Game Design outline

For this week’s assignment, we were required to come up with a game design outline document, which outlines the concept we have come up with for our game. This is to help us work out the mechanics of the game, how the player will interact with the game, how they will complete the game and what obstacles they will face. This will also help us work out how we can pitch this game to potential investors. ( n.d.)

Here is the game outline document that I worked on with my team mate, Tomas. (Korec, T and Waters, J. 2021.)

1. Game MechanicsThe game alternates between night and day at set intervals.  During the night, there are nocturnal animals that the player can interact with and during the day, the are diurnal animals that the player can interact with.At night there are smaller and fewer machines that destroy the environment, but during the day there are more and bigger machines.
Deforestation happens at a faster rate during the day than at night, but there are more animals present during the day.  To fight against the machines, the player must mobilise the animals of the forest to take on the machines and reforest the forest.
The player can move between locations on a world map and while they are in each location, they can look around, click on objects and elements in the scene and interact with other characters in the environment.  
The further the machines move, the more of the map that is destroyed, the fewer the animals and the less of the map that can be visited.  The more of the forest that is reforested, the more animals there are and more of the map can be visited.  The less forest there is, the less advantage the player has.
2. GenrePoint and click adventure which will have mechanics that are characteristic of that genre.  The game will also derive tropes and conventions from the strategy genre.
3. Player FantasyBuilding an army of animals to take on a common enemy.  Immersed into a rich story with strong visuals and sound, but there is also a strategic component that keeps the game going.  The game will have a relatively slow and relaxed pace, common to point and clicks, which will allow for the player to explore the environment and the lore of the game.  While there will be time limits that will be used to keep the game going, these time limits will be lenient, so as to not remove from the relaxed nature of this genre.
The game will offer a rewards system for completing the game within different time frames or completing the tasks in a certain order, which will mean the player will want to play this game again.
4. Platform and ControlsThe player will be using computer such as a PC or Mac to interact with the game.  The player will primarily use a mouse to click on areas either in the world map or within a location to interact with their surroundings.  There will also be an on-screen interface with numerous buttons the player can click to carry out certain actions.  The game may also offer key shortcuts for certain actions.
5. Spatial AbstractionIt will be a 2D game.  The spatial abstraction will manifest itself in two disctinct ways in this game; when the player is not in a specific location, they are in a world map, which will appear either in aerial or isometric and the player will be able to see all of the locations they can visit on the map, as well as where the machines are on the map and how much of the forest is forested versus how much has been deforested by the machines.  The player can click on locations on the world map to visit them.
When the player is in a specific location, the scene takes place in a third person view, in which they can see the scene, all of the characters within the scene and the player character, which in this case is the owl.  The player can click within the scene to make the player character move around, interact with the scene, pick up objects or talk to other characters.  When they exit a location, the return to the world map.
6. AvatarThe player is represented in the game by the owl, which is the main protagonist of the game.  The player controls this character’s actions.  The owl character is visible to the player within the scene at all times.
7. Camera PerspectiveWe view the owl character in third person view at all times.  In world map view, we view the character from above and in any location, we view the character from the front (fourth wall)
8. Goals and ScoresThe goal of the game is to save the forest by getting rid of all of the machines and to reforesting.  We will keep the player engaged by the continuous alternation between day and night, as well as they different dynamics that ensure, which are laid out under Game Mechanics.
9. Progression and VarietyThe owl earns the respect of different groups of animals by completing tasks for them.  The more respect the owl earns from each group of animals, the more likely they are to help the owl in saving the forest. The respect that the owl earns is measured on respect metres.
Initially, day animals only function during the day and night animals only function during the night; however, if the respect meters for any given animal reach a specific threshold, they can be convinced to come out at any time, which means that the owl will have a stronger resistance against the machines.
Each group of animals will have different abilities and will be better for carrying out certain tasks, whether this is reforesting, taking on machines or building resources.
Reforesting the forest unlocks new locations, characters and tasks.
10. Tension and RestThe player will be able to see how much forest is left, how many machines or in the forest and how much of the forest has been destroyed on the world map.
Deforestation happens at a faster pace during the day than at night.
There will be a mixture of tasks of varying difficulties, which will earn the owl varying levels of respect.
11. Obstacles and PenaltiesDuring the night, there are fewer varieties of animals to interact with and therefore fewer tasks.  During the day, there are more animals and more tasks, but more machines.  Respect meters for different animals decline over time if you go too long without doing any tasks.
12. ResourcesOther animals within the forest and their respective abilities, the respect and trust of said animals, resources and materials which are salvaged from machines that are destoryed, which can be used to either reforest the forest or build tools or sites than can benefit the animals of the forest and help you reach the end goal. There will be seeds that the owl and other animals can find within the forest, which can be used to reforest the forest and other purposes.
13. DecisionsThe player can choose which tasks they do in any order, they can choose which animals they focus on earning respect from first, they can decide how quickly they want to play the game within the constraints imposed.  The more time the player spends exploring the story without reforesting or taking on machines, the more the forest becomes deforested.
14. Simulation and ChanceThe game will alternate between day and night at set intervals, changing the dynamics of the forest.  The machines will continue to move across the map and deforest the area, until they are fought back.
15. StorytellingThe game is an adventure and the story is told primarily through the interactions that the owl will have with characters or objects in the scene.  The game will not rely very much on cut scenes but there will be one cut scene at the very beginning to preface the game and set up the premise.  This will involve the owl’s treehouse being destoryed and the owl discovering the machines that are destroying the forest.
16. Art Direction and StyleThe game will have a cartoon style, which will alow for more cute and playful visuals, which will compliment the theme of woodland creatures
17. Animation and Visual EffectsThe characters and environment will be 2D and animated
18. Sound DesignThe game will include music to set the tone of the game.  The soundtrack will consist of two pieces of music – one for day and one for night.  They will both be composed in a major key and a minor key.  When the player is doing well, they will hear the piece of music in a major key and when they are losing, they will hear the piece of music in a minor key.
There will also be ambient sounds that create the atmosphere of a forest.

References n.d. Week 3: Challenge Activity – Game Design Outline. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 4 October 2021].

Korec, T and Waters, J. 2021. [Phone call to game outline] (personal communication, 4/10/21)

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