In the Beginning…
GOTA began life as a collection of idea’s the team had come up with and noted down onto a whiteboard for further discussion. At this time GOTA was an unnamed game idea among several others.
Once it was decided to go ahead with the game, ideas had to be categorised into recognisable elements. This was to help refine the game and ensure a common understanding of its features amongst the team. Thoughts were divided into Story, Aesthetics, Mechanics and Technology classifications.
Story (The sequence of various events in the game)
- Beginning – The Player begins as a Gladiator thrown straight into a high level battle against another team; this provides immediate excitement, introduces various concepts required to play, and provides a hated Rival whom you must defeat
- Middle – As a manager the player can recruit a team, train them and direct their fights, overcome various enemies and rise in rank. Every few ranks provides a new Boss each with their own introductory story
- End – Eventually the Player will rise up to challenge the number 1 ranked team, which includes a hated rival
Aesthetics (The look and feel of the game)
- 2D, Side-on, Cartoony
- A generally Roman & Greek theme suitable for a Gladiator game
- Muscly fighters and gory deaths
Mechanics (Features, Gameplay, Rules)
- The Player’s team consists of up to X number of Gladiators who are purchased with gold
- All Gladiators begin as a level 1 Slave but level up by accruing experience from battles
- As the Gladiators level they can select various traits (bonuses) and switch to more advanced classes which affects their fighting mechanics (Slave -> Fighter -> Slinger)
- A Gladiators combat ability is governed by various stats which can be trained up
- Each Gladiator has a potential in each stat which affects growth speed and maximum value; Gladiators with higher base stats and potential become available as the game progresses
- Each Gladiator has a special move which charges up and must be activated by the player; the special may be an amazing attack, a team wide buff, enemy debuff, a heal…
- The type of special move is dependent on the Gladiators class
- Gladiators otherwise fight autonomously
- The player may assist his team by using items such as bombs to damage enemies or by issuing orders such as “Charge!” that improve an aspect of his teams fighting ability
- Arena’s may have environmental hazards such as spikes and Lions that Gladiators may be knocked into by more powerful Gladiators
- In addition to the storyline ranked battles the player may fight various optional battles for different rewards.
- The time between ranked battles consists of a certain number of days which are depleted by training and side quests
Technology (Requirements for making the game possible)
- Flash 11.4 due to it’s market penetration
- Stage3D for performance and cross platform compatibility
- Genome2D framework for high performance in rendering
- Ash Framework because we’re using the entity system model and don’t wish to write our own
- Development around our own engine named “Gecko Engine”
- Spine to animate combatants
Using this information as a base a Game Design Document has been created, being updated and refined as we progress, while the Artist created concepts and mocks that we would use in our early game builds. This also allowed us to set up a series of stories (tasks) to complete in Pivotal Tracker as discussed in the previous post.
A process such as this allows a team to maximise their creativity while minimising problems.