Design – Original Concept Overview

I figured it might be helpful to share how I went/go about designing “Loop Dipole and the Chaoties”, so I’ll be posting and updating my design documents here. Feel free to use them as an example of how one can organize or “put their ideas down on paper” when making your games or projects. I originally wrote most of these on my Blackberry during times of convenience and clear mind. Note that at the time I wrote this document the working title was “Chaoties to Balance (C2B)”.

Introduction

You are a little energy being living on a cube planet drifting through space. You like to take the shape of vehicles and zip around collecting and using the many kinds of chaotic energy that bubble up from your planet. You’re not sure where you came from, but you soon discover that your mission in life is to bring all sides of your cube planet into energetic balance. However, it appears that you are not alone – from the billowing chaos that brought you into being froths angry, disorganized energies, nasty little… “Chaoties!” that thrive on chaotic energy and sow chaos wherever they go! Finding, using, and delivering energy to all the chaotic fountains, while defending the the fountains from the crazy Chaoties, will be a monumental task, but you’re up for the challenge!

Game Play Design

  • 3D world with a line drawing inspired rendering style.
  • First and close third person view.
  • Very fast movement similar to a driving game, but with the ability to jump and glide long distances.
  • Characters are fairly low polygon models that are essentially glowing blobs of coloured energy. The player’s character will have nicely defined shapes, while the bad guys will be strange and random.
  • There are 6 square maps, each with its own colour and unique layout. The maps are connected with portals at the middle of each side. Loading screens between maps. These represent the six sides of the cube planet.
  • Each side has five fountains that spew chaotic energy. The player’s goal is to determine what kinds of energy a fountain needs to become balanced and then deliver the energy to the fountain. Once all five fountains on a side become balanced, that side is almost entirely safe.
  • On one of the sides is the player’s house. This is where the player stores his own personal energy supply and where he teaches himself how to take on new shapes.
  • The player starts off with one basic shape that can have up to five customizable presets. As the player collects more types of energy he will gain access to (learn) 9 more shapes, with each shape also having five customizable presets.
  • Shape customizations will include stat modification (such as handling, speed, and glide time), weapon choices, energy capacity, and so on. These customizations will be shared across all shapes.
  • Each of the 10 available shapes will have it’s own unique look and functionality. While the player can significantly modify a shape using his energies, the intended purpose of each shape will always remain in tact.
  • Different shapes require the use of different energy types. The player must keep a stock of the required energy in his home if he wants to take on a shape that uses it.
  • The player will drive/fly around the planet collecting various kinds energy. Physically the energy will take the form of glowing coloured geometric shapes. The player’s storage capacity is determined by their current shape and is indicated on the UI.
  • While away from their home, the player will drain his energy by using his abilities and weapons. Should the player’s energy run out, he will dissipate and return to his home, losing any cargo.
  • The player may recharge his personal energy store by picking up the kind of energy his shape is using or refilling at home. A shape can require up to three different kinds of energy, so balancing the energy levels is important.
  • The “Chaoties” are crazy, angry energies that will attack the player, eat nearby energy shapes, and throw themselves into fountains. It’s the player’s job to dissipate the Chaoties before they cause any harm or, at the very least, clean up after them.
  • Fountains are essentially a multi layer puzzle of shapes and colours. The player must fill them up like a bucket by dropping the correct energy types into them at the right time. Any time a Chaoty falls in there the puzzle gets messed up.
  • To see what types of energy a fountain needs, the player simply drives up to the fountain and it is shown on his UI.
  • Locating the energy type one needs is all about learning where the different types of energy “grow” regularly and how to encourage them to “grow” in areas of chaos.
  • One of the shapes the player can take on is a seeding machine. Its purpose is to convert Chaoties in ares of chaos into specific energy types that the player desires. Any map/side that is not yet in balance will have several regions of chaos (and lot’s of Chaoties!).
  • Once a side is balanced, the player will be able to set up and maintain defenses at each of its four portals (that attach it to the other sides). Keeping these in good repair will prevent Chaoties from traveling to the balanced side and undoing its balance.
  • Once all six sides are in balance, by finishing all 30 fountain puzzles, the planet cube is in energetic balance and the game is won.
  • Certain stats about what the player did during their game will be retained and used as a basis for comparison of future games. This will allow the player to have a “big picture” overview of how each game played out.
  • The game is designed to take several hours to beat, depending on how a person chooses to play the game. Focusing on powering through the fountains using the least amount of shape customizations possible will take less time to beat the game, however the overall all purpose of the game is to enjoy the journey.
  • The game will allow for saving, but will not have multiple save points. Time stops when the game is closed or paused.
  • Depending on the time it takes to make the maps, alternate layouts may be earned after each time the player beats the game. The player can then choose one of the predefined layouts or choose a random mash-up of the sides he has earned. Once the game begins however, the sides remain static.
  • The player may give up on a game and restart at any time.
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