Rawhide is a multiplayer game I was part of creating at the IT university of Copenhagen in 2007.
The vision of Rawhide is to create a hilarious team based game of cowboy competition set in hell, featuring interaction with and control of semi-autonomous computer controlled cows and bulls. The key aim of this project is to provide a game that provides the basic elements for players to have a fast-paced, tactical, emergent playing experience. We want players to laugh and cry out in surprise while doggedly trying to win the game. The game will have the frenzy of a Quake II deathmatch – without guns, but with team tactics and lots of bizarre humor in appealing visual and auditive style.
Sentenced to an eternity of cow herding in a fiery hell, cattle thieves compete in an eternal power struggle to be the devil’s favorite cowboy. After seeing their horses ride off into the horizon at the gallows, the cowboys set out on foot to gather the fire grazing cattle. The object of the game is to venture out into the area of shared conflict, the prairie, pasture or canyons and move as many cows from the shared area to one’s ranch as possible while trying to thwart the opposing teams’ effort toward the same goal. The idea is that players move out on foot from their ranch. In the area of conflict they have to try to capture either individual cows or an entire herd.
The cowboys have several tools to accomplish this goal, some they carry from game start and some they can pick up as power-ups dispersed through the level. If players capture a lone cow they can mount it and ride it back to the ranch scoring points. They can also use the cow as a weapon, trying to ram players of the opposing team. The cow is difficult to control, moves very fast and cannot be stopped before the player reaches the ranch. Mounting a cow implies risk since the player cannot use many abilities while on the cow and if the player crashes he or she ‘dies’ having to wait till a new spawn opportunity arises. If players capture the leader of a herd, he or she can control the herd much like a lone cow, with the exception that it is much more difficult to control, but it is also a much more potent weapon and a larger opportunity for scoring points.
With these basic pieces the game should facilitate multiple tactics and team cooperation, allowing for creative and surprising gameplay.
Hans Petter Ellingsen
Christoffer Holmgård Pedersen
Kristian Helle Jespersen
Kenni Skafte Mortensen
Morten Toxværd Nielsen