Been working on a full GDD for a while now, but with massive breaks in between here and there. Now that I'm back from holidays, I'm hoping to crack my whip and get back onto making my game design portfolio. Since this is my centrepiece (or it better be with it's sheer number of pages), I thought I'd leave it here for some comments (even though sumea is a bit quiet at the moment...) whilst I finish the 10-20% which needs to be finished.
The Fourth Dimension - GDD
(it's online, so I can't sue you =P)
In short, it's an RPG with real-time fighting elements. I don't expect anyone to read it all, so I'll also put the Overview here:
Four Dimensional is a game developed in the RPG genre which centres itself on interactive storyline, real-time combat and ease of play.
Four Dimensional is a third-person role-playing-game that implements an interactive story, real-time button-combination-based combat and an open, but moderately linear, explorable world. The story flows around stories of many gifted individuals and their interaction with a completely fictional, and highly imaginative, world and it's people. The main features which players can interact with this game include interactive choice for story; a real-time combat system based from fighting games where combination of buttons is favoured over simple selection alongside party member management; and an open world which is vast enough to warrant exploration over the duration of the standard RPG-based world.
Four Dimensional would be favoured for console development given the combination requirement of combat, however size may become an issue given the 'choose your own adventure' approach and large world. Developing a motion-sensor approach to a Nintendo version is only required if an action can be easily implemented with an easy-to-use motion. Online capability, of all console types and PC, is almost seen as a pre-requisite for many games, and this would be used to advertise the co-operative play of combat which can also be accessed through standard multiple-controller use of consoles (a versus component may also be acessible).
Four Dimensional has a variety of ways in which it can be implemented which will depend upon the success of the game and the level to which it will be used as a franchise. Though the game is designed to be a one-off game, prequels, sequels and even the breakdown into episodes are all possible points of implementation. The game includes enough characters and only a particular slice of the larger fictional world which translates to more levels/areas and plot to develop prequels and sequels. Another possible approach, which has become increasingly popular in games recently, is to implement the game episodicly where episodes would be based around one character in every episode (e.g. Laura would feature in episode 1).
Distribution, futher implementation strategies and expanding on the above points are all discussed in Market Analysis.
Key Selling Features
Expansive world which provides user with sense of adventure and gives the story with a wide variety of settings and themes. World is 'open', by allowing gamer oppurtunity to travel back and forward, but somewhat linear concerning story development.
Character-heavy game with anywhere between 4 and 10 playable characters; each with substantial character development throughout the game.
Other characters can be ordered to follow certain commands to work effectively against enemies as a team.
Difficulty levels are built around the selection of hard route versus easy route for certain sections of the game This allows 3 difficulty levels: easy, hard and free-form.
Co-operative and competitive enabled for game as a secondary mode aside 'story mode' with possibility of online play. Versus mode may also be a possibility, or extension, of the game.
The common 'leveling' of the RPG genre is replaced with a focus on learning new abilities through training, scrolls, etc and item hunting which results in players having to do as little 'number-crunching' as possible.
Battle style is a mix between fighting games (where a combination of buttons translates to character attacks/abilities) and RPG (where character management and strategy is essential) while keeping the flow between being in and out of battle.
Designed universe is infinite in a theoretical sense as exploration of dimensions is developed, though developed world
Flexibility – Game should be created with the knowledge that every player gives a different approach to every game and thus the game should allow this flexibility by giving the user choice, or the illusion of choice, in regards to story development, game progression and exploration.
Simplicity – The game should be designed to be as simple to the user as possible in terms of learnability and usability.
Story-driven – The game should be designed around the plot, but never take control away from the player for too long.
The world has long progressed through the ages where people believe one power can rule the lands, but is not naïve enough to hold belief of peace throughout. Terms such as nationalism favour few, and globalisation even fewer. The world exists divided: geographically, socially, politically, economically, technologically, religiously, and magically. But in this division is a precarious balance which has been forged through the passing of time exists, but like all things that must be balanced, good and evil must exist. If this balance breaks, only a god would be able to stop the snowball which the devil will purposefully cast.
Two youths named Laura and Taille exist in this world with a special gift unheard of previously in the catellogues of time, and their story fatefully intertwines with other unique beings in a quest for revenge, gain, belief, answers, salvation, peace and laughter. Boundaries which have been created through time will be broken by those who fight with strong reason; even the boundary of time itself.
The game's basic objectives can be broken down into the two higher level challenges of completing the story and completing the game. Though they can be essentially categorised together, completion of the game entails meeting all provided challenges within the game which are discussed in Challenges. Throughout the episodes, a player should constantly feel the story drive them forward, which in turn places 'completing the story' as a goal the player must accomplish to discover the entire story. Challenges of the game should also be enticing for a player to undertake with the promise of both a deeper understanding of the story and an increased ability in playing the game (I.e. more techniques, items, etc).