Our game is a two player game in which the players’ goal is to reach the end of a room on a 2D square grid. The player’s do this by moving through the level and navigating obstacles ( Fire tiles, locked doors, lasers) with their special abilities ( Dash, Click, Shield). Each movement and action however, takes up a resource called Coolant. When the players run out of coolant, they take Heat Damage, which cannot be healed. When they sustain maximum heat damage the player can no longer progress without being revived by the other player. The players must conserve Coolant to survive and rely on each other to help progress through the level. However, the players have the opportunity to be selfish and benefit their own character at the determent to the other player...
2.0 High ConceptEdit
- Cyberpunk Prisoners dilemma “Cooperation is best, but competition is tempting”
The high concept of our game is based on the concept of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. The gameplay is built around a cooperative/competitive experience that intends to mirror the classic game theory scenario . This is represented through the narrative AND the gameplay mechanics. Just as players can choose to betray their partner throughout playing the game to achieve selfish objectives, the characters in the cyberpunk world of the game also have this relationship with their counterpart. (See Art Direction Document)
If both players choose to cooperate, then both players will benefit from each other. If one player tries to cooperate and their partner betrays them, the cooperator will suffer and the betrayer will benefit, albeit not as much if they were in cooperation. If both players betray one another then they are in contest for resources and strategic decisions and will be at the disadvantage of having to deal with the Environmental Challenges in AND the other player.
3.0 Genre ( Core Play Aesthetic)Edit
- Strategy/Survival/ Resource Management - Puzzle Solving - Race - Challenge/Fellowship/Competition
The “genre” of our game is a hybrid of different mechanical genre tropes and was designed from a holistic approach, and as such does not fit nicely into a singular genre description.
In essence mechanically, our game is a top down, real- time , cooperative/competitive, resource-management strategy game of survival, puzzle solving and speed.
However, this explanation is purely mechanical and out of context to the actual rules of the game, gives little information about our goals of the experience we are trying to create. More useful information would be what type of play aesthetics our players going to be drawn to. Our current goal is a game that attracts players by providing them with :
Challenge - Provides players with arbitrary obstacles and challenge them to overcome those obstacles. To overcome the obstacles, the players must use problem solving to progress while still conserving resources. They will be also challenged to do it efficiently, and will be rewarded depending on the speed at which they complete the challenges.
Fellowship - By giving both players the affordance to cooperate, yet not making it necessary or mandatory to complete the game by doing so, we hope that our game is a “social framework” that provides players with a unique sense of comradery.
Competition - On the other side of the coin, because cooperation is not forced, this leaves the affordance for competition between the players of our game as well. Thusly, our game will also serve as as “social framework” for asserting dominance over the other player.
- Top down camera per room, 3D models in 3D environment - Levels consist of Rooms - Each level will have 2 - 5 rooms - Final Game will have 3 - 5 Levels
The game will be presented with a top down camera that gives a stationary view of the room . The game will be represented with 3D Models in a three dimensional environment. However, movement will only exist on a 2d axis.
The game will consist of Levels, which the player will be challenged to reach the end of as quick as possible, while still conserving resources. At the end of each level players have a chance to upgrade their characters with the upgrade points. The finished version of our game shall have anywhere between 3 and 5 levels.
Each level will consist of smaller sub-levels called, Rooms. Rooms are shown screen by screen and players are rewarded upgrade points based on how quickly they completed the level.. Each level will contain 2 - 5 Rooms.
Each Room is made of Tiles and is the metric for player movement and items in the environment. The average size of a room is 15 x 15 tiles , roughly 225 tiles.
The game will also have recorded dialogue that the player can listen to within and between levels that supplies more narrative information and background. Narrative information and background will also be contained in text format, with in the games Menus.
Overall, the estimated playtime of a single session of gameplay is about 10 - 20 minutes.
There are two distinct sub categories when it comes to the interface for our game. Input Device and Interface Display
5.1 Interface Display Edit
Menus will consist of - character stats and attributes, - item and trap descriptions, - codec that provides a summary of the world - options to configure technical details - upgrade menu ( Occurs between levels, where players will spend resources to purchase upgrades)
5.2 Input DeviceEdit
The input device that our game will use is going to be a standard PC windows compatible gamepad with at least a four way directional input (D Pad) and at least 7 buttons( B1, B2, B3, B4 , B5 , B6, B7 ) .
The controls of the game will be mapped as follows:
Menu controls: Menu Navigation (D Pad) Accept (Button 1) Decline/ Backout (Button 2)
Game Controls: Movement (D Pad) Primary Ability (Button 1) Secondary Ability (Button 2) Give Coolant/Revive button (Button 3) Take Coolant Button (Button 4) Level 1 Ability Trigger ( Button 5) Level 2 Ability Trigger ( Button 6) Level 3 Ability Trigger ( Button 7)
6.1 Goals/ ObjectivesEdit
There are various interacting objectives that each player has throughout the game. They are as follows:
Reach the Exit : Players begin at the Start of a level and traversing the level and reaching the exit is the primary objective for every level, as it is what allows players to advance to the next level.
Survive: The players must make decisions that result in the preservation of their characters. Each player has Coolant ,Heat Damage. If a player tries to make an action without any Coolant, then they sustain Heat Damage. When the player has sustained the maximum amount of damage they are downed and their Heat Damage resets. When the other player completes the level without reviving or they lose all character progress when their partner starts the next level. If both players become downed, the game is over and the players start from the beginning of the level.
Beat the clock : As soon as a level starts, so does a timer which ticks down in real time. The longer the level is taken to beat, the less valuable the reward. The first player to reach the exit has the option to either : claim the reward as is, and lock the other player out from the reward, or : wait for the other player so they can both claim the reward, albeit less the reward will have decreased in the time that was spent waiting.
Conserve Coolant: Coolant is vital in the players success throughout the game. Each action costs coolant to prevent taking Heat Damage. The more coolant the player has, the more options they have within the game. Also, at the end of the level the amount of coolant you have, in combination with the reward of beating the level quickly, contributes to what upgrades you can purchase before the next level.
Upgrade your character: Leveling up your actions by upgrading your character allows players to act more efficiently ( using less coolant) and more quickly. Deciding which upgrades to get, and which ones to pass up is important to each players individual strategy and the collective cooperative strategy.
Help your partner: Having a partner by your side as a player in our game is very helpful. They can revive you if you go down, you can share coolant more fairly and some puzzles are easier to navigate if you have two players on them. However, in the end the decisions to cooperate is a personal one, despite the benefits.
Out race your partner : If a player is faster, they have first dibs to all the goodies that are scattered around the levels. Also, there are some puzzles that are easier the first time through, but once a player has traversed them, they become harder to go through a second time. Plus, there is that final reward at the end of the level that won’t be as juicy if you wait around for player 2.
6.2 Game Mechanic Design PhilosophyEdit
Above is a diagram of the core design philosophy for the mechanics of the game, and how 3 separate relationships of Game Elements ( Goals, Resources, and Abilities) feed into each other.
Each goal has a resource associated most directly with it, and each resource has an Ability that is most directly optimal in regards to managing that resource.
Race -> Over -> Distance -> By Using ->Dash
Solve -> Within -> Time -> By Using -> Click
Conserve -> By Saving -> Coolant -> By Using-> Shield
However, it is important to remember, that while these goals, resources and abilities relate most directly to their counterparts, it does not mean they relate exclusively. All the elements of the game are related to one another tangentially, and decisions concerning one set of goal, resource and ability are designed to have consequences in the other sets. This causes the players to make ambiguous decisions when progression through the game, meaning they can never be completely sure they are taking the optimal path.
They are separated into three trinity relationships that each feed into the next. They are Goals, Resources, and Abilities
The three goals are at odds at one another. They are :
Race: Get to the goal in the shortest amount of time
Solve: Interact with the environment to overcome obstacles and progress.
Conserve: Do not use too much goal that results in a no win situation (stranded)
Balancing all three of these goals is how to ensure success while playing game. To ensure these goals are communicated and resonate with the player, there is a motivation implicated for each of these goals.
Race Motivation: The ticking timer of the clock reminds you that you have to complete the room under a time limit. If they make it under the time limit, they are rewarded more points to increase the abilities of their character.
Conserve Motivation: The punishment for not conserving coolant, means that it much harder to progress through the level without taking damage. The permanence of damage should remind the player that they can only make so many mistakes.
Solve Motivation: The levels should teach the players that to progress through the game they must find an optimal path or route to open the path forward, and to do it efficiently. The player can’t just race ahead or be cautious, they must also want to think and solve the problem they are presented with.They are a combination and different interpretation of the goals above in the objectives section. -Reach the Exit, , Beat the Clock, Upgrade your character , and Out race your partner all relate to the Race goal.
-Survive, and Conserve Coolant, play into the Conserve Goal
- Reach the Exit and Help Your partner all inform the Solve goal.
These are the 3 resources that the players must consider when making decisions.
Distance : Distance is a very central resource in our game. The distance between objects have a direct correlation to the other resources, Coolant and Time because it costs both to traverse distance. The less distance the player is from an object in the room, means that object is of easier access to the player and thus more valuable.
This also includes the distance between players. Players can revive each other and share coolant, so being closer to each other means that they can help each other. However, it is also necessary for the players to separate at times to accomplish different objectives.
The player must balance the distance they are from their objective, things that may assist in accomplishing their objective, and also the other player. -> Keeping distance between objectives LOW
Time: Time is a resource that directly relates to testing and rewarding the performance of the player. It also ties into upgrading the players abilities, and the players sense of competition/ Cooperation.
Because how much time it takes to complete a room directly translates to the upgrade points that the players will be rewarded, it is advantageous to consider time as a thing not to waste. The more upgrade points players accumulate, the better the player will be equipped to finish future rooms. In this way, the player is constantly motivated to move through each room as quickly as possible.
Another mechanic that comes into player is the fact that the players can steal an upgrade point from their partner if they finish the room before their partner. This means that players might be motivated to betray the other player to gain more upgrades for themselves and racing to the finish.
The player must use as little time as possible to finish a room, so they can be well equipped for future levels and to keep their upgrade points safe from the other player’s potential betrayal.
Coolant: Coolant is the cost that every action costs with in our game. Having Coolant means that the player doesn't have to take damage from actions and can survive longer in the game. Every action that the player takes, then must be considered by how much coolant that action costs, and how much coolant the present situation allows for the player to spend.
It is also important to remember that players can give coolant to one another, and that they both have access to coolant stations that hold a share reservoir of coolant. Both transfer coolant between players and accessing Coolant stations cost time, and are at varying distances in different rooms. This means that when transferring coolant, how much coolant you can afford to take is also a factor players must consider in their decision making.
Coolant pick ups are also scattered amongst the level, and although randomly generated, are very helpful to consider collecting as the players progress through the room.
The player must balance using abilities that help them progress, and not overspending coolant without a strategy to get more from the Coolant Stations, each other, and Coolant Pickups. -> Keeping Coolant Supply HIGH
Each action the player can take has different consequences regarding the three different resources. The challenge of the game comes from deciding what ability to use at which time.
The optimal path through a room leaves you with enough coolant so that you have enough to survive, and also opens the path forward to the end of the room in as little time as possible. The following are a description of what each type of action affords the player in terms of advantages and disadvantages.
Give/Take Coolant and Revive have been omitted from this section because they are context sensitive and have fairly straightforward uses and advantageous.
Wait and Move are listed as peripheral, because as more based abilities and mechanics, they do not relate directly to the higher trinity of the special actions, however still do play a valid role in the game’s consideration.
+consumes no cool. - gain no dist. - spends time
While not necessary a specific action that the player inputs for and can upgrade, waiting is a viable action in DLNR. Because waiting and not moving consumes no coolant, standing still and waiting for the environment or the other player to change the conditions of the room is sometimes a good strategy.
If a player is out of coolant, or just plainly cannot progress without the help of the other player, moving would just damage the player or use unnecessary coolant. Although, on the other hand, if you can make progress in solving the room and reaching the exit, then waiting around is just causing the clock to tick down.
Knowing when and when not to wait around and remain stationary is a key factor at conserving coolant and beating the clock to get those upgrade points.
+moves distance, -slow, -vulnerable
The standard move. Every character can progress one tile in any direction they choose at the cost of 1 coolant. The advantage to using move is that it’s much more controlled movement than dash, as you are moving only 1 tile at a time. Also, if as a player you don’t necessarily know the best way to progress, basically moving around the environment is a good default way to progress. Every obstacle can actually be cleared with just moving, however the question is do you have enough coolant and time to do that?
+Faster. +Skips tiles. -Can lose more coolant
Dash, when used, propels the player to a tile in a direction of their choice. The distance the player travels in the game is dependant on the level of dash they are using. At minimum, Dash travels 2 tiles and skips the tile in-between the tiles the player is standing on when they used the ability and where they end up. A dash does use about the same amount of coolant it would take to move normally, but expends it faster because the player is moving faster.
This ability is perfect for moving distances faster than the standard move, albeit with less control on exactly where you are moving. Skipping tiles is also extremely helpful in bypassing Environmental heat that , by moving off of, will cause more coolant to be expended.
However, dash is not optimal in every situation. Because of the faster rate of the coolant use, it is easier to use up all of a player’s coolant by abusing dash too much without considering the optimal path to progress. Also, if a player does end up on an environmental heat tile then dashing off of that tile will multiply the higher dash cost. In this way, it is more risky. Shield might be better suited for these situations.
Also, if there is an coolant pick up or a switch out of reach, the player could dash to the objective and back and would not take much time. However, it would be more efficient coolant and time wise, to use a click instead.
+Saves Time +Saves Coolant - Gains no dist.
Click is a time saver is specific situations. At it’s lowest level, click allows the player to interact with whatever is in a tile next to the them in a direction of their choice. The more it is upgraded the further it can reach, however, it also uses more coolant. Using click is better than move in some situations, because the player doesn’t have to leave the tile they are on to get switches and coolant pick ups. This is helpful to conserve coolant and time, but also if there are hazards like heat tiles between the player and their objective, or if that object is not abled to be moved to at the time (block tiles, ice tiles).
Using Click efficiently and wisely is a key to conserving coolant and time, and also can be used in tandem well with the other player.
+Costs less Cool +Can’t lose extra coolant -Slower
Shield is all about conserving coolant against the environmental heat obstacles that the players will find in the rooms they play. Because sheild completely neutralizes the effects of environmental heat , it is the most safe strategy when traversing tiles affected by heat.
Casting shield, is how shield is activated and takes some amount of time to do, but about the same amount of time it takes to move one tile with standard movement. The shield that is then cast, only affects the player themselves and lasts a certain amount of time depending on the level of the Shield ability that was used. The coolant cost is also dependant on how upgraded the shield is, and generally, the longer the shield lasts, the more coolant it will cost.
Shield is a good strategic move to take in situations with a lot of and stronger environmental heat obstacles. This way the player can navigate them safely without the effects of the heat. However, the shield will eventually stop working, so players must be careful not to over extend themselves.
Actions and special actions can be combined together, by one player using multiple powers in conjunction and by two players using powers in conjunction.
The more complex and dangerous the obstacle gets, the more it is a requirement for players to find creative solution to navigate them, but using their own powers and powers in combination with their partner.
Because the players will have not identical abilities within the environment (as they will only have access to 2 of the special actions each) they will have to implement different strategies from each other when deciding on how to traverse to the end of the level.
Also when players accumulate upgrade points they can also upgrade each special ability in different ways to different extents. Perhaps, both players might have chosen dash and shield, but one player might opt to go to Dash level 2 and the other to Shield level 2. This gives them each different affordances in the room in terms of conversing time and coolant when progressing.
The following are some examples of ways the players could work together to optimize their route through the room, to save time and coolant.
P1 Shields P2 Moves
A laser is shooting down the corridor that the players need to progress through, player one casts shield and take the lead. Player two follows behind him, protected by the lasers effects
P1 Dash P2 Dash
Players dash in tandem over delay tiles, so neither of them are jumping on an environmental heat tile and each land on a standard unactivated tile.
P2 Click P1 Moves
Player 2 uses click to open a door that would have taken Player 1 extra steps to traverse to the tile with the switch on it. The door opens and both players enter together
P1 Shield + Dashes P2 Dashes
The players coordinated their dashes, with player 1 on the tile closest to where lasers are firing and blocks player 2 from their effects.
P1 Dash + Click P2 Shield .
Player 2 shields and blocks a laser's path so player 1 can quickly move in position to access the switch from a distance, to open a door.
The special actions can also be used in competition to a your partner, competing for time and coolant.
Click - can grab items before partner does, and access switches from a distance, to impede the progress of their partner
Dash - can race ahead to pick ups and the finish more efficiently than their partner, claiming pick ups before their partner does
Shield - Can use shield to protect from environmental heat to traverse areas that the other player wouldn’t have safe access to. === 7.3 Technical Procedure===
When building this game it is important to be specific in which the procedures of the digital execution of the game resolved themselves.
The following diagram should illustrate how the program relates the player interaction with the tiles of the environment.
As mentioned above, the game is divided into Levels, which are divided into Rooms, which are divided into Tiles.
Levels : So each Level Is a multi-room “maze”, with each room consisting of puzzles of obstacles the players must pass to reach the exit. The players may start off in separate entrances in some configurations and may start at the same entrance, depending on how that level was procedurally generated.
Rooms: Each Room consists of roughly 15X15 tiles. Each room has a preset puzzle of obstacles. However, the contents of the room’s Items will be randomized when the level is procedurally generated. Rooms will appear in the level in different locations, allowing for players to approach the same rooms from different directions in different scenarios. This means that the player does not know what challenge they will encounter.
Walls: Walls occupy the space in between tiles/ or alternatively, takes up space at the edge of tiles across 2 adjacent tiles. Doors exist this way as well.
Tiles: Each Player, Item and only occupies 1 tile at a time, however some obstacles occupy multiple tiles. In our current build, players can occupy the same space, (however due to issues on how to visually represent this in the digital version, this may change in the future)
Time: Time is another environmental factor that the players must consider .Time is measured in second, and in the final game shall progress in Real time.It is important to note that in this document seconds as a unit of measurement is a placeholder for scales of time that are unknown without a real time digital prototype.
In our current build, in standard starting amounts of movement, it takes 1 second and 1 coolant to move 1 tile. (1/1/1)
Shop: The shop appears at the end of every level and offers upgrades to characters stats and abilities for upgrade points.
Upgrade to Lv 2 = Costs 2 Points Upgrade to Lv 3 = Costs 4 Points Upgrade to Lv EX = Costs 6 Points
The Shop is the method in which the players choose their first initial special action, and they will be able to see the costs that are required to upgrade each actions only for the next level of upgrade. In The Shop, The upgrade costs that they do not have available to them, and the details on which the upgrades change their current abilities, are blacked out.These values are subject to balance and require more playtesting to have available data to find what will not give allow players to be overpowered/underpowered.
These are the traps and obstacles that consist the puzzles that the players will need to solve and traverse
Binary Switch Tile
requires a player to stand/or click on the tile once to have the switch be activated. Stepping/or clicking on the tile again will deactivate it.
Players interact with these tiles in two ways. By either standing on them, or using a remote click to activate them. Their placement and function in the rooms effects players strategies in traversing the room by influencing their path to/away from the switches. Players equipped with the click ability have the option of interacting with them at a distance, while players without have to walk to them. Players evaluate each switches context to their goals of finishing the room in time/ conversing coolant, and decide appropriately if they need to interact with each switch. Since switches only need to be pressed once in most cases, players can cooperate by coordinating who will press which switch.
Pressure Switch Tile
Requires a player to continuously stand/click on the tile to activate it. If not player is on the switch/ or clicking, the switch is deactivated.
These are switches that restrict players more than binary switches. For these switches to be active, the player must remain on that switch. This forces one player to stand on a switch while they wait for the other player to utilize the switches activation. This forces cooperation in some rooms when utilized like this.
Alternatively, pressure switches could be combined in conjunction with special abilities. Standing on a switch could open gates/deactivate traps, that make using click/shield/dash more viable in the level. For example, a gate is closed with a coolant pickup on the other side. Standing on the pressure switch opens the gate and a player with dash can dash across the gate before it closes. A player with a upgraded click can grab the item while remaining stationary.
- NOTE: Switches can have complex and varied relationships to almost any other environmental obstacles in the current room. They can activate or deactivate obstacles, and can affect the behaviour of multiple obstacles simultaneously, and differently. Also multiple switches can affect the same obstacle.
Can be opened by a switch.
Doors act as gates that restrict player movement and progression. Doors must be opened by a switch for players to be able to pass them . Doors can be placed anywhere within a room to restrict player access to various sections in that room. In effect, doors act as an obstacles anywhere in the room, beginning middle and end.
This is separate from the EXIT or ENTRANCE of a room which can be gated by a DOOR but is not necessarily. Ice Tiles
Tiles that when stepped on move the player to the other side of the tile at a rate of 1 sec for 2 tiles. This movement is involuntary and requires no coolant.
Ice tiles are meant to move players across the room by varying distances, involuntarily, at the cost of no coolant. They are effective at allowing players to access many sides of a room, without using coolant, however the trade off is the removing their freedom of movement while they are on the ice tiles. The movement on ice tiles is also faster, double the normal rate of movement. So ice tiles are a faster method of moving through the level, again at the cost of choosing the destination of movement. These act as puzzles that players must solve by understanding the consequences of where they will end up at the end of a lane of ice tiles, and their options they can take in that new destination.
Delay Step Tiles
After a player steps off a Delay Step tile, the tiles properties change. The tile can become any other type of tile.
Delay step tiles are normal tiles, that once walked on, become another type of tile. ( Switch Tiles, Ice Tiles, Block Tiles, or Fire Tiles) The main use of these tiles is to make players consider if it is in their best interest to step on these tiles, and the consequences it will have, in progressing through the room and traversing it, to both themselves and their partner. These tiles can be interacted with special abilities, primarily dash, as players can dash over and skip tiles not changing them, making it easier for their partners to traverse.
Shield could also play a factor in interacting with these tiles, as the first players who walk over a Fire Delay Tiles would activate them, and the second would cast shield before they walk over them, leaving them unharmed, and kept up with their partner. Block Tiles
Block tiles, are tiles that players cannot move or dash past. They are intended as obstacles to players, and can be activated/deactivated, by switches and delay step tiles. When block tiles appear/disappear, players must evaluate their optimal or chosen route to their goal.
When a block appears on a space a player is occupying, they move default, the direction furthest away from the exit.
If a block tile is activated while a player is occupying the space that block tile would occupy, they are by default pushed north. If the space adjacently north is unavailable for the player to occupy, then they are pushed east, or else west, or else south.
(Sub-Category) Environmental heatEdit
increases the amount of coolant that each action requires by varying factors. The coolant use is affected, not when stepping onto the tile that is affected by Environmental heat, but when a player is standing on the tile that is affected by Environmental heat and uses an action. (Unless blocked by using shield) THE GAME WILL INDICATE VISUALLY TO THE PLAYER WHEN THEY ARE AFFECTED BY ENVIRONMENTAL HEAT
A stationary tile a player can walk on. Increases coolant use by 2X when a player is standing on this tile and uses an action.
Fire tiles are the base environmental heat tile that increase coolant usage of actions used when standing on them by a factor of 2. This includes movement or dashing. Fire tiles can be bypassed by using dash to skip over them, and nullified while a player is using shield. Fire tiles can be activated and deactivated using switches or delay fire tiles. Fire tiles( and by extension all environmental heat obstacles) are obstacles that require the player to utilize their abilities to bypass or counteract, while at the same time, depending on the configuration of the obstacles, decide if it is worth it/ necessary, to expend extra coolant to traverse those tiles.
Fire Spitters (2X)
Shoots a stream of fire in front of itself that spreads over multiple tiles . Path of fire can be blocked by a player using shield ( or a door). Increases coolant use by 2X when the player is standing on a panel is that has fire spread to it
Fire spitters work almost identical to fire tiles, expect the tiles that are affected are dependant on where the fire spitter is positioned and in which direction they are facing. Fire Spitters can have varying ranges and are activated deactivated by switches. Their effects can nullified by shield and bypassed by dashing through them. If a player is standing in the path of a fire spitters, they stop the fire from reaching the other side of their tile. Doors and block tiles do the same thing, so if these obstacles are in the way of a fire spitters range, that spitters range is cut short until the they are is removed.
Fire spitters are intended to allow players to cooperate, while one player blocks the flames either with or without shield, the other player can move past them unaffected.
A Laser that shoots, like a ray continuously across tiles until it hits resistance of wall (or door) or player using shield. Increases coolant use by 3X. Laser are very similar to fire spitters except they increase coolant usage when an action is used on the tile they are affecting by a factor of 3. Lasers also have unlimited range, meaning their range will only be cut short by a door, a block tile, or a player. Because of the extra factor of coolant increasing, lasers are more dangerous to traverse. However,a player with a shield active still nullifies their effects completely. This means that dashing from a tile they inhabit is a much less viable option.
Lava ( 4X)
Tiles that costs 4X to move off of.
Lava tiles are IDENTICAL to fire tiles except for the fact they cause coolant amount of actions used on them to be increased by a factor of 4.
The increased coolant factor makes it even more risky to use actions like dashes on these tiles, without using shield. These tiles shouldn't appear until the later levels, as they have more consequences associated with them and higher upgraded players with more experience would be better suited to handle them.
The Level Design Template, works as a legend for all the various elements that would be found in a room. You can find the Illustrator file to work with here
6.5 Room Design PhilosophiesEdit
When creating levels for our game, there are few general philosophies to keep in mind. These should act as guidelines and knowledge to design a room for various intents. If the opposite effect of intended for a room, then follow the opposite of the philosophy of course.
However, it is important to keep in mind that as with all design, the end goal is a positive user experience. In our game, that positive user experience is giving the players interesting tasks to accomplish while competing/ cooperating to complete the room.
Most of the reasons that each of these philosophies come from is the design will change the way the players interact with each other, however some relate to balancing the use of the 3 special actions
Optimal Path - Entrance to Exit
In every room there exists an optimal path. The shortest path necessary path for a player to get to the exit. This means that every room should be designed around this optimal path, either by giving the players choices and ambiguous decisions on exactly what action to take. A straight line is boring, but put a wall in that straight line, then the player has to decide to either go left or right. Left takes longer, but has less traps. Right has more coolant tanks, but also more traps. Which is optimal? The point is for the player to not be able to decide at first glance, and that there could be multiple optimal paths that cost the same amount of time and coolant.
Coolant Stations and Pick Ups Coolant, is the lifeblood resource within our game, and thusly should be supplied to the player to a certain extent. The slow rate at which the player can access from Coolant Stations means that when a player is at a Coolant Station, they might have access to more than they need, but need to sacrifice time to get it. However, they should always have fair access to that choice.
This means that in nearly every room at the start should be a Coolant Station.
Coolant Pick ups on the other hand, are instantly acquired and scattered amongst the room. These incentivise the player to divert their path to balance out their coolant usage. This also can create competition between players who might go for the same coolant pickup. Having balanced coolant pick ups is a good way to keep the game moving so the players don’t spend too long at the coolant station.
Symmetry vs Asymmetry
The choice between making a room symmetrical or semi-symmetrical in nature comes down to whether or not the room is going to separate or unite the two players.In a symmetrical room, both players will have similar affordances on either side of the room. These can include competitive or cooperative goals, but most importantly happen separately, with the players only able to interact remotely with switches etc.
In an asymmetrical room, the players still might be separated, but even so there will not be equal affordances to each of them. This means that is much more likely that the players will be in close proximity to each other and access the same parts of the room. Again, competitive or cooperative, the important thing is here is that asymmetrical design makes it more likely that players will have united interactions.
Learning Curve In the beginning of the game, rooms should teach the players the basic mechanics and use of actions and special actions in non-complex scenarios. As the game progresses the rooms should present more complex and more risky scenarios to challenge the players after they have a grasps of how the game works. This includes taking into account how upgraded the characters special actions could be at the point based on the potential upgrade points they may have accumulated, in so far. Switches and pick-ups should be farther away and Environmental heat should be more prevalent and of higher varieties (2x, 3x, 4x) Click, Dash and Shield
Each of these special actions provide different affordances. Consult this section ( Actions) for more information about how this relates to more general gameplay dynamics. How this relates to room design is in how the obstacles in the room should be configured. There are a few points to remember.
Shield is a good strategy against high heat tiles that span a distance that can be crossed with the average length of shield duration. This means that to make shield a viable strategy, there should be instances of X3 or X4 tiles that take up more than 1 tile. As the players gain more upgrade points, these values should increase at the same rate.
Click is useful when there are things out of the way of the optimal path. Instead have having to divert from the course, using Click can interact with things out of the way. This means that rooms should have Coolant tanks and switches that easier to access when using Click.
Dash can by pass tiles, so having environmental heat tiles that span across an amount of tiles that correlate to difficulty is a good trap that makes dash an effective means. Even on when confronted with a line of 2X heat tiles, it still might be worth it to dash across to save time and equal amount of coolant if the player stepped on each one.
Forced Co-op vs Open Co-op
Rooms can force the players to cooperate together or the room could only leave opportunities to cooperate. Forced Co-op rooms would generally include Pressure Switches that both need to be pressed to open a door. This forces the players to both be in specific spot on the map at the same time the other player is also on a specific part of the map. This forces the players to wait for the other player. Waiting doesn’t cost coolant but does spend precious time, and the longer a player has to wait the more motivation they would have to not cooperate with the other player. Alternatively, if both player accomplish the co op objective swiftly together, this might encourage further cooperation in open cooperation sections. Open Co-op is where the room doesn’t require the players to cooperate, but the possibility is still there. In this way the player cooperates to save time and coolant to bypass obstacles. To see examples of this refer to the Co op mechanics section of this document. Competitive Configurations
Rooms can be designed with a competitive attitude in mind. This means that the players will have affordances to hinder the other player or make progress that solely benefit’s that player personally.
Examples of these configurations could include switches that turn on/off obstacles or open/close doors that are placed in a location away from where the player who is closest to these obstacles would be. Putting these “hinder switches” further back in the room could present an opportunity for a player who is falling behind to catch up with their partner farther ahead.
Coolant pack pick ups are also another tool that can be used to motivate players to behave selfishly, as more coolant allows for a player to act more freely a confidently. Player’s may each try to race to a pick-up in competition with one another.
There could also be room configurations that have a path that is a selfish solo path, and benefits one player greatly and hinders the other from efficient progression. These can take many forms and could be presented in contrast to a co-op opportunity that would benefit both players, in terms of saving time and coolant, but not as much benefit as the solo player would have to a single player.
Because moving always costs coolant, and simply moving from one end of a room to the other is not a very challenging or interesting form of gameplay, situations that require players to move distances without making decisions how to should be minimized. This means that rooms should be densely packed with puzzle configurations of obstacles so the players need to be mostly alert and be taking in what the best possible action is at all time. Every amount of distance between puzzle elements should be purposely designed so that the player does not have to move superfluously through the level.
This also relates to concerns with an individual special action being overpowered, or over useful in the overall game. If rooms are dense with decisions on which action to use, then the player will be less likely to habitually overuse a single ability. At least, that is the hope we hope to achieve with level design and balancing.
No Win Scenarios
Some configurations of obstacles can have moving pieces and switches that activate doors and obstacles. This means that we must be aware in level design, if the players can or can’t manipulate the mechanics of the room to a state in which they cannot progress any more. With binary switches and two players, this instance may not occur very often, however it is very important to consider.
Note: Incorporating switches that reset the room might be a good idea, however relating to a larger mechanical design decision, including a “reset room” function universally to players would solve this issue wholesale. However, it would change the play dynamics considerably, changing the consequences of decisions made within the level to far less permanent.
6.6 Player CharacterEdit
The player characters are defined by a few different values that change throughout gameplay.
Coolant Tank amount: How much coolant each player has at their immediate disposal. Can be increased by picking up Coolant Packs and accessing Coolant Stations.
Heat Damage: The amount of damage the player has sustained and can sustained until the player is downed. Heat Damage cannot be normally reversed, until the end of a level or when it resets when they are revived. Heat damage is taken at the same rate as coolant with 10% = 1 Coolant.
Action Levels: The current level that each of the players actions are at, that determine the effect of the action, how fast they can perform the action and how much coolant it consumes. Action levels increase as they are Upgraded
Downed/Death: When a player gets to 100% Heat damage, they are downed. A downed player can only be Revived by their partner. The longer it takes to revive, the more coolant the revive costs. It starts out to be 5 coolant to revive, and increases by 5 coolant, every 5 seconds.
When a player is reset after the beginning of the next level, they keep their accumulated upgrade points for the next level.
Upgrade Points: Upgrade points are awarded after each room, based on how quickly that room was finished, on 3 tiers . Each tier has a time limit with it in each room, and after players have exceeded that time limit, that tier is locked out.
EG Tier 1 : 30 seconds, 3 points.
Tier 2 : 40 seconds 2 points
Tier 3 : 50 seconds 1 point
If one player finishes a room without their partner, they collect the reward, and steal the tier they collected from their partner. So if Player 1 gets to the finish in tier one, they can either collect 4 points leaving player 2 with maximum of two when player 2 reaches the finish. If player 1 waits for player 2, and player 2 returns within the time limit of player 1, then both are awarded 3 points. If player 2 arrives after the limit of tier 1, then both players only get 2 points.
Tier Timers start when the camera pans to the next room, after both players have completed the previous room.
In this way players are motivated to get to the end quickly, and also before their partner, just at the chance that their partner might betray them and collect extra point for themselves. If the players trust each other, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
Depending on which decision the players make, the relationship of trust they have is either strengthened or weakened. Actions: Actions are divided into two categories,
Starting actions and special actions.
Starting Actions Starting actions are the base actions the payer has to interact with the world
Moves the player across tiles ( LV 1 = 1 tile/1 sec/1 coolant) Allow allows the player to move onto the tiles of switches and pickups to activate and collect them
Pump Give: Allows players to give coolant to the tank or partner if the partner is in the tile adjacent to the player (LV 1= 5 Coolant per second) If the player attempts to give and the partner moves, the coolant is kept by the giving player. This lets players contribute positively to the other player’s coolant supply, either directly, or through the coolant station. This is a faster rate than pump take.
Pump Take: Allows players to take coolant from the tank or partner if the partner is in the tile adjacent to the player (LV 1 = 1 Coolant per second) If the player attempts to take and the partner moves, nothing happens. Let’s player take away from the other player’s coolant supply, either directly, or through the coolant station. This is a slower rate than pump take.
Revive: Revive a downed player by spending. the appropriate amount of coolant, when adjacent to the downed If the player attempts to give and the partner moves, the coolant is kept by the giving player
Special Actions: Special actions are actions that let the players navigate room in a creative fashion. This actions can be use in tandem with the other player, but also in competition with them.
Whenever, a character starts, at the start of a game the player picks 1 special actions to start with or after Death the player chooses 2 special actions that they can perform with that character.
Dash: Moves the player across tiles faster ( LV 1 = 2 tile/1 sec/2 coolant) allows the player to move faster, and skips the effects of tiles they dash past.
Cast Shield: Allows the player to take one second to cast a shield that will last for a few seconds after they cast. The shield negates the effects of environmental heat (see above).( LV 1 = lasts 2 sec after cast /2 coolant)
Click/ Remote Click: Allows the players to hit switches, open doors, and collect pickups from a distance ( LV 1 = 1 tile in front /1 sec/1 coolant) This allows the player to interact with switches and pickups that are adjacent or in a straight line from the tile the player is standing on. This allows players to not devert their path to solve puzzles and collect resources.
NOTE *** If a player uses an action and that action turns out to be impossible to complete (example, player inputs to move into a wall) or to complete to it’s fullest extent (example, player dashes into a wall), then that actions occurs to whatever extent it is able and the full coolant cost is subtracted from the players Coolant Tank total.
Each action starts at Lv 1, and increases levels by collecting Upgrade points and purchasing upgrades.
Items the players pick up by moving onto the tile the item is occupying, or clicking.
Upgrades may also be purchased between levels at the shop with upgrade points.
Ability Attribute Chart ( Subject to change and balance)
Click (tile reach/ coolant) Dash (Tile/Cool) Shield (Cool/seconds it last) LV1 1/1 2/2 1/2 LV2 2/2 3/3 2/3 LV3 3/3 4/4 3/4 EX 3/2 4/3 3/5
- Players can use any level of their ability by using the switch buttons to alter the level
- Level 1 Ability Trigger ( Button 5) - Level 2 Ability Trigger ( Button 6) - Level 3 Ability Trigger ( Button 7) Pick-Up Items Coolant Packs : Coolant packs that add to the players individual coolant tank amount. Comes in denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10 ,20. Coolant packs amounts are determined when each level starts by random dice rolls.
When two players move onto a coolant pack simultaneously, the amount is split between them and any odd remainder is trashed.
Stationery Items: Items that remain constant and stationary at all times in the level. Coolant Stations : Coolant can be acquired from these stations at 1 coolant per second. The player accesses them by standing beside it. Every Coolant Station is connected to the same supply of coolant. Coolant can be added to the Coolant Station supply at a rate of 5 coolant per second.
6.7 Final Stage/Game EndingsEdit
Our game is planned to have multiple endings, based on the players’ performance in the final stage of the game.
In the final room of the game, the time limit that usually relates to how many upgrades points the players are rewarded, is changed to a time limit that the players actually have to complete the level. The narrative ending that the players receive after they either succeed or fail to complete this room is based on whether they reach the exit of the room together, one player reaches the exit alone, or neither player reaches the exit.
Narrative endings Player 1 Finishes Player 1 Does Not Finish Player 2 Finishes Ending: Both players survive to fight another day, learning the lesson of cooperation Ending: Player 2 is rewarded and crowned champion for their skills alone. Player 2 Does Not Finish Ending: Player 1 is rewarded and crowned champion for their skills alone. Ending: Both players are defeated and swallowed forever by the fortress they swore to conquer