Lord Generic Productions

A Crash Course in Game Design and Production
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 4 of 4:

Part 4 - Our Course Project - General Description C
PowerUps PowerDowns Game Levels, Milestone Events, End of Game, Game Exit

Every once in awhile, a PowerUp object will appear in the maze. If Snacky eats it, he will have a tactical advantage over the Ghosts for a limited duration. The duration of effect decreases as the level increases, just like the Energizers.

Every once in awhile, a PowerDown object will appear in the maze. If Snacky eats it, he will have a tactical disadvantage over the Ghosts for a limited duration. The duration of effect decreases as the level increases to keep the game from becoming too hard. The duration follows the same chart as Energizers and PowerUps.

Game Levels
Each "Level" is one maze that the Player guides Snacky through. When he eats the last dot in that maze, the Player has "Completed" the Level and advances in the game, either to the next maze or to a Milestone Event Animation and then to the next maze.

There will be five different maze layouts the player must navigate in the game, each requiring its own strategies to complete.

The Maze changes after level 2 then every 3 mazes after that. The starting Maze is chosen at random from the 5 designs. Once a Maze is used we don't see it again until all the other Mazes have cycled through.

Inside the Player info section of the Feedback Window, "Level X" is displayed, where X is the current Level number, so the player knows what level he's on.

As the game progresses from level to level, the difficulty increases. This is achieved by increasing the speed of Snacky and the Ghosts, and Decreasing the duration of Energizers and PowerUps. PowerDowns also decrease in duration to keep the game fair.

Character Speed by Level
Level 1 1 pixel per animation frame
Level 2 1.5 pixels
Level 3 2 pixels
Level 4 2.5 pixels
Level 5 3 pixels
Each additional Level add .5 pixels to the character speed.

NOTE: This is an approximate change. At each level the game timing speeds up, which will cause everything to happen faster and for shorter duration automagically.

Milestone Event Animations
After Level 2 and every 3 Levels thereafter, there is an "Intermission" animation. Each is about 10 seconds long and is humorous. There will be 10 animated sequences, one of these will be selected at random and played at each milestone event. After an animation is played, it cannot be selected again until all the other animations have cycled through See Milestone Animation Specification for details on each animation.

Group Participation Assignment #3
We need 10 animations, start brainstorming ideas.

End of the Game
The Game ends when the player loses all of his Lives. At that point, Words "Game Over" appear in a Marquee Sign. If the player doesn't have a hi-score on the list, the sign changes to "You Suck, try again!"

[Note: I just wanted to see if you are paying attention]
If the player made the High-Score list, the Sign says "You made High-Score # ___! Enter your Name:" Then the player can enter his name. When he hits [ENTER] His name and score are drawn in the High-Score Box in the Status Window, and the Sign changes to "Play Again YES NO." If the player chooses to play again, everything is reset and a New Game begins.

If the player chooses NOT to play another game, the screen clears and we go back to the Title\Game Select Screen and the program waits for input and goes through the demo cycle.

Game Exit
If the player chooses to exit to Dos, the program goes to the "About this Game" sequence, then switches screen to text mode, displays an ansi "Thank you for playing this Game" message and drops the player back in Dos

=========================End of General Description=========================

ok that's it. By now you know just about as much about our course project as I do. If you have any questions, or if I've left out anything we need to have spelled out, e-mail them to me.

Do you see the method behind the madness here? Now if we ever have a question about the game, we know where to look to get the answer. If there is NO answer, we DECIDE the answer and add it to the General Description.

Next week we Spec out the Screens and User-Interface. It will probably be a two parter. It seems like a good idea to separate theory from practice in these. The first part will tell you about what we're doing and what
kinds of information we need to put in the Spec, then parts 2-N will be the actual Spec for our project. As we add new parts and update old ones, I will revise the files on the Web site, so the current verion is always there.

By the way, this game looks like its going to be a LOT of fun to play. I've always enjoyed PacMan Variants. This should top anything I've seen.

I've written a Maze Editor that I'll put up on the web site when we get to that place in the course. I want everybody to create their own levels for their game, and also contribute levels to everybody else.

End of Lesson 2 - From Vague Idea to General Description - Part 4 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
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