Game Design Document:

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Play as a dinosaur in this Third Person Puzzle-action adventure
Tim builds a Time Machine and goes back to the age of dinosaurs, DINOSAURIA!

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Introduction
A game about a little boy called Tim that goes back in time to the age of dinosaurs, Dinosauria. His time machine breaks when he crash lands after travelling back in time so he has to eat plants or other dinosaurs (depending on which costume he chooses) in order to survive until he then finds a time machine that he left in the past before time travelling again. When he puts on a costume to live like the dinosaurs, he can choose to be as either a meat eater or a plant eater. Tim is then stuck in an endless loop of time travelling, will he be able to break this cycle?

Title

Tim’s Escape from Dinosauria

Genre

Third-Person Puzzle-action

Target audience

The target audience for this game is aimed at age 13 and and up since there will be minor violence and might be some blood. Everyone 13 and up until 50 years should be able to play this game, but with the artstyle it is mostly aimed at a younger audience than 50. Tim’s Escape from Dinosauria will fit well for people who are interested in dinosaurs.

Deployment Platform

The target platform of this game is PC/MacOS/Linux and XBOX One/PS4/WiiU, reasoning for this is that it requires multiple buttons and ways to control the camera that rotates around the character like mouse or joystick. Since there is a lot of stuff going on at once (AI per each dinosaur, large world map, many plants ) it would require extra horse power which you can mostly only get from consoles or computers. The game would not fit for mobile devices for those reason.

Story Synopsis

A little smart boy called Tim creates a time-machine and ends up using it only to end up back in the age of Dinosauria when dinosaurs walked the planet. His time-machine breaks when he enters the atmosphere of Dinosauria. He needs to survive until he can find a time machine from himself traveling last time. In order to survive he has made two costumes, one of them which he needs to wear in order to trick the dinosaur inhabitants that he is one of them. Tim can choose between being a meat eater or a plant eater which comes with it’s own challenges. Will Tim be able to escape the infinite loop of time travelling?

Character

The player will be playing as a little boy called Tim. The way you can customize this character is by choosing what he wears. You can choose between a green (plant eater) or a orange dinosaur costume (meat eater). As a meat eater you stomp on other dinosaurs and eat them afterwards you’ll also have to avoid eating or stepping on plants. When equipped the meat eater costume it is also important that Tim only attacks and eats dinosaurs that are smaller than himself. By eating smaller dinosaurs he will grow and be able to eat dinosaurs that were previously larger than him. On the other hand as a plant eater you have to avoid other meat eating dinosaurs and eat plants that are smaller than Tim and grow just like a meat eater.

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Game Play Summary
You play this game as a little boy called Tim inside a dinosaur costume back when Dinosaurs walked the earth in the so called Era of Dinosauria. The main goal is to survive as either a plant eater or a meat eater. As a meat eater he has to eat dinosaurs that are smaller as he eats other dinosaurs he becomes larger and can eat larger dinosaurs but he also has to be careful to not eat plants. As a plant eater he has to avoid being eaten by other dinosaurs, he also has to eat plants to grow and become well fed. When either the plant eater or meat eater is well fed he has to find the next timemachine in order to complete the level and travel to the next level.
The dinosaur has 3 different abilities with a cooldown displayed on the HUD, one of them is an ultimate attack which is different for each costume, the other one is a roar that fears enemies and the last one is a eat ability that eats either plants or other dinosaurs with a short cooldown. The Ultimate ability for the plant eater allows him to turn into a large flower which makes him invisible to enemies for 5 seconds with an 45 seconds cooldown. For the meat eater it allows him to go into «beserk» mode that makes him move 50% faster and do 30% more damage for 10 seconds with a 1 minute and 30 seconds cooldown.
As a dinosaur you have the ability to use fear and eat with a short cooldown that is displayed on the HUD. Player has to use them when they feel it is most important, for instance it could be a good idea to save the roar when there are a lot of other dinosaurs around instead of wasting it when you are alone. The «eat» ability should also be saved to when there are a lot of other dinosaurs on the ground. Reason for this is it has an area of effect function that eats every dead dinosaur or plant in a medium range around the player.
Throughout the level there are powerups and «health potions» that can be picked up and used when necessary. There is an random item that can spawn randomly can be used to track other dinosaurs and plants on the minimap in the top right corner.
Both the plant and meat eater has an sprint meter, however they work a different way for both of them. As a meat eater you’ll move faster than the plant eater.
Each level as you progress will introduce different enviornments (lava, ice, water etc.), it is random which theme you’ll get each level, the dinosaurs and plants are also different for each «theme» (ice theme; frozen plants, and ice dinosaurs for instance)

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User Interface

The HUD displays a well fed bar that goes from 1-100% by completing objectives (eating plants or dinosaurs). HUD also has an health bar, sprint meter, minimap, and abilities that also displays cooldodown for each. There is also a Menu system including; Main Menu, Game Over, Level Complete, Instructions, Settings and Pause. The Menu buttons should be 3d models with a rock or vine texture.

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Control Scheme 

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Visual style guide

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Conclusion
I think this game design realistically could’ve been made in to a full game, I’m happy with the design I ended up with. If I were to go back and change something about the design it would have to be the target platforms, I think that this game could work as a mobile game with intuitive touch controls. For production I’d reckon it would take a couple of months to create with a small team of 3 people. Think this is possible to create this game with an indie team, and a functional prototype in Unreal Engine 4 could take 1-2 weeks. I feel that the strong points of this game is the story and gameplay. If I were to og back and change something about this game design i would also like to add more depth like different characters to choose from, more powerups, more levels and objectives. It would be cool to also add variation for the meat and plant eaters sprint. For the document itself I could have added more text explaining things rather than illustrations.

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Time schedule:

Academic Week 6:

Tuesday (09.27.2016):

Getting introduced to the project in classroom – 3 hours

Come up with basic ideas – 1 hour

 

Wednesday (09.28.2016):

Start by setting up the blog and time schedule – 30 minutes

Start planning/research – 1 hour and 30 minutes

 

Thursday (09.29.2016):

Finish the game design document – 4 hours

 

Friday (09.30.2016):

Gather final files and write report – 3 hours

 

IDEAS/GAMEPLAY:
Kid in dinosaur costume
Katamari style
smash building
gets larger from eating people and buildings
starts with small buldings and can take larger later
level systems, points,
eats chilies to be red, angry, powerful..
can switch between two modes, plant eater (green) and meat eater (red) with a cooldown?
power ups, jetpack (to avoid stuff and get onto larger buildings),
unlockable costumes that change the way player experiences the game
mobile game with touch and hold to move controls
progress bar that fills up as dinosaur does stuff
comets falling further into the game
volcanoes and lava, why not?
STORY:
A kid creates a time machine, puts on a dinosaur suit (meat eater or plant eater and custom costume) goes back in time when dinosaurs were on the earth. The kid has a reason to be on the «dinosaur world». The timemachine is important to the stroy, it’s the start and the end of each level, it’s also where the character changes costume, powerups and so on..

GENRE:
Third-person puzzle-action

REFERENCES:
dinosaur go
good dinosaur shooter
rampage in city (wild dinosaur simulator 2016)
su’esh quest wow
no mans sky
psychedelic colors