Initial Proposal

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.

Table of Contents

Document Contents

This document is inspired by the format of the second ENGRC lab. We want you to describe the basic idea 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 game in action. You should give us a file with the following information:

Thematic Focus

You should start the document with the basic premise of your game idea. Who or what should the player identify with in this game? What is the setting and perspective? If there is a game that has inspired this game idea, tell us that (we will worry about whether or not your game is too derivative later).


Next describe the primary objective of the game. What is the player trying to do? What is considered success? What is considered failure?

Core Mechanic

We do not want to hear about all of the mechanics in your game. You probably have too many. To keep it simple and get you to focus, just tell us about the most important or interesting mechanic.

To help us understand the mechanic better, you should 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).

IMPORTANT: Please remember to avoid verb proxies. A verb proxy is an action that does not explain the outcome for performing it. This includes things like “cast a spell”, “use an item”, or “possess a creature.”


This core mechanic is a good place to have 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.


Due: Sat, Feb 03 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 illustration (or whiteboard photo) of your core mechanic.

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