“Pirates!” is an epic networked pirate ship game with collectible pieces. The pirate warship will use Bluetooth technology allowing it to act as the player's game controller. The ship combined with the ability to customize a murderous crew and wage war online will capture the imaginations of boys 7 to 10 years old.
In “Pirates!” the first thing that needs to be worked out is the logistics of the ship. It would have to be modular allowing four stages of customization with the base piece always staying the same. The Bluetooth receiver is housed inside of the bottom of the ship and connects to a USB dongle attached to the computer. The base must also be linked via USB ports to the change-able areas of the ship to allow plug and play. The four pieces being the mast, cannons, rear of the ship and front bow. Each of these add-ons would affect the appearance of the ship in the game along with it's real life counterpart.
The game itself is a stand alone client that is installed onto the computer. The player then has the option of facing computer controlled opponents, people from the Internet or friends that bring over their own ships. The online matches would be ranked with a win/loss system keeping the experienced players away from the newbies. While in an online match the player would be able to communicate by means of a chat system with preprogrammed commands. “Pirates!” will be controlled primarily by the player moving the ship through the air and having it translate to ship movement on the screen. If the player fires the cannons in the real world his computerized ship will fire them online. The battles are effected by the types of parts the player has equipped on his physical ship as well as what crew options he makes in the game. If the player picks an engineer oriented crew over a sailing oriented crew he can use them to repair damage easily but if he needs an extra burst of speed they will not be able to do it.
The game will build a solid community by integrating a series commonly used components. The first of these is the ability for the player to maintain a friends list. Once the player has friended another player he has the option to board his ship while in port and see what sort of customizations have been done to the exterior, interior and what sort of crew the player houses. The player can then have the option of bringing friends in to arrange a team again against fresh opponents. This will bring a solid sense of community that will form through the use of customization.
Timmy has just obtained “Pirates!”. He's installed the software and plugged in the dongle and while the game loads he's tearing open packages of accessories and customizing his ship. He choses heavy cannon, a large bow and a bright blue sail. As soon as his new ship turns on it appears on the screen and he's given the option to play against an live player or the computer. Timmy picks the live player and is immediately flailing around the room with his ship. Flaming ballista rounds scrape across his hull taking a heavy toll on his crew. All seemed lost until Timmy's vessel swung about using his speed advantage to broadside the enemy, his ship's cannons ringing out in a hellish chorus. The enemy is defeated and Timmy's crew sail off to port to spend their ill-gotten gains. Timmy has now entered the world of “Pirates!”.
This is as far as using mats for play has come.
- This is a collectible strategy game where the player constructs his own ships. It lacks a board and just puts forth a set of game pieces and let's the player decide all locations.