Prototyping phase

_subterfuge is a game of mystery and beguile. Originally the idea was part of the Global Game Jam with the theme “What do we do now?”. Ambitious as our team was, we decided to make a game with a PHP scripted companion app, where players would compete against others by drawing cards from a central deck and completing the task given to them. We actually completed a nearly fully working demo by the end of the jam, but ended up dropping out of the jam with intent to continue development.

subterfuge characters
Ominous shot of the characters

Over the next few weeks we made the game 4 player local, made the full featured companion app, and some very unique gameplay. Security cameras would follow the player around and the game would dynamically split the screen depending who was in view. If you were Player 1, you could expect to be in the top left corner of the screen, or the top. Where this became tricky was if Player 1 and player 4 were the only two in a screen. We ended up solving the issue and the result was quite fun, and after mastering the map, the game began to reminisce the old “Spy vs. Spy” games. Hiding in a locker would confuse the security cameras and they would lose sight of you.

companion app
Shot of the companion app

The companion app was also quite interesting to use, as soon as you drew a card from in game, a new card would flip over on your mobile device. You were also able to equip items for use in game from the companion app as well, this allowed for a great deal of secrecy from those around you. Hiding in a locker mixed with equipping an item was a great way to solve not standing out in the open while fidgeting with the companion app.

The game is on a development hiatus, and all developers involved plan on resuming in the future.