Lord Generic Productions
A Crash Course in Game Design
Week 2 - From Vague Idea to
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
We cover a lot of material this week, so I'm splitting this lesson
into 4 pieces. This is part 3 of 4:
Part 3 - Our Course Project -
General Description B
Title screen, Demo, Game
Selection Screen, Game Start, Game play
Title Screen and Attention Getter
When the player starts the
program from Dos, the screen is cleared to BLACK. Then the Game Title
appears in color cycling 3D letters on a big sign with "chaser
lights" animating around it. Under the sign the words
"Presented by:", "Lord Generic
Productions","And","Euphoria Game Design
Team" "Starring:" "Inky", "Blinky",
"Pinky", "Clyde" ,"and Packy" appear
in sequence. While each character's name is presented, (s)he appears
on alternating sides of the screen and move toward the sign and stop.
Packy appears under the sign, between it and his name. All characters
are animating, and continue to animate throughout the entire sequence.
During this initial sequence,
Program "About" information, including Game Title,
Designer, Artist,...,begin scrolling across the bottom of the screen
in a one-line high animated "strip sign" and continue
scrolling until Play Game is selected.
After all the characters are
introduced, the Game Selection Box appears in the lower 1/3 of the
screen, and the player can select "New Game"
"Options" or "About this Game." Also if at
anytime during the intro animation the player presses a key, the
screen is redrawn with all characters in their final position, and
the Game selection screen appears.
If the player doesn't hit a key
within 30 seconds after the Game Selection Box appears, the game goes
into demo mode. The Game Screen draws and one of three
"pre-recorded" games is replayed until packy is killed by a
ghost or until the player hits a key. If the player hit a key, the
screen switches back to the title page\game selection screen and he
can continue. Otherwise the "About" screen animations play,
then the "Attention Getter" Title sequence starts over.
"About This Game" Screen
If this is called from the Title
Screen, the screen is cleared to medium blue and the sequence starts.
If this is called during a game or after the Self-Running Demo, the
"Game Window" is cleared to medium blue and this sequence
The "About this game"
credits split into three pages of text, the first page has design,
art, LGP, and EGDT credits on it. The second page has Contributing
Authors and Course Information. Page three has "For more
information" info on Euphoria, the Course, and LGP. At the
bottom of each page is a "Press a Key to Continue" message,
and the player hits a key to step through them. If the player does
nothing the screen advances after thirty seconds or so. After the
last screen, the program goes back to wherever called it.
While the player is reading the
text, Packy is chased around the screen VERY fast by the four Ghosts.
Game Options screen
The Player can choose the
following configuration options:
Number of players - This
can be one or two.
Sound - This can be ON or OFF.
Controls - The can be
Keyboard or Joystick (maybe mouse)
Skill Level - This can be
Easy, Medium, Hard, or Nuts
Starting Maze # - This can
Exit - Takes you back to
where you came from
Beginning a new game
When New Game is Selected, the
screen is cleared, the Game Screen is Drawn. The Game Screen has 2
parts they are:
Game Window - This is
where the Game is played, and where the About This Game sequence
plays. At Game Start, it is cleared, and the Maze and dots are drawn.
Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde are placed in the penalty box, and
Snacky is placed in his starting positions in the Maze. The
Energizers are placed in the corners of the Maze, and begin animating.
- This is next to the Game window and is where the player's Score and
Number of Lives left is displayed. At Game Start, the appropriate
player's score is set to 000000 and his lives is set to three.
Packy's "Sugar Rush" level is set to 100%
After the Game Screen in drawn,
"Level 1" appears in a chaser-lighted sign momentarily in
the middle of the Game Window, then disappears. The Level Number is
also drawn inside the Penalty Box, (behind the Ghosts) so the player
can always see what level he's on. As the Level sign is onscreen, the
"get ready" music plays. When the music is over, the Sign
disappears too. And the game begins.
When the game begins, the Ghosts
leave the Penalty Box one at a time, Blinky first, followed by Pinky,
Inky, and Clyde. They wander the maze in dogged persuit of Snacky.
Player controls Snacky with the Arrow keys. [SPACE] stops Snacky
wherever he is. He continues to "Chomp in place" until he
is moved again. Pressing [ENTER] Gives Snacky a "Sugar
Rush," which allows him to move at twice(?) normal speed for a
limited duration, up to 10 seconds per level, unless recharged by a
Candy Bar. Pressing the [ENTER] key again returns Packy to normal
speed. The Sugar Rush can be used again until Packy's Sugar Rush
Level is 0%
The Player's Primary Game Goal is
to eat all the dots in the maze. When he has eaten all the dots, the
level is over.
The Player's Secondary Game Goal
is to eat as many Ghosts as he can by strategic use of the Energizers.
When Packy eats an Energizer, the Ghosts become "edible"
for a short period of time and will give the player a bonus that
increases with the number of Ghosts eaten in rapid succession, as:
First Ghost - 200 points
Second Ghost - 400 points
Third Ghost - 800 points
Fourth Ghost - 1600 points
When a Ghost is eaten, he
disappears, and his "eyes" appear. They wander back to the
penalty box very fast and once inside, the Ghost
"reincarnates" inside the Penalty Box. The Ghost stays
inside, pacing back and forth until his "Penalty Time" is
completed, then he emerges from the box and continues his persuit. If
there are Ghosts inside the Penalty Box when Packy eats an Energizer,
they also are affected, but no Ghosts reincarnated while that
Energizer is active is affected. It is possible for the player to
time his moves so that Packy can eat an Energizer, eat one or more
Ghosts, then eat another Energizer and get to the Penalty Box in time
to catch the newly reincarnated Ghosts as they try to leave.
After a period of time, the
effect of the energizer wears off and the Ghosts become lethal again.
This change is evidenced by the Ghosts "Flashing" five
times between their normal and Energized images. During this
transition period, the Ghosts are still edible, but chasing down a
flashing Ghost is a High Risk activity. If the player's timing is
off, and he catches up to the ghost too late, he's killed. The
duration of an Energizer's effect decreases by the level the Player
Level 1 - 10 seconds
Level 2 - 8 seconds
Level 3 - 6 seconds
Level 4 - 4 seconds
Level 5 - 2 seconds
The last two seconds of each
duration are transition periods where the Ghosts are
"Flashing." From level 5 on the Ghosts begin flashing right away.
If Packy eats another Energizer
while the last one is active, the Ghosts that were affected by the
first one will continue to be affected for the entire duration of the
The Player's Tertiary Game Goal
is to eat Bonus Objects which appear in the Maze from time to time,
giving the player bonus points. Each Level has a different Bonus
Object associated with it, with the Bonus Point Value increasing with
each level. The Bonus Objects are animated.
Level Object Point Value Animation
Level 1 Pumpkin 50 Blinks its eyes
Level 2 100
In the next part of this lesson,
we'll finish up the General Description with PowerUps, PowerDowns,
Game Levels, Milestone Events, End of Game, and Game Exit descriptions.
End of Lesson 2 - From Vague
Idea to General Description - Part 3 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
Crash Course in Game Design and Production - Euphoria Edition
(C) Copyright 1996,2001
Michael Packard - All Rights Reserved