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docs: write down Game Design Document

Signed-off-by: André Jaenisch <andre.jaenisch@posteo.de>
André Jaenisch 10 months ago
Signed by: ryuno-ki
GPG Key ID: 5A668E771F1ED854
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# Combat Scorched Earth from Outer Space
Combar Scorched Earth from Outer Space combines card game with a space theme.
Under the effect of gravity the hero moves across the screen while the player
must find matching cards to save her from running into obstacles while also
collecting power ups to repair the ship and not die off.
Given the size limit, this entry will only have one level to demonstrate
the core mechanics and hint on extensions if it is received well.


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# Characters
Casimir barely escaped the accident and now drives through the spaceship.
Help him survive and repair the ship so he can find a safe place.
Casimir is trained to survive in outer space, but feels best when having to
work with his hands. Thinking is not his strong suit. He prefers to spring
quick into action instead.


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# Story
Casimir was busy preparing for his day shift as an asteroid crashed into the
spaceship. Somehow, it managed to remain unseen and approached from a dead
angle. Now the integrity of the station is in danger, so action has to
happen quickly. Luckily, Casimir's spacesuit was near by. But the energy
level could not charge completely, so a tradeoff is needed to not die off
while repairing the environment.
## Theme
This game is about making decisions. There are two conflicting aims, that
needs to be balanced. I'm not a fan of fast-paced games, but will use the
amount of moving objects to build up difficulty.


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# Story Progression
Due to the space limit, a short dialog will explain the background story and
put the player onto the first level. Here, things move slowly, so there is
enough time to plan actions. The gravity level is barely noticeable.
As time moves on, more items appear in shorter succession and the boundaries
move towards to the middle, so wrenches are needed to push them back to buy


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# Goals
Survive as long as you can.
There is no winning condition, but the highest time can be saved in
browser storage to compete against oneself.
## User Skills
I assume the players to be adults. They need to be able to make quick
decisions while analysing and constantly reevaluating the situation.
Life points compete with integrity of the spaceship.
## Game Mechanics
Normally, this game would be implemented using Flappy-Bird like mechanics
(moving up, perhaps even down) to sidescroll through a level.
Instead, I want to combine it with a card game.
From right, new items will move through space. I limit it to two until I am
sure to have space for more.
## Items and power-ups
🍨 (ice cream) for food and 🔧 (wrenches) for repairs.
Alternatively 🔋 (battery) that can be invested into either system.
I imagine some gambling akin to [Blackjack][blackjack]
(but with 13 as magic number).
Once a player wins, the won energy has to be invested into either ship
repairment or life supporting services. Then the next round starts.
## Progression and challenge
The speed of items and approaching walls increase the pace of the game.
The decrease of either form of energy remains constant to make it not too
## Loosing condition
On contact with walls or running out of energy (life, integrity), the game
[blackjack]: https://twitter.com/AndreJaenisch/status/1412654891751858177


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# Art Style
Since black appears too jarring, I go with a dark blue. Ideally midnight
blue. It will be contrasted by shining colours like gold.
To give it a futuristic look and feel, there will be no sharp corners.
Instead, whereever possible, circles are used (but bounding rectangles for
collision detection). This will make the game feel more pleasant to play.
[![screenshot of Duels of the Planeswalker 2014][idea]][dotp]
[dotp]: https://www.forbes.com/sites/games/2013/06/26/magic-2014-review-the-best-introductions-pc/
[idea]: ./ideas/mtg.jpg


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# Music and Sound
To save disk space, the music will resemble 8bit or chiptunes.
It would be great if it could be generated, so it could adapt to the speed
of the level.
There are sound effects on card movements (draw, pick, guess) and collision
detection of the hero with an item.
Movement of the walls happen in waves and are introduced by some sound
Outside of the game, the music slows down to allow for some relax and making
a decision on the next move.
Somehow the player should feel not too bad when loosing.


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# Technical description
The technical basis is pretty much dictated by JS13kGames.
- offline capable (i.e. running with `file://` protocol
- within 13kb zipped
- `index.html` on root level of the zip archive
- playable in Firefox and Chrome latest
- no errors on the console
- prefixed key for localStorage (shared across entries)


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# Marketing
Since the source code has to be hosted on GitHub as part of the competition
this game will be free of charge. Also, to remain available as educational
source, I publish it under a copyleft license (GPL v3 or newer).
The game is advertised by word of mouth on Twitter.
## Demographics
Age: 20 and older
Gender: any (I expect more males, though)
Casual players, who will spend a couple of minutes at most.
## Platform
The Web is the Platform™.
## Localization
English only. I don't have space for more. I tried in the past.


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However, I've heard of it so often and found a book describing it in more
detail, that I want to try it out. Perhaps it helps me make it under the top
1. [Project description][pd]
2. [Characters][chars]
3. [Story and Theme][story]
4. [Story Progression][progression]
5. [Goals][goals]
6. [Art stlye][art]
7. [Music and Sound][music]
8. [Technical description][tech]
9. [Marketing][marketing]
The outline follows the [GDD][gdd] of Tricks.
[art]: ./6_art_style.md
[chars]: ./2_characters.md
[gdd]: https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/LeandroGonzalez/20160726/277928/How_to_Write_a_Game_Design_Document.php
[goals]: ./5_goals.md
[marketing]: ./9_marketing.md
[music]: ./7_music_sounds.md
[pd]: ./1_project_description.md
[progression]: ./4_story_progression.md
[story]: ./3_story.md
[tech]: ./8_technical_description.md


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