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grace

Game Concept Document

Design by Dave Taylor


Copyright 2002, Carbon6 Entertainment
Contents

1. Executive Summary
2. Features
3. Story
4. What’s it Like?
5. Character Development
6. Relationship Management
7. Cliques and Quests
8. Weekly Calendar
9. User Interface
10. Multiplayer Support
11. Complexity
12. Walk-Through: Making Laura
13. Walk-Through: Laura’s Bedroom
14. Walk-Through: Gatekeeper Mom
15. Walk-Through: Homeroom
16. Walk-Through: Betty’s True Colors
17. Walk-Through: Sarah’s Weakness
18. Walk-Through: Awkward First Date
19. Combined Team Credits
20. Exile Interactive
21. Special Thanks

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Executive Summary
Grace is a simulation game for the Playstation/2 that exposes the popularity contests,
social intrigue, and girl bullying recently revealed in the best-selling (and recently film-
optioned) books Odd Girl Out and Queen Bees and Wannabes in an interactive
experience that features incredibly high-detail environments, beautifully animated
characters in an easy-to-use interface. Grace features:

 Stunning background and character visuals in a Resident Evil style


presentation.
 Over 100 clothes and jewelry, each with the ability to dramatically alter
relationships.
 Over 150 sets.
 40 characters throughout school, each with carefully crafted personalities and
goals.
 12 cliques, each with special abilities, ranks, and goals.
 Brand placement of coveted store chains.
 Music score inspired by female vocalists Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Madonna.
 4-player multiplayer support on multiple PS/2’s with the multiplayer or
network adapters.

In Grace, the player raises a girl through the harrowing trials of womanhood, from the
beginning of middle school through the end of high school. Grace does not pull punches
with female behavior. Incorporating research from girl bullying books Odd Girl Out and
Queen Bees and Wannabes in addition to numerous interviews with girls and their
experiences particularly in middle school and high school, Grace digs into the dark
corners of being a girl: the power plays, the teasing, the manipulation, the slander, and
the ruthless competition for popularity and beauty.

Which isn’t to say the player can’t take the higher ground. Intermediate to advanced
players will realize the game characters are all attached by a surprisingly effective
network and will quickly learn what goes around, comes around. Matchmaking a couple,
finding a best friend, tutoring someone, writing poetry and giving gifts to friends and
dates are all examples of positive relationship building techniques. Each of the 40
characters in the game responds differently to stimuli, so playing good girl with lead the
player to a certain crowd, and playing bad girl will lead the player to another.

In her adventures, she’ll go through a number of issues and trials, including coping with
the development breasts, getting her first period, finding a prom date, a best friend, a
good clique, a steady, and of course, she’ll have to deal with rival girls. In the process,

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the player can partake in schooling, training, sports, working, shopping, dating, and
partying. Everything makes a difference to her character development and final outcome.

The Grace eye-candy will be elaborate, high detail backgrounds in a Resident Evil style
presentation, featuring beautifully modeled and animated women, with particular
attention paid to the details of clothing, fat, muscle, hair, facial expressions, and eyes.
The user interface is old-school adventure game with highlighted aspects of the world,
which can be triggered to bring up menus of context-sensitive actions.

A nice side-benefit of appealing to the world of women is that brands matter. Because
Grace takes place in schools and malls amongst other settings, it offers an excellent
opportunity to co-market large retail and clothing store brands without sacrificing the
artistic integrity of the game.

Because the game is populated by characters who live in different houses, multiplayer is
surprisingly straightforward. Other players have their own bedrooms, their own
schedules, and their own lives. However, the state of the world is consistent for
everyone. This means that quests become a more precious resource that must be shared
between players, but more importantly, it means players can collaborate to help each
other. For instance, if one character plays a smart poor girl, she can tutor her companion,
playing a slow wealthy girl, while her companion buys enough clothes for the both of
them. However, a big difference in interacting with human players is that the strength of
the relationship is implied, not measured, and of course they do not assign goals to each
other.

Grace is targeted to have a Teen rating.

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Features
Grace’s most newsworthy and marketable features will probably be the beautiful
graphics and hot topic of girl bullying, but Grace features far more than that:

 Stunning background and character visuals in a Resident Evil style


presentation.
 Elegant, simple user interface that scales in power for experienced players.
 Engrossing character management with 6 upgradeable attributes.
 12 colorful cliques, each with special abilities, secret ranks, and clandestine
missions.
 Over 100 articles of clothing and jewelry, ranging from preppie to goth to
cheap to expensive, each with the ability to dramatically alter relationships and
missions.
 Over 150 elaborately modeled and lit sets.
 40 fascinating characters throughout school, each with unique personalities
and missions.
 Addictive 4-person multiplayer support, incorporating both competitive and
cooperative play.
 Brand placement of coveted store chains and clothing brands.
 Music score inspired by female vocalists Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Madonna.
 With over 150 missions requiring an average of 10 minutes each to complete,
the game provides up to 25 hours of quest exploration.

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Story
You are a new girl to Highland Park and starting your first day of 6th grade. Highland
Park can be a tough place for a new girl, and you’re about to find out how tough.
Through the course of middle school and high school, you will have to navigate secret
alliances, catty cliques, seething hatreds, loving friendships, and goals both wholesome
and otherwise, all while trying to make friends, fit in, and maybe even meet some boys.
Only by the end of the game, at your high school graduation, will you know whether
you’ve attained the ineffable state of Grace.

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What’s it Like?
Graphically, Grace can be described as an old-school adventure game user input interface
of highlightable interfaces within Resident Evil style cinematic backgrounds, and a focus
on extremely realistic women, with careful attention to modeling and animation of
clothing, fat, musculature, hair, eyes, and facial expressions to compliment convincing,
realistic animations that convey emotion. Realistic graphics are key to the game’s
marketability.

Game-play is similar to a sinister, zoomed-in Sims: Hot Date without the house building
and a much stronger focus on style and navigating social hierarchies.

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Character Development

Character Creation
Like a rich game of Dungeons & Dragons, creating your
character is an extremely personal process of deciding how
exactly to spend resource points on your player’s charisma,
intelligence, fitness, artistry, health, and wealth. How you
proceed with this will dramatically shape the character of the
game. Though the player can quick-start the game so that
these characteristics are all chosen at average values, playing
with extremes will generally be more interesting. These are
the character attributes:

Physique: Height, breasts, waist, and hips are (unfortunately)


important for determining which cliques the player will be able
to enter and which boys she can attract. Selecting the player’s
race, face, and hair is free but permanent. Physique can only
be changed by cosmetic surgery.

Health: Health is a special character trait, unlike the others.


Selecting a predisposition to excessive weight gain, anorexia,
acne, heart disease, PMS, depression, or body odor will free up
resource points to spend in other areas. These conditions can
be treated but not cured.

Aristry: This is a single characteristic, which can be


developed into musical ability, acting ability, creative writing
skills, or painting skills. These can be very useful skills for
making and keeping friends, dates, and family without
spending money on gifts. Artistry improves with use,
including applying make-up and arranging hair.

Wealth: The parents’ wealth offers a huge upper hand when it


comes to wardrobe, cosmetic surgery, cars, and tutoring.
Parents’ wealth does not change.

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Fitness: Fitness dramatically
affects the player’s options in
high school. Cheerleading, track
and field, basketball, dancing,
drill team, softball, tennis,
volleyball, and aerobics are all
options with strong fitness. This
can be improved with regular
work-outs.

Intelligence: This lets the player


get good grades at school with
less effort, and she will be able to
come up with more effective lies.
However, intelligent girls suffer
from prejudice and need to seek
out intelligent friends.
Intelligence improves with lots of
study and hanging with smart
people.

Charisma: One of the key attributes to surviving the


treacherous social web of girls through school is
charisma. This is the most important element to
determine the player’s potential friends and can have far-
reaching effects throughout the game. Charisma
improves with constant interaction.

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Character Management
After finishing the character creation, those basic
attributes will either stay where they are or
improve when exercised. Besides those primary
attributes, the one major state managed is:

Mood: The most important day-to-day state is


mood, which ranges from 0 to 10. A positive
mood augments the effects of any of the primary
attributes, while a negative mood hurts them.
Mood starts out neutral (5) in the morning unless
she has PMS and her period has begun.

When mood gets maxed out at 10, the player


“powers up.” The next thing she does is
guaranteed to work, whether it’s asking a guy out
on a date or starting a malicious rumor or lying to
Mom.

Even when not maxed out, mood can alter the effectiveness of any other attribute by up
to +-20%.

This is pivotal, because when the player successfully exercises an attribute, that attribute
will eventually level up. For instance, intelligence will increase in the process of
studying, charisma will increase when complimenting, and both will increase when
successfully fibbing.

Some girls will actually be drawn to bad moods, such as the Goth clique and girls that are
pre-disposed to abusive friendships. Depending on the intelligence score, the player will
receive hints during conversations tipping off behavioral patterns in the people she talks
to. See the walkthrough for examples.

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Relationship Management
Each non-player character (NPC) in the game has a relationship with every other
character in the game. All of those relationships are initialized in the disconnected state
with the player, but they have initial relationships with each other that are intricate and
carefully designed. As the player meets each NPC, her relationship with that NPC is
initialized at 5 (neutral). It can swing from 0 to 10, where pure hatred=0 and intense
love=10.

Each NPC has a relationship map to every other as they come in contact as well, and
changes in a single relationship can have dramatic repercussions throughout the
relationship network. For instance, if the player backstabs a popular NPC and that NPC
spreads a malicious rumor about the player to all of her friends, several of the player’s
important relationships could be sabotaged in a single day. On the flip side of that coin, a
popular player could decide to take out the competition for her love interest by spreading
a malicious rumor about her competition.

Each NPC is programmed differently and can have very simple or complex internal state
and AI. For instance, Luke might be warm to a dumb player at first but cool the
relationship over time because of her low intelligence. Sarah’s relationship can be
artificially improved by spending money around her, because she’s easily impressed.
Betty’s behavior is manipulative, and she will always react very negatively in situations
where she’s uncomfortable, such as being in a store where she cannot afford the clothes.
Beth might be extremely easy to become good friends with, but after “timing out” over
30 interactions, she will suddenly use her close relationship with the player (or NPC) to
her advantage, for instance by sharing secrets with someone in a clique she wants to
enter.

Relationship management is so pivotal to the game that every person in the game displays
his/her relationship on his sleeve so that the player knows the current state of her
relationship with that person. However, the NPC’s relationship with other NPCs is
always hidden, and the NPC’s internal state might well be a ticking time-bomb, waiting
to melt-down the relationship at a moment’s notice. However, if the player has a friend
whose relationship is stronger than 9, the player will be able to see the exact strength of
all of her friend’s relationships, which makes friends powerful sources of information,
like having scouts in the field of an RTS to dispel the fog of war.

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Cliques
Cliques are the key to power in middle school and high school. There are several cliques,
most with strict entrance requirements, and being a member of each has dramatically
different effects on the player’s goals and abilities. Cliques each have a ranking system.
All girls higher in the hierarchy can command girls below them to perform an arbitrary
action once a week.

Goths: These dark characters are into misery. To enter this clique, a bad mood and
specific wardrobe and make-up is required. Advanced tiers of the clique require that the
player have a high intelligence, low charisma, and that she get tattoos and complete
quests which destabilize the Populars. The Goths are friends with the Geeks and Thugs.
Members of the Goth clique have the power to infect bad mood, which will hurt the
target’s relationship with all other girls.

Preppies: These power-hungry girls are focused on finding the right guy and fighting
every other girl off, tooth and nail. Like the Goths, they require a strict dress code, and
they require high wealth to enter. Higher tiers requires high charisma, and that they
complete intelligence gathering missions on the Populars. Preppies are friends with the
Populars. Once a week, members of the Preppie clique can offer a free makeover to
anyone.

Jocks: These powerful women in basketball and track require shear height and high
fitness in order to join. The Jocks, because of their affection for sports, have extensive
relationships with boys, particularly the jocks. Ascending in rank is a matter of making it
onto the varsity team (lots of daily exercise/training) and having a vast number of
relationships with men. The Jocks are friendly with the Cheerleaders and Thugs. Once a
week, Jocks can offer free training in any physical activity.

Skaters: The Skaters are grungy and require a specific wardrobe. Make-up is strictly
forbidden. Skaters require moderate levels of fitness, charisma, and artistry. Impressive
physique must be countered with excessively baggy clothing. Ascending the ranks
requires massive skate practice, getting tattoos, and making relationships with girls in the
Geek clique. Skaters are friends with the Geeks and Hippies. Once a week, Skaters can
imbue coolness that for two days artificially accelerates relationship progress in any
interactions.

Geeks: The Geeks have no dress code or make-up code. High intelligence is required to
enter this group. The Geeks know the smarter boys, and to raise in rank, the player must
get the highest grades in the class and perform elaborate practical jokes on the Populars.
Geeks are friends with the Skaters, Goths, and Outcasts. Once a week, Geeks can tutor
someone to temporarily improve their intelligence rating for a week.

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Outcasts: Charisma and physique must be very low to enter this clique. The only other
way in is to have more than 50% of the class in a negative relationship with you. The
Outcasts require rescue missions of outcast girls, and sabotage missions against the
Populars and Cheerleaders in order to advance in rank. Outcasts are friends with the
Geeks. Once a week, Outcasts can threaten lower-ranking Cheerleaders and Populars
with a public display of affection to force them to perform the next action.

Cheerleaders: The Cheerleaders require high fitness and a 9 physique to join. Advanced
Cheerleaders require constant cheerleading training and campaigning for class officers in
addition to plastic surgery. They are friends with the Jocks and Populars. Once a week,
Cheerleaders can arrange a date with any boy in school.

Populars: The Populars are an incredibly hard clique to penetrate and extremely difficult
to stay in. These are the most popular girls in school. They require high physique, high
charisma, and expensive make-up and clothing. Wealth helps compensate for
deficiencies. To advance to the top of the Populars, the girl must be voted class royalty
each year, and she must go on several difficult relationship destabilization missions to
prevent dangerously charismatic girls in rival cliques from gaining popularity. Populars
are friends with the Cheerleaders and Preppies. Once a week, Populars can command
any girl with a charisma or physique below her own to do the next action requested.

Thugs: The Thugs are the tough girls, the future biker chicks. Make-up is disallowed,
and leather clothing is required. Charisma cannot be above 6. Higher ranks require
seducing girls into kissing the player, making relationships with the Goths, getting a
tattoo, and sabotaging the Cheerleaders. The Thugs are friends with the Goths and Jocks.
Once a week, Thugs can threaten any girl with a fitness below 7 to accept the next action.

Hippies: The hippies ban make-up and require a great deal of time hanging out together
and going on camping trips. Advancing in rank requires smoking a joint, converting a
Preppie to a Hippie, and befriending a Skater. Hippies are friends with the Skaters.
Hippies have an intrinsically higher mood.

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Weekly Calendar
The weekly calendar lays out how much time the character wants to spend doing
automated tasks, particularly studying, training, being with friends, dating, and being in
school. This allows the player to time-warp (see User Interface) the game to the next
interesting event without having to micro-manage each day.

In addition, if the player simply stops controlling the character, she will begin to follow
the schedule after a certain timeout.

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User Interface

The camera angle is very much like the cinematic camera angles in Resident Evil,
however unlike Resident Evil, Grace does not let the player directly control the
character’s movement. Instead, several objects in every scene are highlighted in yellow
by an object cursor as it tabs over them using the DPAD. Objects can include radios,
phones, computers, doors, hallways, people, amongst many others. Selecting an object
with BUTTON.x zooms into that object, or if a door, zooms into the next room. Pressing
BUTTON.triangle will take the camera back to its last position.

As a general rule, DPAD tabs the cursor between different interface selections. In the
Character Creation screen, these interfaces are character attributes. In the world,
interfaces can be her radio, phone, computer, closet, hallway door, another person, a
conversation tree or one of many other interfaces. BUTTON.x either goes to a new room
or a new interface layer, and BUTTON.triangle backs up one level in the interface. On
the character selection screen, BUTTON.x increases an attribute and BUTTON.o
decreases the attribute.

Interfaces for each object vary depending on the most efficient and natural interface for
that object. For instance, selecting the radio will zoom into the radio and let the player
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select two objects, the volume and tuning knobs using the DPAD, and will let the player
rotate these knobs with the BUTTON.o and BUTTON.x. However, selecting the
telephone will let the player choose from a list of friends in her class to call which she
can navigate with the DPAD and select with BUTTON.x. Pressing BUTTON.triangle
in either of these interfaces would pull the camera back to her bedroom.

When the player selects on a new room to enter, her character will walk to that room
following a path laid out by artists in each room. The walk animations are affected by
her mood. Wherever possible, interfaces will try to integrate the player. For instance, the
closet interface is most effective if the player sees the proposed clothing modeled on the
girl instead of just selecting clothing. However, some interfaces, due to time constraints,
will be limited to seeing the object change. For instance, changing the station on the
radio doesn’t merit carefully animated hands in the scene turning the tuning and volume
knobs.

An object on every screen is the player’s watch, which can be selected like other objects
on the screen using the DPAD to change the time-warp rate from minutes to days, weeks,
or months by tapping on BUTTON.x and BUTTON.o. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly
time-warp can be cancelled by pressing BUTTON.triangle at any time. In daily time-
warp, the game plays at an accelerated rate through the girl’s automated tasks in the
weekly calendar. In weekly time-warp, the scene stays on her bedroom and only shows
brief animations of the player while she’s in her bedroom. In monthly time-warp, the
camera is outside the house watching the sun and moon spin wildly through the sky as the
player’s bedroom window lights up and dims each day. There is a fourth option on the
watch, Reverse. This will play the game backwards at exactly the same time-warp as it
was played forward, allowing the player a handy UNDO.

Another object on every screen is the Main Menu icon. Like all other objects, this is
selected by tabbing to it with the DPAD and selecting it with BUTTON.x. This takes the
player to game options, sound options, save-game, and load-game. The main menu can
also be accessed by START.

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Multiplayer Support
With a PS2 Network Adapter or PS2 Multiplayer Adapter, up to 4 people can play at
once. All girls will start out knowing each other and can get on the phone or swap e-
mail. Gameplay proceeds as normal, except that the players can share clothes, make-up,
jewelry, and can tutor or train each other. Players can collaborate to set each other up
with friends or dates, or they can go competitive and strive for most popular girl in school
while trying to sabotage each other. Because the network bandwidth required is
extremely low, when on the phone, girls can communicate via audio over headset, even if
they’re only connected via 56k modem. Gamers will want to play in this mode because it
affords far more effective collaboration and competition.

Each human player has her own bedroom, so they really are like different characters in
the game. However, the main differences in interface and behavior are as follows:

1. Human players do not have a number representing the strength of the player’s
relationship with them.
2. Human players may not stick around in the room waiting for the player to talk
to them.
3. Time-warping must be agreed upon by all players in the game or can
optionally be pre-configured to time-warp at intervals.
4. Human players have optimized interfaces for sharing clothes, jewelry, make-
up, and money in addition to a shortcut interface for chatting.

The multiplayer aspect of the game is not geared towards twitch response time when two
players are in the room together. Because the player interfaces with the environment, and
her character carries out those actions, the only serious fairness/race-condition issues are
addressed by the user interface improvements detailed above.

Players can also enter the game with a pre-existing character, potentially putting them at
different stages of development. The player’s attributes, possessions, and relationships
are all left in tact, but all of the missions are reset at the creation of the game, and each
player’s age is accelerated to the greatest common age, with the younger player receiving
resource points to improve her character stats to compensate.

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Complexity
Were the game to model all these behaviors in an unbounded way, the game complexity
would exceed what is realistic for a two-year development cycle. There are several
important ways that the game limits complexity:

1. Only the main character can change her height and proportions.

2. All NPC’s, except for Mom who has one model, have only two models, a middle
school model and a high school model.

3. Unlike Resident Evil’s pre-rendered backgrounds, Grace backgrounds are live


models, but because the camera paths are pre-determined, transformation, culling,
and back-face removal can be pre-calculated, yielding higher detail sets.

4. Many of the NPC conversation animations are shared between riggings.

5. There are no issues with following the character or finding the camera in a tight spot
or behind a wall because all paths are explicitly laid out by the set designers. This
falls out as a benefit of making the objects in the room the interface instead of
controlling the player directly.

6. To limit complexity, each of the 40 characters has a separate AI script. This script
contains a set of triggered responses, quests, rewards, starting relationships, and
special likes and dislikes. The AI is not designed to handle unforeseen situations,
generate sentences on the fly, or demonstrate learned behaviors, and many facets of
the AI are inherited from higher classes for cliques and types. The AI is there
primarily to bring life to each character, highlighting quality dialogue, offering
specific goals to the player, and allowing the player to interact with each NPC as a
node in a delicate network of friends.

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Walk-Through: Making Laura

1. 1. Player is allocated 30
resource points to spend
on 6 attributes. Using
the DPAD.up and
DPAD.down, the
player selects with the
BUTTON.x a
predisposition to acne
for an additional 2
resource points and a
predisposition to heart
disease to get an
additional 2 resource
points, giving her 34
points to start with.
2. 2. Again using the DPAD.down and DPAD.up, the player allocates 3 on
intelligence by pressing BUTTON.x 3 times, and does likewise to allocate
7 on charisma, 5 on artistry, 4 on fitness, and 8 on wealth.
3. Next, the player selects Physique just as she selects the other attributes,
only now a tape measure will appear by the girl, and will be highlighted.
By pressing BUTTON.x and BUTTON.o, she changes her height up and
down. Once satisfied, she uses DPAD.up and DPAD.down then uses the
exact same process to set her bust, waist, and hip size, each of which
highlights a tape measure when selected. The player sees the changes in
her figure as these measurements change. 2.5 RP’s are removed for her
very small waist, only 1 RP for her small bust, 2 RP for her small height,
and 2.5 RP for her very narrow hips. Her overall physique score is 8.
4. The last two selections are for her hair and race, and using the same
DPAD/BUTTON.x interface, the player picks brown, wavy hair and
Caucasian for her race. These traits will make a difference later when
dating and making friends, but they do not have a direct effect on her core
attributes and don’t cost any resource points.
5. Lastly, using the DPAD, she tabs to the NAME box and presses
BUTTON.x. Using a separate screen with a keypad (classic coin-op high
score entry style) that is controlled with the DPAD and BUTTON.x, she
enters the name “Laura.”
6. Laura has fairly middle-of-the-road art skill and is mildly uncoordinated,
and she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, but she is rather charming,
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quite wealthy, and very pretty. The player selects the DONE box with the
DPAD and presses BUTTON.x to start the game.

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Walk-Through: Laura’s Bedroom

1. The screen goes black, and we start hearing birds chirping followed by a radio
alarm going off playing a tune similar to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.” The camera goes
first person to Laura, and as she wakes up and her eyes crack open like shutters on the
screen, the camera pulls away from first-
person for a full shot of Laura’s bedroom.
Laura automatically heads for the bathroom
and starts a shower while the camera and
cursor are left in the bedroom. The closet is
glowing yellow to indicate that the cursor is
resting on it.
2. The player presses BUTTON.x
to select the closet, which causes Laura to
emerge from the shower with a towel on if she hasn’t already. It walks her to the closet
and zooms the view to a clothing selection interface. Because Laura’s wealthy, her few
clothes are expensive and conservative. She picks brown pumps, red socks, pink panties,
designer jeans, a brown belt, a B-cup silk red bra, and a smart red blouse by browsing
through them with the DPAD and pressing BUTTON.x to select them. Normally, each
brand of clothes will state which clique it’s compatible with, but because she hasn’t met
anyone yet, this information isn’t displayed. She presses BUTTON.triangle to emerge
from the closet interface changed into her new clothes.
3. Laura selects her computer with the DPAD and BUTTON.x which zooms the
view to her class web site that can be browsed with the DPAD. She spots Luke, who is
clearly wealthy from the description of his summer vacation in Nice, selects him with
BUTTON.x and has only one option at this time, Introduce, which she selects. She does
the same with Betty on the cheerleader team. She exits the computer back to the
bedroom interface with BUTTON.triangle.
4. Laura, selects the bathroom door with the DPAD and presses BUTTON.x
which changes the scene to the bathroom. Here, she selects her jewelry case with the
DPAD and BUTTON.x, which zooms into a browsing selection of her jewelry box with
a reflection in the mirror of just the body part she’s adorning. With the DPAD, she
selects a fine silver chain necklace and a single star earring and puts them on by pressing
BUTTON.x then returns to the bathroom interface with BUTTON.triangle. She then
DPAD’s to the toilet paper and presses BUTTON.x to pad her bra to fill out the B-cup.
Laura selects the make-up box with the DPAD but gets a warning that her mother forbids
she wear it until she’s older, but she ignores the warning and applies red lip-stick, blush,
and eyeliner using BUTTON.x. After selecting each one, she can rotate through one of
several application styles with the DPAD, and she exits this interface with
BUTTON.triangle. She doesn’t do a very good job because Laura’s artistry is only 5,
and this is her first time putting on make-up, but her artistry skill will get better with time
and practice.
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Walk-Through: Gatekeeper Mom
1. Laura selects the bedroom door with the DPAD and presses BUTTON.x, which
leads down a hall to the living room, where Mom’s classical music, Schuler’s Ave
Maria, is playing.
2. In the living room, Laura sees Wealthy Mom, who is essentially the house
gatekeeper.
3. Without having to select anything, Wealthy Mom immediately gets angry about
the make-up and up pops the overlay text What did I tell you about make-up,
young lady? Laura gets pop-up choices appearing around Mom to either Take
the make-up off, Charm Mom, or Reason with Mom. As Laura has a high
charisma, she chooses to charm Mom with the DPAD and presses BUTTON.x.
4. The game illustrates a bar demonstrating how easy it will be to charm the target.
Laura’s charisma is high and their relationship is healthy, the bar easily falls in
the green area, indicating success as Laura goes through an extremely charming
animation. However, Wealthy Mom is individually programmed to get upset
every time she’s charmed. Overlay text says, “OK, just this once, Laura,” and
the player gets two more lines of overlay text, the first a hint: Does charming
Mom make her angry?, and the second a result: Relationship with Mom -1. The
–1 relationship cancels out the +1 successful charm, so Laura’s mood does not
change. Laura can attempt this again tomorrow morning, but will have more
trouble because of her decreased relationship with Mom.
5. Laura has three new pop-up selections, Could you drive me to school?, Seeya-
I’m biking to school, and Bye, I’m taking the bus! Laura picks taking the bus,
and loses the last hour of her morning.
6. The game transitions to Laura’s homeroom class.

Confidential Page 22 6/5/2010


Walk-Through: Homeroom

1. Homeroom in school, half the kids have arrived, sounds of kids talking, laughing,
screeching, and shuffling their feet. Laura is standing at the door and starts
browsing seats using the DPAD to see who is sitting where.
2. Laura spies Betty, the cheerleader, and sits next to her by selecting the nearby seat
with the DPAD and pressing BUTTON.x.
3. Before class starts, Laura has only a few minutes to have conversations. She
selects Betty with the DPAD, presses BUTTON.x, and has the conversation
options Introduce myself, Did you get my e-mail?, and Compliment her outfit.
She selects the second option with the DPAD and presses BUTTON.x to ask
Betty if she got the e-mail.
4. Overlay text comes up with Betty saying “Yes!” and she follows up with “I love
your make-up!” The overlay message comes up, “Relationship with Betty +1,”
then “Mood +1”. If Laura were more intelligent, an overlay hint would have also
come up after the make-up comment, “She’s making fun of you,” and Laura
would have been given the conversation option to call Betty on it.
5. The bell rings and class starts. Betty’s conversation is prematurely cut off.
Selecting neighboring classmates now passes notes instead of starting
conversations. Betty passes a note to Sarah making fun of Laura’s make-up.
Betty’s and Sarah’s relationship improves. Sarah’s and Laura’s relationship gets
worse, but Laura hasn’t met her yet, so she doesn’t know this.
6. Laura’s relationship with Betty isn’t strong enough to pass notes to Betty’s
neighbors. So Laura selects Betty with the DPAD and presses BUTTON.x. She
can Share a secret, Compliment her outfit, or Compliment her hair, but there are
no other options
because their
relationship is still too
weak. She
compliments Betty’s
hair, and Betty sends a
thank you note back
to Laura. Betty is
programmed to be
very sensitive about
her hair, so the
overlay text informs
the player,
“Relationship with
Betty +2” and “Mood +2”.

Confidential Page 23 6/5/2010


Walk-Through: Recess with Luke

1. Laura selects her watch with the DPAD, which is a selectable object that is always on-
screen. She presses BUTTON.x, and uses the DPAD to select daily time-warp then
presses BUTTON.x again. This takes her high-speed through three classes and when it’s
time for recess, she hits BUTTON.triangle to pull back to normal time.
2. Recess is outside, and the laughing, giggling, whispering, and screeching is everywhere.
Starting recess automatically gives Laura +2 Mood, maxing her out at Mood=10. The
player can see her happiness in her animations, and she’s actually glowing because her
mood is powered-up.
3. Luke comes on screen and hangs out by the jungle gym. Laura selects him with the
DPAD and presses BUTTON.x. She can Wave, Make eyes at him, or Introduce
herself. Laura decides to go for the gold and selects Make eyes at him with the DPAD
and presses BUTTON.x.
4. Laura’s 7 charisma, small height (Luke is programmed to prefer short girls), and high
spirits close the deal. Laura’s mood does not go up because it’s already maxed out. Luke
walks to her and introduces himself with overlay text, “Are you Laura? I think you sent
me e-mail!”
5. Laura now has the options, “Nope, not me.”, “Hi, I’m Laura. I just wanted to introduce
myself,” and “Wow, you’re cuter than your picture!” She selects the third option with
the DPAD and presses BUTTON.x. The game introduces a pop-up giving her the option
to use her Mood power-up. She selects OK with the DPAD and presses BUTTON.x.
This assures that the compliment will work and multiplies the relationship/mood effect of
the compliment by 2X. The compliment is already extremely flattering and would grant
+2 if it worked, so she gets the message “Relationship with Luke +4”, and her mood,
instead of returning to a neutral 5, shoots up to 7 again because she would have gotten
Mood +1 for the compliment but now reads “Mood +2”.
6. Luke is bowled over by the last compliment because of her maxed-out mood, so after
blushing and saying “Thank you! You are, too!”, the player spasmodically presses the
DPAD to get the cursor on the “Ask Luke out!” conversation option and mashes
BUTTON.x. Luke agrees, and they have a date set for dinner tonight at MacDonnald’s.
7. Absolutely disinterested in the rest of the school day, the player goes back to her watch
and time-warps to the end of the school day. The bus drives Laura home, and Mom is
there asking “How was your day, honey?” The player selects Mom with the DPAD and
presses BUTTON.x where she is offered the replies, “OK,” “I met a guy!” and “I made a
friend!”. Not yet confident about discussing boys with Mom after this morning’s make-
up confrontation, the player opts for “OK,” which garners the reply, “That’s nice,
sweetie! Don’t forget to do your homework.” No change in relationship unless Mom
picks up on the lie, which she doesn’t, in this case, because Laura’s charisma is too high.
8. Laura selects the hallway that leads to her bedroom using the DPAD and presses
BUTTON.x.

Confidential Page 24 6/5/2010


Walk-Through: Betty’s True Colors

1. Laura’s PC is flashing. She selects it with the DPAD and presses BUTTON.x.
She now has three options, Class Website, Relationship Tree, and Check e-mail.
The Check e-mail option is flashing. Laura selects this with the DPAD and
presses BUTTON.x. She has an e-mail from Betty waiting for her. “Hey,
Laura! Meet me and my friend Sarah at Johnny Rockets in the mall for ice
cream floats at 6pm?”
2. She presses BUTTON.triangle to go back to the bedroom interface, selects the
hallway door with the DPAD, presses BUTTON.x and faces Mom.
3. Because it’s after school, Laura’s conversation options with Mom are now more
varied and general, “Can you take me to a friend’s house?,” “Can you drive me
to the mall?,” “I’m getting teased at school!,” and “Can I have a bigger
allowance?” Laura selects the mall with the DPAD and presses BUTTON.x.
Their relationship isn’t great from this morning, but Laura’s mood is high, so
Mom replies, “Sure,
honey,” no charm needed.
4. She selects the Johnny
Rockets entrance with the
DPAD and presses
BUTTON.x to enter the
restaurant and automatically
sit next to Betty and Sarah.
Louis Armstrong’s “What a
Wonderful World” is
playing in the background.
5. Sarah says, “Got a note from Gloria in class saying that Gloria thinks Luke is
cute.” The relationships between Sarah, Betty, and Laura improve +1 because
Sarah shared a secret, but Laura’s mood dips –2 because of news of the
competition.
6. Laura now has these conversation options with Sarah, “Oh, gross! She dated
Malcolm!” “I’m going on a date with Luke!,” “Let me see the note,” and
“Whatever. Let’s shop.” She chooses the first with the DPAD, which is a lie,
and presses BUTTON.x in hopes of spreading a rumor about Gloria. A lie bar
appears, just as the charm bar did before, only this time she doesn’t pull it off.
Laura’s mood is low, so her charisma and intelligence aren’t enough to pull off
the lie. Laura can no longer attempt this lie with Betty and Sarah.
7. Sarah replies, “Oh come off it, you’re just jealous!” and Betty replies, “You are
SO jealous!” Betty’s and Sarah’s relationship improves +1, but their
relationships with Laura go down -1. Laura’s mood plummets another -2.
8. The player, at a loss, opts to end the conversation and get out. She selects,
“Whatever. Let’s shop.” with the DPAD, presses BUTTON.x and then agrees to
Confidential Page 25 6/5/2010
the pop-up asking whether the player wants to pick up the tab. The player selects
OK and presses BUTTON.x. Curiously, this has no effect on her relationship
with Betty but improves her relationship with Sarah +2.

Confidential Page 26 6/5/2010


Walk-Through: Sarah’s Weakness
1. Starting on the
south end of the first
floor, Laura can
selects the Bebe
store entrance with
the DPAD and
presses
BUTTON.x.
2. The player selects a
clothes rack with an
interface very
similar to the
clothes closet
interface, and Laura
selects expensive
jeans with the
DPAD and BUTTON.x.
3. Concerned about her relationship with Betty, the player selects Betty with the
DPAD and presses BUTTON.x to ask her opinion of the outfit. Betty repies,
“Makes your ass look fat.”
4. The player repeats this with several other outfits but gets consistently negative
feedback. But one time, as a result of lucking out on her intelligence/charisma
roll, Laura gets a hint, “Is Betty jealous?” Finally twigging, she selects the cash
register with the DPAD and sees the price tag of $100, then agrees to pay it by
pressing BUTTON.x in response to OK. The purchase infuriates Betty, and their
relationship drops -3, but Sarah’s and Laura’s relationship improves +2. Sarah
clearly loves seeing money spent.
5. The player leaves Bebe and heads to the jewelry stand. Here, Sarah screams
“God, those earrings are SO CUTE!”
6. Laura can say, “Sure, if you’re a BOAT looking for an ANCHOR!” “Pretty
cool,” or “No, Sarah, those are SUPER CUTE.” Laura chooses the latter.
Sarah’s relationship with Laura is now maxed-out at 10.
7. They have 15 more minutes before Mom comes to pick them up, so the player
time-warps to the pick-up time with the watch interface.

Confidential Page 27 6/5/2010


Walk-Through: Awkward First Date

1. In her bedroom, Laura uses the


closet to put on her new pants
and a white blouse just as she
did getting dressed that
morning.
2. Her phone is flashing. She
selects it with the DPAD and
presses BUTTON.x to discover
she has voice mail waiting from
Luke, “McD’s at 7pm, don’t
forget!”.
3. Laura goes to the living room.
She again has the same after-
school options and again asks to
go to the mall. Mom replies,
“No, I already took you to the mall today! I’m tired of driving.” A hint displays:
“Maybe someone else can drive you!”
4. Laura heads upstairs, calls Sarah, and because of her excellent relationship has the
option of, “OH-MY-GOD-SARAH-I-NEED-A-RIDE-SOOOOO-BAD!” Sarah
replies, “I’ll do it if you call Betty and tell her you hate me.” Laura selects,
“Huh? Deal. Whatever.” She calls Betty and says, “Jeez, did you get a load of
those earrings? Barf. Is Sarah blind?” Betty chimes in, “God, she is such a
dork.” Laura’s relationship with Betty goes up +2. She hangs up and
immediately gets a call from Sarah, “You’re a PEACH. Don’t tell her we’re
friends, OK? She’s being weird.” Then, “On my way!”
5. When Laura returns to Mom, she now has the option, “I found something else to
do, Mom. Sarah’s Mom is picking me up for dinner.” Mom agrees.
6. At McD’s, she approaches the table and is automatically seated next to Luke. He
says, “Damn, those pants are cool.” +2 to mood because it came from a guy, +1
to the relationship.
7. They start a mostly linear small-talk conversation tree. When the conversation
tree first allows Laura the option to spread her malicious, “Did you know Gloria
was with Malcolm?” she seizes on the opportunity. Luke buys the lie.
8. The date goes smoothly, and they schedule another for Thursday night at the
movies.
9. When Laura gets home, she gets a voice mail from Betty, “Sorry for how I acted
today. I’m pissed at Sarah. So like… Luke. Call me.” Laura calls Betty and
spills all in an effort to improve her relationship with Betty, which does in fact
improve +2 by the end of the conversation.

Confidential Page 28 6/5/2010


Combined Team Credits

Dave Taylor, Grace Lead Designer


Dave brings with him considerable technical and design knowledge born through many
years spent programming Doom and Quake at id, financing and designing Abuse at his
own company Crack dot Com, debugging and developing the Crusoe processor with
computer industry luminaries at Transmeta Corp, and most recently designing and
producing Spy Kids 2 for simultaneous release with the movie.

Carbon6

Company Credits: Spy Kids 2 (GBA),


American McGee’s Oz (Xbox, in progress)

Principal Credits: Doom (PC),


Doom 2 (PC),
Quake (PC),
Quake 2 (PC),
Quake 3 (PC),
American McGee’s Alice (PC),
Abuse (PC)

Confidential Page 29 6/5/2010


Exile Interactive

Company Credits: World Series Baseball (Xbox),


World Series Baseball 2K2 (DC),
World Series Baseball 2K3 (Xbox, GC, PS2),
Toxic Grind (Xbox),
MTV Sports: T.J. Lavin’s Ultimate BMX (PS)

Principal Credits: Impossible Creatures (PC),


Battlezone: The Red Odyssey (PC),
Catalyst Wars (PC),
PlanIt Teacher (PC & Mac),
PlanIt Parent (PC & Mac),
Simpson’s Road Rage,
A.I. (based on the Steven Spielberg movie),
Homeworld (PC),
NHL All-Star Hockey (Sega Saturn),
NHL Powerplay ’98 (PC, PS1 & Sega Saturn),
NHL Powerplay ’96 (PC, PS1 & Sega Saturn),
Pele Soccer (Sega Genesis),
Brett Hull Hockey ’95 (SNES & Sega Genesis),
Brett Hull Hockey (SNES),
Bebe’s Kids (SNES),
Dark Summit ,
FOX Sports NBA Baskeball 2001,
FOX Sports NBA Basketball 2000,
ESPN NBA Showtime ,
FIFA Soccer 2002,
2002 FIFA World Cup ,
FIFA Soccer 2001 ,
FIFA Soccer World Championship 2000 (Japanese release -
EAC first PS2 game) ,
FIFA Soccer 2000 ,
3D Online Casino ( Dr. Ho’s Casino) ,
Excentrique Casino,
Flintstone’s Trouble in Bedrock (GBA),
Sony BINGO (online)

Confidential Page 30 6/5/2010


Exile Interactive
Finding the right team for a game this bold was no simple matter! Exile Interactive brings
many things to the table, including a long track record of making games with spectacular
human character animations, a commitment to bringing focus groups into development, and a
world class art staff. Perhaps the most important part of the team is Dan Tudge, the President
and CEO, who is himself raising a daughter about to enter the 6th grade.

Exile made the following hard-hitting evaluation of the Grace game concept to determine its
fit within Exile. Following this section is sample concept art by Exile of the player’s
bedroom and several character studies.

Confidential Page 31 6/5/2010


Overall design and salability
Pros:
• Carbon6 has good media exposure, which could potentially translate into increased sales
• It is a unique game in a genre without much direct competition, which will give us more
flexibility and lower risk
• Targets the untapped market of female gamers
• Game would get significant press due to it's content
• This title has the potential for franchise and internet related spin-offs which could be
extremely lucrative
• Ability to create and grow character without the frustration of repeated character death
that is prevalent in most RPGs. Low frustration level has been identified as a key
component in successful games for females
• Girls will be attracted to the shopping, clothes, hairstyles features
• Worlds and characters will be incredibly lush varied and detailed
• Character driven
• Easy game to produce as it deals directly with Exile’s heavy art strengths and Carbon6’s
strength as a designer
• Thanks to Sims the female market is pumped and just waiting for a great "game for girls"
• Game concept, design, and art philosophies seem flexible at this point which will
decrease risk
• Many of the "Cons" around this game can be managed and therefore reduced

Cons:
• There is no concrete market analysis for this product and as such it is unclear what the
real market potential is for this style of game
• Being only a PS2 title seems to be the wrong market for females. Quick internet research
indicates the PC may be a better fit or perhaps even both skews
• Game will require excellent game design to be a success
• There is no female staff involved in either design or execution of this project
• Although a “pro” targeting the untapped market of female gamers is also large risk
• The bullying angle has the potential to be a very negative “vibe” on the game
• Scope needs to be carefully managed throughout the project or it could easily overrun its
schedule.
• Carefully attention must be paid to the design of the AI. Those rules will have a
significant impact on whether the game is fun or not.
• Although aspects of this game can be found in The Sims: Hot Date (relationship
management), Resident Evil (graphics) and Fall Out (AI), there is not a blueprint (FPS,
RTS, etc) for the team to follow, making it a much higher risk project.
• The design team must have a careful understanding of "Teens" evolving culture or the
game might miss its targeted generation. For instance, what is popular in 2002 might not
be popular in 2004 - when the game is to be released.

Confidential Page 32 6/5/2010


Art
Pros:
• Easy game to produce as it deals directly with Exile’s artistic strengths as a developer
• Easy game to artistically visualize
• The constrained camera philosophy provides the opportunity for us to make a truly
stunning game visually.

Cons
• The scope of the game is still wide open which increases risk related to potentially
unclear art asset requirements.
• Not withstanding the previous point the current scope visually requires an extremely large
number of high quality assets required to meet design goals and will be very labour
intensive if a brute force approach is applied

Engineering
Pros:
• Graphics technology requirements are reasonable due to constrained visual style of
game
• Game suited to existing game engine technology available off the shelf such as
Renderware
• Mostly indoor sets and controlled camera give us a lot of flexibility in our graphics
technology
• Flexible in design may reduce risk related to graphics and technology requirements

Cons:
• The scope of the game is still wide open which increases risk related to potentially
unclear technology requirements.

Feedback as it relates to Exile


Pros:
• Work with Carbon6
• Allows for full independent game production further strengthening us as an organization
• Opportunity to make a different game (other than sports or extreme sports)
• This title is not limited to specific “sports season” offering flexibility on project timeline
• Does not present a direct conflict to our relationship with Blue Shift and may be
complimentary
• Allows us to develop our entire tools and technology division
• Share in profits and IP
• Potential for extensive press coverage
• Could offer further work though franchise and internet potential
• Will strengthen companies position in game industry

Cons:
• Exile is not free to create a tech demo until the new year (unless paid by a publisher)
• If unsuccessful, this game could put us back at square one

Confidential Page 33 6/5/2010


Design Ideas
Grace Specific:
• Implement a limb texture swapping technology to decrease asset creation and increasing
character variety in the process
• Get in a Psychiatrist
• Get in a group of teenage kids to focus test the concept and game
• Have major events that affects that character is a significant way, such as:
o A friend commits suicide
o Parents get divorced
o Car accident causes death of friend.
• Each Clique should have its own type of music, such as:
o Preppies: Top 40
o Skaters: Hip Hop
• Looking into allowing characters to develop into hybrid characters, such as a Paladin
shares both the traits of a Warrior and Cleric. Adding this element, will allow the more
advance players to seek a more challenging path in completing the game.
• Look at Westwood's Earth & Beyond character generation system.

Sweeping changes:
• Consider making this game more appealing to males (a game for boys and girls) to
reduce risk
• Make it more of a high school parallel universe allowing players to experience a life they
don’t get a school (e.g. a geek getting to be a jock)
• Make it an online universe
• Change perspective from adventure type to true 3rd person view like the Sim’s

Confidential Page 34 6/5/2010


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Special Thanks

A very special thank you goes out to the inspiring women who offered tough critiques,
constructive criticism, colorful middle school and high school stories, and warm support to
improve and refine this game design:

Victoria Arch,
Stephanie Carlisi,
Laura DiGirolamo,
Leyna Gravitt,
Natalie Graziano,
Kristi Kontor,
Grace Chapman McCarty,
Suzanna Peters,
Annabelle Ramos,
Dr. Sally Raskoff,
Sherry Taylor

Confidential Page 39 6/5/2010