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IS480 Team wiki: 2012T1 6P Game Mechanics

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  Overview   Game Mechanics   User Testing   UI Screenshots   Graphics Development   Technical Complexity  


Change of gameplay

User feedback collected were analyzed and reviewed by the entire team where game play was concerned, because it affects our project plans and execution. The team deliberated on various issues concerning the fun aspect of the game play, length of the game play, scalability of the game, and appeal of the game to various age groups. Till date, we had two revision of our game mechanics.

Screen Shot 2012-10-08 at 11.51.01 AM.png

Swinging vine game play
Bouncy platform game play
Endless world game play


Swinging vine:

Main findings based on user feedback is that the game is too simplistic and gets dull after a couple of tries. Looking into other potential issues such as scalability and the appeal towards our target age group, we realized that the concept was not enticing enough and should be refined.

Bouncy platform:

Without wanting to lose the concept of the swinging vine, we incorporated this into our refined game play which looked at collection of tokens. However, user feedback revealed that the game is overly challenging and they get discouraged after a couple of tries. Moreover, they felt that the game was too static where Gralch was concerned and would like to see more animations

Endless world:

We decided on this final version of the game play after taking our project schedule into careful consideration as well as reviewing our user feedback. We kept obstacles and modified concepts from our previous two game plays and incorporated them into our final game mechanics. The results from our user tests were a strong indication to further our development and refinements.

Game Mechanics 1 (Swinging Vine)

First Minute

When the game starts, the main menu screen will appear, with the following options:

1. Play

2. Options

3. Credits


The player can choose to tweak options and see the credits. When he clicks “Play”, a short clip will be played to introduce the story. At the end of it, player is directed to start World 1 where only the first stage is made available. Player starts off by playing Level 1 in Stage 1. Hints appear in the first round as simple explanations on how the game is played. The player adjusts the directional arrow for aiming and swipes in the specific direction to throw the rocks.

Game Flow

Version 1: 6P_Storyboard_v1

Version 2: 6P_Storyboard_v2

Version 3: 6P_Storyboard_v3

Backup: 6P_Storyboard_backup

6P Storyboard v4.jpg

Victory Conditions

Each stage has an end objective such as eliminate the enemy, drinking water and freeing the birds. Additionally, the concept remains the same throughout all levels (e.g. the forest stage, there is a swinging object hanging from a vine, which Gralch must cut such that the object hits the enemy). Hitting on objects, directly or indirectly, will assist the player in clearing the level objective. Player wins when the level objective is cleared.

Scoring

Upon completion of each level, the remaining time is calculated and added to the player’s score for the stage. Accuracy, too, is taken into account – more points given if sweet spot is hit. These scores are used as tokens to purchase items, which aids in the completion of levels.

Graphics

The graphics are all in 2D. The objects, background and enemies will all based on the setting outlined in the story. Frame-by-frame animation will be done for each character’s movements, rest are static. For a prioritized list of graphics, refer to Assets under Section 3.9

Heads Up Display

When player holds down Gralch, a shooting marker will appear for him to shoot and aim. The strength of the object being fired, too, will be displayed above Gralch’s head. The inventory bar, which permanently stays at the top, reflects Gralch’s items collected. Additionally, there are levels, which would reflect a head’s up display to inform the user on what action to do. For example, tapping on the screen to drink water from a pond. In challenges issued by friends, a health bar appears above Gralch’s head to reflect the remaining health status of Gralch.

Controls

Controls are simple. Since this is a game for mobile devices, touch will be the main input. Essentially, player must touch Gralch for it to begin its actions, such as throwing of objects. Player can adjust the angle of the direction and strength of the shooting marker by scrolling it up or down to tweak his aim without letting it go. Upon release, object will fly across the screen following the trajectory set by the player. Else, Gralch will be in its idle mode. Occasionally, hidden objects are scattered in the world for player to collect and store in his inventory. These items can be used as ammunition, but not necessary. To choose an item to fire, player taps on those items in the inventory box to activate it.

Level Design

Technical

The level design of the game will be done using Adobe Photoshop. Background images will be created in different layers where the last layer will be animated. Other elements like ammunition, enemies and obstacles will be created individually, as these objects are interactive in the world. The created images are packed into sprite sheets using Texture Packer, which would then be published in Unity. Sprite, which handles the animations and Faseer Physics Engine, which gives physics controls to objects, will all be put together in Unity. Once the level is completed, the game will be saved and packed into an .APK file according to the Android SDK version chosen. This .APK file will then be uploaded to Google Play Store or installed onto android phones for gameplay or testing.

Design

Each stage has its own unique concept consistent throughout all levels

World 1 Stage 1: A Stone Throw'

Version 1: 6P_LevelDesign_W1S1_v1

Concept - Accuracy and precision in the shot.

A vine swings in pendulum holding a rock. By timing the perfect shot, the vine will be cut and the rock will hit the Hunter (enemy). Each level sees a variation in the obstacles present, along with the movement of the Hunter.

Game Mechanics 2 (Bouncy Platform)

First Minute

When the game starts, the main menu screen will appear, with the following options:

1. Play

2. Options

3. Credits

The player can choose to tweak options and see the credits. When he selects the first level, a short clip will be played to introduce the story. At the end of it, player is directed to start World 1 where only the first stage is made available. Player starts off by playing Level 1 in Stage 1. Hints appear in the first round as simple explanations on how the game is played. The player taps and holds his finger on the screen to adjust the directional arrow for his aim towards the swinging vine. Upon release, the rock is thrown and cuts the vine which is released to collect the tokens.

Game Flow


Victory Conditions

The end objective through all levels is for the user to collect as many tokens as possible with the aid of the swinging rock. The player cuts the vine attached to the rock by timing his throw. With accurate timing, the released rock will collect each token by passing through the tokens.

Scoring

Graphics

The graphics are all in 2D. The objects, background and enemies will all based on the setting outlined in the story. Frame-by-frame animation will be done for each character’s movements, rest are static. For a prioritized list of graphics, refer to Assets under Section 3.9

In-App Purchases

There are several in-app purchases made available for the user. These virtual goods are purchased with actual money through Google Play Store.


In-app-pricing.jpg


Controls

Controls are simple. Since this is a game for mobile devices, touch will be the main input. Essentially, player must touch Gralch for it to begin its actions, such as throwing of objects. Player can adjust the angle of the direction and strength of the shooting marker by scrolling it up or down to tweak his aim without letting it go. Upon release, object will fly across the screen following the trajectory set by the player. Else, Gralch will be in its idle mode. Occasionally, hidden objects are scattered in the world for player to collect and store in his inventory. These items can be used as ammunition, but not necessary. To choose an item to fire, player taps on those items in the inventory box to activate it.

Level Design

Technical

The level design of the game will be done using Adobe Photoshop. Background images will be created in different layers where the last layer will be animated. Other elements like ammunition, enemies and obstacles will be created individually, as these objects are interactive in the world. The created images are packed into sprite sheets using Texture Packer, which would then be published in Unity. Sprite, which handles the animations and Faseer Physics Engine, which gives physics controls to objects, will all be put together in Unity. Once the level is completed, the game will be saved and packed into an .APK file according to the Android SDK version chosen. This .APK file will then be uploaded to Google Play Store or installed onto android phones for gameplay or testing.

Design

Each stage has its own unique concept consistent throughout all levels

Level Design Document: Level Design

A vine swings in pendulum holding a rock. By timing the perfect shot, the vine will be cut and the rock will follow a path which collects all tokens. Each level sees a variation in the obstacles present to make it more challenging for the player to obtain all the tokens.

Game Mechanics 3 (Endless World)

First Minute

When the game starts, the main menu screen will appear, with the following options:

1. Play

2. Options

3. Credits

The player can choose to tweak options and see the credits. When he selects the first level, a short clip will be played to introduce the story. At the end of it, player is directed to start World 1 where only Level 1 is made available. Player starts off by playing Level 1. A guided tutorial on how to control Gralch is shown. The player taps and holds his finger on the screen to make Gralch fly upwards. Each tap and contact made with the screen results in consumption of energy. The scene moves towards the right at a constant speed which increases as each checkpoint is passed.

Game Flow


Victory Conditions

The end objective through all levels is for the user to help Gralch collect as many cherries as possible, and to travel the furthest distance.

Scoring

To be updated

Graphics

The graphics are all in 2D. The objects, background and enemies will all based on the setting outlined in the story. Frame-by-frame animation will be done for each character’s movements, rest are static. For a prioritized list of graphics, refer to Assets under Section 3.9

In-App Purchases

To be updated

Controls

A touch of the screen enables Gralch to fly upwards by a little margin. Continuous holding will result in Gralch flying upwards continuously. Releasing the touch of the screen will make Gralch decent.

Level Design

Technical

The level design of the game will be done using Adobe Photoshop. Background images will be created in different layers where the last layer will be animated. Other elements like ammunition, enemies and obstacles will be created individually, as these objects are interactive in the world. The created images are packed into sprite sheets using Texture Packer, which would then be published in Unity. Sprite, which handles the animations and Faseer Physics Engine, which gives physics controls to objects, will all be put together in Unity. Once the level is completed, the game will be saved and packed into an .APK file according to the Android SDK version chosen. This .APK file will then be uploaded to Google Play Store or installed onto android phones for gameplay or testing.

Design

Each Stage consists of 6 checkpoints and has it’s variation of obstacles with increasing difficulty.

Level Design Document version 1: Level Design version 1

Level Design Document version 2: Level Design version 2

Level Design Document version 3: Level Design version 3

Level Design Document version 4: Level Design version 4

Assets

Graphics

World Stage Setting Goal Enemy Other Obj.

1

1

Forest

Defeat Man

Man

Vines, Rocks, Bunnies, Traps, Kingfishers

2

Pond

Drink water

Fishes

Rocks, Baits

3

Forest

Free the Birds

Man

Birds, Cages, Rocks, Vines

4

Forest

Tractors

Bunnies, Birds, Rocks, Vines

5

Village

Man

Rocks, Crates, Bunnies

2

1

?

?

?

?

2

?

?

?

?

3

?

?

?

?

4

?

?

?

?

Audio

Team decided to obtain royalty free music and sound effects from online sources due to lack of knowledge and capability in this field.

Game design references and inspiration

As this is the first time we are making a game, we have done several online researches on game designing and wish to share with our fellow peers on what we have gathered so far.

How To Build a Game In A Week From Scratch With No Budget

URL: http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/creative/game-design/how-to-build-a-game-in-a-week-from-scratch-with-no-budget-r2259

A blog entry on how Jay Barnson created a game in a week.

Thought and comments: Get the game playable as fast as possible - this is really essential because it is when we have a prototype done out on an android phone, only then it will be realistic to show how the game interacts with the user. Prof Richard has also advised us to plan for more iterations and perform as many rounds of trial and error if possible to try out different game concepts so as to conclude which is more interactive and fun.