DD3992 – Honours Project Deliverables

Name

Callum Langstroth


Key Project Deliverables

A game design wiki

A prototype level

A “one page” GDD

Documentation detailing the two design processes

Maintaining a blog to track the design process as it happens

Further Deliverable Details

Deliverable

Time Allocated

Blog:

  • A website that will be used to track the progress of the project
  • To give me a space to quickly throw up ideas, notes, research, etc. etc.

21 weeks (constant)

Documentation:

  • To go through and order the blog posts into separate documents for each design
  • To go into more detail on the finer points of the design process for each idea not covered on the blog

5 weeks

One Page Designs:

  • A series of one page detailing all the key information needed for each area of the game design
  • From higher level overviews of things like the game world to the smaller details that need to be covered

10 weeks

Design Wiki:

  • A wiki site covering all the key areas of the game design
  • Organized in an easy to understand way while allowing quick and simple navigation of the site

10 weeks

Prototype Level:

  • A simple level design showing off a few of the key concepts and mechanics for the wiki game design

6 – 10 weeks

Physical Prototypes:

  • A series of physical paper representations of the game mechanics and ideas behind both designs
  • The idea is to simplify the key points of each game in order to quickly and easily define what the player will experience when playing the final game

21 weeks (constant)

Note: There is a lot of overlap for each Deliverable, so on a given week I should be working on at least two things in relation to the project. Along with the blog.

 

Project Order:

 

– Research and learning new software, coding, UDK elements till Christmas

– Pitch documents for both designs by:

  •  
    • Week 4 for Project Superman 
    • Week 7 for the Time Travel game
  • Pitch presentations for each design to be used to help define the ideas and to get feedback on them from the other students:
    • Week 4 for Project Superman
    • Week 7 for the Time Travel game
  • Research for the key elements that make up each design to be finished by Week 8:
    • Project Superman:
      • History of the IP
      • Perception of the IP
      • other superhero games
      • other similar games
    • Time Travel Game:
      • The various rules of time travel
      • Which “set” of rules will be used
      • similar games
  • First physical prototypes for some areas of both game by Week 8 to test out on fellow students and get feedback
    • From this point make more physical prototypes if needed
  • Week 9 to start work on the one page designs and wiki site
  • Week 12 start work on the prototype level for the Time Travel game
  • Week 14 have both the one page designs and wiki site in rough form (some room for omissions and unfinished sections)
  • Week 17 start organising and writing documentation 
  • Week 19 have; one page designs, wiki and prototype level finished

– Weeks 20 & 21 cleaning up documentation, prototypes, designs, etc. and making them presentable


Videos

I’m going to be throwing up a string of videos, links and quotes to various things relating to time travel. As a starting point for my research into time travel theory.

Let the head scratching begin!

DD3992 – Honours Project Proposal Form (FINAL)

Name

Callum Langstroth

Subject Area/Areas

Game Design, Level Design, Game Design Documents, Prototyping

Project Theme

To show an understanding of the whole design process behind making a game and that it can be handled in differing ways. From concept to prototype via two different paths.

Brief Project Description

The project will be to take two game concepts from the pitch stage to two full GDDs. Each GDD will be approached differently. One from a more visual standpoint to help show of the potential of the design. The other will take the form a design wiki. The design wiki will then be used to build a prototype, block mapped, level in UDK or another game engine to show proof of concept of the unique game mechanics and level design ideas presented in the wiki. 

The two concepts will be different; one will be an adaptation of an existing IP, while the other will be an original idea. The idea behind the project is to show that I can work with established properties while at the same time being able to think “outside of the box.” It will also serve to show that I understand the whole of the production process for a game, from inception to full production from two different starting points and methods of documentation.

The two game concepts are:

A design for a Superman game (a concept that has never really worked for games in the past)

A games that revolves around the idea of time travel (its mechanics will reflect this and it will be the prototype)

Proposed Final Outcomes

To have two good game concepts generated in two distinctive ways and to have a working prototype to show proof of concept for one of the ideas to show potential employers. The accompanying blog will track the progress of the project over time.

The project will require research into areas previously untouched such as learning Unreal Script, creating a wiki and learning visual editing techniques (Adobe Illustrator), among others. Acquiring these new skills will help to show my ideas in the design and prototype stage. Also it will show that I can work well across the whole development cycle. 

Hopefully the project show my passion and dedication to the whole design process behind creating a game.

Dependencies/Unknowns that may affect the Project

Being able to implement my game mechanic ideas in existing software like UDK on my own. It may require learning aspects of Unreal Script in order to get them working at a professional level.

 

Time is also a big dependency. Careful planning and scheduling will be needed to create the two full GDDs and the prototype. The project will also require a lot of self study and research which could prove equally time consuming.

Project Superman (NowGamer Thread)

Link: Project Superman (NowGamer Thread)

This is a link to a thread I set up on the NowGamer.com forums regarding my Superman game idea. 

I copied over the initial Project Superman post and ask whoever wanted to reply the following questions:

1) What would you want to see in a Superman game? It doesn’t have to fit into my idea of a younger, less powerful, Superman just tell me what you have always wanted to see!


2) Which villains would you like to see? Lex Luthor has to be in the game so there’s one, but there are loads of others. While I have a greater knowledge of Superman’s eniemies it would be interesting to see what you lot come up with. Also the bad guys don’t have to be Superman ones, think broadly if you wish!


3) Do you have any questions you have about my idea? I haven’t gone into to much detail at this point but the main thread of it is this is effectivley Superman Begins. Any questions and suggestions are very welcome at this point.

The results gave some food for thought and solidified a few ideas for the final project.

More proof that I need to design a good Superman game!

Link: More proof that I need to design a good Superman game!

From NowGamer.com interviewing Rocksteady’s Dax Ginn:

“I think Superman is a very difficult character. He’s an incredible character, but the thing about Batman is that he’s so vulnerable, like physically vulnerable,” Ginn said in an interview. “The fertile territory of games design is being able to provide the player with opportunities for power, but also letting them know that they’ve got something to lose.”

Batman’s abilities are tempered by his own mortality, said the developer. “With Batman, you feel very powerful when you’re surrounded by 25 thugs who’ve just got baseball bats, but give just one of them an assault rifle and it changes the entire dynamic of the fight. But with a character like Superman, that’s not possible. So, I wouldn’t want to throw Batman away because he’s just such a brilliant character to work with, and the psychology of him is just very rich for gameplay.”