotments) in the most fertile post-urban areas who want no government at all or at • least a minimal one. The Kings, The PME and The Dark Dharma are known as Sects. Everyone in Britain in 2512 is being slowly eaten alive by nanoscopic parasites and the population will eventually die out unless a cure can be found: a cure that will only be found if the Sects cooperate with each other or if one Sect comes to dominate. Hence all three are engaged in a constant war to gain important knowledge and resources (to kill the parasites) and to win the hearts and minds of the general population (in order to lead them). Unlike the typical dystopian story, Parasites isn’t about nuclear war: its global warming that’s wreaked havoc on the planet. Future narrative work needs to address the story timeline from 2012 until 2512 and detail the 2.1 Timeline major events and developments under the headings of politics, energy, finance, medical, social, technology (more?). 3 Some of the names and places aren’t very original at this time so suggestions are very welcome – I’m certain we can improve on them! 4 They’re basically terrorists from the perspective of trying to overthrow the government Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 7 of 25
  8. 8. Figure 3 Britain & London in AD 2512 All the characters need to be fully fleshed but what’s here would seem to be a good start... 2.2 Sects and Characters Ruling the country and head of The Kings is The First Minister: an evil, twisted, despotic cripple so 2.2.1 The Kings riddled with the parasite that it’s impossible to tell where the man ends and his wheelchair begins. With little of his life left to live, The First Minister has become increasingly impatient for a cure and more reclusive – refusing to allow anyone to see him except for a small inner circle of advisers. It’s widely believed that the parasites form social colonies and share a collective consciousness. Urban myth has it that The First Minister has created a secret experimental facility to grow a massive parasitic nest constantly fed with the flesh of political opponents and criminals. His goal is to harness the collective intelligence of the nest by finally becoming part of it! Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 8 of 25
  9. 9. Leading the PME is Harmonic. She’s young, smart and sexy. Although born to Kings, psychometric 2.2.2 The ParaMachinErotica testing at age 9 identified potential criminal tendencies and she was sentenced to borstal. It’s here that she first contracted the parasite. Her first hallucination was an unpleasant episode but the second was an out-of-body experience that showed her how to escape Central One. Having escaped, Harmonic was adopted by a PME couple who taught her to embrace the parasite and educated her in microelectronics and computer science. Harmonic has created a democracy that spans the Wastelands with every decision made by majority vote via CheckTels (voting terminals). She is not so much atheist as she is agnostic. Harmonic believes a parasitic hallucination will one day show her the way to capture Central One and restore democracy to Britain. Torguaard is a thorn in Harmonic’s side. He believes the parasitic hallucinations to be an end in themselves 5. He has a large following of hallucinogenic pleasure-seekers that experiment with forced parasitic assimilation and multi-partner, multi-gender “convergence”. Convergence is the act of one or more people sharing their parasitic infection to multiply the hallucinogenic buzz. Leading the Dark Dharma is Vikram, a tattooed Londoner of Indian descent. He comes from the 2.2.3 The Dark Dharma Central One’s “lower levels” - the tower block floors below floor seven. Like most of the City workforce, his parents are honest Government laborers 6. At 14 years old, during a sleepless night and the first outward physical manifestation of the parasites (which does not present itself until puberty), Vikram escaped the City and headed south through the Wastelands. Vikram settled in the shanty town of New Warsaw where he became an apprentice to an old acupuncturist, Tim Lee. It was during this time that Vikram learned Tai Chi, the ancient martial art of self-defense, and developed his thoughts about anarchy and how a new community might be created that had few laws and no social hierarchy. At 28 years old Vikram left the Wastelands and founded his own community in The Allotments. Today many travelers come to Vikram’s commune seeking enlightenment and to rid themselves of the parasite. Vikram has no physical manifestations of the parasite and he believes it is because he has trained his mind, through meditation, to find happiness from the moment. Vikram believes that full parasitic assimilation is not inevitable and that a trained, disciplined mind can reverse its progress. 5 I wonder if we should make the PME lower in the hierarchy and create a new name for Harmonic’s community. PME would then be a subculture with Torguaard as its leader. Thoughts anyone? 6 Both parents have parasitic infections but their spirituality keeps it in check. The nights are the worst for them. After an 18 hour day of meaningless work, when their minds are at their weakest, the parasites create paranoia. The lower levels are characterized by the night time wailing of parasitic-induced screams of fear. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 9 of 25
  10. 10. 2.2.4 The Parasites Various theories exist to explain the origin of the parasites: 2.2.4.1 Origin • they are a government germ-warfare experiment that went wrong they are an example of government-sponsored swarm robotics designed initially as reconnaissance drones which then reprogrammed themselves or are still being controlled • by a renegade Home Security branch of the government • they are extraterrestrial and arrived on Earth from a meteor. No evidence has been found to prove or refute any of these claims and there are many other unproven theories. Given the dominance of The Kings it’s natural that the GenPop7 should assume the parasites are government controlled. However if this were true then the Kings might be immune to them or have better control of them – neither of which is true. Also, given the multitude of complex possibilities Occam’s Razor is likely to hold true and this would be that they are in fact from outer space and under no direct control. Parasites can enter the body from any fleshy area but it is necessary to have physical contact with 2.2.4.2 Infection and growth an infected person or animal. They are not airborne and do not survive without flesh. Once inside the body they seem to self-replicate and communicate via some form of collective consciousness. Breeding and communication are both areas for further research. What is known is that the parasites multiply almost exponentially in waves of alternate growth and hibernation. At first, presumably due to their small numbers, periods of hibernation are longer than periods of growth. Over time, however, growth becomes the dominant parasitic activity. Although it’s widely believed that everyone in Britain now has the parasite, it’s uncommon to see any outward signs until puberty. Parasitic assimilation progresses in the following stages: 2.2.4.3 The Parasitic Assimilation Process Entry Level (EL): numbers are small and growth slow. Likely to go undetected. Given that 99.9% of the population is infected at birth or during childhood, few adults are ever aware • of entering this phase. Hallucinatory Level (HL): parasites attack the brain and induce pleasurable hallucinations which encourage the body to accept the parasite. This development is the first example of • 7 General Population. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 10 of 25
  11. 11. why the parasites are attributed with intelligence: they seem to be anesthetizing the host to accept the invasion Morphing Level (ML): the parasites organize to replace the body’s organs. As they eat away at an organ, they organize to seemingly perform that organ’s operation – hence • extending the life of the host. It’s common at this stage to see severe external evidence of the organ replacement with the parasites forming external structures representative of objects and machines favored by the host Paranoia Level (PL): now at an advanced stage of death, the host appears to fight back. Self-identity issues surface (as the host recognizes the external body-morphing as alien to • it) and this creates fear, paranoia and extreme body shock Death Level (DL): in the final stages of death, the brain is the last to go. The body is now completely alien and composed of a mash-up of fetishized objects, some functioning, some • not. Extremities start to crumble and fall away to dust as no flesh is available to sustain the parasite. Due to the exponential growth attribute, the last wave of feeding results in a final instantaneous collapse to dust of the whole remaining “body”. These levels are often used in abbreviated and slang form to refer to the stage of people’s infection. For example “he’s gone ML” or “she’s a PL”. The first signs of parasitic infection are known to the host through pleasurable hallucinatory 2.2.4.4 Symptoms experiences. These experiences vary in weight, frequency, duration and nature depending on the host and range from simple daydreams to full-on erotic fantasies. During this phase it is not uncommon for people with a particularly troubled conscience to experience occasional nightmares but these are nothing compared to the Paranoia Level (PL) scares that await them! As the Hallucinatory Level (HL) infestation grows, the first external signs appear as scabs and sores – usually around the erogenous zones. Although orange and red in color at first, these darken with age and may later develop into full-blown body-morphing. At Morphing Level (ML) the infection is almost impossible to hide with the parasites forming sometimes complex sculptures of objects held with some affection or significance in the host’s memory. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 11 of 25
  12. 12. Figure 4 Early signs of parasitic infestation Although almost all the GenPop has the parasite, there remains some level of social stigma towards 2.2.4.5 Social Stigma the outwards evidence of the infection. This prejudice tends to come from a sometimes subconscious reaction on the part of the observer towards the external sculptures formed since these are interpreted to be revealing a little about the host’s psyche. Contrary to this, the ParaMachinErotica embrace the parasites and experiment to prolong and control the hallucinogenic effects and to shape the outward appearance. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 12 of 25
  13. 13. 3 The Game: Overview The Parasites game takes the best of a casual social game and an online role-playing game to create a game that’s easy to get into – with little investment in time or understanding – and develops into a complex, strategic game… if the player wishes to go in this direction. For hardcore role-playing gamers there’ll be a go- straight-to-hardcore option. What’s unique about the Parasites game is that it credits players for activities performed “in the real world” that are performed as part of the role-play. That is, there is the actual game program that a player will find on Facebook 8 and there are role-play tasks to be performed (optionally) outside the game but which will contribute to the player’s score. This is illustrated this in Figure 5. This isn’t an ARG 9 because the game doesn’t involve running around town with a map or surfing around the Internet collecting clues. It’s about contributing to the Parasites multiverse. Figure 5 The Parasites game creates the concept of "metagame" play Role-playing games typically ask a lot of the player upfront and this investment ahead of any fun is often a big barrier to overcome. This is possibly one reason why so few people (although growing) play them. Casual social games, however, such as Facebook’s Mafia Wars has proved hugely popular yet there’s no definable story – although it does have a familiar theme (which has doubtless contributed to its take-up). 8 Or maybe not. Certainly the game will use social network features but this might mean a dedicated site utilising, say, Facebook Connect or similar link 9 Alternate Reality Game Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 13 of 25
  14. 14. The basic gameplay can be described as follows: 3.1 Playing the game 1. Do missions to get experience, reputation and goodwill 2. Trade them for weapons & skills... 3. ...to mount an attack on the Kings. To be successful, players will need to: 1. Win the hearts and minds of the population 2. Find the parasites nest (if it exists) 3. Find and kill The First Minister (if indeed he even exists). To win the hearts & minds of the population the player must execute propaganda missions which increases his/her attention & reputation. These missions can only be accomplished with sufficient goodwill. The propaganda missions include intra-game and extra-game activities. For example, uploading a propaganda video, podcast, poster or other Sect communiqué will increases the player’s attention & reputation scores according to how many times it’s viewed, commented on and voted for. What makes Parasites unique in this field of social games is that the game includes story threads, web addresses, videos, and simulated news feeds from Britain in 2512. The goal is to make the game tell a story and explain the Parasites multiverse for those interested to find out more. The likelihood of a player being successful at a mission depends on the weather. Rain, snow, wind, 3.1.1 Adding Complexity sun, full moon, clouds etc. can all impact outcomes. For example, a player might plan to blow-up a train but if wind and rain causes derailment shortly after the train leaves the station (this is Britain after all) then the mission will fail because the train never arrived. Predicting the weather needs good guess work. However, the player’s weather forecasting accuracy can be improved by recruiting team members to his Sect. Note that the goal is to have a persistent world game. This means that gameplay and simulation of Britain in 2515 continues even when the player is offline. This allows some interesting game strategy options such as the ability to schedule attacks in advance and be notified via Twitter DM of success or failure. The further out an attack is scheduled, the less likely the predicted weather will be correct and hence there will be a greater reward if the attack is successful. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 14 of 25
  15. 15. Weather forecasting is a key skill that all Sects have to master. Story Note 1 For the PME, recruiting friends to your team creates a network of computers that form a grid- computing platform. With more available processing power, better simulation is possible and this leads to more accurate weather forecasts. For the Dark Dharma, more friends recruited to your team means a larger collective consciousness and hence better weather forecasts. The Kings have a supercomputer but so paranoid is the First Minister and his inner circle that their technology will be used against them that they deliberately impair the results. Recruiting friends to your team increases the inner circle’s trust in you and hence they allow you to extract results at greater accuracy. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 15 of 25
  16. 16. 4 The Game: Details The purpose of the following wireframe diagrams is to help highlight the game features and priorities. This is intended to be illustrative rather than exhaustive in this current draft. It’s also assumed that the game will be Flash-based and either launched on a social networking site or have links to one (e.g. Facebook Connect). When first presented with the game the player will be asked to complete the following: 4.1 Starting the game • To chose a Sect (Dark Dharma, ParaMachinErotica or Kings) • Enter a character name • Select a default profile image or create a personalised profile image. The player is then presented with the Profile page (see Figure 6). There is also an expanded public profile that display’s the player’s stats such as karma, reputation, mission successes and so on as well as any specialist skills (see Section 4.5.2). This public profile assists with socialising, teaming and trading. Figure 6 shows the seven primary steps a player might: 4.2 Player profile page Profile Status • Missions • Weapons & Skills • Propaganda • Attack • Location. • • The clustered hexagons are a motif that will be used throughout the game to represent the seven geographical sectors of Central One. Note that the profile image is quite large to emphasise its importance and encourage players to create, choose (or buy) something cool. Players can broadcast a message to other players which will join the Newsfeed window. This Newsfeed window will also display game-simulated news items such as weather reports, terrorist attacks, government successes, propaganda coups, newswire headlines (from 2515) and so on. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 16 of 25
  17. 17. The Map is a key feature of the game since it shows where online players are active. That is, not where in the real world but where in the Parasites game world. The footer of the page is reserved for system prompts, hints and so on. Note that the website link allows players to create a detailed biography and backstory for their character. Parasites should also provide status and stats widgets to allow players to link their game skills, activity and performance with the player’s custom content. Figure 6 Profile page wireframe Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 17 of 25
  18. 18. The Status screen offers seven variables on which the player will base his/her actions: 4.3 Player Status page • Goodwill • Energy • Experience • Reputation • Attention • Infection • Karma Figure 7 Status page wireframe Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 18 of 25
  19. 19. Goodwill is basically a substitute for money. A player who joined the PME will be using a new 4.3.1 Goodwill currency called Rars and Kings play with Crowns. All the currencies have atrophy: • Goodwill towards a player dissipates with time if not stocked up by fresh tasks Rars are unstable coins formed from compressed dead Parasites and these crumble with time • Crowns are actually digital credits held in a bank. The Kings are the only Sect with a formal electronic banking system and there is no cash. Cash was abolished in 2100 to ensure that • all financial transactions were traceable. The game charges a banking fee and hence a bank saving of Crowns erodes with time too. Having three currencies also provides opportunities for inter- Sect bartering and subterfuge. Most people in this world – though Story Note 2 Range 0-100% 4.3.2 Energy particularly in Central One - eat only Energy is used for missions and attacks. It replenishes bland, genetically-modified franken- automatically, but slowly, with time. It can more quickly be foods. restored by eating food that is found at various locations or Given that the Dark Dharma grows traded with other players. fresh vegetables (no meat), this Different foods have different energy values with the rarest healthier, tasty food can be used to foods naturally the highest energy content. bribe high-ranking politicians to gain secrets and other rewards. PME start with higher levels of Infection and are less able to gain Experience increases with each successful mission and is 4.3.3 Experience access to fresh food. They can trade used to level up. At each level up the player gains basic skill with the Dark Dharma in exchange improvements and unlocks new skills, missions and locations. for special weapons and technology. Reputation and attention are the two measures to gauge how 4.3.4 Reputation & Attention successful a player is in winning the hearts and minds of the GenPop. Reputation is gained or lost through missions and attacks – successful, audacious missions and attacks scoring the highest reputation. Attention is gained through propaganda activities. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 19 of 25
  20. 20. Range 0-100% 4.3.5 Infection The amount of parasitic infection is something that has to be strategically managed by the player. It affects the player’s mental capacity and frequency of hallucinations which hence affects his/her mission effectiveness. Infection will gradually increase over the lifetime of a player but missions that expose the player to sustained use of or contact with technology (or NPC 10 tech-evangelists) will accelerate assimilation. When the infection reaches 100%, the player dies and is reincarnated with 5% infection (see Section 4.3.6 for rebirth and reincarnation 4.3.6). To reduce the infection (without dying), players can: • increase their good karma • practice meditation • eat organic food (see Story Note on page 19) • back-off from technology for periods of time. There is no permanent death in Parasites but there are levels of being alive! They’re referred to as 4.3.6 Karma, Death and Reincarnation planes of existence. All new players are born on the third plane of six possible planes (e.g. in the middle). When a player is killed, his/her karma determines which plane he/she is reincarnated on. Each plane affords the player certain basic skills which are gained and lost (or boosted and reduced) with the plane transition. The planes aren’t related to “good” or “evil” but lower planes are more prone to violence and higher planes more inclined towards diplomacy and non-violent actions. As the game progresses, it may be advantageous for players to shift planes in order to get the skills required to accomplish certain missions. Hence a player will need to manage his/her karma and time of death to transition to the desired plane. A player’s karma (scored -5 to +5) is affected by a player’s actions: assisting NPCs and non-violent actions receive positive karma, violent actions receive negative karma. An increase in positive karma reduces a player’s Infection but negative karma does not increase Infection. 10 Non-Player Characters. That is, a computer-simulated game character. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 20 of 25
  21. 21. Karma may also affect how the player is perceived by others because it is displayed on the player’s public profile. Socializing is a big aspect of Parasites and need not be related to gameplay: players may hang out in chat 4.4 Socializing & Trading rooms and… well… just chat. Those that are more game-focused can seek specialists to join their team (see Section 4.5.2) or trade weapons, skills and food. Figure 8 shows the chat page available via the Location menu. To chat with someone, the player must select a location on the map. This will show how many people are available and display their profiles in the right panel. The left panel initially shows all the public chat (at that location) but should the player select a profile for private chat then the panel displays only that private conversation. Note that every location has an associated risk of attack. Chatting in high risk areas increases a player’s reputation (as a function of time spent chatting) but of course makes him/her vulnerable to attack which, if successful, reduces the player’s Energy. See Section 4.8 for information on mounting an attack. Note that NPCs will also populate locations. Although some at first will not wish to talk, with further development they will hold information, artifacts and sub-missions to assist with primary missions and propaganda. Figure 8 Chat wireframe Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 21 of 25
  22. 22. There are 3 types of Missions: 4.5 Missions • Casual missions • Problem solving missions • Adventure missions. This type of mission provides a basic introduction to Parasites and allows easy, but addictive, 4.5.1 Casual Missions gathering of weapons and skills. Missions are listed in order of weapons and skills needed to complete them and the gains displayed for a successful attempt. Figure 9 Casual mission wireframe Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 22 of 25
  23. 23. This type of mission offers puzzles to solve in a range of categories such as: 4.5.2 Problem-Solving Missions • Logic • Code-breaking • Spatial • Memory • Wordsmith Completion of these puzzles adds skill points that can be used to complete other missions and determine the reactions and approaches of NPCs in Adventure Missions. Players are able to recruit others as their designated specialist. A specialist may only work for one team at a time. When the specialist leaves the player’s team, the skill-level drops and this will lock- out certain missions and hinder progress until the player develops his/her own skills; or recruits a new specialist. These are story-based activities intended to develop the player’s understanding of the Parasite’s 4.5.3 Adventure mission world. Similar in nature to text-based adventure games they are the most “immersive” in terms of stimulating the player’s imagination and role-playing. Figure 10 shows the adventure mission wireframe diagram. The left panel on this page provides a text description of the location and the characters present. It also displays the player’s entered commands and questions and the game’s responses. Commands and questions are entered at a command prompt that uses predictive text to guide players through the available options. The right panel displays a map of the player’s location. The map can be displayed as a world view or local view. To move around the map, players may enter typical compass commands (e.g. SW for move South West, NE for move North East) or can click the Location menu option and then select a location from the world map. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 23 of 25
  24. 24. Figure 10 Adventure mission wireframe This menu presents a detailed list of current weapons, equipment and skills owned. 4.6 Weapons & Skills Weapons and equipment maybe traded with other players and, if the transaction is successful, the item is transferred between players. Some skills may also me traded but only 20% of a player’s skill is transferable (as though transferred through training). Specialist skills cannot be traded but specialists can become designated members of a team. Propaganda is a special type of mission that may take place either “externally” (as an extra-game 4.7 Propaganda activity) or “internally” (as an intra-game activity). Intra-game propaganda missions can only be Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 24 of 25
  25. 25. attempted if the player has sufficient Goodwill (or Rars or Crowns) since it notionally relies on cooperation from the GenPop and NPCs. Successfully executing propaganda is paramount for winning the hearts and minds of the GenPop and gaining their cooperation in other missions, attacks and propaganda. Attacks are mounted by players on specific Locations. Successful attacks increase the player’s 4.8 Attacking Energy, Reputation and Goodwill, unsuccessful attacks reduce all three. Initially, the success of an attack is dependent on the associated risk of a location (risky areas most likely to deliver successful attacks) and a random back-off period from when the location was last attacked which will temporarily protect it from repeated attacks. With added complexity, attacks are scheduled to take place at specific times and the results dependent on the location risk, the number of players present and correctly forecasting favorable weather conditions. The difference between Missions and Attacks is story development. Missions are structured to reveal more about the Parasites world and its characters – taking the player closer to the overall game goal (discovering the parasites’ nest and killing the First Minister) – while Attacks and Socializing just affect players’ reputation and energy. There are two types of locations: 4.9 Locations • those for chatting & attacking (see Sections 4.4 and 4.8 ) • those for exploring and interacting with the game. Locations are shown as hexagonal sectors on a nationwide, map colour-coded to show those areas currently accessible, those for chat and those for exploring. Areas will sub-divided into smaller hexagonal sectors to increase the detail required for, say, exploring a building rather than a city area. Version 1.2 Parasites Reference 1.0 Classification: Confidential page 25 of 25

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