Experimental Project | W1

May 15, 2018

Project: 

I would like to simulate the childish joy of chasing a friend or running away from a friend in a playground. In order to achieve this feeling, I will be making a dexterity based game with chasing as its core mechanic. My goal is recreating the situation of the player assuming the chase role vs. the player assuming the escape role in a video game. Since the player character and non-player character will be playing tag, hereby I will need to develop a non-player character with a behavioural pattern (a very simple Enemy AI).

 

Elevator pitch: PACMAN (arcade game) meets Tag (playground game) in Journey (adventure/art game).

 

Platform: Mobile iOS (iPad)

Controls: Joystick

 

Example games with chasing mechanic:

 

* It was challenging to find chasing mechanic heavy games which were not FPS or stealth. These are the examples, which I feel that suit the most to what I would like to achieve.
 

Tag - Why good? :

  • Simple game without many rules

  • Generates freedom of movement (free flow space) and intuitive play

 

PACMAN - Why good? :

  • Even though the game space is closed, the design of the space and portals supply freedom of movement. 

  • Grid based design, walls and the portals allow the character to get into the alternative routes and escape/catch the enemies.  

  • The goal of the game is to eat all the dots before getting caught by the enemies. The goal justifies why the player is trying to avoid/beat the enemies.

 

Theme:

The story of the game and the core mechanic is inspired by the celestial myths about the endless love of the Sun and the Moon, and the ancient Persian poem, Layla & Majnun.

  • Player character: Sun

  • Non-player character (AI): Moon

 

X-statement: Sun and Moon playing tag, causing an eclipse in each catch.

5 Key Feelings: joy, unity, ambition, adrenalin, versatility

 

Core Mechanics & Related Feelings: 

  • Runafter (Chase) mechanic: childish joy and ambition of chasing a friend

  • Catch mechanic (Eclipse): feeling of unity

    • short silence as if the time stops, and then the nature awakens and animals start chanting

  • Changeover (Transition of roles): eventfulness/versatility

    • Moon becomes the chaser and Sun escapes - If Sun catches the moon, solar eclipse / If Moon catches the sun, lunar eclipse

  • Runaway (Escape) mechanic: childish joy and adrenalin/exitement of running away from a friend

 

Other Mechanics - Nice to have: 

  • Time relativity: both an environmental enemy and a booster 

    • areas on the map with fast/slow time flow (affects characters' speed)

    • allows strategising for trapping/boxing the enemy or for catching up and cutting in

  • Gravity: tethering mechanic (Example: Tethered PS4 game)

    • pulling forces placed on the map, causes uncontrolled movement and change of location of the characters

  • Stars: group of little enemies causing obstruction and noise

 

I believe that circular movement transmits a feeling closer to the real-life experience, compared to the linear or sharp, grid based movement, so I'll do my best to design and build the game on a circular layout.

 

“The circle is another of the basic formats for children’s play, and a number of circular games include an element of running and chasing.” [from British Library article about chasing games]

 

Visual thinking/Idea generation Sketches: 

These photos from my notebook show the development process of the game idea. 

 

 

Pinterest Mood Boards:

I have prepared quick mood boards on Pinterest for the art style, design (game layout), narrative and chasing (core mechanic) of the game.

 

 

Useful Links:

 

British Library Chasing Games Article

https://www.bl.uk/playtimes/articles/chasing-games

 

Tethered Game Manual

http://secretsorcery.com/tethered/manual/Tethered-Players_Guide.pdf

 

Pop Cap secrets

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/gamesblog/2012/aug/08/popcap-secrets-of-game-design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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