CS/INFO 3152: Introduction to Computer Game Development

Assignment 2
Initial Proposal

Due: Saturday, February 11th at 11:59 pm

This assignment is an abbreviated version of the concept document which is due next week. It focuses only on the gameplay so that we can see whether or not you are coming up with an interesting idea.

Unlike the concept document, we will not grade this document for writing style, and you will not need to revise it. All you are doing is giving us enough information for us to tell whether or not you should go ahead with your game idea.


Document Contents

This document is inspired by the format of the second communication lab. We want you to describe the mechanics of your game. You will do this through both text and images. The images will be a simple player mode diagram or storyboard showing your mechanics in action.

Overview

You should start the document with an overview of your game idea. This is one or two paragraphs describing your game idea. You should tell us the setting and genre (if appropriate). You should also tell us what you think makes your game interesting. There are no real rules for the format of this section. Just tell us something.

Core Mechanic

Next you should pick the most important or interesting mechanic in your game and describe it in the context of a single challenge. Remember that a mechanic is a combination of actions, interactions, and rules to produce a particular effect. So you should identify all of these components (the actions, interactions, and rules) and describe how they overcome the challenge.

For example, suppose Mario needs to get past a Goomba. This is a challenge because if the Goomba hits him (from the side) he will lose a life. The mechanic to overcome this challenge is to stomp on the Goomba. This mechanic includes the actions of jumping and moving (left-right) together with the collision interaction. Provided that Mario can collide with the Goomba from the top, this will eliminate the Goomba.

Your description should be at most two paragraphs. Clearly identify the actions and interactions, telling us how they fit together. They should describe how these actions and interactions overcome the challenge. They should also tell us how the mechanic can fail (e.g. what happens if the player does not execute the mechanic correctly).

This core mechanic should be accompanied by a player mode diagram. It does not have to be a fancy illustration. It can be a quick sketch with stick figures. It can be a picture taken of a whiteboard. Whatever the case, it should clearly show the player in action, as covered in the first design lab.

Variant Mechanic

You should repeat the process in the previous section, but this time with a variant mechanic. The mechanic should not be wildly different from the first. It should have some or all of the components (actions, interactions, rules) of the first mechanic but either add some new features or change up the challenge.

For example, suppose our challenge is for Mario to jump up to a high platform. We add to our rules the fact that hitting a Goomba from the top causes Mario to jump higher. Therefore, he can bounce off a Goomba to reach the high point.

Once again, you should describe your mechanic in a paragraph or two. Only describe the elements of the mechanic and challenge that are different from the first example. You should also include another illustration.


Submission

Due: Saturday, February 11th at 11:59 pm

You should submit a PDF file called proposal.pdf containing all of the information above. It needs to be a PDF so that you can include your illustrations.

While we will not comment on the writing quality of this submission, we will give you some feedback on your game idea. You will not get a chance to revise this document, but you should use our feedback when creating your concept document.