1. A Crash Course in Game Design and Production - week 2 part 4

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 Packy
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 Packy
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 Packy 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.  Packy can start any
maze in any of four locations.

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 Penalty Box of each maze, "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 Packy 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.

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, post them to the listserver or 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

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'm toying with the idea of having a Maze Editor available.  I'm Specing
that out now.  It won't be part of the course, but would be pretty handy
to have when we get to the mazes.  If any of you want to work on a side
project and build it for us, let me know.
 End of Lesson 2 - From Vague Idea to General Description - Part 4 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

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