Remote Shepherd is the capstone project for Long Shot Games, a group of five graduate students in RIT's Game Design and Development masters program. The game allows the player to step into the shoes of a group of vigilantes who have decided to put their skills gained as Marine Scout Snipers to use in cleaning their city of criminal organizations. This blog will track both the ongoing design and development of the project.

Game Concept

Gameplay focuses on missions in which the player must pick out their targets from amid a crowd of people. The game provides three ways for a player to identify the target: mission dossier (narrative), character traits (visual appearance of the target), and behaviors (specific character animations). By using a profile of behavioral and personal traits, the players must distinguish between the behaviors of ordinary people and those of their quarry.

Players will utilize different vantage points within each mission, which give them different points of view on a scene. This will give players new perspectives, which will help solve the puzzle. Likewise, landmarks and structures within the mission can help establish orientation.

While surveying the scene, players can mark people below, allowing them to filter between those that are innocent, those that are suspicious, and those that are a target. This, in combination with the vantage point system, will allow the player to quickly scan through the scene from different points of view, while narrowing down the possible list of targets.

As the final action to either solving or failing the puzzle, players must choose what ammo to use on their target. Radio beacon tranquilizers can be used to incapacitate targets, marking them for the police to pick up. Likewise, lethal force can be used to quickly dispatch a target. This poses a moral dilemma for the player, which feeds into the narrative progression of the game.

The final action of the player will be to pull the trigger. Using propagated ballistics that is affected by factors such as gravity and wind, the player must aim carefully. Missing a shot can cause the crowd to panic, causing the target to flee or worse, an innocent to be injured.

Should the player fail to dispose of their target(s) or harm an innocent, the mission is failed and must be repeated. Otherwise, they succeed and progress through to the next mission.