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1 Design Document for: Another rpg “An epic quest of epic proportions!Written by Matt Bicknese Version 1 April 4 th 2012

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Page 1: Design Document for: Another rpg - Digital Media Design · 1 Design Document for: Another rpg “An epic quest of epic proportions!” Written by Matt Bicknese Version 1 April 4th

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Design Document for:

Another rpg “An epic quest of epic proportions!”

Written by Matt Bicknese

Version 1

April 4th

2012

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Table of contents

1. Game Overview........................................................................................................................................................ 4

1.1 In one sentence .................................................................................................................................................... 4

1.2 Major influences .................................................................................................................................................. 4

1.3 Purpose of the game............................................................................................................................................. 4

1.4 Target demographic ............................................................................................................................................. 4

2. Game History ........................................................................................................................................................... 4

2.1 Inspiration............................................................................................................................................................ 4

2.2 Mood and title ..................................................................................................................................................... 5

2.3 Aesthetic changes ................................................................................................................................................ 5

3. Interface .................................................................................................................................................................... 6

3.1 Title ..................................................................................................................................................................... 6

3.2 Game screen .....................................................................................................................................................6-7

4. Game mechanics ...................................................................................................................................................... 7

4.1 Controls ............................................................................................................................................................... 7

4.2 Object of the game ...........................................................................................................................................7-8

4.3 Progression .......................................................................................................................................................... 8

4.4 Enemies ............................................................................................................................................................... 8

4.5 Bosses .................................................................................................................................................................. 8

4.6 Items .................................................................................................................................................................8-9

4.7 Battle ..............................................................................................................................................................9-10

4.8 Levels and stats ................................................................................................................................................. 10

4.9 Gold ................................................................................................................................................................... 10

4.10 Saving .............................................................................................................................................................. 10

5. Story ........................................................................................................................................................................ 10

5.1 Main plot ...................................................................................................................................................... 10-11

5.2 Mood and humor ............................................................................................................................................... 11

6. Main Characters .................................................................................................................................................... 11

6.1 Jack Smith ......................................................................................................................................................... 11

6.2 Mr. Smith .......................................................................................................................................................... 12

6.3 Manik ................................................................................................................................................................ 12

6.4 Jasper ................................................................................................................................................................. 12

6.5 Nameless Villagers ............................................................................................................................................ 12

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Table of contents cont.

7. The World .............................................................................................................................................................. 13

7.1 Map ................................................................................................................................................................... 13

7.2 Towns ........................................................................................................................................................... 13-14

7.3 Dungeons ........................................................................................................................................................... 14

7.4 Side areas...................................................................................................................................................... 14-15

8. Art Style .................................................................................................................................................................. 15

8.1 Sprites and backgrounds .................................................................................................................................... 15

8.2 Cut scenes ..................................................................................................................................................... 15-16

9. Hardware and Software ........................................................................................................................................ 17

9.1 System requirements ......................................................................................................................................... 17

9.2 Game and asset production ................................................................................................................................ 17

10. Development ......................................................................................................................................................... 17

10.1 Process of making the game ............................................................................................................................ 17

10.2 Future plans ..................................................................................................................................................... 18

11. Play Testing .......................................................................................................................................................... 18

11.1 Jake Kocsisko .................................................................................................................................................. 18

11.2 Bobby Macdonald ........................................................................................................................................... 18

11.3 Samantha Lemes.............................................................................................................................................. 19

11.4 Chris Bicknese ................................................................................................................................................. 19

12. Final Self Evaluation ........................................................................................................................................... 19

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1. Game overview

1.1 In One Sentence…

Another RPG combines action based battling system, item crafting, and

exploration into an epic quest against evil, all to the backdrop of a parodical

RPG story.

1.2 Major Influences

Another RPG is influenced by many aspects from other games, including

Zelda-esque battle systems, crafting like Minecraft, and a world littered with

items À la Elder Scrolls. The overall aesthetic is derived from old pixilated

games such as early Final Fantasy and Pokémon games.

1.3 Purpose of the Game

My game is designed to give the player a sense of creative control through

an abundance of items and combinations, along with a sense of exploration

through a world map.

1.4 Target Demographic

My game is aimed primarily at males ranging from teen to young adult.

However, the lack of mature content and aesthetic appeal can open it up to

all audiences.

2. Game history

2.1 Inspiration

I always wanted to make an RPG, since they’ve been some of my favorite

games over the years. The magic system is actually similar to a previous

(mostly unsuccessful) game attempt of mine, where you used and leveled up

spells. Most of my initial inspiration came from Minecraft and The Elder

Scrolls series, but I think subconsciously The Legend of Zelda had the

biggest impact, which shows in the game play and initial artwork.

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2.2 Mood and Title

Another RPG started under the title of “Super Smith”; however I made the

addition of elements that parody video games, and characters that are semi-

conscious of their electronic state, which caused a change in title to reflect

this. I chose this change to give the game the ability to laugh at itself and

others in the genre, and so that the mood agreed more with the aesthetics.

2.3 Aesthetic Changes

My game has gone through many visual changes. The main

character originally wore green, but was changed to blue to

differentiate him from Link of The Legend of Zelda. The item inventory was

also a bright blue, influenced by the menu styles of Final Fantasy games,

but since it’s always on screen it clashed with the scenery. And so that was

knocked down to a dark gray, which also makes the text easier to read.

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3. Interface

3.1 Title

The title screen is very straightforward. You get the option to start, load, or

view game controls via arrows or by clicking the options. The title is boldly

displayed around the perimeter against a scrolling a background of weapons,

characters, and items.

3.2 Game Screen

The in-game screen is unconventional in that all menus are displayed at all

times while the action appears in a port in the upper left. This means there is

no pausing and all item management happens in real time. It also allows

quick access to stats, equipment, and items. I chose this for convenience and

authenticity, as I always thought pausing in mid-battle was a cheap way to

recover yourself, and quite frankly, unrealistic.

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Game screen example

4. Game mechanics

4.1 Controls

This game is meant to be played with a keyboard and mouse. The player

controls the main character with the arrow keys, while the Z, X, and C

buttons cause the player to attack, use magic, and block respectively. The

item used in each instance is dependent on what is equipped. The enter

button lets you interact with what’s in front of you, including people and

chests, while the mouse is used to click and drop items in your inventory.

4.2 Object of the Game

The goal of the game is to follow the main story while defeating enemies

and collecting items, all while staying alive. If an enemy attacks you, you

will lose health. When your health reaches zero you will start back at the last

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save point. It requires quick reflexes during battle and smart strategy in item

management to win the game.

4.3 Progression

You will follow the story line of the game, which will unlock new locations

on your world map for you to visit. There will also be side areas with hidden

extras for the adventurous. You get stronger by finding and crafting more

powerful items, and by leveling up from the experience enemies give. This

accumulates until the final battle is reached, where the player wins the game

upon completion. Post game play will be an option afterwards.

4.4 Enemies

Enemies will use a variety of patterns and strategies that the player

must adjust to. This include following the player, shooting at the

player, or moving sporadically. Enemies can hurt you through

these methods, and you must attack back with either weapons or magic to

succeed. Upon defeat, enemies give an amount of experience and may drop

items or gold.

4.5 Bosses

Bosses will be created by Manik, the main antagonist, at the

end of each major dungeon. They will require more strategy

and fire power than your average enemy, and will often

leave a great reward upon being defeated, along with loads

of experience.

4.6 Items

Items can be found throughout the world and stored in an on-screen

inventory, with which the player can click and drop them elsewhere. An

addition table is located below this inventory, where items can be combined

or taken apart to create new ones. Weapons, magic, and shields can be

equipped by dropping them in the appropriately labeled box, and

consumable items can be used in the same manner.

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Adding and equipment item examples

4.7 Battle

Battles are conducted by hitting the enemy in real time; there are no separate

battle screens. There are lots of options when engaging in battle, including…

- Weapons

Weapons are used to attack whatever is directly in front of you. They

have varying ranges, attack speeds and power, and can be crafted or

bought from a shop. They damage the enemy with the Atk stat.

- Magic

Magic is more versatile. The Fire Spell shoots a fire ball at whatever’s

in front of you. The Ice Spell creates an icy patch that hurts anything

that touches it. The Thieve’s Spell isn’t involved in battle, rather, it

steals money from NPCs. All magic uses the Mag stat for

effectiveness.

- Shields

Shields will block projectiles that hit it and halve all damage while it’s

drawn. They use the Def stat.

The more you use one of these three equipment types, the more the

corresponding stat will go up upon level up. So for example, you could

specialize in one stat, or train to be well balanced. All of the above listed

items can be crafted or bought from a shop; however, you don’t start with

the ability to use magic.

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Weapon Magic Shield

4.8 Levels and Stats

Starting at level 1, you will gain experience from enemies causing you to

level up. Upon level up you will gain additional health, attack, magic, and

defense power, the magnitude of which depending on what you use most.

4.9 Gold

Gold is the currency used in the game, and can be found from

defeated enemies and chests, or by selling items at a shop. Gold

is used at shops to buy items, mostly consisting of weapons,

magic and potions. The amount of gold you have is displayed right below

your health.

4.10 Saving

You can save the game at any of the small save statues, or by

hitting the save button on the world map screen. You can load the

game via the option on the title screen.

5. Story

5.1 Main Plot

Jack Smith is awakened by his father, who wants him to retrieve his keys

from a cave up north. Upon exploring this cave, you meet a strange wizard

who is after a special ore in the cave, and thinks you are too! Thus, he fights

you by creating a dragon. Upon defeating his new creation, you find the keys

and the ore that the wizard was looking for. The wizard swears revenge for

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humiliating him and stealing his ore. Upon returning to the town you

discover that he murdered your father, and thus you swear to avenge your

father’s death. This brings you to a mage in the second town that teaches you

how to use magic, which is apparently the key to beating the crazed wizard.

Afterwards you follow hints and leads as you chase the wizard, Manik,

throughout the land, eventually winding up at his floating magic castle,

where the final battle will take place. Upon victory you learn Manik’s best

spells, and with it, you bring your father back to life. And they lived happily

ever after... Until the sequel!

5.2 Mood and Humor

The above story is pretty dark and generic, but throughout the game you will

meet quirky characters, pop culture references, and gamer humor to provide

comedic relief. For example, when you learn magic the old mage brings you

through a Rocky montage for training, complete with “Eye of the Tiger”

playing. Also, the characters generally know that they’re in a game, and

often question or wonder about traditional gaming clichés. One of the first

examples is when your father says “Get up Jack! This would be a boring

game if you slept all day”. Another would be when an NPC notes “People

around here are so repetitive! They say the same things over and over

again!” I think this help differentiate the game from traditional RPGs, and I

feel well executed humor in a game makes the experience much more

memorable.

6. Main Characters

6.1 Jack Smith

The main character, you control him as you fight to avenge your

father’s death. He’s a somewhat typical teenager, being lazy and

impatient to start the game, however the circumstances presented to him

forces him to focus. He’s very good at crafting weapons, being the son of a

blacksmith and all, and his most recognizable for his thick mop of blonde

hair.

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6.2 Mr. Smith

Jack’s father, Mr. Smith has been a blacksmith his whole life and

it’s thanks to him that Jack can craft weapons in the first place. He

gets killed off fairly quickly, and his death drives Jack to seek vengeance on

the culprit.

6.3 Manik

Manik is the evil wizard that resides in a mystical floating castle.

His motive behind collecting the ores are unknown, but it’s clear

he’ll do anything to get them, including killing a kid’s parent. He is the main

antagonist, and seems quite proud of that fact.

6.4 Jasper

Jasper is the old mage that lives in the secluded town of Kyndalite.

He teaches Jack how to use and craft magic for the first time, and

seems to know a lot about Manik and his motives.

6.5 Nameless Villagers

Villagers populate all of the towns you come across, and come from

very similar backgrounds, hence their similar appearances. Some

wander around, some run shops, but all of them like some good

conversation. They might even tell you some useful information, or even

give you an item!

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7. The World

7.1 Map

The country of Ukimara filled with mountains, forests, towns and deserts.

These locations can be traveled to by clicking an arrow on the world map,

which shows a top-down view of Ukimara. The world map can be accessed

by leaving your current area.

The world map, from which you can choose locations to visit by clicking the

yellow arrows.

7.2 Towns

Towns are residential areas found throughout the country. They have many

villagers that can give you tips and items to help you on your quests. You

can also find shops here. In general, they’re safe places to rest a bit before

going back out into the world.

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7.3 Dungeons

Dungeons are the main “levels” in the game, and where you’ll find most of

the enemies, puzzles, and boss fights. They often have rewarding treasure

throughout, and are required for advancing the plot. They can occur in caves,

forests, deserts, and castles.

7.4 Side Areas

Side areas can be mandatory or optional areas of the map, and are often very

short. You can find special items, a few enemies, or random NPCs in these

areas. Optional side areas can be discovered by talking to NPCs, who will

tell you about them and mark them on your map for you. They can also be

mandatory for reaching a required dungeon as well.

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8. Art style

8.1 Sprites and Backgrounds

The game will have an overall cartoon-like, pixel based look. The scenery is

very colorful and should contain aesthetics that can appeal to all audiences.

8.2 Cut scenes

There will be a few slide show style cut scenes throughout the game. These

will feature colorful pictures that bring the in-game sprites to life. This can

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also be found in the loading screen. Animated cut scenes may be

implemented at a future date.

Loading screen

Slide from Rocky-style montage – training with magic.

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9. Hardware and Software

9.1 System Requirements

Another RPG is currently a downloadable .exe file; however, a Mac friendly

version will be made when available. It will run on Windows 2000 or better,

with a DirectX 8 compatible graphics and sound card, 128 MB of memory,

and at least an 800x600 screen resolution.

9.2 Game and Asset Production

The game was made using Game Maker 7.0 Pro, with the sprites being made

using Game Maker’s built in sprite editor. Hand drawn maps and cut scenes

are made using Photoshop CS5.1. The music was written and produced

using Anvil Studio. All sprites and music were created by me except “Eye of

the Tiger”, of which a midi version is used during the Rocky cut scene. Most

sound effects used were borrowed from freesound.org, with some being the

default sounds Game Maker comes with.

10. Development

10.1 Process of Making the Game

Another RPG was an enormous task for me. It became almost a personal

project, something I could easily do in my free time. Because of how much I

enjoyed it, I put in work almost every day of the semester without a second

thought. The prospect of how many hours that must’ve been terrifies me to

be honest. I started with the item inventory system, which went surprisingly

smoothly. From there I made the main character, his abilities, and the world

around him. I drew all of the sprites and backgrounds, wrote nearly all of the

music, and wrote around ninety percent of the code myself, with some help

from the friendly people on the internet. Because of this I feel more proud of

my project because it really is almost all me. There’s no sprites or sounds

from other games, it’s all just Another RPG.

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10.2 Future Plans

Because I’ve gotten so into this game, I’m very realistic about continuing it

beyond this class. Aside from more items, enemies, bosses and levels, I have

the following ideas for the future:

- A storage system for your items

- All around improved aesthetics (especially scenery and animations)

- Animated video cut scenes

- Co-op multiplayer

- Trading items over the internet

11. Play Testing

So far about ten people have played my game, six males and four females

from the ages of 16 – 23 with an average age of 19 and half. Ironically this is

about the audience I expect for my game, perhaps with it being a little

younger and a little more male dominant. The following are specific

examples of some of their experiences.

11.1 Jake Kocsisko

Jake reportedly played for two hours, finding nearly every item combination

in the game at the time. This tells me that people will spend time mixing

different items in hopes for more powerful equipment. Overall he loved the

game and keeps bugging me for updates.

11.2 Bobby MacDonald

Bobby was very helpful when he played the game. He suggested being

actually able to use the shield to block, since at the time it simply added to

your defense and nothing more. He also suggested having a warning when

your health gets low, along with finding a few minor glitches. Overall he

liked the level up system and finding hidden items.

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11.3 Samantha Lemes

Sam seemed to like playing with the items, but found some of the enemies

too difficult. I’ve since scaled them down, as the stats were difficult to figure

out without someone testing it first. She liked the art style a lot, and found

them very colorful and fun.

11.4 Chris Bicknese

My little brother was my first testers before I let anyone else play it. Because

of this he found most of the bugs and glitches in the game. He spent a lot of

time on it, and seemed very concerned with finding the best equipment at his

disposal.

12. Final self evaluation

As I said before, this project became very important to me. I feel very proud

with where I’m at, and I’m excited for what the future holds. Of course I

have had some past experience with the program, but Another RPG became

about ten times more intricate, in depth, and refined than anything else I’ve

created thus far. In this respect I feel that I’ve made great strides in my time

with this class. My desire to make a quality game caused me to stick to what

I was familiar with, but I spent some time learning Unity as well, and would

love to get more into that in the future. But for now, I’m thrilled that I have a

game that not only works, but is, from what I feel and what others have told

me, fun to play, which should be the primary goal for any traditional game.