A Short Game from Start to Finish

Quick Brainstorm of a Couple of Ideas

April 23, 2012


Concept 1:
The player, a robot about to be deactivated because of a manufacturing defect, has decided he/she does not want to ‘die’. The player must navigate through a variety of obstacles to escape the factory. This could include conveyer belt obstacles and assembley line machines which the player must avoid. As the player progresses through these levels they uncover more about what happens to the robots who like him/her try to escape. The player joins the robot resistance who are escapee robots who’s purpose has been made obsolete or they too have manufacturing defects. They mount an assult on the evil corporation which is as they discover, now making robots for sinister purposes.

Concept 2:
It is the near future and the human race has discovered space travel and have begun to explore the depths of space. The player is aboard one of the first voyages to an unexplored region of space when the ship is attacked by an unkown enemy. As the ship is being bombarded, the player can make choices to what he/she wants to do e.g. fix the engines, man the guns etc. Depending on the choices which are made, the outcome of the battle will change. This will give the player more choice and freedom to epxplore different scenarios.


Concept 1:
The player will be a robot or android, this will allow interesting gameplay mechanics that would otherwise be impossible. These could include power ups which increase attributes but would be believable. An example of this could a firmware upgrade which is purchasable by the player. A HUD would also make sense. They will be very human like and curious despite being a machine.

Other characters will be very emphasised and stylised, the leader of the resistance will be very dedicated cause and determined to survive. There will be few characters becuase I want the player to feel very isolated at the beginning before they meet the resistance. They should have a feeling of being followed but unable to connect.

Concept 2:
The player will be a human with a suit. This will allow similiar gameplay advantages because it is more beleiveable that enhancements to the players suit will increase certian attributes.

A brief introduction cinematic will be required to lead the player into the story and give them a rough idea of what is happening. this will be played upon starting the game and will show the begining level before giving the player control of the character.

In-game cinematics may be required depending on how story based it is, this may include but not be limited to short action sequences and brief dialog sequences.

The final cinematic will be a teaser/cliff hanger which will entice the player and hopefully make them want to play the final game. This will include the name of the game and possibly credits.


Becuase of the main style of the game which will be a 3D platformer, the levels should reflect on the main core game mechanics. This will include of courese platforming elements and exploration. By having optional places which may be hard to get to is challenging for the player and can give them a sense of achievement when they get there. Exploration should be key in the game and levels should allow exploration through more open world elemtns rather than a linear path in which the player simply follows. By doing this, my game should differentiate itself from many platformers which simply guide the player through.

Levels should include a variety of challenges not just related to platforming, enemies could be created to halt the players advance and clusters of them could allude to areas which offer more chllenging gameplay or better rewards. A series of problem solving activities should also be incorporated in levels in order to have a break from familiar controls and gameplay style, not only will this add interest but they will challenge the player to think outside their set preconceptions.

It would interesting to have a level which changes and moves around, like a machine the level would rearrange itself thus providing an obstacle for the player and providing a different experience each time. This could also include randomly generated content which is determined when the player starts the level, it would increase replayability but may not be noticed by people playing a demo.

The style of levels could also be changed depending on the scene - a different camera angle would result in different more linear levels. For example, the player may be chased by something so the camera changes to a side scroller style for that section.


Possible Core Game Mechanics:

  • The player is able to jump and double jump.
  • It will be single player and therefore story orientated
  • The objective is story based as well as optional “side missions”
  • The player is able to change weapons to suit a particular situation 
  • Health will regenerate over time however injuries will prevent it from regenerating fully
  • A score system will keep the game competitive despite it being single player.
  • A checkpoint system could allow the player to respawn there upon death

Puzzle Mechanics Could Include:

  • Pushing blocks to unlock paths but potentially blocking others
  • Maze-like levels
  • Simple key and lock mechanics e.g. go back through level to find key or door to unlock
  • Logic mini games e.g. Bioshock uses a “Flood” style mini-game to allow the player to hack a machine
  • Obstacles, these will require timing and skill to overcome and progress

Genre/Style: I will make a third-person action game. This will combine traditional platforming elements as well as shooter/action elements. This will require fully 3D environments and basic AI. Although this will require slightly more work than a sidescroller or basic arcade game, there are more opportunities and a better chance to appeal to my target audience.

Art Style

A photrealistic art-style will look really good but will require more processing power from the users GPU and CPU. A higher specification requirement will limit the target audience and could impact on the overall popularity if the project was to be made into a fully fledged game. This is an importatn consideration, it will also take more time to take source photos and make textures from them.

A cartoon/cell shaded art style such as Borderlands or Catherine could be much easier to create content for and give it an interesting feel. This however could be hard to implement and not resonate with some players.

Dramatic lighting style, this style could look more like a cinemtaic and give a very strong feeling. This would consist of a high contrast and many models would appear to be shadowy. This style is

Audio Design

Both concepts involve machines or spaceships etc. This means that a very mechanical sound track would work well, combing familiar ambient sounds to create the particular feelings. Because of the machinery, many percussion sounds for both sound effects and the main compositions will need to be sourced.


Catering for the PC player, I will be sticking with familiar controls to any pc gamer - they are laso easy to pickup. The classic WASD for move and the mouse will be for camera, spacebar to jump and left-right mouse buttons for shooting or other mechanics. ‘E’ could also be used for interaction with items and shift can be used for running.

User Interface

The user interface should reflect the style and themes of the game. Therefore they should be simplistic in style however incoporate an image which is related to the feel of the game. For a sci-fi game the style could be very futuristic, minimilistic. It could also be holograpghic similair to the UI used in deadspace.