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BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

Green Space
A Game Design Document

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Table of Contents
Version History …............................................................................................................................................................................3
Vision Statement…..........................................................................................................................................................................6
Educational Value….........................................................................................................................................................................8
Schedule….......................................................................................................................................................................................9
Audience and Platform…...............................................................................................................................................................10
Gameplay…....................................................................................................................................................................................11
Story…...........................................................................................................................................................................................15
Characters…...................................................................................................................................................................................19
Media Assets…...............................................................................................................................................................................22
Technical Aspects…........................................................................................................................................................................25
Playtesting…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..41
Future Additions….........................................................................................................................................................................42
Credits…........................................................................................................................................................................................43

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Version History
Version 0.1: The first version of the game allowed players to choose their character,
travel the game board, gain resources, and flip tiles.
 There were no class perks or events available in this build.
 There was a visual glitch for the brownfield tiles, but it did not impede the
players from finishing the game.
 The tiles lacked GUI elements that indicated the cost for flipping, making it
difficult for players to determine which tile could be flipped.
 The color of the text made resource numbers difficult to read in the
Community Bank and for individual players.
 The lack of an instructions screen made the game incredibly vague.

Version 0.1 Screen 1: Character selection screen.

Version 0.1 Screen 2: The tile flipping screen.

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Version 0.19: This version of the game allowed the players to choose their character, access different simple perks based on the
player’s class, travel the game board, gain resources, maintain a community pool, and flip tiles.
 Many of the events except for a few were available in this build.
 The graphic glitch from the previous version was fixed.
 There was a minor graphical glitch at some screen resolutions that did not show the fourth brownfield column.
 The white text clashed with the light teal GUI elements for the resources and the community pool, making it difficult to read
the resource numbers.
Version 0.2: Three glitches were discovered: the event count was not coded properly that led to the game freezing, all of the
disasters and event cards were offset by one, and the prevent disaster card may or may not be working.
 The resolution glitch was fixed.
 The text remained white.
Version 0.25: All glitches from the previous version were rectified.
 The code to fix the color of the text was confirmed and should be fixed in the next version.
 A glitch was discovered: the classes were not doubling on their specific tiles (Ex. Engineers weren’t getting two for landing on
the green technology square).
o The classes were mixed up in the code, rewarding bonuses to the wrong classes.
o The engineer class did absolutely nothing.
 It was confirmed that tile (0, 1) had the wrong tile cost.
Version 0.31: This version was presented during the first round of LA professor testing on Thursday, April 12th.
 All of the errors from the previous version were fixed, though the black text for the flipping tile screen was still too small to
read.
 The Gas Leak and Dust Storm cards were switched in the coding, and the Gas Leak especially needed to be reworded in order
to reflect the entire team’s resource pool would be depleted.
 It was discussed to go more in-depth on the types of disasters that strike the tiles by providing brownfield specific disaster in
order to increase the learning factor and add variety to the game, but it is uncertain if this will be developed further or not.
 The Prevention card worked, but an image would not show on the screen indicating it worked.

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Version 0.4: The biggest change to the game for this version was the switch to an isometric camera angle for the game board
instead of overhead in order to get a better view of the 3D models.
 The Gas Leak and the Dust Storm cards were switched to their
proper order.
 The game screen was set to full screen as a default in order to let
the visual elements look their best.
 The game’s icon was changed to the Landscape Architect character
model.
 The text was still difficult to see on the flip screen.
 The resource number for publicity interfered with the “Free
Resource” text, making it difficult to read.
Version 0.45: The flip tile screen now allowed the player to see his/her
resources while flipping.
 The text at the top of the flip screen was repositioned to make it
Version 0.4 Screen 1: The new isometric view of the game board.
easier to read.
 Character descriptions were added on the character select screen.
Version 1.0: In the final version of the game, the instructions page was updated to reflect the name changes for each character.




The final storyboard (See Story section) was included in the game.
The untextured green space models have been replaced by textured ones.
The DENIED image across the Disasters prevented using the Prevented Card was finally fixed.
The character blocks were switched with the 3D character models.

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Vision Statement
Green Space takes place in the far future, a future where Earth has been
completely ruined by pollution. Almost every bit of land has been
decimated to the point where not even the simplest blade of grass will
grow. However, there is hope. What remains is a single field called a
brownfield, a contaminated area that has the potential to be
transformed into useable green space.
Thus the game follows up to five players as they circle around a
brownfield grid, gathering vegetation, green technology, public interest,
and labor resources on each space they land on. Once the appropriate
resources have been gathered, the brownfield tiles can be converted to green space.
Teamwork is reinforced by the use of a class system that differs for each character: the horticulturalist is great at finding
vegetation, the engineer is good at acquiring green technology, and so on. This team can work together by sharing their
resources within a community bank, allowing everyone to use the resources to flip tiles when needed.
But beware! Lurking behind the scenes are natural disasters, such as dust storms and gas leaks, that could destroy every
single resource you have gathered. Even the converted green spaces are not safe, as they are vulnerable to shifting back into
a brownfield within the blink of an eye if disaster strikes.
The game ends once every single piece of brownfield is reclaimed by the players.
This idea, of working together and healing brownfields, fits within the parameters given by the client, the American Society of
Landscape Architects (ASLA). By that, the game is a multiplayer driven game that emphasizes not only a competitive
mentality, but also a collaborative one. Further, the game teaches, fundamentally and by use of cards containing various
landscape architecture trivia, the factors that go into restoring brownfields and how important they can be to people.

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In other words: Green Space is an electronic board game
focused on converting brownfields to useable land through
the power of teamwork.
History: The original design for Green Space stems all the
way back to the tabletop model. Based on the same type of
model as Monopoly, the original Green Space also relied
upon flipping tiles in the center of the board while gathering
resources on various squares surrounding the brownfields.
In this version, though, turns were executed using two die,
and event cards occurred by falling on the Chance spaces.
Otherwise, this version played pretty similar to the final
game.

Setting: The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world in a non-disclosed location that could be anywhere in the U.S. This type of
location was chosen for our game because it seemed to be a good draw for younger audiences, especially the middle/high school
group that the client wants to appeal to.

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Educational Value
Green Space was created with the goals of the ASLA in mind: create a game that is multiplayer, a game that is fun, and, of
course, a game that is educational. The latter is accomplished through several ways, both directly
and indirectly.
Directly: To give students general knowledge on landscape architecture and factors that fit into the
field, the landscape architect majors on the team decided to insert educational cards within the
game, such as the card on the right. Each card dealt with a specific type of information, with each
vegetation card describing various plants, labor cards describing various landscape architects and
other people famous within the field, and so on. Each type of resource had a total of 20 varities that
changed randomly each time a player landed on a resource space.

Indirectly: Throughout the game, you convert the brownfield tiles to green space
by working amongst people with different jobs. Through this, we thought the
students would learn how landscape architecture requires help from people from
various fields. Also, students would learn that it takes a lot of resources and
manpower in order to convert brownfields back to green space using the resource
collection system we installed.

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Schedule
The following schedule was followed during the 2012 spring semester at Ball State University.
Work days for the project primarily fell on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 6:00 p.m. and
lasting to about 8:00 p.m. Each class day not specified in the schedule focused on team
meetings that encouraged game development.
January 9th: Introduction to the class.
January 19th: Beginning of paper prototype phase.
January 31st: Meeting with client to discuss their wants in needs in the project along with
deciding the two final games.
February 2nd: Formation of team Green Space and the beginning of brainstorming.
March 1st: First test play with Delta High School students using Version 0.1 of Green Space.
April 3rd through April 9th: The second test play, using Royerton Elementary School with
Version 0.2 of Green Space.
April 12th through April 17th: Play testing with LA professors.
May 3rd: End of production for Green Space.

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Audience and Platform
Audience: The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) requested a video game that would interest the target audience of
middle school to high school aged students. The purpose of our multiplayer game is to be used in career fairs by several students at
once in order to draw them into the landscape architecture world. The game was also instructed to end within 15 minutes to avoid
boring the students and taking up too much of their time.

Platform: Green Space is an executable file, primarily built for Windows machines, but a Mac version can be created upon request.

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Gameplay
Green Space plays like a digital version of a board game except for the use of an intuitive roulette styled movement system.
As with game boards like Monopoly, cards play a big role in moving the game forward, as seen by the Resource, Event, and
Disaster cards. Ultimately, the goal is to flip all of the brownfield tiles.

Resource Cards – Each space on the game board rewards the player with a resource depending on the icon of the space:
blue is for Green Technology, green is for Vegetation, red is for Public Interest, and yellow is for Labor. As you land on each
space, landscape architecture and brownfield reclamation trivia pops up on the cards, each resource having 20 varieties.
However, this feature was not present in the first two play tests.

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Event Cards – At the end of each player’s turn, a card with an event on it will pop up. These events come with a variety of
different outcomes, ranging from increasing the amount of resources a player or players have, destroying a green space, or
removing all of the resources from the player(s). These events both add challenge to the game and increase the pacing.

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Flipping Tiles – The main goal of the game is to flip all of the brownfield tiles and convert them into viable green space. Each space has
a resource price tag, added in version 1.9, with the number of resources required to flip the tile indicated.

Community Pool – At the end of every turn, the player is given the choice to insert as many of their own resources into the
community bank as they wish. Doing so will automatically allow other players to use said resources to flip tiles of their
choosing. On top of that, certain events can increase and even double the amount of resources within the pool. However,
there still exists the possibility of the opposite, all resources being annihilated in one disaster.

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Game Flow: The game accommodates up to five players. Once you have finished reading the introduction, the game asks you which
of the five classes you would like to choose, each class emphasizing different skills (see Characters section). Everyone aims to work
together by gathering resources and contributing to the community bank in order to flip all of the tiles. Once you move and collect
resources on the space you land on, a bit of trivia pops up teaching you about a specific resource, such as labor informing players
about famous landscape architects (see Resource Cards section). Furthermore, you then have the chance to transform a brownfield
tile into green space. After that, an event occurs, whether harmful or beneficial (see Event Cards section). You work as a team to
flip all of the tiles before too much time has passed, meaning it would become too late to recover the land to save the world.
Adding a competitive flair, the number of turns it takes to flip all of the tiles is displayed at the end of the game.
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Story
In order to appeal to a wide audience, a somewhat post-apocalyptic setting was chosen for the story.
At first, a villain was to be introduced in order to give the players incentive to beat the game, to see the villain’s defeat.

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However, after receiving feedback from Professor Paul Gestwicki, the story was fine-tuned to emphasize the players’ cooperation to
save nature rather than defeating a clichéd, tycoon villain.

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The landscape architects on the team, however, decided that the script put too much of a negative connotation on brownfields.
With that came the final script. In this version, the entire Earth is devastated by pollution. All hope is lost until a single area of
brownfield is discovered. In this way, brownfields are seen as an area of potential, the last hope for humanity’s survival. Transform
the brownfield into a green space, save the world.

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Background – The game takes place in a not-so-distant future where pollution has destroyed most of the Earth. All looks bleak until
a series of brownfields are discovered, the last saving grace of humankind. That’s where the player comes in. A skilled team of a
landscape architect, contractor, horticulturalist, publicist, and an engineer band together to reclaim each and every brownfield left
to save the world. However, various people along the way (as mentioned in the Mystery Gift and other Event Cards) contribute to
the cause by giving the team much needed resources from time to time.

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Characters
Each character represents an aspect necessary in brownfield reclamation and landscape architecture. In order to build things, you
need contractors. For various technologies, you need someone like an engineer. Choosing the right plants for soil reclamation falls
under a horticulturalist. In order to get approval by the state and the public, a publicist is required. Finally, to bring it all together,
the landscape architect coordinates everything. We hope the players learn this, but we also hope they learn the importance of team
work between all of the classes.

Name: Lee
Job: Landscape Architect
Skill: Unlike the other members of the team, Lee’s skill comes from team
work. Within a single turn, if each member flips a brownfield tile, Lee gets
the chance to flip an extra one for free.

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Name: Chris
Job: Contractor
Skill: Chris receives twice as many Labor resources than everyone else when he lands on
the appropriate square on the game board.

Name: Evon
Job: Engineer
Skill: Evon receives twice as many Green Technology resources than everyone else
when he lands on the appropriate square on the game board.

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Name: Helen
Job: Horticulturalist
Skill: Helen receives twice as many Vegetation resources than everyone else when
she lands on the appropriate square on the game board.

Name: Penny
Job: Publicist
Skill: Penny receives twice as many Public Interest resources than everyone else
when she lands on the appropriate square on the game board.

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Media Assets
With our game, we placed an emphasis on nature, such as the overabundance of green in the majority of the graphic user interface
(G.U.I.).
GUI Textures: As mentioned, Green Space’s GUI elements harken to the point
of the game, converting ugly brownfields to lush, green environments. The
vine design for the dialogue box on the right was later added to emphasize the
nature theme of the game.
However, for a time, the color of the GUI elements, the teal with a white shine,
caused the white text we were using to display on top of it difficult to read.
This changed with the rearrangement of the GUI on the brownfield flip screen
and the change to black text instead of white.

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Environment: The environment in this game replicates the paper prototype of Green
Space perfectly. Each square is dedicated to a specific resource, this time with specific
imagery.
Chance spaces, however, were removed and replaced with random events at the end of
each player’s turn, streamlining the experience a bit.

The resurrected green spaces were given their own 3D models based on Brian Grover’s
2D design. The 2D design is found on the flipping screen after each flip, whereas the 3D

Game Board 1: The final digital version of the Green
Space board.

design can be found during the Move sequence, once a brownfield has been flipped.

Game Board 3: The final design of the converted brownfield tiles.

Game Board 2: The original design for the paper
prototype of Green Space.

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Characters: The character models have a simplistic design to them.
Each character wears a specific item that relates to their class in
some way, but this also allows the player to see a physical
difference between the roles in order to tell them apart.
Each character was originally designed by Jeff Kuehner in 2D and
brought to life in 3D by Cameron Cranor. However, version 0.1 to
0.45 of the game only displayed the 2D versions on the character
selection screen and various colored squares representing each
character during the actual game.

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Technical Aspects
Green Space was designed using Unity, a program that gives programmers full reign of how every detail is programmed. The
programming language used was C Sharp. Development bounced between Joe Mount and James Weaver. The game is delivered as
an executable file and must be downloaded beforehand.
Game Engine: As already mentioned, the game was coded using C Sharp. Below are examples of coding for various actions
throughout the game.

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The Unity interface:

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System Parameters: The game supports up to five players (minimum of two) locally, meaning each player must share a single
computer and take turns. As a game that emphasizes turn taking, this has not come up as an issue.
The game cannot be saved or loaded, as the game is aimed at the run time designated by the client, a total time of 15 minutes per
game. Of course, this varies based on which card appears when during each game.
Due to the complexity of the game, an instructions page was added. However, the first instructions page contained errors and was
difficult to read, leading to the final instructions page:

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Interface and Control Technical Specifics: The player interacts with the game primarily through clicking on various parts of the GUI.

Step 1. The player first interacts by choosing one of three options: Play, Instructions, or Quit.

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Step 2. In order to advance through the introduction cinematic, the player must click through each screen.

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Step 3. After the cinematic, each player must choose their class by clicking on a specific image that represents the class. After at least two
characters are selected, a Done button appears at the bottom of the screen, but it should only be selected if less than five players are playing the
game. Otherwise, the game continues automatically if all five classes are selected.

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Step 4. At the start of the game, the player is given the option to choose Move or select Options. The Options menu brings up another menu
that allows the player to read the instructions, resume the game, or return to the main menu.

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Step 5. Once the Move sequence begins, the 3D model that represents the player speeds across the map until the player presses the Stop
button, located in the exact same spot as the Move button just moments ago.

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Step 6. Once the player presses Stop, a card is displayed for seven seconds that represents an educational element of the resource the player
landed on.

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Step 7. After the card is displayed, the flip screen pops up. If the player or the community bank has the appropriate amount of resources to flip
a tile, a dark green border appears around the tile that can be flipped. The player must then click on the tile they wish to flip. Afterwards, an
image of the green space replaces the previous brownfield. Once done, the player must click on the Finished button to continue.

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Step 8. The Community Bank menu appears after the flip screen. Depending on the amount of resources you have, you can donate as many
resources as you want to the Community Bank. Whether or not you do, though, you still must select the Transfer button to continue the game.

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Step 9. The player’s turn ends with the Event Card, which varies from reverting a green space to a brownfield to giving you or your team a bonus
on your resources.

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Lighting: The game board is lit from an overhead light. No dynamic lighting exists in the game, as it did not seem necessary for a digital board
game.

Rendering System: All image rendering is handled by Unity.

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Playtesting
Playtesting started with Delta High School students on March 1st, 2012. This group fell right
within the client’s target range, so testing here was crucial to our success. Each student
was encouraged to pair up with another person in order to get the best experience out of
Green Space’s multiplayer. At the end, each student filled out a two page survey that
gauged different aspects of the game, from glitches to fun factor. Due to the game being a
very early build, not all features were available to the players, especially an instructions
screen. This left me students confused and needed to be instructed by several Green Space
team members.
April 3rd was the start of playtesting at Royerton Elementary School. Consisting of several
classes until April 9th and with an improved version of the game, this playtest proved more
successful than the last. As expected, students who played alone did not enjoy the game
as much as those who worked together. The survey presented to the students was reduced
to one page, but essential questions (Did you learn anything? Was the game fun? Etc.)
were still asked.
The critique from the Royerton test led us to the final test with the Landscape Architecture
professors. A few social issues were raised in regards to the characters and their roles
within the game, and we tried to address those issues the best way we thought necessary,
by changing the plot of the game and fixing some names. But we received some positive
feedback on the gameplay and even ideas for future additions.
(See Version History, page 3, for further details on glitches, changes, etc.)

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Future Additions
Due to the lack of time, not all of the features we wanted will go into the final version of Green Space. Below is a list of elements we
were unable to include.








Interactive 3D camera system
Extras section on the main menu that allows the player to view all of the cards (Resources and
Events) and the storyboard
3D brownfield models for the brownfield tiles
Specific disasters for each tile relating back to ways a green space can revert back to a
brownfield
No character square overlapping on same board space
Turn counter
Quiz game and scoring system based on tiles flipped and resources collected
Game Over mechanic

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Credits
Programming
Joe Mount
James Weaver
Landscape Architecture Specialists
Brian Grover
Jeff Kuehner
Story
Tyler Trosper
Artwork and GUI
Brian Grover
Jeff Kuehner
3D Models
Cameron Cranor
Card Descriptions
Jeff Kuehner
Tyler Trosper
Game Mechanics
Jacob Clark

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Images Courtesy of:
Ball State University Libraries
Everyday Trash (http://everydaytrash.com/tag/freshkills-park/)
Flickr (http://www.flickr.com)
LID (http://www.lowimpactdevelopment.org/lidphase2/images/policy1.jpg)
Missouri Botanical Gardens (http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/)
Planet Patriot (http://www.planetpatriot.net/stamps2/ian_mcharg_stamp.html)
San Diego History Center (http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/98winter/parsons.htm)
Sasaki (http://www.sasaki.com/about-us/Hideo+Sasaki+Foundation/)
SOM (http://www.som.com/content.cfm/lakeside_master_plan)
StaySF (http://www.staysf.com/attraction.php?ac_id=9&a_id=23)
The Port of Los Angeles (http://www.portoflosangeles.org/recreation/wwpark.asp)
UC Berkeley (http://www.ced.berkeley.edu/cedarchives/profiles/eckbo.htm)
Visit Cumbria (http://www.visitcumbria.com/thomas-mawson.htm)
Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.com)

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