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howie_007

Lets talk about my game design

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The project name at this time is called "Zombie 101". ----------- This is the opening story ------------ You play the part of a female office worker. You work on the top floor of a high rise office building, going about your day like you do every day, when something bad happens. There's a big flash, you fall to the floor in your office and black out. You come too but it's all very hazy like a blurry vision, you step into the hallway where you are attacked by a group of your formal co-workers, who are now zombie like creatures. Gasp! You are pushed aside by a security guard (causing you to fall back into your office and out of site of the attacking zombies) that just happened to be in the area, trying to save you but all he has done is divert the attack from you to himself. You fall back into your office and right before you black out again, you see the heroic security guard mauled by the zombie office co-workers. For the opening story I'll probably just use pictures and text because there's no way I can animate all that. Now when the game starts you'll have a dead security guard outside your office door and from that you find your first weapon. A hand gun. Your goal at this point is to get to the first floor alive. I don't know how many floors there will be right now. The game will also try to make your brain itch with these unanswered questions. What happened and why am I not a zombie like everyone else? ----------- End of opening story ------------ Additional game design thoughts... This will be a standard FPS, get from point A to point B without getting eaten buy your co-workers. At this point, getting to the first floor alive will end the game even though logically, the first floor is meaningless because the whole city is a zombie fest. Since this is a female office worker who probably never shot a gun in her life, having it so that she has difficulty holding and shooting a gun might be fun. For example, it may take a second for her to aim clearly and when she shoots, she recoils and let's out a scream. Just a thought. I don’t want this to be a run and gun like running from floor to floor popping the zombies like your Rambo or something. The idea is to make it seem like your trying to control a scared female who can barely protect herself. The player will have to move around carefully and will perhaps discover things along the way. The office environment will be in complete disarray. It will be very bloody, gory and corpses will litter the rooms and hallways. This title will be for mature audiences. I’m thinking of making her rather talkative. She’ll scream, gasp and comment depending on the situation. If she see’s someone she knows, she may say something like, “Is that Mike?”. To keep the game from being annoying, the option to disable her speech will be available in the game config. Since these co-worker zombies are people she knows, there may be a few specialized zombie models you’ll see only once that she will react to via speech and possibly the way she handles. For example she will see Ken, the office “brown noser” or “her boss” and have no trouble popping a round into his head to end his pathetic life. She may run across her best friend and be unable to shoot. I can see having a little fun with incorporating office personalities into it. If anyone has any additional ideas that could add a little more spice to the game play. Perhaps something for her to do in addition to, picking up weapons, health, finding ammo and getting to the first floor. Simple ideas will be best because I’m trying to keep the game doable. -------------- Current state of the project --------------- I’ve written a 3D engine from scratch that’s almost finished. I’m currently working on the AI. After that, it’s just dump in the resources (models, textures and sound) in. I currently have one floor mapped out and one character I’m using as a place holder for working out the AI movements. I’m rather proud of my runtime PVS (possibly visible sets) design because the map can be unlimited in size, yet polygon heavy. In theory, you can have any number of rooms, hallways, floors and agents without having to load and unload areas. There ya have it. [Edited by - howie_007 on May 6, 2006 11:36:47 AM]

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Actually, a fresh and creative idea... first used in doom 1, probably. :) The lone marine you're playing there actually fights his own team members as zombies. The hardware level back then just didn't make it immersive enough.
On the char's gun skills: make them better with each shot. IE if the player shoots all the time, she gets handy with a gun quite soon. And if s(he) sticks to the corners and runs, the gun skills would stay at zero.
Think about fear level: Make the screen blur when there are lots of mobs around. Instead of a health system (pretty stupid, actually, if you're playing an average not-so-strong woman) make her black out and die if there are *too much* mobs in the vicinity.
Don't forget about flashlights! They create the atmosphere for survival horror games! Make weapons *scarce*! Make ammo even scarcer! So the player has to decide whether he kills everyone or just sneaks past and spends ammo on the big bad boss.
Another idea: what if the girl's best friend has the key in his pocket? And he's a zombie? You have to kill him to get it!
Assume that there are some valuable data in the building. And the girl knows where they are. Make her optionally collect blueprints, paper files, cd-roms and other data to increase final score and maybe unlock content...
Say the zombies are damaged by water (some cutscene to discover this...). If the girl gets to fire sprinkler controls (on each floor), she turns them on and - poof - the floor's cleared! Make the sprinkler access kinda secret, of course.

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And BOSSES - they sould be real BOSSES with suit and tie dressed on, with evil faces and a lot of guns.

Evil secretarys and dumb mailmans.

You should let people to set the faces of their co-workers on monsters - this is kicks ass!

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<< On the char's gun skills: make them better with each shot. Think about fear level: Make the screen blur when there are lots of mobs around. >>

I like that. thanks Cold_Flame!

<< And BOSSES - they sould be real BOSSES with suit and tie >>

Yes, that would be funny!

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I realy like the weak hero idea [smile]
many games out there have female heroes that can smash a zombie for breakfast (TombRaider, different RPG's), which was nice but now is plain old.

Do you have the next parts of the story planned? If so Im very interested to hear them... espcially the ending/reason for zombification.


Some office power-ups can be coffee (better shooting?), the classic med kit, picking up and throwing office items (monitors? printers?)

the girl hero can stop when she goes past mirrors to fix her hair or straighten her shirt, if you dont mind taking the game to a more comic side (Im all for it)
to be more comical you can make the girl frighten from a cockroach (not a huge mutant one.. just a plain one) or you can have the girl worry about some zombie look down her skirt when she climbs a ladder.

good luck!

Iftah.

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Iftah - thanks for the kind words!

>

That's exactly what it is. I never really thought of it in that contex but your right. I was thinking as you make your way around the map, you don't see the crosshairs and the gun like you normally do in a FPS. When you go to fire her weapon, you'll see her raise it with an unsteady hand and give out a grunt before it fires. It will be a little difficult to shoot because her aim will be all over the place. It will be interesting to see if this makes the game play more interesting or annoying.

>

I'm still waiting for devine inspiration for that to hit me.

>

Yes I think that will all be fun. I'm all for working some humor into the game.

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Iftah - thanks for the kind words!

<< I realy like the weak hero idea >>

That's exactly what it is. I never really thought of it in that contex but your right. I was thinking as you make your way around the map, you don't see the crosshairs and the gun like you normally do in a FPS. When you go to fire her weapon, you'll see her raise it with an unsteady hand and give out a grunt before it fires. It will be a little difficult to shoot because her aim will be all over the place. It will be interesting to see if this makes the game play more interesting or annoying.

<< Do you have the next parts of the story planned? If so Im very interested to hear them... espcially the ending/reason for zombification. >>

I'm still waiting for devine inspiration for that to hit me.

<< if you dont mind taking the game to a more comic side >>

Yes I think that will all be fun. I'm all for working some humor into the game.

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I say - dump the gun! Make it a run-for-your-life-through-loads-of-melee-enemies-without-getting-killed game. The point is to get to somewhere safe, not to kill the zombies.
You can use weapons that stun or push back the zombies, like hot coffee(no, not like in GTA), paper spray(if it doesn't work on undead, use perfume or something), fire extinguisher - things your heroine can easily find around the office. I mean, guns need ammo, right? It's kind of hard to find ammo in an office, but coffee cups should be all over the place.

Also. what about rescuing people? Your heroine might find other people who didn't turn into zombies, and like a good horor story, they will want her to help them get to a safe place.

Also, use a context sensetive trap system. Cubicals that can be collapsed, trash-cans that can be ignited, whatever you can think about.

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<< I say - dump the gun! Make it a run-for-your-life... >>

That would be funny. Chances are there may be some of that.

<< what about rescuing people? >>

I thought about that. The plan is to get the simpler ideas in first. Some ideas, as cool as thay may be, could just take too much time to implement.

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All I can say is, PLEASE not another fps with a percentage "health bar." If she gets hit in the arm, it should hurt for a while, impede her aim, then stop hurting after a while. If she gets hit in the eye, the screen should get blurry or something, then return to normal after a few seconds. If she gets kicked in the shin, she should walk slower, with a limp, for a while.

One more thing. DON'T tell the player any of this with some sort of status bar or anything. Have it be evident from the way the character behaves. It would be great if this was extended to other parts of the game--no HUD, just see things happening.

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