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Running With Rupture The Three Days Design Document

Game Design Document

Running With Rupture presents


The Three Days

DigiPen Institute of Technology


GAM400 Project

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Running With Rupture The Three Days Design Document

Table of Contents

The Three Days is….........................................................................................4

Overview..........................................................................................................4

Project Objective..............................................................................................4

Team Overview................................................................................................4

Game Play........................................................................................................5

Combat............................................................................................................5

Time Points...................................................................................................6

Battle Flow.......................................................................................................6

Example of Play............................................................................................8

Controls............................................................................................................9

Characters.....................................................................................................11

Types..........................................................................................................11

....................................................................................................................12

Stats............................................................................................................13

Actions........................................................................................................13

Skills...............................................................................................................14

Skill Points...................................................................................................15

Status Effects..............................................................................................16

Field...............................................................................................................18

Components................................................................................................18

Field Effects................................................................................................19

Game Modes...............................................................................................19

Multiplayer..................................................................................................20

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User Interface................................................................................................21

Front End....................................................................................................21

Before & After Combat................................................................................22

In Combat...................................................................................................23

Narrative & Campaign...................................................................................25

Assets............................................................................................................26

Art...............................................................................................................26

Audio...........................................................................................................27

Appendix 1: Target Audience.........................................................................28

Core Target.................................................................................................28

Casual Target..............................................................................................28

Appendix 2: Comparative Products................................................................30

Appendix 3: Risk Analysis..............................................................................32

Appendix 4: Playtesting Plan & Feedback......................................................34

Appendix 5: Document Change Log...............................................................35

Appendix 6: Resources & Copyrights.............................................................36

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The Three Days is…


A game in which the player commands a squad of characters in time-based
tactical combat in a fantasy world.

Overview
The Three Days is a tactical role-playing game in which the player controls a
group of characters in turn-based battle against an opposing (player- or
computer-controlled) group of characters. Characters engage with close-
range physical or ranged magic-based attacks. Battles take place on
isometric fields. Units are controlled via mouse and keyboard commands.
The objective of each battle may be different field-by-field, but generally
involves defeating all of the opposing character units.

Project Objective
• Create a hardcore-focused tactics game
• Show off awesome looking attacks and skills
• Create a system which can be understood and enjoyed within five
minutes
• Have a portfolio piece to be proud of

Team Overview
Lead Producer: Tim Fuqua
Technical Director: Sean Hunter
Programmer: Bryan Chacosky
Programmer: Tom Lopes
Lead Designer: Kye Harris

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Game Play
Game time will be focused primarily on tactical, turn-based combat. Players
move characters around a field, paying attention to positioning, to attack
opposing characters with melee or ranged actions. Pre-battle preparation
will be quick and easily manageable, allowing for the player to spend most of
his or her time in battle.

Combat
Combat involves two or more squads – groups of characters controlled by
players or computer-AI (up to three squads; up to two players)– engaging
with or against one another on a Field. Most commonly, this will be one
squad trying to defeat all members of another squad. Squads will be
distinguished by the color of the armor of all of its units. (All members of the
player’s squad will have blue armor; an enemy squad will have red armor; a
third army will be green.) Each character, within each squad on the field,
takes a turn moving, attacking, defending or using a skill against an
opposing character within an opposing squad or for a character in any squad.

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At the start of a Scene, characters will be grouped near each other according
to their squads. Conditions of Victory and Defeat will be detailed to the
player and then Combat will begin. Combat will cease when either all of the
Victory conditions have been met by a squad or one of the Defeat conditions
has been met by a squad. At the end of Combat, any gained SP (from
defeating opponents) will be rewarded to the squad. XP will be distributed
amongst all characters of the squad when any member of that squad defeats
an enemy character. When Combat is finished, the player may view details
for the number of enemies defeated, the XP gained, and the SP gained.

Time Points
Time Points limit the actions that any single character can make during a
turn. Each character, at the start of its turn, will have 100 Time Points (TP).
That character’s turn ends when it does not have enough TP remaining to
make an action. (A character’s turn may be ended prematurely by a field
effect or the player command End Turn.) Each action – movement,
attacking, skill usage – costs a specific amount of TP in order to be acted out
and a character cannot make an action if it does not have enough TP to pay
the cost. Movement, for instance, takes an amount of TP determined by the
Agility of the acting character, the distance of movement, and the terrain the
character is moving across:
TP Cost for Movement = (1 TP * feet traveled) * ((100 –
(2*(AG))) / 100)
TP will recover gradually as other characters take their turns. Each round
restores 100 TP, regardless of the number of characters on the field:
TP Recovered per Turn = (Number of Characters) / 100 [rounded
up]

Battle Flow

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Once a player has a squad of characters to control, the player will proceed to
a Combat overview. The Victory and Defeat conditions of the battle will be
detailed and the player will have the chance to survey the placement of his
or her characters. Characters will be placed at default locations, but may be
clicked and dragged, within a shown radius, to a different starting position.
The Combat phase will be initiated once this is confirmed. Play will pass
from character to character on the field according to turn order and TP
availability. Players will only have control over characters in their own
squad. (Player 1 cannot control any characters owned by any other player or
the AI.) The character on the field with the highest Agility will have the first
turn in battle.* Once that character has spent all of its available TP, or
prematurely ended its turn (due to the End Turn command or an effect), play
will pass to the next character with the highest Agility and the most available
TP. In this way, characters on field will take turns acting until either one
squad has met all Victory conditions or all players, save one, have met any
of the Defeat conditions.

On a character’s turn, that character may spend available TP to move on the


field to any location within range – determined by the Agility of the character
and its remaining TP --, initiate a physical attack with its equipped weapon,
or use an available Skill.

*Turn order will be sorted first by Agility, then the character’s Level, and last
by a “tie-breaker” number. This number will be determined randomly at the
start of Combat and assigned to the character. In a battle of four characters,
two on each side, a “die” will be rolled four times: the first roll may assign a
2 to the first character, so a 2 cannot be “rolled” again; the second character
may be assigned a 1; the third character is assigned 4; the fourth character
is assigned a 3. This number means that if any two characters have the
same Agility and Level, this character with the lower “tie-breaker” number
will act first. This number being determined before battle and kept

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throughout Combat keeps turn order consistent. This will remain a hidden
mechanic.

Example of Play
1. Enter the Exhibition game mode.
2. Select a Field.
3. Select 6 characters for a squad.
4. Allocate SP among characters, giving them Skills to use in Combat.
5. Determine the starting formation for the squad.
6. Review the Victory and Defeat conditions.
7. Initiate Combat.
8. All Victory conditions are met and Combat ends.
9. Review Combat statistics.
10. Player is asked to Continue – play another round of Combat – or
Quit – return to the Title Screen.

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Controls
The Three Days will be controlled primarily through button commands on
context-based menus. The primary input method will be a mouse. Keyboard
input will be accepted and used for shortcuts and other hotkeys. This will be
for players more accustomed to PC strategy games. The arrow keys will
scroll through any set of options on the menu with focus while the Space Bar
will select a highlighted option. For the currently active character, the
following are the controls and mechanics a player can chose to use during
the turn:

Move Click a location on the Field within movement range. A


semi-transparent path will be drawn to indicate how the
character will reach the destination.
Attack Click a target within attacking range. A Move path will be
made if the target is not within attacking range.
Skill A character’s current Skills will be listed as buttons along
the bottom of the screen. Click a Skill to select it. The
highlighted area on the ground will change to match the
range of this Skill. Click a target to use the Skill.
End Turn Click the current acting character. A list of these four
commands will appear. Click “End Turn” to end the
character’s turn.

Each action will have a Confirm/Cancel prompt. A character’s chain of


actions will be listed at the top-left corner of the screen. One of these past
actions may be selected to “undo” to that point.

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Characters
Each character operates individually with its own set of Stats and Skills. A
group of characters controlled by a single player (or AI-player) is referred to
as a Squad.

Types
Characters are distinguished by Type. A Character Type determines the
model used to represent the character, the stats of the character, and how
the character attacks. Types also determine the Skills a character has or
may have. Each Character Type will have a set of Skills with SP pre-assigned
to them. These SP may be reallocated to other Skills.
Soldier Has stronger physical capabilities. Uses horizontal arc
sword attacks, anything within this slicing range will take
damage.
Mage Has stronger magical capabilities. Uses forward thrust rod
attacks, giving it a slightly longer reach for attacking.
Defender Built for endurance. Uses close-range, fist attacks.
Hero The squad’s leader. Only exists in Campaign mode.
Type HP PA PD MA MD AG
Base* 30 5 5 5 5 5
Soldier 45 14 10 8 10 12
Mage 36 10 10 14 12 10
Defender 54 10 14 10 10 8
Hero 60 15 15 15 15 15

*The “Base” Character Type is not in the game but is included here to show
the stat relationship of the other characters.

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*Concept art for Soldier.

*Concept art for Mage.

*Concept art for Defender.

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Stats
Each character has its own set of numbers which determine how it performs
in Combat. These numbers increase as that character’s Level increases.
(LV) Level Scales all other Stats. Increases with XP
accrual.
(XP) Experience Increases Level by 1 every 100 points.
(HP) Health Points Depletes as damage is taken. Character is
KO’d and unable to battle when 0.
(PA) Physical Attack Modifies damage dealt by physical-based
attacks.
(MA) Magic Attack Modifies effectiveness of magic-based
actions.
(PD) Physical Defense Decreases damage received by physical-based
attacks.
(MD) Magic Defense Decreases damage received by magic-based
actions.
(AG) Agility Determines cost of movement and acting time.
Used as a modifier for avoiding incoming
attacks or Skills.

Actions
Any command given to a character costs TP. (End Turn is the exception.)
Move Relocate a character on the field. Costs 1 TP per foot
moved.
Attack Use the equipped weapon to perform a physical-based
attack. Costs 45 TP.
Skill Use an available Skill (provided by equipped SP). Cost
varies per Skill.
End TurnPrematurely end this character’s turn. TP recovery begins.

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Each character attacks with a different weapon. These weapons have


differing ranges from each other: the Soldier’s sword hits a wider range with
a horizontal sweeping motion; the Mage’s rod is thrust forward, giving more
reach; the Defender’s fists have little range and can only hit a single target.
Attack damage is always based on the Physical stats:
Damage = 0.5 * (PA) * 1.6 – PD [rounded up]

Skills
Characters with SP assigned may use Skills in battle. Skills provide a greater
range of power and effects than base physical attacks. Any Skill can range
between Level 1 effectiveness to Level 3 effectiveness. Each Skill has a base
TP cost, a base Damage, and a list of possible effects. (Effects are generally
cumulative.) “Layers” describes the lasting time of an effect.
Skill SPCost TPCost Power Range Area Effect Hit Avoid Layers
Blaze 1 55 MA * 1.5 48' reach 12' diameter HP damage 75+MA * 2 AG* 1.5 0+ Skill (Skill Power) - MD* 0.5
Blaze 2 2 65 MA * 1.75 48' reach 21' diameter No further effect 75+MA * 2 AG* 1.5 0+
Blaze 3 3 75 MA * 1.75 48' reach 21' diameter Inflicts Berserk 80+MA * 2 AG* 1.5 1
Sparking 1 55 MA * 1.25 48' reach 18' diameter HP damage 75+MA * 2 AG* 1.5 0+
Sparking2 2 65 MA * 1.5 48' reach 27' diameter No further effect 75+MA * 2 AG* 1.5 0+
Sparking3 3 75 MA * 1.5 48' reach 27' diameter Decreases AG 80+MA * 2 AG* 1.5 2
Spite 1 50 0 42' reach 15' diameter Inflicts Poison status 70+MA * 2 AG* 2 1+
Spite2 2 60 0 42' reach 15' diameter Inflicts Beserk status 70+MA * 2 AG* 2 2+
Spite3 3 70 MA * 3.0 42' reach 15' diameter TP damage 70+MA * 2 AG* 2 0
Boon 1 55 0 42' reach 15' diameter Increases TP reload 90+MA 0 1+
Boon2 2 65 0 42' reach 15' diameter Increases MD 90+MA 0 5+
Boon3 3 75 0 42' reach 15' diameter Prevents Conditions 90+MA 0 2
Crescent Wave 1 55 MA * 1.5 63' reach 9' length HP damage 75+PA* 2 AG* 1.5 0+
Crescent Wave 2 2 65 MA * 1.5 63' reach 9' length Increases AG of user 75+PA* 2 AG* 1.5 2+
Crescent Wave 3 3 75 MA * 2.0 63' reach 12' length No further effect 80+PA* 2 AG* 1.5 0
TerraShot 1 55 MA * 1.5 90' reach 3' width HP damage 75+PA* 2 AG* 1.5 0+
TerraShot 2 2 65 MA * 1.5 90' reach 3' width Increases PA of user 75+PA* 2 AG* 1.5 2+
TerraShot 3 3 75 MA * 2.0 90' reach 6' width No further effect 80+PA* 2 AG* 1.5 0
Cripple 1 40 PA* 1.0 3' reach target Decreases TP reload 90+PA AG* 1.5 1+
Cripple 2 2 50 PA* 1.0 3' reach target Decreases PD 90+PA AG* 1.5 4+
Cripple 3 3 60 PA* 1.0 3' reach target Decreases PA 90+PA AG* 1.5 3
Restore 1 50 MA * 2.0 45' reach target Restores HP 100 0 0+
Restore2 2 55 MA * 2.5 45' reach target Removes Stat decreases 100 0 0+
Restore3 3 65 MA * 3.0 45' reach target Removes Conditions 100 0 0
Stratomance 1 45 0 0 field Causes Rain 75+MA 0 3
Stratomance 2 1 45 0 0 field Causes Dark 75+MA 0 3
Stratomance 3 1 45 0 0 field Causes Wind 75+MA 0 3
Manipulate 1 50 0 0 field Decreases PA 75+MA 0 10
Manipulate 2 1 50 0 0 field Decreases MA 75+MA 0 10
Manipulate 3 1 50 0 0 field Increases AG 75+MA 0 10

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Many Skills stack effects as they power up. (These Skills are marked above
with a +.) For example, the Skill “Crescent Wave” deals damage to a
target’s HP. At Level 2, “Crescent Wave” has an effect of “Increases AG of
user.” This means that at Level 2, “Crescent Wave” increases the users
Agility and deals damage to a target’s HP. On the other hand, Skills such as
“Manipulate” do not stack or power-up as most others do. Only 1 SP is
necessary for any level of “Manipulate,” allowing the player to choose which
effect he or she prefers.

Skill Points
Skill Points are used to determine what Skills (in-battle techniques, such as
healing) a character can use in combat. Each Skill can be viewed on the
Battle Preparation screen where Skill Points (SP) may be allocated. When SP
is assigned to a Skill, that Skill becomes usable in combat by that character.
Up to three SP may be assigned to any one Skill on a single character; the
amount of SP assigned determines the power and effects of that Skill when
used in combat.

The following Mage can use both level 1 “Blaze” and “Sparking” because
each has one SP assigned to it. Each Skill has one Skill Point assigned to it
by default. This SP may be removed and placed elsewhere if desired.

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Status Effects
Some Skills may invoke Status Conditions (or Effects) on a character. Each
Status Condition has a different effect on the character and lasts a specific
amount of time. Since some effects are inflicted at higher potency at times,
the Life is determined by a base amount of TP that is increased by the
number of “Layers” of the effect inflicted. For instance, “Blaze 3” inflicts 1
Layer of Berserk, so Berserk lasts 100 TP; “Spite 2” inflicts 2 Layers of
Berserk, causing Berserk to last 200 TP.

Status
Condition Description Effect Life
100 TP *
Stat Up Increases a single Stat Stat + 2 Layers
100 TP *
Stat Down Decreases a single Stat Stat - 2 Layers
500 TP *
TP Up Increases TP reload TP reload + 5 Layers
500 TP *
TP Down Decreases TP reload TP reload - 5 Layers
500 TP *
Poison Damages HP over time HP - 1 for every 25 TP Layers
100 TP *
Berserk Forces forward action Disable non-Move/Attack Layers

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Causes heavy rain on the AG - 1; Blaze - 20%; 500 TP *


Rain field Sparking + 20% Layers
Causes darkness to cover 500 TP *
Dark the field Hit - 25% Layers
Causes strong winds across 500 TP *
Wind the field Skill Range + 10% Layers
MD + 100 for Status 300 TP *
Guard Prevents Conditions Condition Layers

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Field
All instances of environments – where story events and Combat take place –
are referred to as fields. Fields are generally quadrilateral planes deformed
to represent terrain and filled with terrain objects. (Fields may be shaped as
any other polygon, though rectangles are most common.) A field makes up
the entirety of a map – nothing exists outside of the boundaries. The edge of
a field denotes the edge of play area and will be indicated either by a drop-
off (there’s just nothing beyond the Field) or walls of some sort (thick trees or
cliff walls). Fields are not grid-based. The average size of a Field is roughly
80 yards x 80 yards.

Components
Fields are built with terrain objects – trees, houses, crates, etc. -- on them to
add obstacles to Combat instances. A Component is any object (not a
character) present on a field. Components can be either static – cannot
move or be interacted with (i.e., a tree) – or dynamic – can be interacted with
by characters (i.e., a breakable crate).

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Field Effects
Skills or scenario conditions may place global effects on a field during
Combat. Field effects, whether they hinder or aid, affect all characters on
the field, regardless of squad alignment. Effects may be related to weather,
altering terrain and Skill effectiveness (i.e., fire-based skills are weaker in
rain), or magic-based, altering character actions or stats. If triggered by a
Skill, field effects will last a specific amount of time; otherwise a field effect
will last throughout an entire battle scenario.
*See above with “field” range.

Game Modes
Campaign puts a single player in control of predetermined characters to pass
specific story-driven combat scenarios. Play will consist of a segment of
story leading into a combat scenario, followed by Battle Preparations and
Combat. From here, the three will repeat, with some dialogue occurring
during Combat. The Campaign will be strictly single-player and will
showcase scenarios with differing settings and Victory conditions. This mode
will contain five specific battle scenes. Characters within the player’s squad
will be used from one battle to the next, gaining XP and SP to increase Level
and Skills. Characters who are KO’d in a battle will be usable in successive
battles.
*See Narrative & Campaign below.

Exhibition mode allows one or two players to choose a battle scenario to


play. Players will be able to select from a list of battle fields, choose a
Victory condition, and then craft a custom squad of four, five, or seven
characters, dependant on the size of the Field. Characters chosen for a
player’s squad will be of a static level and will not be able to gain experience.
Players have a preset stock of SP to allocate to characters for combat.

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Options for a random squad or field will also be available. Squads may be
saved for later use.

Quick Play allows a player to enjoy a combat scenario against an AI opponent


without having to manage multiple options. This mode gives players a
selection of squad templates to enter into Combat with on a randomly
selected field. Squad templates will be labeled according to play types, such
as “Aggressive,” “Defensive,” or “Well-Rounded.” The goal here is to allow
more casual players to enjoy the game and to be able to find game play
within about 3 mouse clicks.

Options displays a selection of the game’s settings to be viewed and


adjusted by the player.

Multiplayer
The “Exhibition” and “Quick Play” modes will support player versus player
multiplayer. All multiplayer will be hot-seat and will require the use of two
Xbox 360 Gamepads.

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User Interface
The UI will imitate the look of a on old printed book, much akin to the book
images shown in the “The Lord of the Rings” movies. This will reinforce the
fantasy theme of the game.

Front End

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Before & After Combat

1 View and set up Skills for each character.

2 View Squad and set up characters.

3 View Victory and Defeat conditions, along


with squad placement.

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In Combat
The Field is viewed from a camera placed above the world and angled down
(i.e., a top-down, isometric perspective). The camera can be rotated along
the x-axis around the field at 45 degree increments; can be zoomed in and
out at three separate levels; and can be lowered or raised, changing the
angle at which the Field is viewed. The camera may be configured to zoom
in or focus on actions (such as spells) or events (such as scripted scenes).

The acting character is distinguished by a light blue ring. The selected


target has an appropriate ring beneath it. In the top corner, left-side, is a list
of the active character and the upcoming three other characters, in order of
action; the right-side shows the current Field effect (“sun” here, which is the
default condition). The details of the current action(s) between characters

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are shown at the bottom of the screen. Here the blue soldier has targeted
the red mage. The soldier will have to move (path shown by the arrow) in
order to be within attacking range. The TP cost is specified. The attack will
use a sword to damage the mage, dropping its health to 12. The player will
click the prompt (where “OK?” is) in order to initiate the attack; if anywhere
off of any of these prompts is clicked, this current action will be canceled.

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Narrative & Campaign


The Campaign mode in The Three Days follows the story of two men, Bryce
and Augustus, the prince of Limgoth, during an attempted coup d’état. The
king is killed by an assassin hired by the warrior Dorandus. Over the course
of three days of war, Limgoth’s monarchy is changed, for better or worse.
Augustus is determined to save his father’s kingdom and salvage the
monarchy; Dorandus plans to instate himself as king. Meanwhile, Bryce, who
had been labeled a criminal for theft by the king’s men, must choose
whether to aid his old friend Augustus or side against the monarchy.

The Campaign mode will contain five scenarios with the player in control of
Bryce and his squad.

Day 1 Scene Plot Introduce the player to the monarchy; establish


1 that Bryce is a criminal; “the king has been
assassinated”
Mechanic One character of each type against a few
s enemies; simple terrain
Scene Plot Bryce heads to the capital with a squad of men;
2 he meets rebels in battle
Mechanic Standard squad versus squad combat
s
Day 2 Scene Plot Bryce meets rebels across a bridge; Augustus’s
3 army is on the ground below them
Mechanic First 3-way battle; destructible terrain.
s
Choice 1
Fight rebels; 2Fight monarchy
Scene Plot Encounter Augustus fighting rebels at a river
4 during heavy rain
Mechanic Introduce a timed match with changing terrain
s and constant weather
Choice 1
Aid Augustus; 2Fight Augustus
Day 3 Scene Plot At the castle, Augustus has been captured and is
5 to be executed
Mechanic Timed event occurrence, but not a timed match
s
Choice Save Augustus and Bryce dies; 2Fight the
1

monarchy and the coup d’état succeeds; 3Rout


Dorandus and promote the monarchy

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Assets
Below is a list of planned assets for The Three Days. Art has been separated
according to its type (sprite, 3D model, etc.) and use. Audio is separated by
sound effect (SFX) or background audio (BGM). For a complete asset list, see
Asset List.xls.

Art
1. Character Models – 3D models with animation sets for Idle, Movement,
Melee Attack, Magic Attack, Take Damage, and Die; blue, red, and
green texture sets needed
a. Soldier
b. Mage
c. Defender
d. Hero – for “Campaign” mode; lead player character, Prince,
Rebel Leader, and King; separate texture sets not needed
2. User Interface – 2D art (sprites), must be very scalable
a. Action confirmation prompt
b. Move path arrow
c. Field effect icons – sun, rain, wind, dark
d. Status effect icons – up arrow, down arrow, poison, berserk
e. Action icons – move, attack, skill (one icon for each)
f. Proceed button
g. Quit button
h. Bookmark icon
i. Back button
j. SP icons – filled and unfilled
k. Skill set button
l. Sun used for loading screens
3. Screens – 2D art, should be made to fill any screen; may be animated
for transitions
a. Splash screens – DigiPen logo, Running With Rupture logo
b. Title screen – lists all game modes to be clicked on
c. Load profile (bookmark)
d. Pre-combat screens – view squad; view character
e. Campaign world map
f. Settings screen
g. Credits screen

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h. Mode details – “Campaign,” “Exhibition,” and “Quick Play”;


explains play for mode
i. Narrative screens – art explaining the story as it passes

Audio
1. BGM
a. Intro scenes for narrative in “Campaign” mode
b. Title screen
c. Combat music – three different tracks
d. Splash screen tracks
e. Pre-combat
f. Victory screen
g. Game over
h. Credits
i. World map
j. “Campaign” mode complete
2. SFX
a. Melee attack sounds – punch, sword, rod
b. Skill use sounds – restore, fire, lightning, poison bubbles, wind,
rain, rocks breaking
c. Movement
d. Take damage
e. Character death
f. Defeat condition met
g. Victory condition met
h. Gain XP
i. Gain SP
j. Set SP
k. Remove SP
l. Select character to view in pre-combat
m. Confirm action or selection
n. Transition between screens (page turning sound)
o. Dialog typing (or voices)

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Running With Rupture The Three Days Design Document

Appendix 1: Target Audience


The Three Days is targeted primarily towards players experienced with
tactics-based and role-playing games. However, with options available in the
game, there is potential for more casual players to find enjoyment.

Core Target
The core target demographic is 12-24 year old males. This demographic is
familiar with tactic-RPGs, such as FINAL FANTASY Tactics, Fire Emblem, and
X-COM. They show characteristics of both “Achiever” and “Planner” player
types: these players seek to improve the abilities and powers of in-game
characters and managing a set of resources. They value customizability
(item and skill allocation) and visible progress (experience gain and stat
increases). This audience will rarely spend less than ten or twenty minutes
sitting with a game (given that they enjoy it).

This audience exists as a tight group and will likely spread word of any
games they play and whether they enjoyed the game or not. Therefore,
once a handful of this cluster has found a game to be “good,” that game will
be recommended strongly to friends and family.

Casual Target
This demographic leans towards games they can understand and enjoy
within very few minutes of playing. This audience can be easily intimidated
by complex control/command schemes and prefer to not invest more than a
few moments learning how to enjoy a title. Large menus and detailed lists
and specifications act as deterrents to them. For them, The Three Days
provides the “Quick Play” option. This mode allows them to bypass all squad
management tasks and proceed straight into Combat, thus maximizing the
time spent in-game.

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This audience is less-versed about specific game genres and tends to play
games that immediately appear fun, understandable, and are recommended
to them. The task of approaching this audience is given to images and video
that focus on simple command sequences having noticeable results.
Recommendations from the Core Target are also valued.

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Appendix 2: Comparative Products


The Three Days is a tactical role-playing game, focusing on character ability
accumulation and stat progression. The game plays on polygonal, grid-less
fields and focuses heavily on combat scenarios.

FINAL FANTASY Tactics


(SQUARESOFT, 1998) is
the primary comparative
product (and basis) for The
Three Days. Shared
components include a focus
on character ability
improvement through
battle experience and skill
usage. Play takes place on
quadrilateral, grid-based
fields and game time focuses on combat scenarios. Team management
takes up a sizable amount of time. Special actions require a specific amount
of time to commence. Control passes from character to character, rather
than team to team, based on the agility of the character and the number of
actions it took the previous turn. Exclusive components for The Three Days
include the exclusion of class assignments, restricting skill usage to item
allocation instead. Combat fields are grid-less, allowing for free range
movement. Special actions are not limited by Magic Points, but the time
needed to commence them.

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X-COM: UFO Defense (Mythos Games, 1993) utilizes a similar time-


based action system.

Phantom Brave (Nippon Ichi Software, 2004) presents game play that
does not take place on a grid. Actions and movements are shown as grid-
spheres or grid-cylinders and arrows across the terrain. Action is individually
turn-based rather than squad phase-based.

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Appendix 3: Risk Analysis


Tactics games tend to be tedious and have steeper learning curves: it takes
a bit of time and a good number of menus to get into the game and the
player needs to know what all of the numbers mean. How do you plan to
appeal to a “pick-up-and-play” audience?
First of all, the numbers and menus are being reduced to as few as possible.
The stats are very basic, skill trees are non-existent as every skill is available
to any character, and classes have been reduced to three type: physical,
magic, and defense. A full squad can be built within 5 mouse-clicks. A
player should be able to get into and complete a full Exhibition game within
6 minutes. Icons will also be used heavily to lower the learning curve.
Things should just look and feel right and do what the player expects. To
help guarantee this, playtesting with a range of player types will be
essential.

Trying to appeal to both hardcore and casual audiences could easily lead to
a watered-down experience. The hardcore crowd tends to oppose games
that feel “dumbed down.” Are you afraid of losing both audiences with this
attempt?
For this reason, the hardcore demographic has been established as our
“core” audience. In the case that the experience begins to seem watered
down, the casual audience will be dropped. Our top priority is to appeal to
the hardcore crowd.

Multiple game modes, including a branching path campaign, requires a vast


amount of content. With only a 7 month development time, how do you plan
to accomplish this and what are you willing to sacrifice?
The “Quick Play” mode is our first priority and we will build up from there.
Once “Quick Play” is implemented, all forms of mechanics and game play will
be present. Providing the player, then, with the option to select characters

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for a squad will give us the “Exhibition” mode. With these two in place, the
Lead Designer will begin creating maps and scripting scenes for the
“Campaign” mode. All content created for “Campaign” will also be present
in “Exhibition” and “Quick Play,” as well.

A potentially very high number of assets are necessary to represent the


amount of content in this project. Without any dedicated artists, how does
the team plan to tackle this obstacle?
All members of the team are familiar with 3D modeling and creating 2D art.
Tasks have been distributed amongst them so that no one person is bearing
all of the weight. Character models will be simple and relatively
geometrically based. These characters also will not have arms or legs,
allowing more flexibility with animations. Most attacks will be particle-based.
Fields will be created in 3DS Max and exported to be used in the game.

In the second month of the development cycle, the Lead Designer took an
extended absence to accommodate family. Considering the amount of
content needed for a tactics game, this could potentially be a fatal blow. In
the case that the Lead Designer does not return within a few weeks, how do
you plan to create the content necessary for this project?
The Lead Designer is more than willing to work as much as possible on the
project while absent and will be in contact via email at all times. In the case
that he is not able to return for the remainder of the semester, the Lead
Designer has agreed to contribute “unofficially” to the team. This is
something he has done previously and is comfortable doing.

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Appendix 4: Playtesting Plan & Feedback


1. How long did you spend preparing your team your first time playing?
Other times?
2. How long did your first battle take? Other times?
3. What did you feel or think playing The Three Days?
4. Were the buttons easy to understand?
5. Were your characters easy to control?
6. Were the objectives in “Campaign” mode easy to understand? Were
you ever confused about what to do?
7. Did any one character type feel noticeably better than the others? Did
one seem weaker?
8. If you played “Quick Play,” was there a team strategy that you wanted
but was not available?
9. How experienced would you say you are with tactics games?
10. What did you enjoy most about The Three Days?
11. What did you like least about The Three Days? Did anything aggravate
you?
12. Overall, how would you rate The Three Days?

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Appendix 5: Document Change Log


Version 0.1 Created Design Document file RWR_DesignDocument_v0.doc
Version 0.2 Added Table of Contents and expanded outline
Version 0.3 Game Mechanics and Game Modes detailed
Battle Flow, Example of Play, and Controls roughly filled
Version 0.4 Characters, Stats, Actions, Skills, Inventory, Status Conditions
roughly filled
Version 0.5 Field, Field Components and Effects roughly detailed
Version 0.6 Appendix I, Core and Casual Targets, Appendix II detailed
Version 0.7 Added Skills list
Version 0.8 Skills, Character Types, Conditions spreadsheets added in;
Physics Design detailed
Version 0.9 Added to Risk Analysis and Comparative Products
Version 0.9.1 Added concept character art and detailed the Last Stand!
action
Version 1.0 Filled Narrative & Campaign details
Version 1.1 Updated Game Mechanics, with sample images
Version 1.2 Added comments, fixed a few details, began detailing Project
Object, Profiles
Version 1.3 Made changes according to feedback from instructor
Version 1.7 Added a fleshed out details and lots of concept art to show how
things’ll look and work
Version 2.0 Lots of info reworked; format moved around; images added;
asset list detailed
Version 2.1 Updated Narrative & Campaign section
Version 2.2 Updated Stats and Skills sheets
Version 2.3 Updated calculations for TP Cost and Attack Damage; removed
Technology section

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Appendix 6: Resources & Copyrights


Mentioned Products:
FINAL FANTASY Tactics, © 1998 Square-Enix
X-COM: UFO Defense, © 1993 Mythos Games
Phantom Brave, © 2004 Nippon Ichi Software

Image Sources:
GameSpot.com
Push.cx
IGN.com

All other content Copyright © 2009-2010 DigiPen (USA) Corporation, all


rights reserved.

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