Mapping, Mining, Pitching, Planning

This new project is more focused on the design document side of games development, so unlike the previous projects there is no expectation to have a working prototype along with the document. It maybe a good idea as there is nothing better than a working prototype to express gameplay, however I do like this project as it’s going to involve a lot of organising and research. Something I appear to be enjoying more and more these days. Plus I did have a small giggle at the image used for the title page of the current brief from the comic Gamer Pals.

The image used on the title page of the brief.

The humorous image used on the title page of the brief.

First here is the outline of the project for reference:

OUTLINE

Assessment of this his module has been split into strands:

Design document

Create a portfolio including a comprehensive design document and accompanying research. This should include any prototypes, designs, artefacts appropriate to the brief presented later in this document. This project is to be made in pairs unless negotiated with staff. The documentation should be backed up by prototypes, moodboards,  playtesting, character design etc..

Research and Development Journal and post-mortem evaluation

Here you should compile your research and development works, which detail your contribution to the piece, and profiles the process.

The ability to present your development is critical to the completion of the project. All research and development should be submitted digitally, on a CD-ROM, compiled and presented using appropriate software, such as Adobe In Design.

Presentation

You will be required to present and defend your work as part of a collective critique process.

I am unfortunately not working with anyone again in this project, I would have liked to, however many people appear to want to make this one their sink/swim project like the last project was for me. I do have a clear idea for this brief though as it’s a brief that I like as it’s based on history and has to be non-violent.

For reference here is the brief:

SCENARIO

You have been asked to produce a pitch and design document for an historically themed game that mixes cultural/historical reference and appropriate representational styles.

The game must examine the styles and types of games played within one of the historical periods be it a sport, boardgame, card game, other. The offering must be original, innovative and unique.

Make sure this is a unique idea…no chess or historically set Street Fighter clones!

NO VIOLENT GAMES. Absolutely no Gladiatorial games or action combat, jousting or chariot racing.

  • Aztec/Mayan
  • Egyptian
  • Renaissance
  • Tudor
  • Victorian
  • Russian (any period)
  • Feudal Japan

The outcomes:

  • Provide reference material in your research documentation around your chosen era.
  • The game must adopt an appropriate visual style
  • The team will produce a comprehensive design document.

The Design Document draft will be presented in the 2nd week to the group as a short 5-10 minute presentation as a pitch to the group. Students will vote as to whether the project is viable for development.

The document should of high enough quality that it can be printed and handed to an interested party.

An example design document is provided in the appendix. It is based upon the document found at the following URL: Game Design Template

The design document and the initial development process should take into consideration core game mechanics. In the third week these core game mechanics will be presented to the group for discussion

ALSO…

A demonstration of some aspect of the game will be required as part of the presentation. This should be presented as a powerpoint presentation in the final crit. Whether this presentation contains actual in-game content (prototype) or proposed game elements is up to you. The key thing is the quality of the presentation.

My initial idea was to do a ball game based on the Mayan period, I also looked into doing something with Russians as I love the architecture, in the end I have decided to pursue an idea based on the Victorian era.

Mainly as it’s an era that is rich in invention and source material, that and my local area has enough Victorian remnants in the form of architecture and museum pieces for which I can use as reference material. Now I just need to pin down the exact type of game that I would like to do, I have had something knocking about in my head for a while that may suit this, so I am going to spend the next day trying to outline this idea in preparation for the the pitch presentation.

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