{Great Escapes}

Game Concept

Thesis: {Great Escapes} is a multiplayer cooperative adventure roguelike game where you and your friends assume the roles of escape artist prisoners trapped in a legendary supermax called “The Infinite Prison.” Drop in with your captured comrades and try to escape simultaneously from one of the most dangerous prisons in the world. Hi-tech lasers and trained assassin-guards will attempt to kill you on your way out. How many of you will survive? How many escapes in a row can you and up to 7 other friends string together through the infinitely generating prison walls. You can never escape, but you can keep escaping

Setting: “The Infinite Prison” ~ Concrete cells, steel corridors, metal bars | Watchtowers and walls with barbed wire | Minefields, shark lakes, arena fights | An infinite prison complex of myriad threats, traps, and opponents designed to imprison escape artists forever…

Characters & Story: The players will be prisoners of a supernatural military prison, tasked with one principal mission: Escape. Not unlike the plot of the classic film The Great Escape (1963), you and your fellow escape artists will be tasked with devising together and apart, to the ends of escaping your own way.

Character squad concept: Cobra Unit

Since prisoners only make it to this supernatural supermax for being elite, each playable escape artist will have a special ability they can use in their death-defying escapes.

The Escape Squad (8 playable characters):

The Gunextra gun damage, spawns with a gun some of the time

The Speedfastest walking and running speed, extra speed boost (cooldown)

The Mindon group plots, gives all other escape artists a life and speed boost, can see the next area ahead

The Beastmost melee damage on attacks, can jump off walls to navigate areas (cooldown)

The Shadowleast visible artist, can cloak to go invisible (cooldown)

The Molecan dig through walls and dig small holes to hide in (cooldown)

The Soothsayercan talk their way out of capture, can throw voice to distract guards (cooldown)

The Doppelgangercan temporarily disguise themselves as a guard (cooldown)

Character squad concept: FOXHOUND Unit
Character class concept: Streets of Rogue


Procedural x Roguelike x Stealth x Action x Cinema ~ {Great Escapes} is a top down, low-poly 3rd person action platformer. Randomized, procedurally-generated map areas make up the levels for players to tackle alone or together (depending on the game mode). There is no real ending to the game, as players never escape but instead keep traversing the prison walls and areas until they all fall. Reaching as far as you can and marking your leaderboard for reflection or bragging rights is the goal of {Great Escapes} highly replayable content.

Running, shooting, sneaking, jumping, scavenging and using special abilities include some of the major actions your escape artist character can take as they traverse the vast prison areas. Enemy AI will become alerted and shoot to kill when players are sighted, though they are capable of being killed themselves, or deceived or raced past – or snuck past. Platform elements – shutting doors and slamming traps, over water, chasms, across bridges and over walls and fences – work to combine with enemy pressure to create an intense, cinematic experience for the players.

The primary gaming inspiration for {Great Escapes} comes from Metal Gear (1987), The Escapists (2015) and Streets of Rogue (2019), which can create exciting emergent gameplay with more than a little cinematic patina to them. Whether playing alone or with a full group of 7 other escape artists, the intended experience is meant to capture this kind of frenetic, fun gameplay.

Prison obstacles & enemies ~ In every game mode, there will be self-contained maps peopled with common random elements, both obstacles for players to fight and items for players to find and use.

  • Guards: varying strength of weapons/health. Patrol along routes. Alerted from sights or sounds, and will then hunt the players
  • Dogs: Can smell players and will chase them down. Not *normal* dogs, evil mutant dogs, hell hounds even…
  • Sharks: Lie in wait in every body of water. They will eat you.
  • Cameras: Players sighted from cameras will alert an area, or even the next one.
  • Traps: proximity mines and wire bombs that explode to damage and kill.
  • Mechs: in the furthest prison areas, guards are traded for mechs which are slower but more aware of their surroundings and pack more firepower, harder to kill.
  • Many more random enemies and other strange elements, obstacles…
Gameplay from Metal Gear (1987)

Items / Weapons / Abilities ~ Items range from damaging to distracting, or character enhancing, including: flashlights, armor, night vision goggles, grappling hook, molotov, pipe bomb, C4, pistols, machine gun, bazooka, motor bike, mech suit, etc. Items pair with the escapists abilities to give them a chance of escaping each dangerous area. For much of the game it would be possible to ‘defeat’ each room by sneaking alone, avoiding all combat and item gathering, given patience. But the later in the game you go and the more enemies there are to worry about, the more items and abilities will become paramount in your progression.

Plotted Escape ~ {up to 8 player co-op for all modes; procedural generation for all modes’ maps} The primary team-based game mode is plotted – meaning the players can scan the first 10 zones out of their prison block, their obstacles, enemies, item locations, even the placements of the traps. The players will get 5-15 minutes to study the map and come up with a general plan for how to tackle it as a team. To travel 8 to a room or split up, to utilize your character’s strengths and search for specific items, etc. Throughout the escape, the players can use voice chat to collaborate {barring certain items or enemies in rooms preventing that…} ~ Longer games: 20-30 minutes.

Independent Escapes ~ A multiplayer game mode where up to 8 players all spawn in separate cell blocks and then proceed to try to escape alone. Can turn on voice chat or not, but each player will be able to run into each other randomly, and work together through their escape. ~ Typically a shorter mode at: 7 minutes.

Relay Race Escape ~ All the players can see the course ahead of time – and their characters’ position in its chronology. Up to 8 different sections, one for each player, will be presented as a consecutive set of rooms to play through. Like in a relay race, after each player’s 3 areas, the next player in line will take over, with the previous player trailing behind – as in, they are taking over the escape attempt and the other players are following them. ~ medium length game: 10 minutes.

Leaderboards and Speed Runs ~ A multiplayer roguelike experience like this, online leaderboards for times & difficulties, as well as speed run challenges in-game would be viable additions.

Inspired by ~

The Great Escape (1963)

Metal Gear (1987)

Escape Plan (2013)

The Escapists (2015)

Endgame: {Great Escapes} lets you take over control of the epic prison escape. Work together with up to 7 other players to brave the infinite prison. You must find more joy in the act of escaping.