GTFO is an extreme cooperative horror, first-person shooter, where stealth, strategy, and teamwork are necessary to survive.
"Work together or die together" is a core tenet of the game. Check out the game on steam here!
This is a gameplay extention prototype of the bioscan feature within GTFO made by 10 Chambers. The point is to give some unpredictability to the bioscan. The bioscan procedure will enter a fail-safe state where the players will have to relocate the team to the closest terminal. In the terminal, you'll override the bioscan procedure and manually open the door.
The Bio-Scan is a mechanic in which when you interact with the door you'll start a sequence. The sequence attracts enemies and your whole team has to stand in the bio-scan circle until the scan has been completed and reached 100%. When the scan is done you can interact with the door again to open it and move to the next room.
Start Bioscan (Stand in circle)
Fight and survive
Bio-Scan Error Flowchart
Relocate to terminal
(0% - > 100% bar starts)
Fight and survive!
Video of prototype
I made a quick prototype to show what I wanted a tech designer to expand further. The root of the mechanic is taking yourself from point A to point B, and having a functional terminal with an override prompt.
In this finalized version she implemented the logic behind a working terminal able to process simple commands with parameters as well as logic for executing commands on separate world-space objects. She also made sure the visuals lined up with the GTFO-style terminal using render textures.
In terms of progression, there is a risk of the mechanic being too overwhelming if introduced too early. And there has to be clear UI/UX to both tell the players that they have to move, as well as to where. All this in a very short amount of time.
Balance - Level design - Progression
There are several factors to take into account regarding balancing when implementing this mechanic. A greater deciding factor is the position of the closest terminal. It could make or break the mechanic. As well as the speed of the overriding procedure. And last but not least, the way the level is designed. Since this basically makes one of the members exposed and static, the balance has to be considered in the way you shield the players from the enemies. It also negates whatever defenses the players have prepared. These are the design choices to take into account for:
Position of terminal
Enemy type spawn
Enemy spawn points
Terminal override speed
Increase item spawnrate
Player progression situation
Uncertainty - Replay-ability - Teamwork
The Bio-scan Error would be a way to implement uncertainty, replay-ability and enhance teamwork. As the game progressed, unpredictability and the need for adaptability was a great gameplay experience. Having an event happen, and responding to it with your friends in a truly synergized manner makes GTFO a great game. This is why the Bio-scan Error event would be a great fit for an endgame experience or a new mechanic in a later stage or future missions. It tests reaction, teamwork, and the ability to problem-solve. For more experienced players, it gives the opportunity to test your skill in de-arming your defenses for then rearm them in a different location. It's similar to how the bio-scan "randomly" places the scan circles for the players to stand in. But in a more drastic and responsive way.
While designing the Bio-Scan Override we encountered a few interesting gameplay alternative decisions the players could take. I found it important to highlight these and how our thought processes and solutions were.
Can the players preemptively query door serial numbers?
- No, the door serial number will be shown as "Access denied".
What if one player runs to the terminal immediately?
- To activate the override process, the whole team has to reach the error stage by being in the bio-scan long enough. So this wouldn't be possible.
Can the players wait until they run out of enemies and then go to the terminal?
- Yes, normally a Bio-Scan would spawn a set of enemies. But in this scenario, you'll have the same set of enemies with a lower count, and when they are cleared you'll have a small set of enemies spawn in an unending stream until the override is done.