Thicket is a turn-based game inspired very loosely by Hunt the Wumpus, Dou Shou Qi(鬥獸棋) and the animal novels of Felix Salten. In the game you play a young, deer-like animal who is hunted by a wolf. The game takes place on a field of hexagons that can be rearranged into different maps. Other animal pieces have their own habits and goals, including a bear, which can kill the wolf. Some animals may be nocturnal, assuming there is a day/night cycle. Some animals could be protecting young, looking for mates or hunting different animals. The player may not always see what lies in the adjacent areas, but can smell what animals have wandered through the hex they are currently in. From this information they must guess how close the wolf is. Likewise, the player leaves a scent, which the wolf can detect and will follow. The implication is that to escape the wolf, the player must lure the wolf into situations in which she is removed from play.
My goal with Thicket is to create a reusable framework for making turn-based hex-grid games and cellular automata experiments. I’d also like to use this opportunty to experiment with a pipeline from my 2d frame-animation practice using Toon Boom Harmony into Unity. I’d like to create a flexible system where hexes can be given properties (a tunnel, an obstacle, a trap, water, light or dark, animal scents), peices can be given properties, and the whole thing can be run with n number of players, including zero players. Art should be easy to replace /add so the whole system can be skinnable for different games. I’ve entertained the idea that you simply add more types of actors and terrains and they can all be combined in any manner of ways, so that each game is really just a new problem posed on a multipurpose board, Thicket being the first of many.
This will be a preparation for my senior project, as well as an exercise in integrating Unity into my regular creative practice.
I tried to prototype an early idea for this game as interactive fiction some time back with limited success (this barely works and is unwinnable, but it implements a couple of things, like scent)