1. A Crash Course In Game Design and Production - Week 2 Part 2

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 2 of 4:
Part 2 - Our Course Project - General Description
BackStory, Introduction, Characters, Features, Definitions, and Descriptions
Ok, here's what the General Description Looks like for our course project:

[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
Player  - "Packy"  - 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 with red lips
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.                          ]

Game Features
*  Energizers - Allow Packy to "eat" ghosts, removing them temporarily from
   his area 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.
   [NOTE This is funny]

*  Pull Down Menus with easy keyboard or mouse controls

*  Game control via keyboard or joystick

"Penalty Box" - At the beginning of each level, all four Ghosts are in
a 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
thedame 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.

Object Descriptions
Bonus Objects
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 - Garlic and Towel are of limited duration.
Candy Bar - Recharges Packys "Sugar Rush" capability to full strength.
Garlic    - Makes Ghosts run away from Packy.
Towel     - Covers Packys eyes, so Ghosts can't see him.

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.

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

If you have any questions for group discussion post them to the list server.
    E-mail any other questions, comments or suggestions to lgp at exo.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 Lord Generic Productions - All Rights Reserved

new topic     » topic index » view message » categorize


Quick Links

User menu

Not signed in.

Misc Menu