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Game Design Document
Nathan M. Nash
Table of Contents

- Game...................................................01
- World / Environment............................01
- Mechanics...........................................01
- User Interface......................................03
-Win/Lose Conditions.............................05
Concept Art
- Mood board.........................................06
- Character Design................................07
-Rogue Ant
- Item design.........................................10
- Level Design.......................................13
-Block types
-Level 1
-Level 2
-Level 3
-Screen-shot mockup
- Plot......................................................25
- Story board..........................................26
-Block Classes.......................................27
-Block Placement...................................28
Overview | 01

Luminance is a single player puzzle plat-former style video game with relaxed, casual

You play as an ant larvae who was being moved by a caravan of worker ants transport-
ing eggs to a new ant colony. You we’re accidentally dropped by an ant, and now must
work your way through an abandoned colony to your new home.

Gameplay Mechanics
To control the player character you must click once on the screen where you want the
larvae to roll, wait for the player character to roll there and then click again to move to
the next point.

Gameplay Mechanics Cont’d

Movement speed of the player is determined by the type of block that they are travers-
ing over. If a player is on a wet rock they will roll faster than they would on normal rock.
If the players is on wet dirt (mud) the player will move slower than if they are on dirt.

The player character has light or “Luminance” emitting from it, and the light diminishes
over time unless it is restored by a item. Once the light completely diminishes the Play-
er Character will slowly begin to die. Larvae will be able to replenish his Luminance by
obtaining, “luminescence”.
Overview | 02

World & Environment

The world of Luminance is a deserted ant colony where deadly spiders have moved
in to make traps for unsuspecting prey, and where rogue ants have stayed behind to
make their own trouble.

Environment types for levels include stone causeways made slippery with water, and
water from streams that have burst into the anthill. Dusty stalagmite mazes with rogue
ants, and crystalline caverns where spiders lay in wait.

Environment Mechanics

Rock-slides are events that can trigger the lose condition if the Larvae is hit by a fall-
ing rock. A Rock-slide will occur at an area as indicated on the level design layouts in
the Concept Art Section. Generally the presence of a rock-slide is foreshadowed by a
Rogue Ant.

Crumbling blocks are block types that will break away underneath the player as they
roll over them, if a player falls through a crumbling block, and there isn’t solid ground
beneath, it will trigger a lose condition.

Wind lifts are areas where the player has to use an air elevator to get to an area of the
level that is higher up than they are. Wind lifts are one way passages.
Overview | 03

Enemy Mechanics

The enemy mechanics in Luminance will be very simple. The Rogue Ant will play an
idle animation and sit in a single place. And for the Spider, it will simply slide up and
down on its string with a delay in between each “attack”. If the Spider successfully at-
tacks the Larvae it will pick it up, this causes a lose condition and the player will re-
spawn at the beginning of a level.

User Interface
MOVEMENT - Mouse based Interactions

Mouse 1
- Click on destination
-Player Character rolls towards destination and stops (as physics permits)
-Click on the next destination
-Use key
-Interaction with switches levers and other objects that may need activation


Luminance is controlled by meters represented by a bar in game as a GUI layer. The

bar will shrink in width from right to left as time progresses.
Overview | 04

The camera originates behind and over head the character in a two-thirds view. Play-
ers will be able to have restricted control over the position of the camera. Based on
how close the camera is to certain objects their rendering will become slightly transpar-
ent to allow the player to easily view what is in the environment without obstruction.

Players control the camera using the right mouse button, clicking and holding it down
to control the cameras position.

Win & Lose Conditions


The win condition in Luminance is achieved once you have navigated fully through
all of the levels and arrived at the new ant colony. When a player wins the ending cin-
ematic plays and the game rolls to credits.


Players lose if they fall through unstable ground, run out of luminance, get hit by rock
slides or a grabbed by spiders. When a player loses they start over at the beginning of
the level they are currently on.
Section | 00
Overview | 05

Luminance is a single player puzzle plat-former style video game with relaxed, casual
play and a terrific environment.
The environments in Luminance will rely on ambient sounds to create a believable
atmosphere. In level one you make your way through dirt floor tunnels with biolumines-
cent mushrooms and wind tunnels. One set of sound effects will be of Larvae rolling
over top the dirt, and the other will be wind wailing through the tunnel.

Three Questions
What Experience do I want the player to have?

I want the player to feel as though they are disoriented and lost within a large and per-
sistent underground ant colony. This will be accomplished by limiting the field of view
that players have around them via their luminance.

What is essential to that experience?

The thing that is most essential to this experience is proper lighting and sound design.

How can my game capture that essence?

My game can capture that essence by placing the player in a dynamically light and
shadowed environment with and entrancing sound design.
Concept| Art
00 | 06

Header& Environment
The stylesisinathis
single player
mood puzzle
board plat-former
are style video
representative game
of the with relaxed, casual
environments that
play and will
players a terrific environment.
experience in the abandoned ant colony.

In the top left there is a cave with partial illumination from bioluminescent
mushrooms which will provide a nice contrast with the Luminance coming
from the Player Character. On the right there is a cave where moss has
formed upon the rocks and water has made the causeways slippery.

Levels in the ant colony will be block based where there are different types
of physic effects based on the type of block that the Player Character rolls

Examples of block types include; dirt, stone, crystal, wet stone, wet dirt,
and wet crystal. As well as broken blocks for non-wet block types.

Since the ant colony has been abandoned unwanted pests and predators
have moved in including spiders and rogue ants.
Art | 07

Character Design
Luminance is a single player puzzle plat-former style video game with relaxed, casual
play and a terrific environment.

Larvae is the protagonist and the main Player Character in Luminance. Lar-
vae is an ant undergoing gestation. Before Larvae’s trip to the new ant colo-
ny he was given a protective shell and a supply of Luminance to sustain him
throughout the journey. Luminance is an energy source that sustains an ant
larvae and as a side effect gives off a glow and illuminates objects around it.
When many ant larvae are in their shells they give off a very bright glow.
Since Luminance is a temporary energy source an ant larvae will die if left
alone do the luminance dissipating. The larvae inside the shell stays upright
even as it is rolling, and even has its own independent “squirming” anima-
Section |Art
00 | 08

Character Design Cont’d
Luminance is a single player puzzle plat-former style video game with relaxed, casual
play and aANT
terrific environment.

Rogue ants are not necessarily enemies since you are of the same species
but they can cause hazards to occur which will affect your ability to escape
from the abandoned ant colony. Examples of hazardous events include rock
slides and flooding.
Art | 00

Character Design Cont’d
SPIDERS is a single player puzzle plat-former style video game with relaxed, casual
play and a terrific environment.
Spiders are lethal enemies that will attempt to trap and kill Larvae as well as any other
rogue ants that have stayed behind. Spiders like to use cobwebs as traps and will often
place them under unstable ground. These enemies will also attempt to drop down from
the ceiling and lunge at the Larvae. Spiders cannot be killed, therefore the Player Char-
acter needs to avoid them.
Concept| Art
00 | 10

Item Design
Luminance is a single MUSHROOMS
player puzzle plat-former style video game with relaxed, casual
play and a terrific environment.
Luminescence is an depleting energy source that keeps the Larvae alive, as well as
act as a light source. Luminescence can be sustained be collecting if from mushrooms
which produce it as a pollen. There are three types of mushrooms; small, medium and
Art || 00

Level Design
Luminance is a single player puzzle plat-former style video game with relaxed, casual
play and a terrific environment.

Dirt blocks have a slightly damp- Stone blocks have normalized

ened friction and become haz- friction however they are a bit
ardous when wet due to becom- bumpy making them slightly dif-
ing muddy. Wet dirt blocks can ficult to roll across, take caution
slow the Larvae down and even when rolling near unguarded
get it stuck. ledges.
Concept| Art
00 | 12

HeaderDesign Cont’d
QUARTZ BLOCKis a single player puzzle plat-former style video game with relaxed, casual
play and a terrific environment.
Quartz blocks are special block
types that only appear in the
crystalline chamber. The have
slightly less friction than normal.
Quartz blocks have a special
property that allows them to
reflect and refract Luminance in-
creasing the intensity of the light
making it more difficult to see.
Concept Art | 13

Level 1
Level 1 (working title) is where Larvae’s adventure begins. Rolling ashore after drifting
in an underground river, Larvae enters a dark and cramped tunnel, with bioluminescent
mushrooms scattered about. Rustling of a Rogue Ant can be heard as well as the har-
rowing cries of an insect trapped by a Spider web. The obstacles in this level are bro-
ken blocks and cobwebs.
Concept Art | 14
Concept Art | 15
Concept Art | 16
Concept Art | 17
Section |Art
00 | 18

Luminance is a single player puzzle plat-former style video game with relaxed, casual
play and a terrific environment.
Section | Art
Concept 00 | 19

Level 2
Level 2 is inisa awide
single player
cavern puzzle
with plat-former
a giant waterfall style videobioluminescent
and large game with relaxed, casual
play waterfall
The and a terrific environment.
has caused the pathway to become unstable making it a perfect place for
a spider to weave a large web.
Concept Art | 20
Concept Art | 21

Level 3
Level 3 is a large cavern full of Quartz crystals and blocks, it is very bright and lumines-
cent. Hazards include rock slides spiders and broken blocks.
Concept Art | 22
Concept Art | 24

“Screenshot” Mockup
A concept for what the game will actually look like with the luminance interface, lighting
and shadows.
Writing | 25

Luminance is a puzzle/plat former title in which the player controls a glowing shell like
ball through mazes and other pitfalls inside a dark cave. The “shell like ball” in actual-
ity is a semi-translucent egg or casing around an ant larva. The synopsis of the story is
that worker ants are carrying the queen’s eggs from one end of the colony to another,
and during the move one egg was accidentally dropped and must make its way back to
the rest of the other eggs. Where part of the challenge comes in is that the ant egg re-
quires light to survive, this light emanates from inside of the egg and shines out lighting
the path around you leading you to the end of each challenge. Your light however is a
depleting energy and if you don’t complete the challenge before it runs out the radius of
the light will continually shrink making your surroundings harder to see and also caus-
ing the ant larvae to die.
Writing | 26

Story Board
Section | 00

Luminance is a single player puzzle plat-former style video game with relaxed, casual
play and a terrific environment.
Code | 27

This will be the typical scaffold for creating public class Block(){
block types. There will be a generic block public void Block()
with fields such as width, height and depth {
as well as different block types that ex- }
tend the generic one and have their own
unique fields. public void update()

public void create()

public class Stone extends Block(){

public void Stone()


public class Crystal extends Block(){

public void Stone()


public class Dirt extends Block(){

public void Stone()


Code | 28

Pseudo-code cont’d
The below code will control how the level is populated with the different block types
that are in the game. Each block type is an object that has its own specific properties.

var level = new Array(5);

level[0] = Stone;
level[1] = Dirt;
level[2] = Crystal;
level[3] = WetStone;
level[4] = Mud;
level[5] = WetCrystal


Player health/luminance is determined by this block of code essentially the players Lu-
minance level is being updated every second and then being drawn onto the screen as
a GUI layer.

public class PlayerHealth() {

public void PlayerHealth()

public void Timer()


public void update()


public void draw()