Project 2: Group Concept Doc – Amy, Kyle, Sam, Michelle, Jin-Hee

Individual Brainstorms


The game is about working as a space package delivery person who is thrust into the midst of an intergalactic political rebellion.

The player assumes the role of a recently-hired package delivery person in a future where humanity has become a spacefaring nation. The player is a salt-of-the-earth blue collar worker who considers themselves an humble cog in the complex systems of politics and economics that reign over the citizens of the Proioxis Galaxy. The Proioxis Galaxy is humanity’s first and largest colony, consisting of approximately 10 planets, each of which roughly rules a different sector of society (an agricultural planet, a seat-of-government planet, a residential planet, a media-and-entertainment planet).

The game takes place over a series of days (approximately 10) beginning with the player’s first day on the job. The player pilots a spaceship around a map of the Proioxis Galaxy, picking up packages at different planets and relaying them to their specified destinations. In addition to reading the package destination address, the player is authorized to use an x-ray scanner to examine the contents of packages. They are authorized to use it to examine every package in order to prevent the delivery of suspicious or dangerous packages.

Each package is unique, and the order of packages is scripted and follows a predetermined pace as the game progresses. At first, examining delivery jobs reveals them to be typical package deliveries (a grandmother sends cookies to her politician grandson, a scorned lover writes a furious note to an ex). As the game progresses, however, packages begin to reveal an overarching plot that the galaxy hides: an underground rebellion movement against the ruling party is brewing, and the player can choose to stifle or support the coup based on whether they decide to deliver packages correctly or not.

Recurring characters and storylines emerge from the package examination: the leader of the ruling party is secretly embezzling government funds, the scorned lover was wrongly accused, etc. and the player can change the outcome of the narrative by their delivery actions.

For example, what if a delivery of dirty money is delivered not to the corrupt government leader, but instead to the gossip columnists on the media-and-entertainment planet? Or what if the scorned lover’s apology note is dropped in the trash, but you decide to deliver it to the recipient anyway?

Player decisions must balance between performing their job well enough to not get fired and also making calculated misdeliveries in order to push the story in the direction that they want. Ultimately, the choice is theirs on how they wish to progress the story, and different play-throughs will yield different narrative outcomes.

The game’s strongest selling point is the morally gray decision making and emotional narrative. The package delivery mechanic serves as a vehicle for communicating this narrative to the player.


Our audience is players who are in middle/high school and older, or anyone who is introduced to ethical decision-making at an early stage.


The setting takes place in Proioxis Galaxy, humanity’s first and largest colony, consisting of approximately 10 planets, each of which roughly rules a different sector of society (an agricultural planet, a seat-of-government planet, a residential planet, a media-and-entertainment planet).



We want every package to have a moral dilemma, where you question what to do with each package. There should be a clear ethical challenge with more moral complexity as the game goes on. Players should feel introspective, wondering what personal values come into play as I make these decisions. They should have a sense of premeditation, calculation, decision-making as they play the seemingly innocuous game, and we aim to frame each package’s information in a way that doesn’t make any one decision too easy once you’re in the game more. 


We want the mood of our game to feel whimsical, using a a “space cute” (think Steven Universe) style while the content of the game induces pressure. The game should start cute, but something should feel off… as if there is a child-like innocence on the surface but something darker deep down.


Packages and the dilemmas associated with each one scale with the number of packages you’ve received. 

Conflicting motivations

  • The more packages you deliver, the more rewards you receive.
  • Stealing packages may help you get those rewards faster for yourself, but you have X number of strikes for getting caught before you’re fired. 
  • You want to avoid harm for any of your sendees, so you should destroy suspicious packages. If you successfully destroy a harmful package you will be rewarded! But if you destroy a package that isn’t suspicious, you lose out on a potential reward. 

Harmful packages

  • Mail bombs, hoax devices, suspicious substances, or any matter that may cause harm
  • Are sent unexpectedly or from someone unfamiliar 
  • Have no return address or cannot be verified as legitimate. 
  • Have unusual weight given the size, or are lopsided or leaking an unknown substance

Core gameplay loop 

  • Get a new package: 
    • Investigate to derive any meaning from any clues or hidden puzzles.
  • Decision-making process
    • Accept package: 
      • Deliver to sendee
        • Negative: The package you’ve delivered harms the sendee
        • Positive:  The sendee successfully receives their mail without harm, you receive a benefit
      • Change delivery location
        • Negative: You get a warning for wrongly delivering the package
        • Positive: You, your world, or your sender avoid some disaster
      • Reject package
      • Steal for yourself
        • Negative: You get caught for stealing packages
        • Positive: You receive some needed reward for your survival
      • Destroy forever
        • Negative: There was no disaster, so you receive no reward
        • Positive: You avoid some disaster and are rewarded

Example day in the game:

  1. It’s the third day of the game. You’re trying to afford a speed-boost upgrade for your ship, but it costs 60 spacebux. You’re going to try to purchase it after today.
  2. You pick up a package at Valerian, the planet that hosts the seat of government.
    1. Upon examination, it’s revealed to be a fairly innocuous letter describing the upcoming election. It’s signed by Perth, who you recognize as the leader of the Dohines Party, the leading opposition party in government.
    2. You deliver the package to its specified destination, Gaia, the farming planet and earn 10 spacebux.
  3. Your next package is from Droria, the mining planet. It’s addressed to Cecarro, the residential suburban planet.
    1. Upon examination, you find that it contains a potted chrysanthemum flower. It has a short note attached that reads “To Petunia. I’m sorry I couldn’t be home sooner, but hopefully this reminds you of me. Love, Harmony.”
    2. The delivery of live plants is strictly prohibited in order to protect intergalactic agriculture, and you’re authorized to destroy the package. You decide to deliver the plant to Cecarro anyway, and the recipient, a woman who must be Petunia is overjoyed. She tips you 10 spacebux, but you receive a strike on your record. Three strikes in a day, and it’s game over.
  4. Your next package is from Cecarro, addressed to Valerian.
    1. A grandmother is sending cookies to her grandson, who was recently hired as a court clerk in Valerian. She included a 5 spacebuck bill with a note to her grandson to buy himself a treat to celebrate his new job.
    2. You swipe the money and deliver the package to Valerian. The grandson is none the wiser, and you earn 10 spacebux on top of the money you stole.
  5. Your next package is from Selavis, the media and entertainment planet.
    1. The package is a set of toy cars with no further description.
    2. You deliver it to Cecarro, its destination, and earn 10 spacebux.
  6. Your next package is from Gaia, addressed to Valerian.
    1. The package is a stern but comforting note addressed to Perth in response to the previous letter. The writer tells Perth not to worry, and that all plans for Operation X17 have been put into motion.
    2. This package is marked as “priority” delivery.
    3. You deliver it to Valerian and earn 20 spacebux for the priority delivery.
  7. The final package of the day is from Cecarro, addressed to Droria
    1. Upon examination, you find that the package contains a hastily constructed sandwich with a worried mother’s note warning her daughter not to forget her lunch again.
    2. It’s addressed to Droria. You deliver it, earning 10 spacebux. The daughter is annoyed, but happy to see the sandwich.
  8. You end the day having earned 65 spacebux. It’s just enough to buy the speed-boost upgrade, which will make your next day a little easier.

Key Challenges and Initial Ideas

Design Considerations

  • Art styles we are considering:  
    • Pixel — can be as simple as we want depending on our resolution
    • Hand-drawn – goes with our organic lo-fi feel
    • 3d rendered — looks the most polished but will definitely be time-costly.
  • For our packages, we have the following considerations: 
    • Should we make packages distinct from another – and how distinct?
    • How should we convey that a package is good or bad or suspicious?
    • How will the packages come in / go out?
  • For our overall gameplay, we have the following considerations:
    • Will our background be static? Our game takes place on one screen (the zoomed out view of the planets and your route to and from), but do we want to pan between planets since there will be 10?
    • How do we signify the start and end of a game loop? Is it each day or is the game one whole day?
      • If it’s a daily loop then will we include a cutscene of getting off work (maybe a glimpse of outside life).
    • How long are the dialogues between you and recipients?
      • Is it surface level or are there crucial story-points to gain from it? 
    • We hope to strike the balance between staying in one place and feeling connected with the other planets that the packages are actually going to. 

Tech Considerations

  • Transitions & Delivery considerations:
    • Hopefully the moving in and out of packages is simple if we do a simple swoosh in from left and deliver to the right situation. 
    • What will our graphics and tech look like for “delivering” a package?
      • How do we want the package to move – thinking in a spaceship?
    • Will we go so specific as to leave it at someone’s door and show the planet it’s going to?
    • Are we going to allow users to steer the ship as it goes on delivery trips?
      • Do we want to  add asteroids/obstacles to make it a mini-game — this could be simple to incorporate but not sure if that would be cohesive with our story
  • External Motivations
    • How will we calculate the tolerance for mistakes? 
    • We mentioned in our discussions before that having a fuel bar that gives us gameplay motivation.
      • The game Neocab does something similar where you had money that you would get from the passengers you picked up and there were certain gas stations you could go to around the map but you had to make sure you had enough money for gas and a place to sleep or you would lose.
    • What are the grinding mechanisms in the game?
    • What makes a player yearn to get the space booster?
    • Why do they want money?

Art Considerations

  • Character design:
    • Are our characters human-like? Will they have gender?
    • Will each character have unique design? Will need to account for maybe 20+ character designs if so. Will the planets and packages have unique design
      • Our thoughts right now are to have a base template for each character, package, and planet and then tweak for colors, accessories, etc
  • Visual identity: 
    • If it’s a static screen, we want to give enough for the audience to be calmed by / soothed by because space is such a great environment in terms of visuals.
      • We can definitely do a static but moving image (most is static but there are little movements of stars glimmering or planets that rotate around)
    • Graphical elements to include:
      • Soft shapes in the environment – Steven Universe inspired
      • Soft colors maybe purples, blues and pinks?
      • Slowly twinkling stars, galaxy like-things moving slowly as well
  • Music: 
    • Lo-fi in terms of music and general atmosphere:
      • Lo-fi music is a really good way to keep the player calm but focused (why people use it for studying) and allows for introspection. 
    • Do we want sound effects for successful package delivery? Or the Animal-Crossing-like mumbling of someone talking? 
    • We think it would be nice also to add sound effects for the sounds of each delivering which will add to the satisfaction of play (tape sealed, box loaded, engine turning on, the whir in space, etc)


About the author


  1. First off, I really love the narrative. The idea of a simple intergalactic delivery guy of the future sets up the structure of the game– deliveries to the different planets and different choices– really nicely. And there’s a nice combination of familiarity (delivery guy) and novelty (space!).

    As someone who loves Steven Universe, I am a huge fan of incorporating that style and aesthetic!

    I am also curious about a few things you mention. It seems that you’re doing a virtual game; I am a bit unclear on how the layout and progression of that would pan out. I know that we’re all very much in the development stage, though. I wonder: is every level a discrete thing like Super Mario Bros—where each level is distinct but connected and replayable— or is it more like a single, continuous journey throughout the 10 days like some of the Walking Sims where one day feeds into the next seamlessly?

    Another thing, each one of the planets seems really important to not only the narrative but also to the gameplay itself. With the number of planets you currently have, can you properly flesh out the personality of each planet? Or is the overall goal more of a breadth-y exploration of Proioxis? I like how like there are multiple encounters with each planet each day. This offers a chance to explore the narrative more and get a bit of in-depth exploration while also getting a taste of multiple “planets”. I do wonder: is the outcome of the game almost like a choose-your-own adventure game based on ethics? I like the ethical aspect and how that’s incorporated into the gameplay; I’m interested to see how that will be calculated and planned out.

    One other thing to consider is the ethical concern of reading people’s messages, so how that is handled narratively will also be important. You do a pretty good job of that already in this description though.

    Overall, I think the idea of a spicy space delivery guy who has moral and physical decisions to make about his package deliveries is intriguing but with its core mechanics, easy to grasp the basics. Especially with the embedded ethics, it almost reminds me of a gamification of practical skills.

  2. Love the concept – it feels evocative of games like Freelancer + Papers, Please. I could imagine a player journey where at first they just think that they’re playing a light economic/trading game, but then slowly realize that they have to make ethical choices and are caught up in something much bigger.

    It feels like a really good blend of gameplay and narrative (ludonarrative consonance?), and I like that it positions the player in a very similar spot to the character themselves, in terms of how they grow to understand and interact with the world.

    I am curious what level of fidelity the different systems will have. It seems like the package portion is the real meat of the game, where you really want to nail the ethical dilemmas and storytelling. I could imagine a pretty basic system for the overworld – i.e., just a handful of upgrades, and some low double digit number of planets – being more than enough to still be compelling.

    I think that my one concern would be overscoping – I think that there’s a really strong core here, but I would worry that if there’s 10 days and ~6 packages per day, then you’d have to make 60 different meaningful story beats, which could be a lot to do. I think that it would probably still work really well even if there was just one package per day, or one story-relevant package per day, if it ends up being a lot to do.

    I really like the aesthetics that you’re going for, and I think the concept is super-strong, and goes together wonderfully. I’m excited to see what y’all come up with, and play it!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.