Game Design Document for The Victorianator

1.    General presentation

1.1.    Philosophy

This game is all about Victorian Speech. Here’s the original moto to this project :

Jason:
– Separate gesture & vocal emphasis.  Gesture-driven voice.
– Games in victorian theme: there are few (Dracula, Alice in Wonderland)

Heather:
– Types of interactions /enabled/ limits of capabilities.  Is it engaging?

Jason:
– Is it fun?  How & why is parlor recitation fun?

Heather:
– Fascinated by now dead vocabulary of motions.

Jason:
– Subset of authentic gestures would be great.  How far can victorian element go?


1.2.    Frequent questions

1.2.1.    What is this game ?

It is a game based on the Victorian poetry as a form of entertainment. Poetry recitation use to be one of the favourite group activities in Salons and parties, it was a really powerful medium. People were ordering magazines and books to learn more about how to control their voice and gestures according with the rules of different schools of recitation. We want to recreate this experience for the user through the story of Silas: a poor man trying to work is way up the scale of poetry performance. Since his childhood he dreamed to perform in front of Queen Victoria. The user will follow and support Silas through his experience, helping him to develop his skills and relations.

1.2.2.    Where is the game taking place  ?

In the intro of the game, the user meets Silas as he leaves is natal countryside to enter the impressive London of the Victorian Era. The character, according to his successes and failures, will be led through all the layers of society and its different classical locations; from the slums near the coal mines to Buckingham Palace.

1.2.3.    What do I control ?

The user isn’t controlling Silas per say, the character is just tossed around by and unexpected series of events. The takeover is occurring during Silas performance. The user will help Silas recite and gesture for the audience using the Iphone interface. The user has to lend his/her voice and movements to help Silas to gain skills and fame.

1.2.4.    What is the objective of this game ?

This game is about a very old form of entertainment; Our team wanted the contemporary users to experience Victorian recitation in a very ludic way. We want them to gain a more extensive vocabulary about that performing art while improving their knowledge about this Era.

1.2.5.    What makes this game different ?

Even if the mechanics of the game are not groundbreaking, our approach is quiet unusual. Yes Victorian Era have been exploited a lot in the game industry but this is not a steampunk adventure game or a point and click investigation about a Lord trying to unveil the dark secrets of his family. We want to create a fun game simply showcasing the mechanics of a form of expression now almost forgotten using today’s technology. If the user discover one or two new information about this part of history, it’s even better.

2.    Game Mechanics

2.1.    Gameplay

2.1.1.    General decription

Our primary target users are history academics, Victorian Era enthusiasts and high school students in literature class. Those people are not the gamer style we are used to. We need a gameplay introducing the motions we need them to practice and remember. It needs to be easy to pick up but with a descent amount of challenge.

2.1.2.    Game flux

Here is the organisation of the levels available to the player in a first walkthrough:

One playthrough will allow the player to go through four chapters of Silas’ life. Depending of the player succeeds or fails its current mission, the next level will be experienced in a better or worst entourage. This story twist brings more challenge to the user and gives more replay value to the game

Each of the chapter are divided in subsections:

After the first playthrough, a map of all possible path will be unlock to allow the player to replay some sections to fail or succeed the chapters to see more of the story and to give them the chance to unlock all the goodies.

2.1.3.    Gameplay elements

There is two major gameplay elements; the poem recitation section and the performance section.

Recitation: The recitation screen is the vocal section of the game. guided by ”The Book”, the user must recite the text on screen in a perfectly monotone fashion. The game compares the vocal input of the user with some micro simples recorded few minutes before to verify the variation in the speed and the pitch of the user. If the difference is too big, the player will receive a visual signal reminding him/her to focus on the assigned task. The score of the player will vary according to those data.

Performance: The performance screen is the link between the speech recorded earlier and the gestures we want to teach the player. The previously recorded voice input from the user is playback. The user will receive a visual trigger (diacritical marks) embedded in a visual timer to enable him/her to perform the gestures needed in this poem in time. If the player perform the right gesture in a right timing, the recorded voice will be affected to match the inflection suggested by the diacritical mark. Point will be granted according to the player’s performance.

A summary of the player’s score will be displayed in the reward screen.
The rest of the interactions in game are based on the UI, it is not part of a gameplay mechanic per say.

2.1.4.    Learning curve and tutorials

The intro of the game will be a way to help the user to learn how to use the mechanics of the gameplay, the mini-games will be interrupted a few times to give instructions to the user or to give graphic demonstration of the displayed text.

2.1.5.    Life span

A walkthrough of the game should take a little less than 8 hours

2.1.6.    How are we gauging difficulty

The rules and gameplay of the game are very simple. The user is expected tu understand the basic motions and interaction after a couple repetitions. Naturally, the in-game scoring system will be more and more exigent as the player evolve through the game.


2.1.9.    Modes Mono-joueur

2.1.9.1.    Vue générale
Décrivez en quelques phrases le jeu mono-joueur.
2.1.9.2.    Histoire
Décrivez les grandes lignes de l’histoire du jeu, en vous référant à une annexe pour les détails, en effet l’histoire d’un jeu est souvent très longue à décrire.
2.1.9.3.    Les Objets de quête ou Objectifs
Décrivez les objets de quête de votre jeu ou autrement dit, les objectifs à atteindre par le joueur.
2.1.9.4.    Conditions de victoire et d’échec
Quand une partie en mode mono-joueur est-elle terminée ? Comment le joueur sait-il s’il a gagné ou perdu ?
2.1.9.5.    Pause
Possibilité de mettre en pause le jeu et options éventuelles.
2.1.9.6.    Options de jeu
Décrivez les différentes options de jeu, mise à la disposition de l’utilisateur.
Par exemple, le réglage des commandes, du son, etc.

2.2.    LevelDesign
2.2.1.    Diagramme des niveaux
This is the diagram for the first iteration:

2.2.2.    Tableau des actifs
Niveaux    Intro
Chapitre 1
Chapitre 2
Chapitre 3

Actifs
Objet 1    x    x
Objet 2        x        x
Pouvoir 1    x
Pouvoir 2        x
Ennemi 1            x
Défis 1    x
Objectif 1    x
Etc.

Sous la forme d’un tableau, pour chaque niveau du jeu, vous déterminer les éléments de jeu qui seront opérationnels, actifs.
Les actifs (éléments actifs) incluent les pouvoirs, les armes, les types d’ennemis, les types objectifs, les défis, les secrets ou objets cachés, etc.
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Game engine

General view

The game is build on the Apple IOS. The programmers did a great job dealing with the graphic interface and the user sound input

Special effects

There’s a pop up somewhere… and people clapping and booing…and that’s all I guess

Sound Handling

Décrire la gestion du son dans le jeu vidéo.

User Interface

General view

The game takes place in an old mechanical book.

Graphe des flux

Insérer un dessin de l’organigramme du jeu

Les procédures fonctionnelles

Décrire pour chaque écran d’interface, les actions d’utilisateur possibles et les résultats attendus.

EPIC INTRO
We’re not sure what it’s gonna be yet…
But we know it’s gonna be steampunk epic!
It has to!

Menus

Main Menu
The epic intro leads the player to this page. No finger flip available here, the only way to leave this menu is by a finger double press selection of one of the subsections in the index

Settings
There’s 4 type of settings on this menu:
Microphone volume (gradients)
Playback volume (gradients)
Playback Speed (gradients)
Tutorial (On/Off)

(…)

The user can go back to the main menu Fliping the page backward

About
The only possible interaction with this screen is a page flip and it brings the user back the the main menu.

Pause Menu
Invoke the settings Gismo by double pressing The ‘’Settings’’ option
The user can exit that screen by:
Double press on the ‘’Back to Index’’ option
Flip the page backward to resume game

Data sections
Diary
(Diary)
Once in this section the player can go from one Poet to the other using finger flip and finger backward flip.
(The user can also use the apple Page slider (ugly square at the bottom))
The user can go to the ‘’Poem’’ / ‘’Victorian Gossip’’ / ‘’Gallery’ section double pressing a bookmark
He can go back to the Main Menu (index) by double pressing the ‘’Index’’ book mark

(Poet gossips) (unlockable)
Once in this section the player can go from one Poet to the other using finger flip and finger backward flip.
(The user can also use the apple Page slider (ugly square at the bottom))
The user can go to the ‘’Diary’’ / ‘’Victorian Gossip’’ / ‘’Gallery’ section double pressing a bookmark
He can go back to the Main Menu (index) by double pressing the ‘’Index’’ book mark

(Victorian gossip) (unlockable)
Once in this section the player can go from one Poet to the other using finger flip and finger backward flip.
(The user can also use the apple Page slider (ugly square at the bottom))
The user can go to the ‘’Poem’’ / ‘’Diary’’ / ‘’Gallery’ section double pressing a bookmark
He can go back to the Main Menu (index) by double pressing the ‘’Index’’ book mark

Gallery
Five motions
practice mode (We are waiting for Mo’s final decision on the subject)

Game mode

Mission
Poem selection
The user can flip forward of backward to take a look at the different poems.
Once selection is done, the user can double tap to launch the game.
Situation update
The user can flip forward only to see what the mission is.

Record mode
The user needs to enter voice input to pass through this level.
The pause menu will be summoned if the player press the screen.
He can leave the application by pressing the button.

Gesture mode
The user have to try to match the diacritical markers going up in the screen with a hand motion.
The pause menu will be summoned if the player touch the screen.
The user can leave the application at anytime by pressing the button.

‘’Reward’’ screen
The user can flip forward only to see what the end of the chapter is.
End of chapter
The user can flip forward to access the next chapter.

Les objets de l’interface GUI (Graphical User Interface)

Index
back to index button
flip forward
flip backward

Game universe

General overview

Une vue générale du monde dans lequel se passe le jeu.
Vous devez décrire les principales caractéristiques du monde du jeu, de l’univers.
C’est ici que vous décomposez ce qui fait l’originalité du monde de votre jeu, et que vous décrivez en détails chacun de ces points clé.
Là encore, ne transformez pas ces paragraphes en dépliants publicitaires. Les points clés décrits ici ne doivent pas avoir besoin d’être exagérés, ils doivent être attractifs par eux-mêmes.

Places visited

Décrivez d’abord les endroits clés du jeu : ceux qui sont essentiels pour le déroulement de l’histoire ou de la partie.
Et ensuite, les lieux prévus, mais pas forcément incontournables pour le bon déroulement de la partie.

Univers and entities

General overview

This is a game occurin in a very victorian london and we want to allow the player to experience all the layers of this very complex society.

Playable Character

Sila

NPC

How are the non playable characters ?

Story

Synopsis

This is the story of Silas a poor londonian trying to reach the stars through poem recitation (Epic isn’t it)

Interactive scenario, dialogs
First iteration :
Intro :

1st Chapter
Sila get’s adopted by some cool mentor…

2nd Chapter

3rd Chapter

Second iteration :
We’ll probably had more chapters

Cameo and historical winks

Describe cameo and give definition of historical winks in the game.

Graphism and animation

Overview and objectives

Décrire en quelques lignes, les choix artistiques que vous faites et justifier ces choix.

2D Aspect

Quel traitements graphique 2D ? Recherches graphiques…

3D Aspect

Quel traitements graphique 3D ? Modélisations type…

Animations

Quels traitements ? Quel type d’animation ? Puis quels mouvements possibles pour les différents personnages ou entités de votre univers ?

Special effects

Décrire les effets spéciaux sur le plan artistique.

User Interface

Décrire l’interface utilisateur sur le plan artistique.

Music and Sound

General views and objectives

This is a voice impute game, the sound and music and sounds in game must be subtle enough to guide the user but low profile enough to not impact the voice caption or the user understanding of the game feedback

Sound of the UI

Since we are working on a very steampunk book, we will probably use machinery sounds. Steam, clicks, gear and page flips, paper sounds.

Music

I would like to implement some cute little Victorian music during the menus and the reading part of the game mode.

Sounds

Appart from the UI,  the sounds will probably mainly be ‘’fliping paper’’, ‘’motors’’, ‘’gears’’, ‘’boohs’’, ‘’yays’’, ‘’crow clapping’’ etc…

Voices

The game will use two types of voices

-Pre-recorded:
To allow users without microphone we want to implement a pre-recorded version of the
poems in the game.

-User’s voice:
Recorded samples of the users voice.

Sound Effects

Décrire en quelques lignes, les choix artistiques que vous faites et justifier ces choix.

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