Games are the dungeons Flight. They come in two basic forms: "Games" meant to be repeated, and "Challenges" intended to be run once or twice.
World-Building and Flavor Notes
The Highers create the games and challenges and tests of strength and courage. Mostly its their way of entertaining the masses. While there's no in-game leader board, it can be assumed that Games are spectator sports and there are throngs of Lowers clustering about to see the player-characters compete. Games are always clustered in and around cities, and offer rewards. Some items can only be obtained through games, and taking regular part in them is part of being an Elite.
While there won't be any sort of forced requirement, its part of the lore that Elites are "expected" to be doing Games. That's kind of the whole point in being an Elite. Not only are you could enough to wander the wastes and slay monsters, you're also tough enough to play the Games. Also not a requirement, but Games are intended to be played as groups and should have multiple levels of asymmetric difficulty.
Challenges work a bit differently from Games. These are spaced far away and getting to them is part of the difficulty. Challenges are quite a bit more difficult, and again not enforced but intended to be run solo. There won't be any sort of special rewards for running alone, its just part of the lore and there to offer a greater degree of difficulty. Challenges stress self-sufficiency and preparedness.
No sort of fast-travel options should be provided for reaching Challenges. They're only really meant to be done once or twice, so don't need convenience. If possible we should try and find a way to reward groups who travel together or otherwise enforce that "getting there is part of the challenge, don't travel alone".
In general, the Challenges are part of the game's storyline, and how you "prove yourself" as an individual to the Highers.
Competing in Games
Most Games will have an entry fee, usually in-game currency or items farmed from the open world. Fees vary depending on the moods and scores of the Highers running them. Highers might make a specific game free for a certain time period. Also, some base games will always be free.
Every game of course presents an opportunity for failure, and the entry fee is not returned if the players fail.
The nature of each Game can also change according to the scores of the Higher, the difficulty setting, and various other factors.
- Dungeons - the most popular, these involve locking the player in a dungeon full of monsters and traps, and letting them fight their way out.
- Mazes - these are much more puzzle-oriented Games, though they can have monsters and traps. Very similar to dungeons, but with a heavier focus on problem-solving than combat.
- Monsters - these are arena-combat Games; an unlike the others can be observed by other players as spectators. Arena games have several modes, from typical single-combat against enemies of varying power, to invasion-style fight-to-the-death competitions. Arena Games are special because the players can "bet" on themselves in various categories, and potentially make a great deal of money.
- Missions - these involve travel