Dev Diary : Design

Well – I got a little behind with my dev diary. First Regulus became rather more popular than I expected, and then EbayEd sunk without a trace (FWIW I never expected it to be popular – it IS rather limited in appeal), I got accepted into the 9rules collective, and then there was Christmas. Now all that’s out of the way I can get back to making games.



Part of the design doc demo I downloaded says to explain the environment and characters but I’m not entirely sure what they will be. Since the design document is a guide rather than a rule book I am going to explain what I have in my head – I can always edit it later as things become clearer.

To work out the environment and character designs I should really work out a story. I know how the game will flow so the specifics can be worked out later. Once I’m closer to being ready I will get an author of some sort to write a script that can be used to give the characters some… character.

Characters : Hero

The hero is going to be Tad, formerly seen in Rocket Boards and Bubble Blitz. I have always liked the idea of creating many games with a single set of characters and Tad is one of this set. There may be others from Rocket Boards who show up through out the game but he is the lead.

Tad is designed like Mario, he’s an everyman, designed to be recognisable but generic enough that you can add your own personality into him (one of the reasons this sort of character never speaks with a real voice).

Characters : Enemy

I’ve already listed what some of the enemy characters will be, but need to decide exactly how they will work.

The enemies will be robotic characters with human characteristics. The standard bots will be relatively simple geometric shapes, the more advanced bots (boss characters) will have more detail in order to make them stand out and be more interesting.

I think I need to break out the pen and paper to work out exactly how the enemies will look. Tad is pretty much set in stone, but the enemies are entirely in my head so need some proper thought put into them.

Level Design

This is something I’m a little stuck on. The world will be split up into four significant levels each one being 5 / 6 stages. The idea being that each level is a progression from the one before. I quite like the idea that all the levels could be combined to make one absolutely huge world. It’s not going to happen but something along those lines would be nice. The way I see it at the moment the world will follow the format of:

  • Level 1 : Desert. American style dusty planes, with the occasional shack and petrol station. Lots of telegraph poles and some tumbleweed to finish the effect. The city you are travelling to is visible in the distance.
  • Level 2 : Countryside. Long grass and trees give a contrast to the arid desert before. Maybe some tractors and farm houses. The city you are travelling to is getting closer now.
  • Level 3 : City Outskirts. A lot more buildings than before, some small shops start appearing. The further into the level you play the denser the buildings become. You’re nearly at the city
  • Level 4 : The City. Sky scrapers and tower blocks, cars and other obstacles. Maybe Blade Runner style?

Graphical Style

I want the game to be grounded in reality, but also be cartoony. A good example would be the Incredibles by Pixar. They created a world that was believable within the rules laid out for it.

Lot’s of bright colours and rounded shapes which will reduce the time required to make the game will also give it a different style to any other shooter out there. Really I want the game to be quite solid looking, the colours giving lots of contrast, and the lighting giving a sense of reality. I’m not sure if this is possible within my skill set but i’ll give it a go.

Next Up…

I Think the next thing to do is release some gameplay prototypes. This is where the interesting things start happening as I can get feedback from people on how the game plays. Hopefully this will be the fun bit 🙂

Was it good/ useful/ a load of old rubbish? Let me know on Mastodon, or BlueSky (or Twitter X if you must).

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