Destructor Design Document

Destructor

Deliverable 3 – Game Design Document

5/9/12

Brandon Lee

  1. Game Overview
    1. Concept Overview
    2. Features
    3. Genre
    4. Target Audience
    5. Look and Feel
  2. Gameplay
    1. Overview
    2. Game-flow summary
    3. Camera
    4. Saving
      1. Asynchronous Play
    5. Control Summary
      1. Moving the Camera
      2. Destroying a Tile
      3. Using a Power Card
    6. Game Types
      1. Deathmatch
      2. Numbers Game
      3. Regicide
      4. Tower Defense
    7. Power Cards
      1. Road Block
      2. Chain Reaction
      3. Directional
      4. Vicarious Destructor

      5. Rearrange

  3. Story
    1. Creation/Destruction
    2. Numerology
    3. Campaign
  4. Interface
    1. Main menu
    2. Online Play
    3. Local Play
      1. Pass’nPlay
    4. Options
    5. In-game HUD
  5. Art
    1. Color
    2. Pieces
      1. Towers
      2. King
      3. Plants
    3. Sound
      1. Game noises
      2. Music
  6. Technology

Concept Overview

Destructor is a multiplayer, turn-based strategy board game available in analog and digital form for Mobile (Android and iOS), PC and consoles. The board is comprised of individual hexagons, called tiles. The focus of the game is for players to spread their territory across the board by strategically destroying their own hex tiles to conquer the surrounding tiles. There are a variety of different game modes to choose from, each offering a different take on the principle mechanic.

Features

Players can go head-to-head against up to 5 other players that are either local or online.

There are different kinds of objective-based game types to choose from.

The game will keep track of how many times a player has won or lost in a particular game type, which can be compared to a friend’s stats. The game will also keep track of total games played and total time played.

Genre

Destructor is a turn-based, abstract, strategy board game played with other humans.

Target Audience

Destructor is meant to appeal to fans of strategy games. The game can be played in a casual manner at the discretion of the player via asynchronous turn taking on a mobile device or personal computer.

Look and feel

Destructor aims for a simple flat art style that is both pleasing to the eye and easy on the processor.

Destructor seeks to ape “post-modernist” art with its geometric shapes in groups of color.

Destructor is a virtual board game, so it looks like a board game.

Gameplay/Mechanics

Overview

The primary mechanic in Destructor is the “destruction” of one’s own tiles. Whenever a player destroys their tile they capture all of the surrounding tiles whether they be neutral or player-owned.

If the destroyed tile was touching an empty space where a previous tile had been destroyed, then that space is converted into a new neutral tile.

There are three stages in a tile’s life: neutral, captured, and destroyed. Neutral tiles get captured, captured tiles get destroyed or captured again, destroyed tiles turn into neutral tiles again when an adjacent tile is destroyed.

There are different kinds of objective-based game types to choose from.

Tiles under the control of a player will slowly start to “age”. This is represented by plants that grow on top of the tile. Plants are used to express the idea of growth over time, and visually promote the idea of life and death. Hopefully, there is some associated emotional experience with killing plants.

Age does not affect a tile in any way, but is used as a tracking system in Numbers Game

The player can also have access to a variety of different power-ups in the form of Power Cards. These can drastically alter the flow of the game.

Game flow summary

At the start of the game, the turn order is determined by a random shuffling of player names.

Each player takes turns destroying their tiles and using power cards.

Camera

The “camera” should hover above the “board” in a top-down perspective as if looking at a boardgame on a table. The camera should be able to move smoothly in any desired direction.

Once the player has moved the camera so that the board is taking up less than 50% of the screen, camera movement should stop.

At the beginning of a player’s turn the camera should be focused on the space where the last player acted.

Saving

Destructor was designed so that it could be played asynchronously on the phone. When it is a player’s turn they will receive a notification.

Saving a multiplayer game does present certain problems that may be unresolvable on certain platforms; therefore, playing asynchronously will probably not be possible on the console.

Ideally, a player could send an invitation to resume a saved game in the same manner that one could send an invitation to join a game on Xbox Live or Steam.

Controls

Moving the Camera

On the PC, players can use the Left, Right, Up, and Down keys on a keyboard, or move the cursor to the edge of the screen.

On the consoles players can use the analog stick or the directional pad.

And on smart phones players can touch and drag the screen.

Destroying a tile

Players select a tile they wish to destroy. They will then be prompted to confirm the selection.

Using a Power Card

Players can select which power card they want to use from the side of the screen, then select which tile they wish to use it on. They will be prompted to make sure that they selected the correct tile and card.

Game Types

Destructor is comprised of several different game types that can be active at the same time. The type of match would be determined by whoever starts the game as host.

Deathmatch

Each player starts with one tile on the edge of the board.

Players try to completely wipe-out the enemy by carefully destroying tiles. The “vanilla” form of Destructor; no wacky goals or playstyles, just old-fashioned strategy. And much like Vanilla ice cream, Deathmatch serves as the basis for all the more interesting types. (note: After playtesting, Deathmatch seems broken by being nearly impossible to win. As such, playing with power-ups is a necessity; however, the option to play without them is still there)

Tower Defense

Each player starts with one tile on the edge of the board.

Certain tiles spawn as “tower” pieces, they don’t do anything by themselves, but need to be captured in order to win. The number of towers available and the number needed to win, as well as how long the towers must be held can all be variable (for example: 6 towers, 100% of towers needed to win, must hold for 2 turns).

Numbers Game

Each player starts with one tile on the edge of the board.

Owned hex tiles have an associated number that grows with each turn they aren’t destroyed.

Destroying a tile will reset the number/plant growth.

Whoever reaches a certain combined total number, wins.

Alternatively, whoever has the highest individual number at the end of a certain number of turns, wins.

Hopefully, there is some associated emotional experience with killing bigger plants, especially as in this game format they also affect a player’s score.

Having plants represent numbers will be on by default, but can be turned off

Regicide

Players start with one immutable hex tile, the King tile if you will, surrounded on each side by regular controlled tiles.

The goal is to capture the opponent’s King by surrounding it. A King is surrounded if there are no friendly neighbors, so a combination of destroyed, neutral, and enemy tiles will count.

Power Cards

Power-ups have a 1 in n chance to spawn on a neutral tile n/6 spaces away from any other power-up, where n= total number of tiles

Power-ups would award a random power card when capturing that tile.

Power cards would function like a card in a player’s hand that they can choose to use at any time. Visually, cards will appear on the side of a player’s screen, with the name truncated for mobile users.

There is no limit to the number of cards used on your turn.

There are six different power cards:

Vicarious Destructor

Player chooses a tile to spread from, but instead of destroying that tile the player chooses any other tile on the board to be destroyed. The destroyed tile in this case does not capture its neighbors.

Rearrange

Players can move an outlying tile of their choice to a new outlying location.

Genesis Machine

Create new neutral tiles bordering any edge tile. The number of new tiles is equal to the number of empty sides of a given tile. Using Genesis Machine in conjunction with Rearrange allows maximum effect.

Chain Reaction

When a player destroys a tile, they can choose any captured tile to also be destroyed, which triggers another set of captures. This allows players to do twice the amount of damage in one turn.

Road Block

Players can choose a particular tile to be invulnerable to capture for one turn. This would be a card that lets a player protect a space after someone attacks it.

This card can be used at any time.

Directionals

Players can aim which way they will capture tiles by choosing a straight line and capturing all tiles in that direction equal to the number of adjacent tiles that could have been captured. This allows for more strategic movement, especially in objective-based play.

Story/Subtext

Life and Death

There is no story, but the gameplay can still be interpreted to have a subtext.

The whole game revolves around the idea that destruction breeds creation, aka the classical yin-yang view of life on this planet. Plants are used to express the idea of growth over time, and visually promote the idea of life and death. The act of taking over a hex and then destroying it to springboard on to another tile can be viewed in the same way a parasitic virus infects a host and then replicates itself until the host burst and spreads the virus. Players can be seen as life-forms struggling for dominance in a limited area.

Numerology

Because the game is centered around hexagons, there is also a specific effort to incorporate the theme of numerology for the number six, 6 power-ups, 6 plant types, 6 players(maximum), and there are technically 12 game-type options if you count combinations.

Campaign

There will be a tutorial that introduces players to new concepts one at a time.

These will not be full game matches that the player has to work through, they will just continue until the player “wins” or just decides to move on.

For each Game Type, there will be one board to practice on.

For each Power-up, there will be one board to practice on.

Interface

Start Screen

When players start the game they will see the name of the game, the name of the developer, and the year the game was copyrighted. There may also be a cross-promotion advertisement for any other games made by the developer.

Main Menu

The game will have a main menu from which the player can select Play and Settings.

Selecting Play would lead to Online Match, Random Match, Local Area Network, and Pass’nPlay (hot seat).

Online Play

Players will be able to select Play Random, which will launch them into any game that is accepting random opponents.

Players will be able to send an invitation to up to 5 of their friends to start a game, or they can also select to invite random players.

The game will utilize a list of friends with the game installed.

Players will also have the ability to invite people from a contact/friends list who do not have the game, these people will be invited to download the game.

Local Area Network

Players connected to the same local network will be able to play with each other without being connected to the internet.

When LAN play is selected, players will be able to see a list of all connected devices that can be invited to play.

For Pass’nPlay players can use just one device and select how many people will be playing.

Settings

Selecting Settings would lead to game settings such as Screen Resolution (PC) , Screen Orientation (mobile) , and Sound Volume.

If a player goes into settings while in the middle of a game with multiple opponents, they can initiate a vote to kick a player from the game.

In-game HUD

During play, there will be icons indicating who is playing and whose turn it is.

The icons will be small squares with pictures of player avatars; the current player whose turn it is will be highlighted. On the console front these avatars already exist in the form of Nintendo Miis and Xbox/Playstation avatars. For PC and Mobile there will be a selection of pictures in-game to choose from.

Art

Color

The color palette for players will be flat unshaded primary and secondary colors (red, yellow, blue, orange, green, and violet).

Neutral tiles will be white. Destroyed tiles will be black. (should the game make it to Japan this will be reversed to retain the same meaning).

For any menus, such as the main menu or confirmation dialogs, they will have flat colors to match the style.

Pieces

Game pieces that populate the board will be descriptive without being detailed.

The king piece will be a simple spikey crown of gold color.

Towers will be gray towers that resemble rooks from Chess.

Plants

Plants grow to symbolize the “age” of a tile. The icons for plants will come in six stages.

The first stage being one small blade of grass.

The second stage is three blades of grass sprouting from one point.

The third stage would be six blades of grass coming from one point.

The fourth stage would be one small circular shrub.

The fifth stage would be a double-wide shrub with a dark line coming down the middle. This shape would basically resemble a heart shaped bush.

The sixth stage be a small palm tree with five leaves coming out the top.

After the sixth stage, the tree would stay and at another point on the tile the sequence would start over again. Basically the plants would operate as if counting in base six.

Sound

When a power card has been selected for use, it should make a light “swoosh” noise as if flying out of a player’s hand.

Destroying a tile will make a small explosive noise, as if it were being blown up

Music

The soundtrack playing in the background will be public domain instrument-ensemble music from likes of Chopin or Schubert. The music is meant to be pleasing and not overbearing.

Technology

Destructor is to be made using the Unity3d 3.5 engine. Unity is one of the only engines that is able to run on the PC, every current-gen console, and smart phones. Unity also has sufficient capacity to make its own 3d geometric shapes, so a dedicated program would be unnecessary for this game.

Photoshop or equivalent software can be used for all of the art in the game.

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