Wednesday, December 16, 2009

3rd Year Project – Executive Summary

Golden Epoch (working title)

First Person Shooter - Team Deathmatch

1.0 Preliminary Design

PC and Xbox 360

The Big Idea
Players will choose to play as either the Spanish or the Aztecs and compete against the opposing teams in a point capture styled death match. Each team has five unique classes to choose from, every class has its own strengths and weaknesses and players must directly work together in order to win the match. The game features cell shaded graphics and hand painted texturing.

Golden Epoch is based very loosely on real events, namely the invasion of South America by the Spanish. But as far as franchising is concerned I believe it would be fairly limited.

Play Mechanic
Once players enter the game they may choose either team or have the computer decide randomly. After this they are presented with the five classes available to them. Following this the player/s spawn in their own area and the game starts. They are automatically outfitted with their class weapons.
The objective may differ depending on the map but one team is always attacking and the other is always defending. Players may attack other players in order to kill them, forcing them to respawn back at their original starting location. The player may at this point change their character class (or at any point in the game but doing so will kill them if they’re not already dead). Once the objective is completed, or the timer runs out (which ever is first) the appropriate team wins and the game either restarts or changes map.
Every time a game starts a random allotment of debris will spawn on the map. This will be a varied collection of static props that may be used by the players as obstacles, blockades and even weapons (for some classes).
Players receive scores for killing other players and for certain class specific actions.

The creation of the mod will utilize Epic’s Unreal Development Kit (UDK). This is a development kit using the Unreal Engine 3. It has had new licensing created by Epic which allows developers to make games with the engine and legally sell the result for a minor upfront cost ($99US and 25% of all revenue after $5000 profit). This suits us ideally because if the mod is successful we will definitely consider this option.
ASS will also be created using Autodesk’s Maya and 3D Studio Max. Adobe’s Photoshop and Pixologic’s Zbrush. Other 3rd party programs may be utilized for such things as sound and compositing but these are yet to be decided.

Unique Selling Points (USP’s)
• Random static drops means a slightly different game every time you play
• Classes will complement each other directly creating new tactics and weapons
• Aztec and Spanish setting is not quite as overdone as something like WW2, fantasy or sci-fi
• Tongue-in-cheek humour and fun characters
• Unique personalities for all classes and hopefully voice acting and taunts

Golden Epoch is being aimed towards any fan of the FPS team death match genre. The cartoon graphics will appeal to most people and the game should be easily picked up and played for thirty minutes to a couple of hours.

“So, it sounds like you’re making Team Fortress 2 with a new skin?”
Our team is very heavily influenced by TF2. We are taking a lot of their development procedures into consideration. We originally planned to do a different genre of game but given the workload and time constraints we have decided to do something tried and tested. Last years Bailter Ray is a prime example that just because something isn’t unique, doesn’t mean it isn’t fun (see the triple negative there). If our end product makes people say “Wow, this is like TF2, but different”, well we’d be happy with that.

“Can you feasibly finish this in the time allotted?”
We intend to develop this mod over the entire year. Although it’s early still, we should theoretically be able to finish a good deal of the game. The biggest hurdles we’re concerned with will be finishing the characters to a point that we’re happy with, balancing the game and some potential issues with coding several of the weapons.
We’re going to do our best to stop feature creep. We may outsource aspects of the game such as music and some animating depending on time constraints.
There are a lot of resources concerning the importing of assets into the UDK so we are hoping this will not be an issue. We may fail other classes…

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