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DGH1 Practical Skills

Design Log

Oisin Bourke, Karl King, Sam Sherwood.

Contents

Game: ...................................................................................................................................................... 2 Team: ...................................................................................................................................................... 2 Mechanic:................................................................................................................................................ 3 Control: ................................................................................................................................................... 3 Prototype Log .......................................................................................................................................... 4

Game:
[Game_Name] is a 2.5d side-scrolling puzzle game, where the gameplay takes place on only the X and Y axes in a 3D environment. This game explores themes of isolation, exploration, urgency and escape via branching paths, claustrophobic spaces, environmental hazards and puzzles amongst other elements. The player character is represented by a spaceship navigating a labyrinthine larger spaceship. Camera focuses on one room at a time rather than simply following the player. Player has a limited ability to zoom in and out but the camera will not progress to a new room until the door is unlocked and the player proceeds. This can help convey the theme of isolation. The environment poses as the main antagonist of the game in the form of the ship (the game level). There will be some simple AI opponents and possibly Time will be a factor in later puzzles.

Team:
The team members for this assignment are Oisin Bourke, Karl King and Sam Sherwood, this is a collaborative effort. The team is using a private Facebook group for discussion and is sharing documentation with googledocs.

Mechanic:
The basic gameplay mechanic/challenge is the following: The player places an object over a trigger to disable or move environmental hazards and open the exit. The player object (ship) has a moveable claw which it uses to manipulate the environment (Picking up boxes) Example: Box on switch de-activates lasers. Time limit for puzzles, failure leads to incinerator/laser trap etc all convey the theme of urgency.

Control:
Player object is controlled by keyboard and mouse. Player speed is fast enough to convey urgency (determine through testing), the effect of inertia on the player object reflects exploration theme ss player will need to constantly pay attention to navigating the environment.

Prototype Log
18th Dec 2012 Our first character model plus some concept art.

The form is clearly robotic but still leaves plenty of room for any adjustments we want to make down the line. Potential space for the orb from the HUD in his chest.

17th Dec 2012 Some of our first mock ups of potential HUDs can be seen below:

Figure 1

In this mock-up we see a typical basic health and score bar with the players name at the top, an INFO/TIPS dialogue appears at the bottom to give tips or a tutorial to the player

Figure 2

In this above image the health bar is replaced by a fire or gas bar, this has the same function as the standard health bar but may be more congruent with the robotic theme of the visuals.

Also in keeping with this theme, a robotic motif borders the screen, perhaps changing as the robot becomes more damaged, the orb in the centre of the screen could change colour as the environment changes. EG: low gravity, high radiation.

12th Dec 2012 Unity mock-up of our first level that demonstrates both our game mechanics and some light puzzle solving. Players will need to place cubes on triggers to open doors and deactivate lasers. The puzzle element comes from the player needing to use the third cube to open the final door and laser. The player must either go back for the cube using another cube as a platform or have the foresight to bring the cube with them at the start..

Figure 3

10th Dec 2012 To facilitate a speedy level design process we have created prefabs in UNITY3d that we can quickly combine for different level ideas.

29th Nov 2012 Now that our basic environment and goal (activate trigger, reach exit) are defined we can move on to some more engaging gameplay mechanics. Namely the tasks of navigating and circumventing obstacles and the environment, both on the way to the trigger and then on the way to the exit. The box itself could be used for more tasks than activating triggers, but could also be used to navigate obstacles. EG: A laser blocks a trigger, the player deflects the laser with the block to get to the trigger, now the exit is open but there are new lasers (puzzles) the player must solve to get there. We need a more interesing Box, one idea is that the box is the robot characters head. This would give a more logical reason for the box being able to activate all the triggers. Bombs could interestingly serve as both a hazard and a puzzle-solving element.

22nd NOV 2012

Figure 4

In Figure 12 we can see a more realised prototype created with Unity3D, the elements are the same but we get a much better idea of what were aiming for. A box, a trigger and an exit are clearly defined. Important to note that while the setting and visual themes of the game have now been changed; the gameplay and mechanics remain the same. We felt that the gameplay may flow more smoothly and make more sense in the context of a robot in a house rather than a spaceship flying through another spaceship. This may be subject to change as the prototype evolves.

Figure 5

Figure 13 continues the illustration of or core box-trigger mechanic. Though in this new iteration the box itself is not activating the trigger but the player is activating it directly. Using the box as a tool in in different scenarios like this may lead to emergent gameplay, rather than simply having the box act as a direct key for the trigger throughout the levels

Figure 6

The final illustration of our basic mechanic in Unity3D, Figure 14 shows the solved state of a room, an animated exit opens and the player can proceed to the next area.

19h NOV 2012

Figure 7

Following on from our discovery with our prototype, we have redesigned the gameplay around a walking robot character (Figure 8)

Figure 8

Figure 9 shows the core mechanic in action, the robot moves the box to the trigger switch.

Figure 9

Places the box on the trigger (Figure10).

Figure 10

...and can finally leave through the newly opened exit (Figure11).

15th NOV 2012

Figure 11

Figure 6 shows our second paper prototype. All visual game elements are clearly defined. By now the whole team has a strong shared understanding of our goals.

Figure 12

Figure 7 illustrates a problem our prototype exposed with our concept; namely that the control of the ship in this enclosed environment could be clumsy and would likely retract from enjoyment and the flow of gameplay.

9th NOV 2012:

Figure 13

In Figure 3 we can see our first paper prototype for the game. The square represents the level, with an exit and a trigger. The blue objects represent obstacles or enemies.

Figure 14

In Figure 4 the red object represents the player, the pen cap is a box and the elastic is the claw. Here we attempted to emulate the effects of inertia on the player and the a towed box, dragging the pen cap around the obstaces.

Figure 15

Figure 5 : Emulating placing the box into the trigger area to complete a puzzle.

8th NOV 2012: The Following sketch is the very first concept art for the game

Figure 16

In Figure 1 we can see a concept for a basic level layout: a ceiling, floor and gate. The player character on the left and the moveable box and trigger on the floor. At this stage of prototyping the player object has a moveable shield on its right face. This abandoned gameplay idea would have required the player to rotate the shields towards laser-traps as an action-puzzle mechanic. It was later agreed that we should focus on the simpler mechanic of moving the boxes to trigger points. At the top of the page we can see an early example of the branching level paths we hope to incorporate into the game.

Figure 17

Figure 2 shows a clearer concept of a basic room in the level.