Game Design Document - infomediadesign/projektarbeit-ii-team-7 Wiki

Game Design Document

Welcome to the Assemblia Game Doc!

Welcome to our Game Design Document of our little game called Assemblia. In here we will display all the features, know-abouts and background information about our game. But before we head into the details, let's take a look at what kind of game we are creating:

1 Game Overview

Assemblia is a conflict-rich, turn-based 2D-roleplay dungeon crawler game à la Dragon Quest with the targeting- and loot system from The Surge.

Our goal was it to create a unique RPG fighting system, combined with an interesting story. A very important aspect of the game is to make it accessible for everyone. We also wanted to build a framework that lets future developers easily add/remove content to/from the existing game.

1.1 Story Overview

Assemblia is a toy city with all of its residents being toys. The city is supressed by the mean and evil toy-emperor and his cruel ministers. Our main character gets caught up in the circumstances and tries to change the world by overthrowing the current regime.

1.2 Target audience

We wanted to appeal to a very broad target audience. However, we define our target audience as those kind of people that also adore games that served as an inspiration during the process of creating our game. Concretely, everyone that likes games like Dragon Quest, Pokemon, and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, or just Dungeon Crawlers in general. As we also have an interesting story, we might also try to get story game lovers among our audience. However, we do not inted to keep up with story based games and rather try to focus on an interesting battle system. But as our setting is toys in a toy world with a serious story we mainly count teenagers up to young adults to our target audience.

1.3 Look and feel

Our style and feeling goes into a sweet, yet at the same time bouncy and crazy fantasy direction. We have living toys in a sort of medieval town, where everything is quite colorful and playful. However, the story gives our game a rather serious aspect, and our battle system implements a strategic aspect.

1.4 Prototype Milestones

Here are the features we want to implement in our first prototype: Protoype is just going to be the main dungeon level and battle screen. Later on, let's add menus, the hub etc.

Scope

  • 1 test level
  • 1 enemy (with 2 weapons to test out the battle mechanics) and if possible one boss
  • 1 test loadout for the player (first balancing experiments)

Overworld screen

  • Player Controller with basic movement (WASD, Interact)
  • Player Controller with Point 'n Click movement (Mouse to Move)
  • Tiled implementation

Battle screen

  • Turn-based event system
  • Targeting system (Refer to Battle Screen Aufbau)
  • Health Bars: Hidden HP Bars for enemy weapons

1.5 Accessibility

The entire game is playable with one hand. The game uses contrast and clear shape language to communicate the action to the player. Its important that the visual style, the UX and the general gameplay are readable for people with color blindness.

Now, with that being said let's jump into detailed information.

1.6 Symmetry

The Combat system of the game is symmetrical. Both the player and all enemies use the same system to target body parts. The enemies and the player can both loose body parts. The Layout of the Slum level is asymmetrical.

2 Gameplay and Mechanics

2.1 Gameplay

The Core gameplay mechanic of Assemblia is the exchanging of body parts. Each enemy and the main character have 5 exchangeable body parts and one core. During combat, the body parts are used to attack either an enemy's body part or their core. After taking a certain amount of damage, body parts will get blown off the enemy. The more body parts get destroyed, the more damage the core of the enemy receives. After each fight the player must replace at least one of their own body parts with one of the body parts which got dropped by the enemy.

2.1.1 Core Gameplay Mechanic

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/100327335/174484832-c15d0d0e-02c1-4d18-885f-7d61276fab6e.png

The Core gameplay mechanic of Assemblia is the exchanging of body parts. Each enemy and the main character have 5 exchangeable body parts and one core. During combat, the body parts are used to attack either an enemy's body part or their core. After taking a certain amount of damage, body parts will get blown off the enemy. The more body parts get destroyed, the more damage the core of the enemy receives. After each fight the player must replace at least one of their own body parts with one of the body parts which got dropped by the enemy.

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/100327335/174493971-a0dc031d-a300-40e2-8f6a-6731749834f8.png

2.1.2 Turn-based combat

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Start of own turn

At the beginning of each turn the player can choose between four different actions.

standard

1. Action: Attack

Should the player decide to attack an enemy, they can choose one of their equipped weapons to attack said enemy. This will cost the player a certain amount of action points. As long as a player has hit points, they can continue to chain one move (attacking or blocking) to another. However, every weapon can only be used once per turn (or with potential cooldowns)

attack

After a player chose their weapon they want to attack with, they will now have to choose the body part of the enemy they want to attack.

select

2. Action: Defend

Attacking with and defending your own body parts is the core of Assemblia, so we have this separate screen to choose which body part to defend with which other body part.

defend1

defend2

3. Action: Item

Just like any other RPG, Assemblia also features items that can heal the player. Note that the player cannot act out any other actions, should they decide to use this feature. We use the related overworld HUD to choose items, although weapons and other gear are not available during fights. You can't just switch your weapons midfight.

items

4. Action: Retreat

The large "retreat" button simply exits the battle screen. There are no repercussions for running away from a fight.

Looting Screen

After defeating their opponent, the player must choose one of the displayed weapons and swap it with one of their current weapons. They get information about both current and new weapons.

victory

Game Over Screen

If the player looses a battle, they're sent to our Game-Over Screen. There they can choose if they want to continue playing or exit the game.

Game Over

Victory Screen and Loot

Other body parts are looted from defeated enemies. Consumables like healing kits and body part repair kits are looted from chests found in the levels. These chests are usually not found on the main route. Some are found in hidden areas, to encourage players to explore the level. Others a guarded by enemies.

IMG VICTORY

2.2 Game Progression

Our game progresssion can be measured by the amount of bosses the player has defeated. There is an existing blacklist with high priority targets. We currently are having three levels planned with up to potential five.

The progression for the three levels goes as follows. At first the player has to defeat Tumbalf the king of the slums. He is the only target that's not a minister. Up next is the brother of the head-minister and master of coin. However on that quest the player won't face him in the end but instead will have to defeat Zancrow. The outlaw of the story. The last enemy is the emperor himself. He is the hardest enemy of the game.

The progression also is recognizeable due to the increasing difficulty.

2.2.1 Introduction to Challenges

Introducing the player to challenges After entering the slum in the first level the player encounters a simple first enemy. The first difficult is on the middle of the main road and can be avoided.

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/100327335/174500449-6391cc1d-1ea1-4596-891a-a69595dff295.png

There are multiple small streets on the side, that allow the player to explore the level. These areas are filled with loot and a few enemies. Here the player learns that Loot is mostly found while exploring side areas. Some chests are guarded by enemies.

2.2.2 Obstacles within Levels

The first obstacle in the slum Level are the guards that guard the bazaar entrance. The Guards are much stronger than the enemies the player fought until this point like animals and thieves. After this point these guards are mostly found on the main road while the side streets are filled with weaker enemies.

2.3 Mechanics

What are the rules to the game, both implicit and explicit. This is the model of the universe that the game works under. Think of it as a simulation of a world, how do all the pieces interact? This can actually be a very large section.

3 Story, Setting and Character

3.1 Story and Narrative

3.1.1 Overall Story

The player has to gather equipment to defeat the evil ministers to face the cruel emperor to free the citizens of Assemblia from his horrible reign. On his journey he is looking for answers to how he might escape this world and return into his human body.

3.1.2 Intro:


This part of the game was meant to be shown as a cutscene. As we changed our priorities this does not take place in our game.

Our main character wakes up in a tavern. He feels strange, thinking he is stuck inside a weird dream. He then realizes that he is in the body of a toy. Excitement kicks in as he believes this to be a very cool dream. He rushes out onto the streets and gets amazed by the sheer amount of toys. They are everywhere. One looks so different compared to another. It looks like they all live a normal life. He stumbles around in the streets, when all of a sudden everyone runs off the street onto the side. He joins them. A group of toy knights approach on their giant plastic horses. As they are about to pass by, a child runs onto the street and in front of the horses. The poor girl lost her toy bear on the streets and wants to retrieve it. A soldier gets off his horse and picks up the kids toy. “You dropped this, little child.” He holds the bear to the girl but before she can reach it he holds the toy up high and tears it into pieces. “Too bad.”, he mocks her. The child starts crying and hits the guard on his leg. The guard gets angry and kicks the girl away. “Don’t you touch me peasant.” The main character rushes forward and confronts the guard “Hey! She is just a child.” As he comes closer the guard punches him to the ground. In that moment he realizes that this pain feels much too real to be a dream. Is he actually trapped in a toy body? As he comes back to his senses he sees the guards walking toward him. “Get him!”, the first one shouts. As they approach a group of toys suddenly emerge and start to fight the guards. It’s pure chaos. One of them tosses two weapons to you “Defend yourself” she screams. You grab the weapons and see a wounded guard coming towards, you ready for battle.

The cutscene ends here and the player enters the first fight, which also serves as the tutorial fight of the game.

Instead we implemented a small conversation between the Mentor and the player character, where the Mentor explains the first mission of the game. This will be shown as a dialogue only without grafical output.

3.1.3 Plot/Plotprogession:


After the intro, the main character joins forces with the resistance movement on their quest to overthrow the king. He gets sent onto missions to defeat important allies to the crown. They get information on the new targets and then have to enter an area where they have to fight henchmen of the target or common bandits etc. After getting deeper into the dungeon they will eventually find the target. Before they enter the fight there will a small conversation. Having sucessfully defeated the target they then return to the base.

This cycle was meant to continue until the player reaches the final boss, the emperor though we had to cut that short and only implemented one dungeon with one boss who therefore is our endboss of the game even though the story is not finished.

We also planned that this flow gets slightly broken by the fact, that on the second or third mission the player does not have to defeat the mission target themselve but instead the outlaw who gets in their way wanting to eliminate them.

3.1.4 Backstory

Assemblia is an imperial city in a toy world. The whole story takes place during an equivalent to medieval times. The buildings look rather old. There is an emperor and knights, smiths, guards etc, everything a medieval kingdom includes. Its inhabitants are all toys. Despite their existence as toys, they all live a normal life. They also work medieval jobs such as black smithing, sewing, as well as farming. Assemblia has been an imperial city for a very long time. No one can remember the time before Assemblia became this big. It kind of has always been there. It has been ruled by the same dynasties since its inception. The most recent emperor died of young age. His son and successor, a fifteen-year-old boy, acts on the will of his head minister and mentor. He is basically doing whatever pleases the cruel old minister, and can be seen as a puppet. The emperors of this town have ruled it with justice and strictness, yet also with kindness and heart. This new emperor, or rather the ministers “advising” him, prefers another way of ruling. He suppresses all of the citizens, especially the poor ones who suffer the most under his reign. He constructs a big army, collects high taxes and does not allow any word of misfortune. Everyone that tries to rise up and fight the evil doings of the cruel ruler gets met with an iron fist that sends them right to jail, where they'll be stripped of their life giving battery (as toys they are powered with batteries) without a trial. But in the shadows of this town a small group of people gatheres and formes some sort of resistance. Unseen by the enslaving eyes of the emperor they launched an attack but failed. Now they are on the run. Hiding. Being hunted. Decimated in numbers, they now try their best to help the people of Assemblia without drawing any attention to them. But the people of Assemblia are in fear. They don’t want to be seen as an ally to those “terrorists” as the minister calls them. They cower in front of the crown and try not to show any kind of disobedience.

3.2 Game World

3.2.1 General look and feel of world

The world itself is a toy world. So everything looks rather colorful, funny and playful. We wanted to create a fun environment, for an interesting and sometimes even serious story. But we also play to a certain feel of fantasy as we have living toys in a medieval town. Especially the time in which the story takes place reminds one a lot about common fantasy role playing games.

3.2.2 Areas

World one: Slums


The slums are a rather inanimate place. The buildings are rather damaged and abandoned. The roads are mainly sand, sometimes you have small pieces of paved ground. The buildings are mainly made out of sandstone and clay, sometimes boulders. The people have used wood to fix some holes or to implement doors to their housings. The place is very lively however it doesn't seem so as all the residents hide themselves in order to flee any possible trouble with the gang members. The area consists out of 4 sub areas.

1-1: The Sewers


At first there is the entrance. The entrance area connects the wealthier part of the town to the slums. There you can see pipes of the sewers, the area itself looks sort of dead. Mostly the poorest toys call this place their home as they don't want to struggle around with all those bandits and gang members.

1-2: The Bazaar


The bazar is probably the most populated area of the slums. Located there are different kind of market stands. People walking around selling stuff, talking about this and that however they also make way for all the guards that are running around freeing the roads to not even closely get in their way. Due to the turmoil the main character has caused by entering the bazar not that sneakily the gang members are more present than ever which also leads to way less encouters with residents or merchants.

1-3: Ruins


After leaving that area you enter a mixed area as it changes while the player progresses in the level. At first there are normal houses what are considered as a living area for more toys but after that follows the abandoned part of the slums. Collapsed houses and ruins as far as you can see. There is only a small amount of intact walls and foundations. Nothing really happens there. The people just moved away, as the slum gang was searching for stuff and considering this area is the closest to their main base, they searched there a lot.

1-4: Tumbalf’s Base


After that is the just mentioned base of the slum gang. There sits Tumbalf with all his treasures and his members. It’s a rather wealthy building, at least compared to the normal houses. Though there are still cracks in the walls and floor giving it the damaged slum feeling. In general there are many dark and narrow corridors that give ob a cold, claustrophobic vibe. The small light on the wall also add to the moody vibe. There are also a lot of detailed carpets laying around that were a gift from the emperor to please Tumbalf. In midts of all those damaged houses this place seems like a gigantic fortress. There are barrels standing around filled with treasures collected by his henchman.

3.3 Characters

Main character (Player)


https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/74707311/174075200-7f5c0d65-38d3-42af-a465-a3c143ee00d8.png

Our main character is a human trapped in a toy's body. He does not know how he ended up in there. They first enjoyed their stay, but now want to find a way to leave this place. On their first day, they ended up fighting the royal guards because they wanted to protect a small girl. As he did not want to go to prison or even get their battery removed on the spot they decided to fight back. After that the resistance movement took them in as they are now a hunted outlaw. They sensed that this town is an awful and injustice place. They don’t know how to break the spell, which they want more than anything, but because of their own morals they decide to help out and maybe they'll find out how to get out of this world along the way. As he can switch his loadout he has no preset weapons.

Personality:

Our main character is a rather shy but funny character. They always try to lighten up the mood a bit, which gets them into some smaller problems with their mentor every now and then. They also have a strong feeling of righteousness. They want the good to prevail in life, and always try to be as helpful as they can be. They feel like injustice needs to be punished in a way fitting the crime. They also try to care for their friends the best they can, and might also sacrifice themselves to save a friend.

Plot progression:

This part was also planned to be implemented into the game in further dungeons. However it got cut out.

After they meet Zancrow, they find out that there is a way to leave this place: By destroying the night crystal, one may break the curse. The night crystal is a magical object of unknown origin. Some say it’s a tear of the moon itself. But this crystal is more than just jewelry. It has a strange mystical purple shine. As Zancrow tells the main character about that, they remember something. Before waking up in that strange toy place, they saw a bright purple flash of light in their dream. Zancrow did so too. The magic of the crystal pulled you into this world to save this town or even this world. From what, or even whom you don’t know. But with that gained knowledge you have a way to leave this place now.

Relationships:

Layla: They share a close bond that started from a student teacher relationship into a true and close friendship. At first was rather cold to them as she thought they would die pretty quickly. Though after defeating the slum gang leader she got interested in them and began to truly care for them. Despite getting mad about their funny but also stupid comments she likes to complete missions with them.

Layla (Mentor)


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This our main character's mentor. She is a leading force in the resistance army. She takes care of the recruits but mainly goes onto solo-missions to defeat the evil ministers. On our main character's first day she encouraged them to fight for themself, and is one of the last people that is truly good in this lost place. Later on in the game you find out that she is the leader of the rebels. But due to safety no one knows about that.

Personality:

She is very disciplined and wants her missions to be as smooth and her actions as precise as they can be. But she also has a hot temper and can get furious very quickly (especially because of a certain main character). She wants evil to be punished and she can get very cold when things get serious.

Appearance:

She mainly appears before the dungeon by text to give instructions to our main character. However it was planned that she might go onto one mission together with our main character, where they try to hunt down the brother of the head minister and master of coin.

Relationship:

Main character: She is the mentor of our main character. And she thinks they are a pain in the ass. But inside, she likes them a lot, even though she does not want to admit it. After being cold in the beginning she cares for them and does not want them to get killed, but also trusts them and their abilities deeply. At first she only sees them as a soldier for the cause but then they become friends.

(Zancrow: as he is the former co-leader of the resistance and her ex she hates him deeply after he betrayed the resistance following their failed attempt to take down the emperor.)

Tumbalf


tumbalf-export

Tumbalf is a big crocodile like toy. He looks rather muscular and threatening in his design. Even without taking a look at his weapons he's got a mean look on his face. On top he's got a spike collar and a mouthguard that make him look tough and evil. His weapons are a devastating morning star in his hand and a giant cannon on his back that scream of them being high damage threats. He is the leader of the slum-gang. He collects what he likes to call "taxes" from everyone living in his own kingdom and repays them with protection from thieves. Well that's at least what he justifies his actions with. He and his gang have terrorized the slums for many years now. And since he got announced and equipped by the emperor as the protector of the slums he has been an unstopable force. No one tries to disobey his commands out of sheer fear. Though it hasn't always been like that. Tumbalf grew up in the slums or mainly the sewer region. He and his mother were nothing but poor and were scraping for anything they could get their hands on. They lived a hard life yet his mother made sure to provide him with as much as she could including her love. After his mother died due to the horrible surcumstances Tumbalf changed completely. He swore to himself to do everything in his power to never be poor again. He wanted the complete opposite. Power, control. He made himself a name as a thief and racket and gathered allies because of his rapid success. After some time he announced his group to be THE slum gang and challenged all of the established thief guilds with that. Due to unknown circumstances he defeated the odds and with them all the big guilds claming control of the whole slums. Though his ambitions left some scars on the area around him as he's the reason for the current state of the abandoned part of the slums.

Personality

Tumbalf is a greedy toy. He can never have enough what is simply because he gets controlled by fear. The fear of his past, the scars it left. His world fell apart for him that day and his ambitions to never let something like that such a miserable life happen again made him create his own kingdom. All his evil doings he justifies with the protection he claims to offer. However he does not care about the residents of the slums just like nobody cared for him and his dying mother. He sees in everyone an enemy except those who surrender themselves to him to join his cause. Another exception is the emperor as he clutters him with gifts and new shiny weapons. The way he talks is sorta self-righteous as in he claims that what he's doing is for the good of the people. However he knows that all his acts of tornment are nothing but cruel and suppressive. When faced with defeat he gets scared as he does not want to become worthless again and losing bascially means exactly that to him therefore he will fight till death.


The following characters have little to no impact on the story.

Sewer rat


rattata1

The sewer rat is one of the first mobs the player encounters. It is a plush toy with a wind-up key in it's back. On top it has button eyes where one fell off that got replaced giving it a sorta damaged look. It is meant to be an easy yet annoying mob as it blindly attacks the player. It's only goal is to get food giving it a rather animalistic behaviour. It does not care about possessions.

Appearance

This mob only appears in the entrance level of the dungeon as there the sewers are located. It crawls around in the alleys.

Gunbird


gunbird-export

The gunbird is a lower henchman of Tumbal. It's a giant plastic ball with a birds head. The most significant part about it are its weapons. The gunbird wields four toy pistols that are in its hovering hands. As a lower member it has little to no information and only wants to stop the player from venturing furter towards the base.

Appearance

The mob appears in the bazar level and parts of the abandoned level. It protects the main road but also alleys.

Bandit


ShieldBonk_Tikki

The bandit is like his name already describes a robber that roams the roads to get his hands on everything of value. It's a mouse on two legs made of plush. It wears a big sombrero and his weapons show that he created his current equipment out of stolen weapons as it seems completely random. He has huge tiki shield and a cheese sword on top of that. He lures around the main road trying to attack merchants or travelers that want to visit the bazar to sell their goods or buy curiosities and luxurious products for small coin.

Appearance

He appears aside from the slum gang base everywhere around the map luring near the main road. However wherever there is a higher guard presence this mob appears less as they fear the gang members.

Gang guard


guard_battlescreen

The guard is a higher gang member. It's a rubber duck with feet and broad eyebrows that make it look a bit judgingly mad. It's main weapon is one half of a human kids scissor. As a higher gang member the guard has a stricter tone towards the player and also seems more aware of the situation. The main job is to keep everyone at bay. Nobody is allowed to pass them without facing consequences. For normal residents that means "special taxes" however for the main character it means a fight.

Appearances

It appears in both the abandoned level but mainly in the gang base. It covers the main roads toward the fortress.

Zancrow


Zancrow is another human trapped inside the body of a toy. He was sent here 10 years before our main character was. He was a member and co leader of the resistance. One day he did some research because he also wants to get out of this world and back into his own real body. He found out that by destroying the night crystal this world will come to an end and he will get back to his human form. Though "come to an end" really means that this world will get completely destroyed. After they stood in front of the emperor he told Layla about his plan. She could not believe her ears as he mentioned the destruction of this world. They lost the fight and fled. He then quit the resistance to work alone. He wants to achieve his goal no matter the costs and the resistance would no longer help him, but he also thinks they are too weak to even help him. He now is a known outlaw in the city who works for no one but himself. He is a true terror as he roams the town and steals the citizens energy, disabling them in the process. The city guards and the resistance tried to get him but he always escapes. His new goal is to use this energy to wake an elder dragon. He hopes that this dragon will lay havoc on the town and destroy everything in its way. Including the emperor and the night crystal. He hopes that he might be able to tame the beast by working for it as a servant and supplying it with energy.

Personality

Zancrow has a split personality. He is focused on his goal and completely reckless and somewhat wicked on his path. He has gone completely mad over time because of the amount of toys he killed by stealing their energy. He jokes around a lot but has a vicious tone in his voice. One might think the only thing he craves for is terror and fear. However there is also this voice in his head that just wants him to go home. Killing all those innocents for his cause made him numb as he realized that when he fulfills his plan they would die nontheless.

4 Interface

4.1 Visual System.

In this section we will list our used screens and give a small explanation to each one of them.

4.2 GUI

Now after getting a look into all our different kind of screens that will be shown in our game, we will take a closer look at how our UI is set up. In this section we will explain how the player interacts with the game via our smooth and comprehensible interface. For that we will again list our different screens and highlight how the interactions take place.

4.2.1 Overworld

The Overworld offers a pretty simple interface. There you can only see the player in the middle of the screen and buttom prompts to the upper right corner of the screen. They tell the player how they can interact with models in the game but also enter other screens like the inventory.

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/74707311/167311883-aa992dec-6332-400b-a1ce-725c89006153.jpg

4.2.2 Dungeon

The Dungeon UI is pretty much the same as in the Overworld. However it has two more pieces of information that are displayed on the screen. The health bar and our Action Points bar. Both of them are located on the bottom right of the screen.

4.2.3 Inventory

The inventory consist out of two screens. The item-screen and the equipment-screen. The item screen is split vertically. On the left a player can go through their items and get information such as name and amount. They can also choose to consume an item by interacting with the button shown below. The right half is just used as a display of information.

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/74707311/167312045-f61c9b65-2273-402d-8d9e-05eb41bf8816.jpg

The equipment screen, however, is just an information output with no interaction.

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/74707311/167312064-8faf34e8-fc98-4544-849b-d9eb88e45f32.jpg

4.3 Control System

When using the second control scheme, players will navigate menus by clicking on the on-screen buttons.

The player character is controlled with eiter WASD or the arrow keys. Alternatively, clicking can also be used.

4.3.1 Interaction with menus

The player interacts with menus either by pressing hotkeys or by clicking on buttons. Hotkeys for menus are always displayed in the GUI. The appearance of clicked buttons changes to give the player visual feedback. In the settings the Player can select one of two cursors.

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/100327335/167393784-5869357d-f4f5-4e85-98e2-a137456f7b9a.jpg

How does the game player control the game? What are the specific Commands?

4.4 Controls and player movement

Here we will take a look at how the player interacts with the game and the different UIs

4.4.1 Controls

The entire game can be played with a controller, mouse and keyboard, or just a keyboard.

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5 Game Art

5.1 Art Style

Before discussing the art style in the following paragraph we are giving a short summary of our setting.

Our game takes place in a fictional, imperial toy capital, late medieval style. All inhabitants of the world are toys.

The entire game's pixel art style is generally informed by Earthbound, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and Dragon Quest, while the overall leitmotiv of "toys come to life" is inspired by the biproduct toys you'd get in Happy Meals and random kids' magazines in the late 90s to early 2010s.

While interactibles and characters are vibrantly coloured and of defined silhouette, the backgrounds are generally more pastel-colored and washed out. By just making sure there is enough contrast between fore- and background elements (boundaries) we can hopefully minimize readability issues for people with colour blindness.

5.1.1 Characters

To clarify: The guidelines in the following paragraph also apply to weapon and item design.

The focus of the enemy design is on clearly communicating to the player which body parts are attackable and which aren't. Therefore, enemies, friendlies and bosses alike may be drawn with "Spaghetti Limbs", or no limbs at all.

Every character has a distinct, thick outline around them. On the overworld, the player character has a black outline to make them stand out from the background. In battle, enemies have thick, white outlines to underline their silhouette even more. Conversely, we try to use as little single pixel line art as possible within the boundaries of a characters silhouette.

Both characters and other entities may only utilize four colours (less colours is also possible). Ideally, these colours are either complementary and are used to communicate the different landmarks on a character's body or of similar hue but different contrast.

Example: "The Fastest Rat of Assemblia" [WIP] features three main features: The sombrero, the knoife and the tiki head shield. Only the latter two of those features are interactible. To hopefully communicate this better, the rat's sombrero and poncho share a colour scheme while the knoife and shield share a colour scheme. Its supposed to tell the player that these items are related (as in they're the "body parts" to be broken off)

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/61063944/167319895-95c705ef-2234-4fb6-8a54-02128827d43c.png

Animations are supposed to be bouncy and easily readable. For simplicity sake, the enemies stay in the same position throughout the entire fight and only slightly move by shifting around, swaying side to side or bouncing up and down.

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/61063944/167319980-50dc7cbe-9277-4322-b826-aedaba1be3c2.png

5.1.2 Environments

Despite the large, detail-inviting resolution of 32x32px per tile, environments should be kept simple. Contrast is again of importance as we separate the different elements of a scene into certain value ranges, with unpassable sections of the level being of darker value.

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/61063944/167319909-7a63daca-631f-4f6f-a838-13065e4d403e.png

5.1.3 GUI

Graphical User Interface elements are separated, both stylistically and logically into two groups: Interactable and non-interactable.

Interactable elements are designed to look like clickable, physical toy-esque buttons. (menu elements, button prompts, cursors)

Non-interactable elements are designed to carry a lot of visual flare with clear, readable shapes. (Screen transitions, fight animations, emotes*)

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/61063944/167320108-a43f8bc3-af2e-45cd-906c-d7e3c52b84b0.png

The GUI needs to be navigatable with either a mouse or a controller (keyboard or conventional controller). A mouse cursor can navigate to wherever it needs to be, whereas the controller layout will work with a snap-on cursor that snaps to the different on-screen buttons for selection, instead. Because of this, menus need to be designed in a grid structure, which is more easily accessible to the snap-on style. (And also the standard in the games we mentioned as inspiration)

https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/61063944/167320404-b4aba2b1-2bcd-443d-b3b7-e9b5979d8f82.png

  • yet to be prioritized and implemented

5.1.4 Palette

A modified version of the AAP Splendor128 [Origin] color palette is used. The colours were modified to be more saturated. As to how specifically the colours are used for characters or environments, refer to the corresponding chapter.

Rubberhose -> Better Readibility of Characters

Here you can find a look up table for our color palette. [Color Lookup Table](https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wY1GjclqYhZaZcqu69zcIJZfitqz8W-zKyoPHPTZrH4/edit?usp=sharing)


Enemy Intelligence

Technical Informations