Tomas and I have been working together to figure out the exact mechanics of our game (Korec, T and Waters, J. 2021.). These can be seen on our Miro board under a section called ‘Game Mechanics’ (2021. Miro.).
We have worked through each part of the game to determine how they are connected and how they help the player to play this game.
Firstly, we decided on how the player would view the game
The game is set in a forest and the player character – which is the owl – can move between and enter different locations within the forest.
To accommodate when the owl is in a specific location and when the owl is outside and just in the forest, we came up with two different views that the player would come across when playing the game – location view and world view.
Location view would be what the player sees when they are in a specific location. This view will be very typical of point-and-click adventures in that the player sees the player character, along with all non-player characters within the scene. The player can make the owl interact with the environment, objects and other characters within a location with their mouse.
The player can exit back to the forest through a clearly marked exit within the scene. Once they do this, they return to the forest.
World view is what the player views the world when they are in the forest and not at a specific location. This view would be either an aerial view or possibly even an isometric view and would be similar in function to the world map in the Super Mario games 1990. (Super Mario World, 1990).
However, the player would have relatively more freedom of movement between locations on the map, similar to the world map in the Commander Keen games (Commander Keen in Goodbye, Galaxy, 1991), allowing the player to take on tasks in any order they wish.
In addition to this, they player can see in real time how many machines are in the forest, how much of forest has been deforested, how much has been destroyed and also how many animals are mobilised to fight the machines.
The game will alternate between two different states at set intervals – day and night. The player will be able to tell whether it is day or night by visual and auditory cues, as well as an onscreen graphic.
Day and night will each have their own specific piece of music, which will alternate between a major or minor key depending on how well the player is doing. The scenery within locations will also use different colour schemes to indicate daytime or night time.
Both day and night will have their own dynamics. You will be able to interact with different sets of animals, depending on whether it is day or night and the animals in question are nocturnal or diurnal.
During night, there will be fewer animals and by extension, fewer tasks. There will also be fewer and smaller machines and therefore a slower rate of deforestation. It is easier to move around at night.
During the day, there will be more animals and therefore more tasks. There will be more machines and deforestation will occur at a faster pace.
You must complete tasks for both day and night animals in order to earn their respect so that they will help you fight back against the machines. The more respect you earn, the more effectively they will help you.
You need to alternate between doing tasks for day animals or night animals depending on what time it is. If you earn enough respect from a certain group of animals, they may even help you at night if they are a day animal or at day if they are a night animal, meaning you have a more effective resistance.
The amount of respect that you earn for each animal will be measured on a respect meter, similar to what is seen in Grand Theft Auto 2 (Grand Theft Auto 2, 2000), the second instalment of the Grand Theft Auto series.
The respect meter consists of a bar over which the is measured. There is an arrow which indicates how much respect you have earned with a given animal.
The respect meter also has a loyalty threshold which is marked on the respect meter; once the arrow reaches this threshold on any respect meter, the animal in question is fully loyal to you, meaning if its a night animal, it will come out at day and if its a day animal, it will come out at night. The threshold varies from animal to animal.
The respect meters all have an icon which indicates which animal it is measuring the respect of.
The respect meters for all known animals can be viewed by clicking a button which sits in the corner of the screen.
Each animal in the game will be assigned a class to indicate what their role is in the game.
The classes are as follows:
- Dismantling: These animals fight and dismantle machines. Animals of this class have different strengths and thus can take on machines of varying sizes
- Reforesting: These animals replant and regrow deforested areas once they have been cleared of machines, Reforesting the forest can also mean new locations opening up in the game
- Building: These animals use materials salvaged from the dismantled machines to build sites and tools that can benefit the forest.
- Scouting: We are not sure if we will use this class yet but we are considering this. These animals look for new locations in the forest, as well as checking for the whereabouts of machines
This has not yet been finalised but we have started brainstorming different animals for the forest and whether they come out at day or night.
We carried out research to determine which animals that live in the forest really are nocturnal or diurnal. (Nocturnal wildlife, n.d.)
The next stage will now be to work out what classes each of these animals should be, but more importantly, the tasks that the animals will assign to the owl to carry out and how they relate to the overall plot of the game.
1991. Commander Keen in Goodbye, Galaxy. Shreveport, Louisiana, US: id Software.
2000. Grand Theft Auto 2. Edinburgh, Scotland: Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design).
Korec, T and Waters, J. 2021. [Ideation session] (personal communication, 7/10/21)
2021. Miro. San Francisco, CA: RealtimeBoard, Inc.[Software]
1990. Super Mario World. Tokyo, Japan: Nintendo.
The RSPB. n.d. Nocturnal wildlife. [online] Available at: <https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-families/big-wild-sleepout/nocturnal-wildlife/> [Accessed 7 October 2021].