CAT CHUP - GAME DESIGN PROJECT

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The Cat-Chup Game Design Document DMED503 G100 Foundations of Game Design Tuesday, 4th December, 2018


Table of Contents Table of Contents 1. Game Concept Outline 1.1 Tagline 1.2. Core Statement 1.3 Essence Statement 1.4 Game Overview 1.5 Key Features 2. Team Roles & Responsibilities 3. Game Play 3.1 Gameplay Experience 3.2. Game Objects and Actions 3.3. Game Logic 3.6 Game Progression 4. Art Style Direction 4.1 Backstory and Setting 4.2 Audio-visual Aesthetics 5. Tech Direction 5.1 Game Engine 5.2 Key Game Systems

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1. Game Concept Outline

1.1 Tagline Collect your items, find your date.

1.2. Core Statement Cat-Chup is a platform-maze experience where you, Ted the cat, use your speed and wit to avoid pesky animals and collect items in time for your date.

1.3 Essence Statement You’ve met the cat of your dreams, Robin, and she said yes to going on a date. So, you need to collect food and drinks for your date and navigate your way through the city’s mazes in time before Robin thinks you stood her up. But watch out for those pesky dogs who make you lose your items and slow you down.

1.4 Game Overview In this fun, light-hearted platform-maze experience, the player takes on the role of a male cat named Ted who is trying to collect the items he needs for his date Robin before she’s not available anymore. So, the goal of each level is to reach your date before time runs out and you lose the level. And the more items you collect, the better the date will go. To do this the player must both navigate through a maze with doors and keys, and avoid enemy dogs who do nothing but chase you as you enter a certain distance from them and make you lose items. The ever agile cat Ted avoids them by hiding in bushes or boxes and moving at just the right time, but he also gets distracted and can’t help but play around if he happens to run into an enticing wool ball or fish toy. As Ted and Robin go on more dates, the standards get higher. So, the mazes become more intricate and complex, and more enemy dogs are placed throughout. The order of the levels is set, and the player simply restarts each level when it is not completed in time. After successfully preparing for all the dates, a successful ending will result in Ted and Robin tying the knot and getting married.

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1.5 Key Features Hiding in objects: Hide yourself in bushes or boxes to avoid any dogs, who cannot see into them and will return moving to their initial place as you remain there. Key and doors: ​Navigate your way through the maze and avoid obstacles, all while collecting the right keys to corresponding coloured doors to logically find your way through the maze to reach your date in time. Distracting toys: ​While your run past certain enemies, be sure to not get accidentally stuck playing with a wool ball or fish toy because those precious few seconds will cost you.

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2. Team Roles & Responsibilities 2.1 Team Members: Mika ● ● ● ● ● Lola ● ● ● ● ●

Project Manager Video Editor Scrum-master Storytelling User-testing

2D Artist 3D Modeller UI Designer Level Design User-testing

Johnson ● Lead Programmer ● 3D Animator ● Sound Designer ● Graphic Designer David ● Documentation ● Programmer ● Research Main Softwares ● Unity ● Cinema 4D ● Adobe Illustrator

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3. Game Play

3.1 Gameplay Experience The player is a male cat named Ted who needs to collect items in time for his date with Robin, the cat of his dreams.

Controls: ​The player movement uses a console joystick where up and down move forward and backward, respectively, and left and right turn. Camera: ​The camera is a 2.5D perspective at a 45 degree angle. The camera focuses on the player in the centre position, and as the player touches walls that obstruct the camera’s vision, they become semi-transparent.

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3.2. Game Objects and Actions The following is a description of the game objects and actions. Dogs: Scattered throughout key corridors and corners are dogs who have an initial start position. Once the player is within 200 pixels of the dog it will mindlessly navigate toward the player until it touches them, regardless of where it is looking as the dog has great hearing. At this point a randomized formula determines how many items are lost, with an equal chance between 0 and number of items collected. Note that this does ​not include keys, which accordingly cannot be lost once collected. Once the player escapes the 200 pixel radius of the dog (or the player enters a bush or box), the dog will begin returning to its default position.

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Hiding Objects: While the player is positioned in a hiding object, they are invisible to the dog and the dog will no longer chase but instead return to its default position as described above. Once the player leaves the perimeter of the hiding object, any dogs within 200 pixels will begin to chase the player again. The two types of objects are ​bushes and ​boxes​​, which the player can freely walks into or out of.

Distracting Toys: If the player accidentally touches a distracting toy, they will spend precious seconds playing with it and thereby lose precious time and risk being caught by a dog. The two distracting toys are ​wool balls​​, which distract for 3.5 seconds, and ​fish toys,​​ which distract for 4 seconds.

Collectable Items: Levels can contain two types of collectable items that enable the player to achieve bonus stars at the end of each level, namely, ​fish cans​​. At the beginning of each level an initial canvas indicates how many and which collectables there are. During gameplay the UI displays at the bottom centre how many collectable items have been collected. Note that these all risk being lost when a dog touches the player.

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INITIAL START CANVAS

Keys and Doors:​​ There are keys placed throughout the level that the player must collect in order to open a door of the same corresponding colour.

Timer: ​During gameplay at the top centre is a timer that counts down. When it reaches zero it triggers a losing condition and the player must restart the level to progress further.

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3.3. Game Logic The following is a description of the game logic that the player needs to keep in mind to complete the levels. Player Attributes: ​The player moves faster than the enemy dogs, and so needs to strategize how best to use the hiding objects to navigate around the enemy dogs to collect keys and collectable items without getting touched. The following are the three possibilities for each dog encounter: ●

Hide from Dog. ​The player can time when and for how long to hide in hiding objects until the dog is far enough way to safely reach the item or make it past the area, while at the same time trying not to waste time and lose. Outmaneuver the Dog​. ​Since the player moves faster than a dog, they can outmaneuver dogs to reach the item or area they are seeking. This generally wastes less time than hiding. Go Straight and Get Hit by a Dog. ​Since there is an element of randomness to how many items, if at all, the dog takes away, at times the player can save the most amount of time by simply letting a dog hit them and getting lucky based on the risk level.

Visual Affordances: ​The player has a fairly limited line of sight, and so needs to be able to navigate efficiently through the maze. This comes mostly into play when figuring out which doors need to be unlocked first and where their corresponding keys are located. As the game is seen from a diagonally positioned 2.5D perspective, walls and objects become semi-transparent when the player comes near walls that block the view, which is where game objects may be found.

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Win/Lose Conditions: The time limit for each level is 300 seconds, and the player loses whenever the timer is up and they have not reached the date, and wins if they reach their date before the time is up. In addition, for each level the player can earn more bonus stars the more collectable items they get. If players don't get enough stars, they will be unable to unlock next level. The following table indicates how many stars the player can earn relative to how many collectable items are obtained. Number of Collectable Items

Number of Stars

0

0

1-2

1

3-4

2

5

3

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Maze navigation and collection:​​ Players need to not only navigate through a traditional maze in a time limit, but also find keys corresponding to same colour doors in the right order in order to reach the goal.

Avoiding dogs: Besides the navigation the player needs to strategize how best to avoid territorial dogs who cause them to lose items when touched through the logic described above.

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3.6 Game Progression The initial level has three doors and keys. As the game progresses the mazes become more complex and larger with more doors and keys that the player needs to navigate and collect items in. Thus, reaching the date and collecting all five collectable items will become increasingly more difficult to accomplish with the constant 300 second time limit.

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4. Art Style Direction

4.1 Backstory and Setting Ted and Robin were lonely cats who roamed around the city they live in. Then one day Ted met Robin and they hit it off, as cats do, and Robin agreed to go another dates with Ted. So, Ted needs to collect items for future dates and meet Robin at different locations around the city.

The original sketch of Ted and Robin Each level is the precursor to a date with Robin, and as the game progresses the expectations for the date locations become higher and higher such that Ted needs to navigate through more and more difficult and complex areas to reach Robin in time.

4.2 Audio-visual Aesthetics The game features a light-hearted and low-poly aesthetic with vivid colours. The overall goal is to provide a ​cute environment where the player wishes to see these two cats go on their date and see how the relationship develops. Environments: ​Cat-Chup’s environments explore various famous sites around New York City, including Central Park, Yankee Stadium, the Guggenheim Museum, the Empire State Building, the Tiffany Store, the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center.

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Objects and Characters: ​Since the perspective is that of a cat, objects found in the game are those common to cats, including ​bushes and ​boxes t​ o hide in from enemy dogs, ​wool ​balls and ​cardboard boxes ​that distract the player for precious seconds, ​fish cans to provide food for dates, and ​milk bottles to provide drinks for dates. As it common for maze and/or puzzle games, each level contains a number of coloured ​keys that are used to unlock doors with the corresponding colour. The key aesthetics resemble generic cartoon keys. The ​cats Ted and Robin and the enemy ​dogs are minimalist characters, given the light-hearted low-poly feel of the game. Because they are to be feared and have a brute, non-reflecting attitude to defend their territory, the dogs have menacing “X” eyes and pointy teeth.

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UI and Buttons: ​Cat-Chup employs simple affordances and metaphors to provide a gameplay experience with minimal text. Accordingly, when Ted is distracted by a wool-ball or fish toy, confusion rings appear above the character for the duration of the pause.

And when Ted comes within the 200 pixel radius of a dog, a red, high energy colour, box with an exclamation mark appears to warn the player of danger. For each level completed, a “well done” message appears, where up to three stars maybe earned, according to the table given above. At the beginning of each level, a panel will display indicating what and how many of each item the level contains, which will be indicated in the UI during gameplay as well.

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Sound: ​The background music reinforces the playful, casual, and mischievous nature of the game. Slightly different uplifting tones are heard upon the collection of items or keys respectively. And a quick alert is heard when a dog begins engaging the player.

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5. Tech Direction

5.1 Game Engine Cat-chup is going to be built in the Unity Engine version 5 and ported to the Nintendo Switch platform.

5.2 Key Game Systems Given the aesthetics and simple story, Cat-chup has very simply gameplay systems. The most prominent is the dog AI logic. When the player comes within 200 pixels of a dog, the alert visualization will appear and the dog will take the most direct route towards the player and remained fixed on them, just like a dog biting down on a chew toy. The line of sight employs raycasting with angle and direction to determine the most direct path. The one chance element of game play is a randomized algorithm between 0 and number of collected items for each dog touch. Each removed item due to an attack will appear again to its default position. At the beginning of each level a canvas will appear with all the levels items to be collected, keys, and number of each. Each of these items remain in the player’s UI during gameplay so they can track items collected and time remaining.

5.3 Current Iteration The following is a list of game features in the current MVP state. ● Level designed with easy-medium level of difficulty ● Level designed as a 2.5D, top-down world ● Level is won when the player reaches Robin the Cat within the time limit and with all items collected ● Player can move forward and backward or rotate left and right ● Player moves at a set speed, which is the same forward or backward ● Players can use bushes to escape the dogs’ line of sight ● The dog AI engages the player when within a certain distance of the dog and displays a visualization ● Enemy dogs move at a set speed that is less than the more nimble cat player ● The dog AI returns to its default location when the player is no longer within a certain distance ● The UI indicates which keys are collected and how many fish cans ● The player becomes invisible to the dog AI while within green bush areas ● The player freezes for 3.5 seconds each time a wool ball is touched.

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