Jump to content

Wherigo v2: Wherigo Invaders

Ranger Fox

Recommended Posts

Wherigo Invaders is a meta game played across cartridges. I developed the idea during the time of the Wherigo Foundation and have made some tweaks over the years. You should recognize bits and pieces of various other games within Invaders. Try to spot the influences. I will try to be brief with this so everyone can get the gist of the game.
The Overview:
You're part of one of three factions (invaders, defenders, or rogues--the names are arbitrary and can be whatever). Gameplay consists of completing missions (cartridges), deploying agents, and using authorities. Your goal is to undertake missions at certain locations (Wherigo cartridges) and either infiltrate or protect these target locations from the other factions. You do this by assigning your agents to these locations. Those completing these missions can make up to a certain number of modifications to the agents deployed to these locations (the cartridges), either removing some (by force if necessary) or assigning more. At the end of the month (or other period), a tally is taken of all locations (cartridges) to determine which faction and family's agents dominate the most locations. Completed missions also factor into this tally.
The Details:
When you first join, you can pick a faction: invaders, defenders, or rogues. Each faction has a strength and weakness, played like rock-paper-scissors to each other. I have not decided what these are. Once you join a faction, only an authority will allow you to switch sides. Choose carefully.
Your goal is to complete missions (Wherigo cartridges), collect the bounty, and recruit agents (these are game pieces). Agents can invade cartridges (hence the name, by the way, though these days I could just say you can deploy agents to cartridges). You can also take agents deployed to a cartridge. Let's say you can take or deploy up to three to five agents per completed cartridge per month (without an authority). If you are part of the defender faction, you can choose to move some rogues from a cartridge into your inventory. However, when the end of the month comes, you will be heavily penalized for all agents not of your faction in your inventory. So you need to strategize about deployments.
Every month, you can join a family (team) of up to ten people. A family works together to deploy as many of their own agents into as many different cartridges as possible. At the end of the month, families will receive a score based on the number of cartridges they dominate and cartridges they complete (weighted against difficulty of completion). The more people of different factions completing a cartridge, the more difficult it's judged to control that cartridge, so the more that cartridge will be weighted in the scoring. The global factions also receive a score. Prizes are awarded based on these scores and the difficulty level. I don't mind families consisting of different factions, with the reasoning that people from different factions must at some point work together to accomplish a goal. Perhaps I could give a 1% point bonus to same-faction families.
Agents have their own abilities and stats. I'm thinking that if you want to remove a non-allied faction's agent from a cartridge, you need to deploy agents with enough stats to fight against the non-allied agent. Allied agents can be removed from a cartridge without a fight. A particular agent might have high attack, poor physical defense, and no manna defense. Another one might gain a 20% defense boost if two allied agents exist within the same cartridge. Unseating some agents might require a family's help. Agents deployed to a cartridge slowly recover HP while agents in your inventory recover at a greater rate. You could use an authority to affect recovery rates. At the end of every month, all agents with less than 50% HP will be recalled to their owners' inventory for recovery (so we don't have agents sitting for months or years in the same cartridge). As part of making revenue so Wherigo can pay for itself, you'd be able to purchase some blank agent templates (with stats preassigned and not modifiable) and add your own icons and names to the agents, then distribute them (or sell them) to the player base.  Members of the Wherigo Foundation will have their own themed agents to give to people they meet at events.
When you complete a cartridge, you have a 20% chance of gaining an authority. When someone completes a cartridge you authored, you have a 5% chance. An authority is presented like a virtual card. Like card games, you have common, uncommon, rare, ultra-rare, extremely rare, and legendary rarity, with the rarer cards offering better perks. Some authorities allow you to prevent an agent from being removed from a cartridge for the month. Others will allow you to recall one of your agents without visiting the cartridge. Other authorities can allow you to complete a completed cartridge again, reaping the bounty. Or you can operate at a 50% bounty handicap this month to gain 25% greater bounties next month. You could lock a cartridge down to one faction's agents for a period of days or prevent such a thing from happening to a cartridge or all cartridges you've created. You could use an authority to freeze a cartridge's bounty for a week, reset it back to one point, or to its maximum value in the last thirty days. You could choose to betray a family member and steal the points they gained that day--or double-cross someone who does that to you. You could fast heal one of your owned agents at the permanent cost of 5% of its max HP or DEF. An authority could even let you change sides. Authorities spice things up.
Random Threats
At times, a threat invades a location (cartridge). It is neither invader, defender, or rogue. A threat acts as a plague (entropy), slowly infecting other cartridges, decreasing the bounties for both players and authors. That cartridge no one ever seems to play that has that upcoming six month bounty bonus you've been planning for might become infected and have its bounty quickly drained to zero, dashing your plans. Clearly, you'll want to defend against the plague, so you should deploy some of your agents to guard against the threat. The plague will still try to invade, eroding the agents' HP over time. A rival faction might also choose that time to invade, taking advantage of your faction's agents' reduced capacity, kicking them out and instilling their own agents, perhaps with an authority to protect them. The easiest way to eradicate the plague (entropy) is by completing cartridges. The other alternative is to deploy agents to fight against it, and last alternative is to use a rare authority to stave it off. And who knows? Perhaps a different kind of threat is introduced each quarter. We could have some pirates trying to invade your cartridges in the spring; the summer could see an invasion from the vulpine army, with rabbit-themed agents getting insta-killed (an Easter egg); the fall could culminate with the zombie apocalypse (an extra bonus bounty applied to horror-themed cartridges and a significant boost to the creators' kickbacks); and winter could have the invasion of the naughty elves. Anything to keep the meta game fresh, add a bit of spice, and keep people coming back.
The Goals
There are several goals behind Wherigo Invaders: 1) provide a meta game with the primary goal being the completion of cartridges (Invaders would need to be toned down if it distracts from the completion of cartridges, or tweaked until it performs this function); 2) have this meta game easy to understand at first, but extremely nuanced and full of ways to plan a strategy; 3) keep people playing Wherigo even if there aren't any new cartridges in the area; 4) generate some revenue by selling chances to recruit rare agents or acquire rare authorities (note "chance"; it'll operate like a gacha game). (The revenue will, of course, go towards the Wherigo Foundation's expenses, commissioning artists for the game's artwork, back to the community to sponsor events or give out physical swag, and--if we make enough--we can divide it between Groundspeak and the Wherigo Foundation's active members in whatever way is fair as a thank you.)
The Inspirations
Did you catch them all? We have agents deployed in cartridges like travel bugs in geocaches. Adding your own artwork to agents is akin to icons with geocoins. We have three global factions like in Ingress. The cartridge's scoring system to incentivize rarely-played cartridges came from terracaching circa 2006, I think. Authorities are cards from any type of card-playing game you can think of (and we will oh so definitely have an authority called "The Death of My Conscience" because I like that name from Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, which I played for a couple months more than two decades ago). Families and the one month game period with possible missions is like clan wars with Munzee. The cartridge-completion chance of getting an authority or agent is like pulls from a gacha game of your choice. The plague doesn't have any inspiration other than as a mechanism to prevent against lonely cartridges, which is why I also call it entropy. The scoring kickbacks are from Munzee cap-ons.
And that is Wherigo Invaders, the mysterious idea alluded to over the years by your favorite vulpine moderator. Was it worth the anticipation to learn? I'm aware that dumping the entire idea, complexities and all, might be a bit overwhelming. However, introducing the Invaders meta game to players will start off nice and easy, then we'll add more concepts and strategies every other month or so, tweaking modifiers as we go along to balance out the game.
Link to comment

Thanks a lot for the detailed explanation of the concept! I like the idea of having meta-game campaigns to incentivize cartridge completions. Two caveats come to mind:

  1. How to handle cheating? I'm thinking about somebody who would use technical means to bypass having to actually complete a cartridge.
  2. Sustaining campaigns and balancing the game iteration after iteration will likely require a dedicated team.
Link to comment

1) Once you complete a cartridge, you're welcome to return and adjust the agents deployed to the cartridge.  However, you can usually only make up to five roster changes every play period (month).  The player app and the Wherigo Invaders API would verify the player has completed the cartridge prior to processing the agent change, though we could allow perhaps one or two roster changes without having completed the cartridge.


2) Yes, game balancing will be important as well as keeping it fresh and occasionally implementing new concepts.  If the meta game is interesting and worthwhile in its own right, we shouldn't be lacking in people willing to support it. 

Link to comment

The meta game is an interesting addition and I can see how it would keep the attention to keep playing WIGs alive. It will not be for everyone but that is OK. If understand correctly there is a limited link with the basic game and scoring system. Looks good.

Link to comment

This is so awesome! I love the creativity of this idea. Wherigo Invaders sounds super fun and I believe it would really enrich the Wherigo experience. I am already starting to think about how this will relate to the website layout and also design elements for the game itself. Thanks for sharing all of these great ideas! 

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...