Cubicle – game (PD)

A tale of the downtown Janitor

idea by Jukka Paulin 2012-2019
Released to public domain on 21.9.2019

no rights reserved – you are free to use this idea

Plot of the Cubicle game

a Janitor, working on various commercial industrial targets
(buildings) in the downtown financial area, wants to make a little extra
by stealing stuff from office cubicles.

The Janitor is working in a maze of streets and office buildings,
mainly in high-tech companies; software houses, consultancies,
big pharma and accounting companies.

Game Archetype Description (GAD)

  • The game is done as JavaScript webapp. Uses CSS for graphics.
  • a engine used for graphics: 2D, flat, or one that creates illusion of parallax
    to achieve a pseudo-3D (think: GTA I or GTA II in 1990s and early 2000s)
  • size: 200-999 kB
  • libraries (dependencies): _ 0 so far
  • game logic written in JavaScript
  • single player, computer NPCs
  • grinding: 75%
  • strategy: 25%


You uncover pieces by clicking on them. A code is sometimes
needed to discover a block. The pieces are what cover artefacts.
Sometimes a piece just uncovers a empty block.


Unlock piece

What is a ‘piece’ vs “block”.. and that ‘lid’ ?

  • not yet decided
  • in original whim of creation, unclear! 🙂
  • I noticed the discrepancy on 21.5.2019


Blocks are standard size. The opacity is used to unveil
the lid. Hover effect can be used to peek sometimes as
to what might lie under the lid.
Sometimes you plain need a code to do uncovering.

Game mechanics: the stats

When you click on a block/lid:

  • energy is expended always!
  • energy -= 1
  • recovery of stumbling factor by trying makes you succeed
    at some point…
  • the success factor for unlock is 100% at first (SFU)
  • stumbling factor <- beer etc. Also if you are extremely
    annoyed, anxiety-ridden or generally in shock
  • RP = Recovery points = 0 at beginning of attempting to
    uncover lid
  • STF = 0 – 1 (0 = really bad, you will stumble always)
  • RPMIN = 3 (at least 3 attempts need to be done in series
    to succeed if you stumble-try)
  • UNLOCKER = the difficulty level of the lid = unlockPts
  • successPts = BSFU * STF + (RP / RPMIN) * UNLOCKER
  • if successPts > unlockPts then the lid is removed (ie.
    you see the block)
  • further in the development the game might have variable
    blocks of different SF


  • your primary mission is to delete dirt
  • mop it up! and squish once in a while

The janitor’s ordinary day consists of cleaning up areas
and taking care of tasks:

  • supplying the coffee percolator
  • emptying shredder tanks
  • clean kitchen
  • watching the door’s security for entry of foreign people, while cleaning
    …and so on. These are called work chores.

Special items

  • cleaning tools
  • cleaning chemistry
  • your cleaning cart: the mobile workstation every janitor appreciates!

Your Alibi score

By doing chores you can increase alibi score. You may learn to do
the easiest ones to make your life better, but beware of the
mean boss who is adamant with the feedback forms you
get from each day. If you’re thrown out of the work place, you
will have to start again with lowest roster rank.

Environment: Nighttime

But when the night falls and the office empties,
our protagonist turns into a professional

He has to also manage what to do with the
stolen goods. There are trends in sales; whereas
some things always stay in fashion: RAM, drugs, and
knowledge. The deeper he goes to
big time crime,
the more threats are in the path.

But so are the rewards bigger.

Or if economics doesn’t interest you, then just be a
plain crook and and supply stuff as per orders! Sometimes
the protagonist himself might become a victim of crime, if
the wares are of very high desirability.

The protagonist might not always know what exactly he’s stolen.

Trail hiding

  • avoid capture devices (cameras)
  • there are types of devices
  • Trojan Horses as software type
  • knowing CCTV coverage and operation principles
  • the more you know the security stuff the better you are
    at avoiding them
  • honeypots: machines that capture your keystrokes and
    mouse movement
  • casual city surveillance (when outside a company)
  • don’t make that stupid FB / Snapchat update!
  • keep low on beer

Beer physiological effects on you

  • you become wobbly
  • your hands are better at working precision mechanics,
    for first 30 minutes
  • 30..240 minutes you will come down
  • Beer can be used as tactical weapon in aiding you do
  • if you get addicted, … well… another challenge
  • beer is not a good or bad thing, it’s JUST A THING! 😀
  • you have the naive idea of reverting your criminal
  • you might dream of the summer, green grass and good
  • will make you very easily turn yourself in
  • ..or make stupid errors


  • not yet programmed
  • you might be able to grind faster, better, or… really depends
  • a room for innovation here!

The Janitor has to do his ordinary chores well, so as to remain
“un-suspect of”. If the player mocks up in the tasks, he
will be kept under stricter supervision and more likely to get
caught, if one chooses to do crimes.

Being suspect is another thing, but getting caught is an
ordeal that makes re-employment harder. But it’s never
impossible! A good obfuscation of identity, both in paper
and in the physical appearance may fool another company to hire
You. And here we go again!

The game is easy in controls so that it can be played with
a mobile. In fact the user experiences is very visual and
tactile, the janitor being told what to do by touching
buttons or areas.


The game is divided into 2 main different types of modes.

office mode
most of the exciting stuff happens: player does the chores, gathers
intelligence here and there, hides, steals, gets to see things that
can be used in blackmailing, etc.

map mode
the player can choose to travel within a city; explore the metropoly,
even sleep outside (or at your home). The player’s actions are limited by three things:
temperature (survival in winter is harder than in the summer),
food and drink. The map mode enables the player to kind of live
another kind of life; changing city can help leave behind some
of the noxious reputation that past crimes have accumulated.

Logic of the game (programmatically)

  • playground is tile-based, with floors possible. Different
    places on map
  • elevators play a great part of the excitement. They enable
    surprise, tickling fervor, panic (jammed elevator!) and so on.
    Elevator shafts may be single, double or triple (in large office towers).

People interactions and NPC

  • casual office worker returning to cubicle, to get stuff. Your
    choice: hide, social-engineer (pretend not to be doing anything dubious),
    attack, or flee
  • office romance: did you see a glimpse of something that might
    have extortion value. Was that the Big Chief having a bit of illegit
    heat behind closed doors but open curtains
  • guards
  • other “janitors” – put NPC players as “boids”: they are competing also
    for work, not necessarily doing the thefts (some of them might be…)
  • watch for the blame game; if you have high alibi score, and some
    NPC thief manages to put the blame of thief on you… You might get
  • the good guys may reveal you, if they see you doing some illegal activities
  • squatters
  • people who want to or are forced to live in buildings
  • random false alarms, fire brigade
  • you don’t want to be stealing stuff when fire brigade or police arrives..
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