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Friday, September 13, 2013

College Project: Mach-Arena

   I wrote up a nice concept document to turn in for class yesterday and now I'm ready to share it with the world! This is the project I'll be working on over the next 21 weeks alongside my personal mobile game projects so I think it deserves a few dedicated posts. Read the concept document after the break to see what this college game project is all about.

    My group is Group 2 just like last year. That title stuck so much hat we decided to make it the team name and game designer Charles even made a "G2" logo out of it.
    We decided the name fit perfectly because it describes the games core idea, a vehicle based high-speed arena deathmatch game. It also sounds a lot like a certain popular song, which got people making jokes about the title, which made our game the most discussed one of the class, whereas a more typical name would have been forgotten.

    This article is meant to get the initial idea on paper and in a form that all group members can understand so that we are all on the same page and working on the same game vision. For that reason, visuals are incredibly important and clear sentences are required. I also included an extra space for bullet point ideas that pop up later so all good ideas are kept in a place we can check later if we finish the project with time to spare. 
    It's a bit messy here and looks way better as a word document but here goes...

Group 2 Presents (in association with Yotes Games)…

     Mach-Arena is a fast paced multiplayer deathmatch taking place in claustrophobic underground tunnels with wide open hub areas.  Players control flying vehicles and are constantly moving forward but can control their speed. When in tunnel paths the vehicles move along set paths at high speeds and players control which side of the tunnel wall to hover over. When in open areas players have a 3D range of movement. All players have a map with the other players locations charted, adding a layer of strategy as players predict each other’s movements. Traversing the tunnels is incentivized by the randomized power ups players can pick up in there but deterred by the obstacles and the risk of another player’s ambush at the opposite end.

     There is a contrast between the vibrantly colored objects of interest and the dull colored environment which draws attention and gives players things to move toward or away from. Players have will have fun hunting each other down, taking advantage of the environment, and racing through the high-speed controlled paths in tunnels.

    Mach-Arena combines the fast paced action of racing games with the thrill of hunting and combat of shooter games. Players have the ability to speed up and slow down, but never stop, and can even dodge once before needing to recharge (so no one can dodge oncoming fire forever).  Passageways can lead down alternate paths if a player flies over a hole while speeding through them.  Players are always moving forward at a decent, fast, faster, or crazy pace which prevents “camping” and unfair tactics.

   Crashing into another player causes damage to both vehicles. If the speed of the players at impact is great enough one or all players involved may explode. Players all have a set amount of health. [Different vehicles may or may not have different attributes/stats.]

“Hmm. That guy is almost halfway through that tunnel. I can go in from the other end and ram into him. Since I have the shield item I won’t get hurt, but he’ll explode because we’re going so fast!”

     Power ups add a layer of strategy and empowerment. When acquired, players can activate them at any time. Shield protects the user from harm for a short time, Frenzy rapidly fires shots with a longer range for a short time, Blast fires one instant kill shot instead of a regular shot, Trap lays a floating bomb behind the user for other players to run into, and Boost greatly increases the user’s speed for a few seconds.  Standard deathmatch rules: 10 min of gameplay. Kill - Score+1,  Die – Score -1.

Concept words: turbo, tunnel, shot, fire, race, speed, death, blast, way, zoom, rocket, underground, cave, go, fast, crash, pilot, arena, fight, combat, channel,  pods, target , hovercraft, jet, blaster, pipeline

Names: Thunder Tunnel, Super Tunnel Combat 64, Channel Chasers, Battle Tunnel X, Storm Tunnel, Jet Tunnel, Catacomb Blaster, Catacraft Combat, Katacraft Kombat, Mach Arena, CATACOMBAT, MachZero

Ship names: Catacraft, G.A.T.O.R. , Flighter, J.E.T

Concept Images: 
(Google Images & our whiteboard)

Extended Details:
·         Ring/Light/Booster/Portal/Indicator of Tunnel entrance. Reason for it making you speed up and stay locked.
·         Shiny chrome ring around tunnel entrances
·         Trap can be a floating spike bomb, ball of energy, or electric field/cloud.
·         Tunnel obstacles – lava, roots, stalactites, rubble.
·         Game Flow: Start Screen (Press spacebar), Menu (deathmatch, online deathmatch, local deathmatch, control options, how to play), Deathmatch (for class purposes, single player only), Controls (3 different setups, tease future joypad support), How To Play (simple instructions. Minimize amount of text, use graphic banners), Ship Select (after choosing Deathmatch, player picks a ship), End Screen (after Deathmatch end see rankings and choose to retry or quit to menu), Arena Select (choose a fighting location before the match begins, only one available), Gameplay (Camera is behind the player while the HUD overlaps the screen).
·         Cannot dodge in tunnels
·         Underground level – Underdome. Hemisphere with 4 metallic/magnetic tunnels. The central hub has several pillars of different heights extending from the ground (a few of them even connect to the ceiling). The pillars serve as obstacles and view obstructers that allow players to avoid being spotted immediately. Bumping into the pillars or cave walls causes damage.

·        Blur effect when using Boost
·         particle effects for item get and ship exhaust
·         crumbling ceiling effect  & light haze in hub
·         subtle sound effects
·         Fun with rankings – give out titles like Goldeneye for most kills or the least aggressive player

Future Expansion:
·         Themed levels- underwater, space, underground

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