My Design Documents (LONG POST)

Posts: 1,066
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #1
I would like to get some opinions on my new game design. It's not completely done but I think it's enough to get an idea across. I am aware that this is based off of the idea behind The Matrix but I tried to take some different paths and I think it'll make a great 2D scroller when I'm done. It will take a long time because there are only four people working on the project, I'm pretty much the only coder in the group (the rest are here for the resources), and we're all new to programming on Mac. I'm also very sorry if the text is messed up because I wrote in in Word and used some special formatting options. I apologize if the moderators don't like these long posts here.

I have revised the post to take care of the all caps problem. I assume no responsibility towards any retinal damage due to the all caps. Smile


One day Oen wakes up to a nightmare that he cannot get over. He dreamt that he was in a large computer program that simulated life along with every other human being. Figuring it was his overactive imagination he got dressed and went to work at Game-On, a local video game programming company. While there he stumbled upon a website which had articles and posts from other people who had these dreams. He attempted to contact many of these people but they did not respond for many days.
Though his dreams persisted he ignored them for many weeks. Then one day while at work he noticed that a low-flying helicopter was hovering over the building across the street. He wandered over to the window just as three people wearing all black leaped effortlessly across a four lane road from building to building. Following these three people was a group of four men, all of whom were wearing black suits with white shirts, leaped the same street.
Oen instantly returned to his desk and began frantically searching the site he had visited many times before. Finally he found what he was looking for. The headline read ìRoad to Freedom.î The article detailed how people were able to ìescapeî from this simulated world and become free entities, coming and going as they please. Realizing that this was his calling he instantly stood up and headed for the door. Right before he could reach there he was called over to a cubicle in the back corner of the room. The person in the cubicle was dressed in all black and wore sunglasss. He handed Oen a cellular phone and told him that all he needed to know now was to run. Oen looked around for hint as to why he needed to run but when he looked back to ask the question, the man was gone.
As soon as Oen left the front door he realized what it was he was to be running from. He saw those four men who he had watched jump a four lane road approach him from the left. He looked around and started to run away as fast as he could.
He knew he was running towards freedom, he just didnít know where it was.


The player controls Oen as he completes many levels with various objectives. The player looks at Oenís side throught out the levels. The player will get use of some firearms throughout the game and will eventual gain ìsupernaturalî powers attributed to his freedom. They may also play mini-games which will be in the form of training programs run from the ìfree world.î The story line will be very dynamic, changing based on the specific outcome of a given level.


These are the default controls. Controls are customizable.

Action: Button:
Move Right Right Arrow
Move Left Left Arrow
Fly/Accend Up Arrow
Crouch/Decend Down Arrow
Jump Command
Fight Alt
Action Control
Pause/Menu Esc


ï Main character
ï Controlled by player
ï Ready to do anything to escape
ï (Previously explained in Preface)

Andrew / David / Gregory / William:
ï Four main AI against Oen
ï Debugging programs sent to eliminate rogue agents in the computer
ï Emotionless
ï Set on destruction of rebels and all knowledge of escaping

ï One of the rebels that figured out how to escape from the digital world
ï Assists Oen in many situations
ï ìToughî girl who isnít afraid to fight

ï Leader of the rebels
ï Assigns missions to the rebels
ï Rarely enters the digital world due to his huge importance in the free world
ï Willing to sacrifice anything to completely free humans

ï Headstrong hacker of the group of rebels
ï Controls the computers in the rebelís base in the free world
ï Assists with entering and leaving the digital world

ï Janeís partner for entering the digital world
ï Nervous about being caught by the Debugging Programs
ï Very timid in both worlds

Level Outline

Three Level Types (not including mini-games):
ï Escape Mission
o Goal is to get from point a to point b as quickly as possible
o Generally the largest levels horizontally
o Possible scenarios:
ï Planted bomb at building, timer count down
ï Running from main debuggers
ï Multi-Objective Mission
o Goal is to accomplish various tasks to benefit the rebels and their cause
o Size depends on the specific objectives
o Possible scenarios:
ï Plant smoke devices on various buildings to target them
ï Hack various computers inside a building
ï Elimination Mission
o Goal is to eliminate all the enemies in the level
o Size depends on number and types of enemies
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Posts: 916
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #2
I don't mind the long post, but I prefer mixed upper and lower case characters, makes it easier on the eyes... your post looks more like a EULA.

anyways, looks like a good start for a game design doc. You shouldn't write too much more on it and focus more on coding and making this idea work.
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Posts: 353
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #3
IMHO it sounds far too much like The Matrix. I think you will have a more rewarding experience if you work with an idea/story which is more abstracted from your inspiration.

I'd love to see this type of side-scroller come to fruition and I like the gameplay descrption, just not the closeness of the story/characters to The Matrix.
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Posts: 387
Joined: 2002.08
Post: #4
Mixed caps and lower case is much easier to read online here, yes. The length is no big deal though.

Unfortunately, I have to agree that it is very, very much like the Matrix... almost to the point where it could question some copyright law. Especially since you even admit it's like The Matrix!

Still, if you make it original enough, it could work well. Don't put the lead character in a long black trenchcoat and have him say "Whoa." Smile

I would get to work programming now - it looks like you have some good motivation there to help you along.

KB Productions, Car Care for iPhone/iPod Touch
All too often, art is simply the loss of practicality.
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Post: #5
Hehe, "Oen", that's cute.

Especially as self-aware as you are about the similarities between your story and you-know-what, I'd think that this story will be hard for you to work with and shape, since you will always have the other story in the back of your mind. You don't need to toss it out, but I agree with the throng: definitely come up with some reasonably different plot ideas that match with the originality and creativity of your gameplay ideas.

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Posts: 1,141
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #6
"Mr. Nick... Weeee missed you."

Story aside... I could picture the engine from NCarter's game from uDevGames 2003 driving this game. (engine wise)

How about a simple story?

You are a thief. You get hired by different people -- who pay the right amount of money, to go around the world, and steal what others are unable to steal. (Minus the C. Zeta Jones Wink )

You can climb, crawl, jump, parachute, slide, etc. in cities around the world.

Game features daytime and nighttime play. In fact, the game has "almost" real time play, in that the clock ticks away, and the sky/game world is altered.

Obvious you don't want to make it ...
one real minute = one game minute.

So the clock is sped up. Anyhow, say you start your mission at 7pm, after a nice dinner Wink As you play the game, the screen gets progressively darker. Objects like lights start to come on, guards take their positions, and so on. Do all that with some scripting.

I like this idea of a "changing world" for a side scroller because most of the time you play, each level is exactly the same. So my concept adds a little pre-theif planning. The cut-screens in fact allow you to get de-briefed, and allow you to arm yourself with various equipment -- but you must choose wisely. You might also be racing against the time in some missions, or against other "crews". Smile

When inside buildings, their exterior is cut away, so you get an inside view. Since NCater's game probably can set the camera from anywhere, it would be even more nifty to set the pov to something else while indoors.


Carlos A. Camacho,
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Post: #7
Wish you good luck with your team, after reading your story I`dd thaught it would be cool if it looks like "RAD GRAVITY"
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Post: #8
Does the player control only Oen throughout the game? This is what I gathered, but you might consider having the player switch characters between or even mid-level to take advantage of their individual skills, etc. I'm thinking of the hacker character in particular. Hacking into systems would be a neat mini-game.

Otherwise, good luck and remember -- "that movie" was also derivative. Smile

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Posts: 1,066
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #9
As of now we are only planning to have Oen controlled. Though it would be fun to include controlling other characters as you said. I know the idea is quite Matrix-y but I doubt it's to the point of copyright law unless you can copyright ideas. Plus I don't plan to sell this so I'm not seeing any trouble. After reading the posts, I'm currently working on a new story to fit my gameplay ideas. I'll probably have a whole new document by the end of the day to work with. Thanks for all the feedback. I especially like the thief kind of idea. Sounds cool.
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Posts: 509
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #10
Why is it all in caps?
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Posts: 1,066
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #11
The font i like to use in word uses all caps it just makes all the "capitalized" letters slightly larger. like i said I just copied it to the forum and it removed the special enlarged letters but left them all as caps. Sorry about that.
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Posts: 1,141
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #12
here you go --> 1/4


Carlos A. Camacho,
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Posts: 20
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #13
The matrix-esque style movement sounds cool, and I like the idea of the missions etc. Someday I'd really like to work on a game with more story/scripting (so far I've only finished a story-less puzzle and the similarly storyless Primate Plunge).

I love the sound of your additions to the design Carlos! I love games with the day/night cycle. Okay I love the only game I have played with a day/night cycle - Beyond Good and Evil. I think it would be fantastic in a platform game. There need to be more strategic platformers too...
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