Cycle 3 – Activity 3 – Gameplay and Player Stories

During week 2 of cycle 3, you (yes you!) the tutor gave us the task of writing down the experiences of the player, based off of our player experience goals.  We wanted our player to be in a game world of adventure and danger, with the right blend of exploration, platforming and combat challenges.

Player Concept Statement:

The goal of each level is to find a key, which unlocks the door to the next level.  The overall goal of the game is to complete the four levels in order to take back your staff which was stolen. The player must navigate and explore a European castle setting, and the player must navigate the levels by defeating enemies with their sword and completing the platforming challenges. There are traps, dangerous creatures and platforming obstacles in the player’s path. 

We then wrote down the player experiences as stories, to try and capture some of the specific moments the player would encounter during the game.  We felt it was important to reinforce the driving factor of recovering a very important item that was stolen from you within these stories.  Who doesn’t love some revenge…

Player Stories:

  1. “As a peasant, I want my treasure to be returned to me so I can once again own my artefact.”
  2. “As an owner of an artefact, I want my boots to support my jumping so I can jump over obstacles and traverse the world.”
  3. “As a civilian of the village, I want to use my sword to defeat enemies and progress through the world.”
  4. “As a player I wish to explore the game world to find fragments to open the door to the next level.”
  5. “As a knight I will use my sword to assist me in finding the person who stole my artefact so I can recover it.”
  6. “As a player I want my evil mate to die so I can recover my artefact.”
  7. “As a player I will gather fragments so I can travel the world to find my staff.”
  8. “As a sorcerer, I will find my staff by tracking down the thief.”
  9. “As a prince, I will recover health packs so that I can survive through the worlds.”
  10. “As a player, I want to cut down any obstacle to find my lost items.”

From the player stories we then broke down how the player would be motivated from these experiences, by analyzing our target audience of Bob, and reaffirming why we think he would love this game based on its challenges.

We believe Bob plays games for a sense of exhilaration and escapism, and in player story 5, the player is depicted as a Knight who must cut down enemies and recover precious artefacts and in this way will appeal to his desire for adventure and escapism.  This will tap into the motivational factors of speed and surprise, which Bob should enjoy based off of his love of Warcraft and StarCraft.

Bob also typically plays games that require a high level of mastery to succeed in the game.  In this way, Player story 2 identifies that the player will need to overcome platforming challenges to traverse the world, which will appeal to bob’s sense of mastery.  This will convey the player experience goals of agility and reflexes, which bob will love because he currently plays FIFA.

Bob would also look for Collecting and gathering resources.  In player story 7, the player is tasked to track down key fragments so that they can progress through the game world. which should appeal to Bob’s sense of resource management.  This will emphasize the player experience goals of interpreting and analyzing, which Bob should appreciate because of his Doom and StarCraft.

Cycle 3 – Activity 2 – Game Look and Feel

This week we decided that we would be further developing our ‘Stolen Artefact’ game idea and thus began the process of envisioning the style we wanted to aim for. We’ve decided to go with a realistic, medieval and fantasy type of ‘look and feel’. The following article ‘https://www.quora.com/Why-are-so-many-epic-fantasies-set-in-a-medieval-setting‘, explores how medieval and fantasy go so well together and why this mix of themes has resulted in so many ‘epic’ games over the years. A lot of credit can be given to J.R.R Tolkein’s ‘Lord of the Rings’, and to share such a theme with a the incredible world Tolkein created means that we must be doing something right! The following mood-board depicts this theme that we want and certain references that we have taken inspiration from. A colour palette has also been included of our focus colours, pulled from these reference images.

moodboard.png

Image Sources (Left to right, top to bottom)

We took our inspiration from the images in the above mood board and games such as WarCraft III, The Elder Scrolls Online, Trine 2 and Kingdom Come Deliverance. The fundamental shape structures of our game are squares, triangles, and sharp angles. We want to the environment to be defined in a strong way and to assert a certain dominance over the player. We’re staying from circles and round objects/structures as we want to stay away from any cute or peaceful ideas. These strong, straight shapes promote aggression which suits our overall revenge theme, we want players to be invested into the story through the environment as well.

A game’s ‘look and feel’ is absolutely crucial in conveying the game’s overarching theme to a player. In the linked article, Viktor Antonov, the art director behind Bethesda’s successful new 2012 IP, Dishonored, describes how the art of Dishonored helps shape the feel of the game and support the story (http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2011/07/20/the-look-and-feel-of-dishonored.aspx).

We believe that through the use of such shape structures and by sticking to the style and colouring of the above mood board, our target audience, Bob, will be able to accurately interpret the ‘look and feel’ we are going for in our games. As a player of similar medieval fantasy games, such as WarCraft and even darker games such as Doom, which suit our revenge theme, Bob will easily recognise the style of game and be drawn into it. We believe Bob will respond positively to our aggressive styling and feel more invested in the story because of it’s supporting environment.

Our game requires ‘2.5’ dimensions, in that it’s a fundamentally 2 dimensional game (left, right, up, down) that is played within a 3 dimensional world. So the third dimension, or in this case the half dimension, can be seen as part of the environment but cannot be interacted with or accessed. The world will be bound to the constraints of the levels themselves, be that the city wall in a city level, the inside of a building, or two destinations on the countryside.

The game is set in Medieval Europe, a period which spans between the 5th and 15th Centuries and will be realistic with the exception of ‘realistic’ fantasy elements such as magic. Levels will take place both indoors and outdoors with settings such as villages, castles and rolling countrysides. Game world objects will be realistic as will the NPCs inhabiting the world, which take the form of ordinary humans, no other races are present.

Sounds present in the game will reflect the mood and setting, with ‘medieval sounds’ such as from the following;

being used to create atmosphere. Recorded sounds from reenacted battles or period-correct equipment could also be used to boost realism.

Vincent Bornaghi, N9463020