One Military Camp: Designing the Spy Training Building

You can read the previous Devlog entry here!

Hello everyone!

On this article we are going to talk about how we designed the Spy Training Building and how it will be used to train soldiers in the subtle arts of subterfuge.

Soldier specialization and buildings

As you already know, one of the pillars of One Military Camp is recruiting aspiring soldiers and training them in different specialties. This is achieved by assigning the cadets to different training courses. Within these training sessions, the soldiers will spend time performing different exercises that will earn them experience points in the discipline associated with that building. The different specializations and therefore, the different buildings, are designed in a hierarchical and progressive way. So, the player can train soldiers in a couple of tier 1 specializations and then assign them to another tier 2 specialization once they have enough points.

Once the player assigns a soldier to train a certain specialization, their clothes will change to the appropriate uniform for that specialty. Recruits will wear this clothes while carrying out training sessions within that specific building, and also while walking freely around the camp. The purpose of this feature is to help the player to identify the assignments of the recruits, even when they are outside of their training building. For example, having lunch in the canteen.

Spy specialization

When we designed the concept for the Spy class, we wanted to convey the classic image of the mysterious person with raincoat and sunglasses, hiding behind a newspaper, covertly listening to conversations from enemy agents.

That cliché is the kind of image that comes to mind when you think of a Spy in a comical way, because in the end, the outfit looks so obvious that attracts much more attention than wearing any other uniform. The use of stereotypes and a language familiar to the player, helps to provide adequate information about the context of the game. In the end, this translates into legibility and simplicity in understanding the video game.

Spy training building

The spy specialization is level 2, so the associated building has the capacity to train 4 soldiers simultaneously. It also requires the assignment of an instructor to carry out this training.

For this reason, to design the building we start from the following requirements:

  • Should have a size of 12×24.
  • Has to allow 4 simultaneous workouts for different exercises.
  • It must feel in line with the Spy theme, (you know, add a satellite dish or something similar).

The first thing we do is define sizes and a valid layout to host the different trainings:

The colored rectangles represent the different workouts:

  • Spying cardboard figures, hiding behind a newspaper.
  • Covertly listening to enemy conversation, (everyone knows that those long listening sessions are more bearable if you have donuts).
  • Learning to cheat a polygraph, (also known as the truth machine). You have to be prepared in the case the spy is caught behind enemy lines.
  • And if you are trying to break into an enemy fortress without being detected, you must learn to avoid lasers and other traps.

Once we have a defined design and concepts to help us visualize the training sessions, we proceed to conceptualize how the building will look, inside and outside.

Building upgrades

In One Military Camp the player will have to plan on upgrading buildings, to make them more effective. When you create a building for the first time, you will build a basic version with essential materials. Later, as you progress through the missions, you will obtain science points that will allow you to research improvements to unlock new upgrades.

These upgrades will not only enhance the performance of the building, but also change its appearance. This will make the improvements and evolution noticeable for the player. For this reason we have to conceptualize the different stages of the Spy Training Building, from the lowest to the highest level:

All together in the game

We finished the design and conceptualization stage for the Spy Training Building, but we still have to model everything in 3D, integrate it into the game engine and program its behavior.

Once everything is in place, this is what the player will see in the game:

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See you soon commanders!

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Written by Miguel García (Creative Director of Abylight Barcelona)