Our Side Scroller Game: Beart and Elli
Last week we decided on a final game concept. This week we extended upon this by developing the theme, style and feel for our side scroller game. I will unpack the characters, setting and world of the game, explaining the overall story as I go. Then I will go into the details of how we want it to look and feel.
We have created two main characters called Beart and Elli.
- Beart is a humanoid bear with a brave heart and a keen desire to explore anything which is strange and mysterious. He is the primary character of the game. Taking on the platforming and combat aspects of gameplay.
- Elli is a spirit which has decided to accompany Beart on his adventure. She can fly around and is immune to enemies. She is the secondary character which players can control during the puzzle and exploration aspects of gameplay.
This game takes place in its own reality. Simple fantasy theme with animal-humanoid characters, magic and forces of light and dark battling against each other. Beart attempts to explore the ancient and mysterious Death Mountain nearby his small village. A labyrinth of forgotten mines, creatures, treasures and unknown dangers. Elli is one of these creatures. The last of her kind. On a mission to reawaken the spirit of the mountain, restoring her power and her people. When Beart enters the mountain he inevitably gets stuck and stumbles upon Elli which offers help. The duo become bonded and press on to explore the gargantuan cave system throughout Death Mountain.
Spatial Dimensions, Size & Boundary
Beart and Elli traverse through Death Mountain in level stages. Here is a concept we developed for the first level of our game:
Each level will have a distinct theme. This level will be a ‘Slime Cave’. With goo dripping from the ceiling, slime enemies and places to get stuck and enveloped. After this we intend to create a spider cave level with cobwebs, giant spiders and with more verticality compared to the slime cave. While level themes may vary, the basic layout of blocky platforms and puzzles throughout the stage will remain consistent throughout.
We want our game objects to be based around two central shapes:
- Square (primary)
- Stability and balance – in line with puzzle mechanics.
- Kids game – innocence, fun, simple.
Style & Mood
We recognise that this game should be look and feel appropriate to our target persona Sam. Our intention is to keep the visuals simple and approachable much like Rare’s Banjo Kazooie game. Where this game is quite colourful, we want to capture the mystery and gloomyness of our cave world within the mountain. Puzzles will be the defining features of each level. These will be paced out as to give players increasing level of challenge. While also encouraging them to explore and have fun with the environment they play in.
These key mood words of Puzzles, Gloomy and Fun relate directly to our PX goals from Activity 1:
- We established that Sam will enjoy puzzle solving gameplay based on his other interests.
- A gloomy theme fits with the PX goal of exploration. By keeping visuals dark and mysterious we hope that exploration into the unknown will be encouraged.
- Sam is young and we chose the word Fun to remind us, as developers, of the simplicity we should be aiming for in our game. We shouldn’t dwell in making overly complex puzzles or high intense combat. Rather keep things approachable and well suited to short gameplay bursts (in line with Sam’s game habits).