Game Design Document

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1 Team Productions Game Design Document Santa s Dash Cam Pasternak, Eric Champagne, Dylan Kirkpatrick, Jeffrey Morberg CSc 167 D u e D e c e m b e r 3 r d,

2 Marketer/Producer: Cameron Pasternak, V Game Designer: Eric Champagne, V Software Engineer: Dylan Kirkpatrick, V Artistic Director: Jeffrey Morberg, V Team Productions is proud to present: Santa s Dash Due December 3 rd Just in time to publish for the 2010 Christmas holidays, we present Santa s Dash. In Santa s Dash, Santa Claus has to deliver gifts to children across the work on Christmas Eve. Starting on the dateline, and ending at the dateline (travelling westward) eating cookies and milk along the way, Santa encounters the Green Monster right away and use the cookies he gets to exchange for sled upgrades and other perks from his elves to help him on his quest to deliver presents before the kids wake up. The game is innovative, easy to learn and will beat the competition to publication giving us an edge on the holiday rush. Summary: Playing as Santa Claus, The player will see a somewhat typical racing interface where the sled is in the bottom of the screen and the screen scrolls downwards. The player has to pick up objects (gifts) and deliver them to the appropriate location (house). Each successful completion will lead to an increase in currency (cookies) and points (milk). The currency can be used between each level to purchase upgrades for Santa. Upgrades can be for the sled, or for Santa himself, for example: Rudolf for seeing farther, rockets to go faster, magic for a shield, slowing time to avoid obstacles etc. However the opponent AI will throw obstacles (coal) at Santa throughout the level and if hit, the player will be forced to restart from the beginning of the level. If the player is hit 5 times, this will result in a game over scenario. Each level (country) is completed when time runs out, at which point Santa has an

3 opportunity to give his elves cookies in exchange for upgrades before moving on to the next level. The game starts in New Zealand and ends in Hawaii with various numbers of countries in between depending on desired difficulty level. The objective is to complete the final level and achieve the highest score possible. It is a fun, easy to learn game just in time for the holidays.

4 Santa s Dash Description of Gameplay: Plot / Story: Santa s Dash is a holiday racing game that takes place around the world. Players will have the experience of racing against time, and avoiding AI obstacles, all while looking out for and picking up objectives, and carrying them to different destinations. Playing as Santa, the main plot is for the player to deliver gifts to all the children around the world in the fastest time possible, while collecting cookies to enhance his gift giving abilities. AI: AI for this game should be fairly simple as there are only two main features or movements it will be making throughout gameplay. There is only one AI character, placed at the top third of the screen. This character will move left and right at the appropriate speed, and at the same time throw objects at the player which they will have to avoid. The AI character will move at a constant left and right, but the objects he throws should be issued at random towards the player. The AI will be repetitive, but will become more challenging as the player progresses through the levels. Characters: There will only be two characters in this game. The player will play as Santa riding his sled, while the other characters will be the AI. This character will be the villain or opponent, more than likely resembling the Grinch. For copyright reasons we will not use the exact character. Objectives: Objectives are the pieces in the game the player will need to pick up. These objectives will appear as presents scattered throughout each level. The player is prompted to carry the collected object to specified destinations, which in coordination will reward the player with a higher score. As well, the player will be awarded a cookie which allows them to increase the chances of completing the next levels.

5 Destinations: Destinations are the pieces in the game where the player will need to drop the objectives off. Destinations will appear as homes. When the player directs his character towards a designated destination while the player has an objective (present) with them, the player will increase their score. After the player obtains additional points for their objective, they will be prompted to find a new objective. Obstacles: Obstacles are the parts of the game that the player will have to avoid. The AI character will be throwing these obstacles into the players path in attempt to stop the player from reaching their goal. Obstacles will most likely appear as snowballs or coal. If a player is hit by one of these obstacles, they will be penalized by losing one of their 5 lives. Settings: Settings for this game include the ability to turn off sound effects and music. This feature can give the game year-round replay value, as the Christmas music would not be appropriate after December. When the player completes the game and posts a high score, they will be given the option for a Villain Mode. This mode will get the player to play the game again with difficult AI from the start. The new mode also allows for a Villain Mode high score table. Gameplay Mechanics: Santa s Dash is a forward scrolling racing game. Players will use the directional buttons on the keyboard to control Santa. The object of the game is to collect as many objectives as possible and drop them off at different points throughout each level. Between levels the player will be given the option to spend the cookies they earned when delivering presents, on upgrades for Santa. These upgrades can change the gameplay drastically by having certain aspects of the game change to enhance the players abilities.

6 Interface: The interface of the game will be relatively default and similar to most traditional games of this type. The screen will have the player character, AI character, and obstacles, backgrounds, objectives taking up most of it. In the bottom left and right corners there will be static panels. The bottom left panel will show the time the player has remaining to beat the level. The bottom right panel will show the players score. There will also be a separate interface for the upgrade screen between levels, which will entail the cookie count detailed on the top left. Then the screen will have several buttons which have a description/photo of the upgrade, as well as the cookie cost. That is, how much currency will be taken when the player selects an upgrade. Genre: We will be placing this game in the racing and holiday genres. With Christmas coming only 22 days after the release date, we plan to target the holiday audience most. Game outcomes: There are two outcomes that a player will witness during the game. 1: they will beat the level they are currently on and advance to the next one. Eventually they will beat all levels if skilled enough and enter a highscore when the last level of the game is completed. 2: The player will be hit by one of the AI character s obstacles and have to start the level they are currently on over again. Getting hit will also result in losing one life. When the player has lost all 5 lives, their score will be put in the highscore list and the game will have to be restarted. Levels/Stages: Each level will be based on a certain country around the world. The idea is that the player character will eventually have to deliver presents to every country around the world. As the player progresses through these destinations the difficulty of the game will advance. Besides changes in

7 difficulty, aesthetic changes such as the art of each location will change accordingly. (ie. Palm Trees for Hawaii) Difficulty: As mentioned in the levels category, the difficulty of the game will be based on the player s progression through each stage. Every stage the player unlocks will test the player s skill a little bit more. The idea is for the player to get better every stage, and the levels to get harder appropriately. The main way to make the levels harder will be to make the AI move faster and issue obstacles more frequently and randomly. Technical Design and Feasibility: The feasibility of this kind of game is high, due to the simple nature of the gameplay. Using Adobe Flash development software, we have the ability to implement everything detailed in the mechanics above with ease. This is because Flash gives us a start-to-finish development environment. What this means is that we do not need externally licensed software in order to complete the entirety of the game. Everything from art, to programming, to game mechanics can be developed within a single piece of Flash software. An external open source music creator such as Audacity can be used to create some basic music and sound effects as well. From a technical standpoint, the level design and AI implementation would be procedural. Levels would need to be tweaked in order to have larger distances between goals, as well as more obstacles. A steady rise in the difficulty would help to ensure the player attains an enjoyable flow, without feeling like the game is becoming a chore. In order to do this, the programming would entail each new level having raised values. For instance the AI enemy who throws obstacles at you, would be given a faster rate of fire. As an example, the AI would throw an object every two seconds in the first level. When the player progresses through the game they would expect a noticeable increase in difficulty, so each level would lower the amount of time between firings. From a programming standpoint this would be easy to implement because things like rate of

8 fire, speed of AI character, and the speeds of obstacles can all have numerical values placed on them. These variables can be tweaked according to the change in levels, to increase difficulty as needed. How much a variable would need to be changed on each level would need to be tested, as it is hard to predict what would be enjoyable for this kind of game. As well, the cookie upgrades would need tweaking in order to make the game beatable, but still challenging. Things like sled speed, and obstacle speed would need to be changed accordingly by the programmer and game designer after a prototype is made to ensure that the game is not too easy, or too hard. To implement the gameplay mechanics, the programming would have the art asset of a Santa sled loaded with a present replace the sled without anything on it. This would indicate to the player that they have collected the present, and now need to proceed to their destination. When the player reaches their destination, a sound effect would need to be triggered to further alert the player, and the score count would need to go up a specified amount, as well as the cookie count. Many of these things are simply value-based and could be easily coded into a piece of software. The destinations would have areas in which the program would check to see if Santa is in a present state (where he is carrying a present) and is colliding with the destination. That is, the program would only grant points and a cookie if the user has both a present in their possession, and they come into contact with their destination. Implementing this into programming language would entail the character and the destinations having collision detection. This is also the same for the obstacles which inhibit the progress of the player. The collision detection would see if the Santa/sled have come into contact with any of the obstacles thrown by the enemy and preform the according outcome. This collision would cause the player to lose one life, as well as lose points. This is another value based mechanic in which the program would subtract one life from the lives variable. Combining these various mechanics together with the enemy AI, would create an enjoyable game where the player can interact and change their abilities and ultimately affect their high score.

9 Marketing: In order to market Santa s Dash, we will sell the game to an established online flash game website such as Miniclip.com. This is where the majority of profit will be made off the game. Santa s Dash is a game that anyone with a computer can play or enjoy. There is no gory violence or anything that would make it unsuitable for younger gamers. It is colourful and fun enough for children and challenging enough for older gamers. The game will be available anywhere in the world, as the sites we would consider selling the game to are all internationally recognized. Santa s Dash is targeted towards the English-speaking game markets in North America and Europe, as the United States and United Kingdom are the two biggest Flash game markets, according to the survey at We plan to release our game on December 3rd, This is the perfect time to release our game, as it gives us a chance to have an advantage over our competition by entering the market slightly earlier than the rest of the Christmas-themed games. By releasing our game before the competition, players will have a chance to play Santa s Dash before other Christmas games. This will generate an initial buzz about the game, and we will gain lots of plays from this. In order to advertise Santa s Dash, we have created a website for Team Productions at The site features our logos, biographies for our team members, and a page dedicated to Santa s Dash. We will use this website to generate hype for the game before its release. Once Santa s Dash is released, we will use the website to host a contest where players compete to get the highest score. Whoever gets the highest score before December 20th will win a Nintendo Wii system, delivered to them by December 25th. This contest will help generate hype for the game, in turn gaining more players.

10 Proposed schedule The following schedule has been colour coded by position. Marketer/Producer Game Designer Software Engineer Artistic Director It should be noted that all members are responsible for this timeline and should help each other in order to complete the project before the final deadline. To be completed on or by the following days: November 1 st : MP: Having the game design chosen November 5 th : GD: Broken down the design, pass onto AD and SE what is possible and desired November 12 th : AD: Completed most of the sprites (rough) SE: Functional structure, first level ready to at least test November 19 th : AD: Backgrounds completed, sprite costumes well underway SE: Completed all levels MP: Website completed, advertises game coming November 26 th : GD: Ensuring the game meets the design document as much as possible AD: Complete all sprite costumes SE: Implement all component, ensure playability and begin testing December 3 rd : SE: Game is polished and ready to play publicly MP: Game published, marketed

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