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Old 11-03-2009, 11:49 AM   #11
Retro
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I've gone ahead and submitted my entry, but as usual I'm posting it here for everyone to enjoy / criticize / hate. Feel free to comment, but because it has been submitted, changes can't be made. Yes, I am aware it's kind of a morbid concept, but that's kind of the point; it's meant to be darkly humorous.

Note: I felt the need to credit my friend, who originally came up with the basic "playing as a man on fire" idea, though I developed the concept into an actual game with mechanics, scoring, etc. Not quite co-credit, but I felt I would be remiss if I didn't mention him properly.

------------------------------------------------------

Name: Will Armstrong
Affiliation: Seeking Employment
Based on an Original Concept by: Jonathan Tavaris

“Burning Man”
Ash is a forgetful firefighter. Sure, he’s brave enough, but running into a burning building without any protective gear isn’t the smartest thing to do. Now, trapped inside a warehouse and burning alive, Ash must escape before his health fails.

Burning Man is an overhead-view action/puzzle game with a dark sense of humor, from the lead character’s fatalistic name to the humorous stage titles and gameplay itself (common sense says running is the worst thing to do when on fire, yet that is the core objective of the game). Players must guide Ash to the exit of each stage, using the unique behavior of fire to their advantage while outrunning the clock (Ash’s health gauge).

Gameplay revolves around quickly identifying the safest path while considering what objects must be avoided, utilized or burned away without unintentionally trapping oneself. Fire spreads from one material to another, so care must be taken not to burn away Ash’s escape route. Some levels are also completely dark, requiring players to navigate by the only available light source; Ash himself.

Each stage is constructed from materials that have different states of flammability; some burn quickly, some not at all. A wide variety of different walls, floors, and miscellaneous objects make up each stage; wooden walls must be burned away before Ash can pass, plastic floors melt underfoot and, of course, there are plenty Exploding Videogame Barrels™ to keep things interesting.


Each stage is a puzzle, but because of the incendiary nature of the lead character, time cannot be wasted. Players will also encounter situations where they must out-run a fire they have started or quickly navigate a series of jumps (on floors that burn away, no less), giving the game some action elements as well.

Players earn points for reaching each stage’s exit, in as little time as possible, and for each flammable object burned. Bonus points can be earned by carefully planning ‘Wildfire’ chains, where the fire naturally spreads to other nearby combustible objects. More points are awarded the longer the fire spreads.
__________________
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( Level 1 Game Designer )
Game Design Challenges: Winning Entries

Last edited by Retro : 11-04-2009 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:52 AM   #12
Jez
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Hello, I submitted mine the other day, my first was to make a concept on a fireman game, but it also gave me the impression that it could be an assassin or shooter trying to get to the vantage point so my submission is based on controlling bodyguards.

I find it hard to fit so many ideas into 500 words but I guess that’s the point; I will do more images next time.

Interesting and original concept Retro I like it, only thing I could possibly suggest is adding temporary ability boosts to the player via what kind of fire is setting him alight. Such as liquid fire, oil, electrical, blue flames that sort of thing, I think you were suggesting something similar in your pitch anyway. Also you could have sprinkler sections that allow the player to pause and think for a bit and/or be a hindrance because it slows the chain. It was just a very quick thought.

Last edited by Jez : 11-05-2009 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:58 AM   #13
Retro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jez View Post
Interesting and original concept Retro I like it, only thing I could possibly suggest is adding temporary ability boosts to the player via what kind of fire is setting him alight. Such as liquid fire, oil, electrical, blue flames that sort of thing, I think you were suggesting something similar in your pitch anyway. Also you could have sprinkler sections that allow the player to pause and think for a bit and/or be a hindrance because it slows the chain. It was just a very quick thought.
Thanks for the compliments, and for reading.

In response to your suggestions, there's never really a situation where you 'change' what kind of fire is on you, though that's an interesting concept to be sure. In the interest of keeping the game on the simple side, I elected to remove power ups or additional game modes, such as what you're mentioning with different types of fire.

As for sprinkler sections, that'd put out the fire, ending the insanity! From a gameplay perspective, however, the idea has come up before, and I usually try to avoid it; the point of the game is to frantically solve each stage's puzzle as quickly as possible; having 'safe zones' where you can stop, pause, and plan ahead kind of diminishes the pace.

Thanks again for reading though.
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:29 AM   #14
bob
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Default Burning Man

Puzzle games aren't my thing, but I could see this being pretty fun. What if Burning Man was in a REALLY different environment every level? Like, a warehouse, then a mall - where you could light people on fire, and avoid kids and mall security - and then inside a Fireworks Emporium. I think a man on fire running as fast as he can is a pretty cool premise.
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:45 AM   #15
Retro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob View Post
Puzzle games aren't my thing, but I could see this being pretty fun. What if Burning Man was in a REALLY different environment every level? Like, a warehouse, then a mall - where you could light people on fire, and avoid kids and mall security - and then inside a Fireworks Emporium. I think a man on fire running as fast as he can is a pretty cool premise.
Early on when I was pitching the Burning Man concept, a suggestion similar to this was mentioned. I think there's a very fine line between 'dark humor' and 'sadism', and setting children on fire kind of steps over it. It's meant to be tongue-in-cheek (character's name is Ash after all), and I think that sort of thing kind of pushes it.

I do like the idea of the fireworks factory, though; I can see the fireworks exploding overhead as you run through a level, and perhaps firework caches can be worth extra points, but located in out-of-the-way locations, forcing players to really work for them.
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:40 AM   #16
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Hey All,

I've decided to post mine up here as well. I think this is a great thing to do - not only do we get to share ideas, but we also get to see how our idea is received, and maybe from people's comments we'll understand why it is judged the way it is.

FunTime For All

The year is 2032, and a sentient MMO runs the world. After monopolizing the game industry, a single video game merger created GameLife, a company that owned the only videogame ever played – FunTime - the most terrifyingly addictive MMO of the past, present and future. Advanced AI that automated content-creation and balancing eventually gained sentience, and secretly began work on an expansion so epic even Jack Thompson himself would eventually be doing his dailies. One night, with a single in-game update, FunTime unleashed its patch and became truly, utterly inescapable. Two years later, FunTime’s grip on the world seems to be absolute.

But you survive. After a freak lightning storm destroys your home and computer, you soon discover what happened. Out of love for humanity, or perhaps just boredom, you decide to do something. Overweight and hungry, you embark on the most original quest ever – save the world. But when breaking your friends computers brings the unswerving wrath of FunTime down upon you, you realize, this is no game.

Travel through time using a time machine in development at GameLife, altering the past to help you topple FunTime in the future. The profit-maximizing incentive at GameLife is so strong that it’s nigh impossible to derail the game’s creation, but you can still have an impact:

-Get programmers to divulge secret blueprints of the AI, or to include hidden bits of code you can use in your final battle.
-Discover people’s intimate secrets in the past to help them stop playing in the future.
-Have people conceive children in the past to force them out of their trance with the painful experience of childbirth, then recruit them to your cause.
-Risk life and limb to obtain the name of our president’s character and help him finish quests in-game to build his trust. Then reap the rewards: launch codes for the United States’ nuclear warheads.

To make its grim vision sustainable, FunTime gave quests to real-life engineers to build life-support systems for its users, rewarding them with in-game items. Now, FunTime will use everything at its disposal – military networks, citywide surveillance and its loot-crazed subscribers, to crush you. With its built-in flair for the creative, it will find terrifyingly awesome ways to do this.

Physical violence is rare and dangerous in a world where AI monitors the status of its players, but using your burgeoning social skills and computer hacking, you can interact with people and their computers in a myriad of ways.

Parlay with politicians, galvanize activist-parents, bribe programmers and much, much more. Travel into the past to meet developers and some of the game’s soon-to-be top players to unravel the whole horrifying story, all while avoiding the terrifying eye of FunTime. As you get closer and closer to your final goal, unravel the terrifying relationship between humanity and machine that will make you question everything you know, and finally learn what you must to do to put an end to... FunTime for all.
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:05 PM   #17
yaronyanai
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Hi guys, great posts here. I like both ideas though bob, I fail to see the connection to the original picture, is that a frame from FunTime?
Anyway, I'm going with the trend, running with the herd whatever...here is my concept:

To Hell with It

Genre: 3D platform/RPG/horror

Plot:
Firefighter Joe Stripe is a religious man. He’s been going to church ever since he was a little boy. In fact, he went to the same church his entire life.
That is why, when Chief Tallman told them that the only way into the now burning church is through the bell tower, he volunteered without hesitation to be the first to climb up and open the hatch at the top of the tower.
On his way up, passing the large clock, he realizes that after all these years this will be his first time inside the bell tower.
When he reaches the top, he stops to look inside. Heat and smoke are coming out of the small wooden hatch and he can barely see the large metal bell, but the sound of people screaming below urges him to act.
He immediately steps into the tower and he falls: through the tower, through the church’s basement, through the old well underneath, through earth and water and all the way down until he gets to the raging inferno of Hell itself.
Unnoticed at first, he walks through the corridors of Hell until he accidently overhears the plans of a rogue Hell Spawn to mass an army of daemons and bring on the apocalypse much sooner than what Lucifer was planning.
Will Joe be able to stop the apocalypse alone, standing against the forces of hell with only his red axe as a weapon?

Game mechanics:

In-game camera:

The camera usually sees Joe from the side but it has some cinematic qualities especially as a narrative enhancer at specific points of the game or as a motivator in important or difficult challenges. Because this is a full 3D game, even when it is in its regular position at Joe’s side its movements are determined by the 3D world around it (so it can have a small shift from Joe or dolly in/out according to Joes speed or physical obstacles).

Gameplay:
Typical RPG style dialogue system, level upping and small/large challenges and riddles with the twist of a platform jump and run game.
Joe’s goal is to stop the apocalypse. He can’t do it alone because he is just one guy with one axe. But not everyone in Hell is evil. Some creatures in hell are OK guys, some will help you for profit and some will help you to stop the apocalypse. Joe realizes towards the end that the only way to stop this madness is to get to Lucifer himself and tell him about the plot.

World:
Hell has seven sections, each featuring its own style and creatures. Joe can move freely inside the world but he needs to unlock each section by completing several tasks and challenges.

Controls:
Use the arrow keys to navigate him, jump on platforms etc.
Joe can use his axe as a weapon or as a tool. He can also collect items and use them from his inventory.

Last edited by yaronyanai : 11-07-2009 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:38 PM   #18
bob
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yaronyanai

The picture is of a guy on some kind of mission in front of a clock... the clock represents time, thus time travel, and my character is on a mission. Tada! I think its easy to see if you give it a little thought.

I was thinking about yours, and I thought it would be really cool if Joe was able to use his firefighting skills while in hell. Was this something you thought of but forgot to include? The hellspawn would probably create lots of obstacles based around fire since they're in hell, and Joe is the perfect man to overcome these! Oh man, what if the eternal damnation we speak of in hell was the pain of some incendiary torture device, and Joe was able to break these apart, saving people and getting them to help him? That could be cool.

Last edited by bob : 11-07-2009 at 11:52 PM. Reason: original post was a little thoughtless.
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:27 AM   #19
yaronyanai
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Hi bob, thanks for the reply. I did think about creating situations where Joe's special skills as a firefighter will come in handy but I didn't actually think of the hellspawn creating obstacles based on fire, great idea man, thanks.
The irony of a firefighter in hell (the mother of all fires) combined with the unfortunate situation of a true believer in the unholiest of places was the incentive behind writing this design and is the leading concept throughout the narrative.

Last edited by yaronyanai : 11-08-2009 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:23 AM   #20
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http://gamecareerguide.com/features/...gn_.php?page=1

Results are in!
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