Lord Generic Productions
A Crash Course in Game Design
Week 2 - From Vague Idea to General Description
Welcome back! This is the second installment in "A Crash Course in Game Design and Production. The purpose of this lesson is to introduce you to our course project, and to go through the process of "filling in the details" between our initial GAME IDEA to our project blueprint, the GENERAL DESCRIPTION. We cover a lot of material this week, so I'm splitting this lesson into 4 pieces. This is part 2 of 4:
Part 2 - Our Course Project -
BackStory, Introduction, Characters, Features, Definitions, and Descriptions
NOTE: We haven't picked a
CodeName for our project yet, so I'm calling it <CodeName> here.
NOTE <CodeName> needs no BackStory. It's pretty self explanitory. If a member of the class wants to write something humorous that would tie into the theme of the game, and we vote to include it, I will put it here
<CodeName Goes Here> is a "PacMan" style game, where the player runs through maze after maze eating "dots" while avoiding four "Ghosts" who are intent on "killing" the player's character. When a "Ghost" "catches" the player, he is "killed" and loses one of his "lives." When the player eats all the "dots" on a level, he advances to the next level and continues playing until he loses his last "life." Between mazes two and three, and every three mazes thereafter a short animated "Intermission" sequences play as reward milestones. When the player reaches a score of 10,000 and 50,000 points, he receives an extra "life" as a bonus milestone.
Cast of Characters
"Snacky" - He's round and yellow and eats dots As he moves, he faces the direction he's moving and his mouth opens and closes in a simulate chomping
Ghost 1 - "Inky" - He's baby blue
Ghost 2 - "Blinky" - He's red
Ghost 3 - "Pinky" - She's bright pink
Ghost 4 - "Clyde" - He's orange
Ghosts are cute and have big eyes that "look" the direction they are moving. As they move, their "feet" animate in a shuffling motion. Ghosts don't rotate when they change direction like Packy does. When under the influence of an "Energizer" the ghosts turn a "distressed" blue color and are vulnerable for a limited time.
NOTE I was thinking
seriously of making them turn pastel pink and grow Bunny ears, but
the sprite size is too small.
Energizers - Allow Packy to "eat" ghosts, removing them temporarily from the maze and giving the player bonus points for each Ghost "eaten." An Energizer's effect is of limited duration and is evidenced by changing the appearance of the Ghosts while they are vulnerable.
Sugar Rush - A limited duration burst of speed allowing Packy to escape the Ghosts, or catch them if they are under the influence of an Energizer.
Safe Zones - Areas where Packy can enter, but the Ghosts can't!
Trap Doors - Doors that Ghosts can go through that Packy can't, in order to trap him!
Bonus Objects - Objects that wander through the maze that will give the player bonus points if Packy "eats" them.
PowerUps - Objects that appear that will give the player bonus points and give Packy a tactical advantage against the Ghosts.
PowerDowns - Objects that appear at "bad times", taking points AWAY from the player and giving Packy a tactical disadvantage against the Ghosts.
Game control via keyboard
- At the beginning of each level, all four Ghosts are ina box shaped
area called the Penalty Box. They exit the Box in single file, then
wander the maze in search of Packy. Whenever a Ghost is
"Killed" in the game, his eyes wander from where he was
killed, back to the Penalty Box and he is reincarnated.
"Energized Ghost" "Non-Energized Ghost" - Whenever packy "eats" an "energizer" (see above), the Ghosts turn blue and become vulnerable for a limited duration. During that time, they are "Energized Ghosts." After a level related time interval, the Ghosts return to their normal, invulnerable, hostile state. Then they are "Non-Energized Ghosts"
"Eat" "Eating" "Being Eaten" - As Packy moves around the maze, his mouth opens and closes. Whenever he moves over a screen object, dot, bonus object, energizer or "Energized" Ghost, they disappear from the screen. They have been "eaten" by Packy.
"Dot" - At the beginning of each level, there are small, round objects distributed evenly across the play area. These are "dots." Packy must eat all the dots on a level to complete it.
"Life" "Lives" - One "life" is one chance to complete the maze and continue playing the game. The player begins the game with three lives, and gets a bonus life at 10,000 and 50,000 points. The player loses a life when he is "Killed" by a Ghost.
"Kill" "Killed" "Killing" - Whenever a non-energized Ghost and Packy occupy the same space at the same time, Packy is "Killed" by the Ghost. Whenever Packy is Killed, he loses one Life, and if he has any lifes left, the level begins again with the Ghosts and Packy in their Level Start positions. If Packy EATS an energized Ghost, it is Killed, its eyes wander back to the Penalty Box and he is reincarnated.
Pumpkin - Its orange and looks like a Jack o Lantern. Player gets 200 points for eating a Pumpkin.
Group Assignment #2 - I want suggestions from the group as to other Bonus objects, and point values. We'll vote on them later this week.
Powerup Objects - Blindfold and Towel are of limited duration.
Candy Bar - Recharges Packys "Sugar Rush" capability to full strength.
Garlic - Makes Ghosts run away from Packy.
Blindfold - Covers Ghost's eyes, so they can't see Packy.
PowerDown Objects - These are all limited duration.
Steak - Makes Packy slow and sluggish.
BreathMint- Makes Packy Irresistable. Ghosts take the most direct route to him at 1 1/2 times normal speed.
Popsicle - Gives Packy "brain-freeze," making him hesitate between actions.
Mushroom - Magic Mushroom, makes Packy "stoned" and causes him to wander aimlessly for awhile, changing direction at random.
In the next part we'll continue with the General Description of our game, including Title screen, Demo, Game Selection Screen, Game Start, and Game play.
End of Lesson 2 - From Vague Idea to General Description - Part 2 of 4
If you have any questions for
group discussion, or if you have any other questions, comments or
suggestions email them to pastor@BeRighteous.com
Mail monetary donations large or small to:
Lord Generic Productions 1218 Karen Ave Santa Ana, Ca 92704
A Crash Course in Game Design and Production - Euphoria Edition
(C) Copyright 1996,2001 Michael Packard - All Rights Reserved