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DESIGN doc

Game Document Script:

The game is titled Food & Gears. It is set on an island, formerly named LaIsle, split in two:  LaGreen which is all made of food and the other half LaMech where everything is made up of gears and steampunk machinery. Tension has always existed between the two sides much like the relationship between divorced couples. However a freak event occurred when the food came alive, combined with the gears and became giant mechanical food monsters. Therefore the citizens had to evacuate the island to another new, much barer, island hoping to rebuild their homes again. Recognising the obvious problem at hand the mayor decided to hire three mercenaries (A thief, archer and knight) to terminate the monsters that roam the island and collect the loot they drop for rebuilding the island. While they’re at it, the mercenaries will be fixing the relationship of the two-sides, meeting strange characters and exploring the exotic locations dotted around the island.

Players will assume the role of these three and utilize their individual abilities to overcome the monsters and puzzling obstacles they will encounter across the island. As it is an action RPG, players will be engaging in real time combat with the monsters using the three available characters from a third person view. As I’ll demonstrate with the models here. Players can switch between the three at any time with the click of a button and the characters not being controlled by the player at the time will be controlled by the AI. Switching between the characters is encouraged as each have their own weaknesses and strengths: knight specialises in close combat, his slow but strong; archer is a jack of all trades who’s best at ranged attacks; the thief is incredibly agile and annoy so will provide plenty of distractions to enemies even if she’s not as physically strong as the other two. As they fight together more the characters’ bonds will strengthen and more hilarious dialogues will be exchanged.

Enemies are as odd as they come and each of them have different behaviors that players will have to watch out for. For example the sumo steak will not hesitate to squash your characters with its grease body and the Lemon Tank will shoot out acidic lemon juice. Players can adjust the enemy difficulty and the harder the difficulty the better chance of enemy dropping rarer loot. The game has no game overs or any harsh punishments for less skilled players but it will reward those who venture in the world of higher difficulty settings.  Mind, enemies will start running off if all characters have fainted (run out of HP). They won’t stay to stare at them unfortunately.

Defeating enemies will yield delicious loot such as money and ingredients. Ingredients can be used for cooking food and potions, rebuilding houses, and of course making equipment. Cooking and building equipment is extremely important in the game. As eating determines the characters’ stats which in this case is the likes that you’d find in the nutritional information section on food packagings. So instead of attack and defence we have protein and fat. Now to prevent players from stuffing their characters’ faces with fried chicken just so that every character has high fat levels and thus high defences, eating inappropriate amounts of any food will detriment character stats. In this case too much fatty chicken will decrease speed, naturally. Characters will run out of calories/energy the more they fight and move, so moderate snacking is advisable. Just like real-life except I wouldn’t use this as a weight watchers’ guide.

Characters’ equipment is another reason why players will want loot. Different ingredients create different weapons and armours that carry their own special quirks and abilities. The flaming sword for instance is very good for melting things like enemies’ chocolate shields. Plus the loot and ingredients can be used to build a personal house for your characters.

Money can be spent on, or must be spent on cooking and crafting equipment. Since the playable characters are very incompetent in those areas players must fork over some cash to the various NPCs in the game from chef, potion ladies to the likes of mechanics and tailors. Fortunately players can also earn money from each of these NPCs/money-grabbers by carrying out chores or jobs for them (i.e. delivering letters, finding obscure ingredients etc).

There will be online play where players all around the world can work together hunting mechanical food monsters in custom or special online locations. Players choose a character type out of the three and the rest are all controlled by other players online as opposed to single-player where one player control and switch between all three characters. Money-earning jobs can even be carry out online such as deliverying letters to other players. Moreover, players can show off their homes, the in-game ones not the real ones of course.

The game will be for all current HD consoles namely Xbox 360, PS3, WiiU and PC. The plan is to release it in all major territories (NA, Europe and Japan) where there’s the biggest market for action RPGs and depending on success and sales the rest of the world.As demonstrated with these figures there is still a substantial market for this genre.

Furthermore I’ve conducted a survey which included an open question: Why do you play games? Many people responded with interesting answers: immersive worlds, challenge, social interactions and general fun came up several times as reasons. This heavily influenced me thus Food and Gears incorporates these elements in one form or another.

Finally, the game’s focus on food, character switching and its sense of humour will also make it stand out from other games in the ARPG genre.

Props:

I’ve decided not to dress myself up in an elaborate costume (as much as I’d like to wear a giant pumpkin) but that doesn’t mean I can’t utilise some props for my pitch. It’s the tangible things that get people excited (well I hope so anyway) so I took some non-toxic plasticine, bamboo skewers and printed out version of my characters and made these wonderful models.

Hopefully this will help me convey paragraph 3 of my pitch.

Hopefully this will help me convey paragraph two of my pitch.

We were tasked with creating two gorgeous A3 posters to communicate the visual aspect of our game and sit alongside the game proposal as ammo for our inevitable pitch. This blog will detail the blood, sweat and tears I’ve had to come through to make these two posters at-least vaguely gorgeous:

1. I sketched out my posters by hand using the traditional HB pencil on plain paper method (it’s not a lost art!). For the characters poster I sketched the main characters on one sheet, the NPCs on another and then the enemies on three separate pieces of paper. This is mainly because I’m not crazy enough to own an A3 scanner so instead I divided the poster into sections drew each on A4 paper and arrange them later on Illustrator.

Sketch of world map (poster 2)

2. Next up was the inking, for my character poster I decided to ink it by hand to allow for the scanner to pick up the lines as much as possible (this is important for the live trace feature I used to ‘digitalise’ my drawing in illustrator). Later I changed the levels in photoshop so that the sketch will produce a more desirable trace in Illustrator.

For the second poster (the game map) I simply traced over the scanned sketch with a graphics tablet (using the blob brush tool in Ai). Actually simply would be the wrong adverb to use since this proved to be a pain; partially because I was just getting used to tablet added on to the fact that my personal non-school tablet is so jittery, that I’ve been tempted to throw it out of the window more than once. Pro tip: never buy cheap tech.

Traditional inking.

Traditional inking.

Digital inking.

Digital inking.

3. After inking/tracing everything I gone about colouring my posters. There are lots of ways to do this but I just gone for the live paint method. After setting up live paint I used the paint bucket to fill in the colour. That covers the basic flat colours but any picture with out shading looks bland (unless in was 11th century Gothic paintings) so naturally I gone about adding little shades with the help of a knife tool. I could write paragraphs on how to do this but I think it’ll be more beneficial to those who are interested in this inking method to watch this video instead, it’s how I learnt.

Screen Shot 2012-11-20 at 10.59.09

I know that red outline looks odd but it’s just an indication that I’m live paint bucketing (Ai language, not as cool as l33t unfortunately).

Screen Shot 2012-11-20 at 10.40.11

4. After all that’s done I just need to arrange the layout of logos and in the case of the characters poster, EVERYTHING. To make my life easier I made sure to put drawings on separate layers to ensure maximum efficiency and to prevent my hair from falling out (trust me it doesn’t sound bad but accidentally selecting and moving an object can be infuriating).

And Voilà!

game poster 1

games poster 2

As a final ideas post I’ll be detailing the world of the game. LaGreen is filled with food-related landmarks and hence nearly everything from the housing to the river is made of food; LaMech on the other hand is very much a  steampunk inspired place (giant factories, smoke  mechanical building etc). The contrast is in the fact that one side’s very much organic and displays the artistic side of the formerly LaIsle (the name of the island before the split) whereas the other showcases advances in technology and invention- albeit nearly every inch of it is artificial.

The world map represents the levels/location that players can choose to go to. Each location contains different enemies, landscapes, loot, puzzles and surprises. Locations’ appearances and names give a clue of what players can expect (i.e. in Cheesiton players can expect cheese related  shenanigans as well as awful puns related to cheddar coming out of NPCs).

The game map. An overview of all the location in the game. Every side has a shopping centre for player's purchasing needs (Pizza Plaza & The Hand)

The game map. An overview of all the location in the game. Every side has a shopping centre for player’s purchasing needs (Pizza Plaza & The Hand).

Main quest: Rebuilding the island on another island…

Your main purpose of the game is of course to rebuild an island using the brickworks obtained (in this case: food and gears) from your monster slaying. First you have to talk to the inhabitants of the island for their desired housing etc and the rest is up to your to find the materials necessary for that building. You spend most of the game accepting requests from citizens of both sides of the island (now named Lagreen and Lemech) but once you reach half way in the story, you’ll be tasked with merging both island together and build environmentally friendly buildings. As a reward you can also carve and build your own house and add your own furniture to it!

But why on another island you say well here’s the story:

Click to enlarge.