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BJ @Vamr1c

Age 16

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QLD Australia

Joined on 3/11/20

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Recently, over the last few months with a game developer/designer friend of mine, we've been discussing the creation of a game together with our mixed bag of talents being closer toward that of the full range of things we'll need to complete said project with any form of polish. It is our first game, so it will be quite small in scope; though our goal in deciding to create a game with simple game design is that we can make the few features, and aspects of it as polished and robust as we can, while focusing more on the end of actual implementation and execution; as many games we have seen and looked into ourselves have major feature creep, and nothing feels conjoined, it feels like "I like guns, I'ma put guns in my game", then there's all these other parkour aspects etc that just don't fit the theme that they created as they had no overarching game design. Enough rambling, I'll get into the actual idea behind the game, and the game design of which I've spoken a little highly about; I shall start with the elevator pitch we have created (It is likely to change) as we've created this also for us to have something to refer back to when we start to sense feature creep etc. "Run, vault, jump and climb in adrenaline pumping rooftop races! KONG! is a fast-paced game of finesse and precision. To master KONG!, you must skillfully control your runner, accurately timing your leaps to get the most points possible. Will you set yourself a new high score?". Now, to properly explain the concept behind the game now, I shall explain the original idea, as it's already gone through around 4 iterations; Originally we chose a 2d side scrolling platformer parkour game so that we could practice the implementation of movement, as many games we've played that are similar have a few things in common that bring us out of the immersion, or make the gameplay feel bad. To explain my first point I must now explain a loose game design philosophy that we discovered one night whilst in the conversation of mechanical keyboards; 1 Tactility, 2 Responsiveness, and lastly Linearity; What these mean to us is that Tactility is the weight, or punch of a feature or ability; can you "feel" it as if you where actually doing it. Responsiveness can also be worded as timing, and this also being directly correlated toward tactility as it requires good timing, such as when you're pressing on a tactile switch there is usually a bump that can be felt half way down the depression of said key, but you don't really feel it until just before it's bottomed out, because our nervous system takes time to react, and when things are spontaneous it really breaks the immersion, a good example of which is in Back 4 Blood, when a zombie catches flame they are completely charred and dead in a singular frame. And lastly, Linearity, at first it may sound contradictory, but another way of saying it is "Complicated Simplicity vs. Simplistic Complexity", a quote from Terry A. Davis can explain quite a large portion of this "Idiots admire complexity, Geniuses admire simplicity", and what this means to us in the form of game design, is say we have a dice pool system in an RPG, and you roll dice then choose what to do with them, and they can be stacked into actions and you have a stamina potion that rejuvenates all of your dice back, it's a simple mechanic, but the amount of options make it "complex" say, you could blow your wad in the first turn dealing tons of damage giving yourself a large advantage in the fight, or use it as a trump card nearing the end of the fight to give yourself an upper edge right at the end. And originally the game was just going to be, you have a character, and the only control of which you get is jumping, and climbing, your character auto moves, and we wanted to flesh out these mechanics, but in brain storming how, we realized we broke a quote from Einstein "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler”

And we realized there was no reason to play our game, there was no flavor, nothing hooking, nothing fun; so we came up with making it more "racing" per say. I'm a fan of auto racing, and the faster you go, the less control over your vehicle you have, so you make up for this in precision. And our interpretation of this is that you have two options for every obstacle you face, you can either take it easy, or risky, an example of this being vaulting, you could simply jump over that box, but what if you wait until the very last moment? Well, you vault over it and get a speed boost alongside some points. Now, into the racing portion of the game, there will be some type of game state mechanic based on your number of points, but before that I need to explain what points are, and how to get them, to get points you need to either cover distance, or commit and succeed to risky actions, or defeat other racers etc. And a game state is a point threshold, say... 0-500, and maybe a certain opponent will appear to face you, and the main reason we added this as there was no form of failure, other than falling, so if an opponent either overtakes you, and leaves you in the dust, or you catch up to someone, and they leave you in the dust anyway, you fail and are sent to the leaderboard screen, and at first it will just be local leaderboards, though we will have achievements to be a sort of leaderboard, say on steam, (But we will not be releasing on steam due to the price) and you put your name in, and you can run again. The current gameplay loop we have is simple, but the player is rewarded and actively encouraged to go as fast as possible in an ever changing "track" due to random generation using prefab sections we have created; "Evaluate obstacle, React to obstacle" as there will be no way to learn the "track", even making it possible for the highest tier of players to have some form of replay value, as well as the different achievements adding to this.

Now, one of our core mechanics will be speed management, as you will have almost no control in the air as you do in real life, so you need to be very, very precise in your timing as well as your speed, and the way to gain speed is to succeed in risky actions or to run in a straight line for a period of time, and it is possible to go over the speed "cap" by doing movement combos etc, further increasing the skill ceiling, say a combo would be to do a cat leap (or jump into a climb) to speed up the process and loose less speed on your gauge, though if you misstime it you may smack the wall and loose all of your speed; or to do a kong (or vault) over objects that will give you extra momentum therefore gaining a little bit of speed, etc. With having only a little amount of control once you actually go through with an action it makes it so that you really, really have to commit, you can't just jump, and then move backwards to still land on the platform once you go past it. I'll leave the actual art direction as a surprise as it's still in development itself, though we have a good idea. Thank you so much for reading, and please, please PLEASE, give us any feedback you have on the current idea of the game, as it would be greatly appreciated. Any type of support at all would be incredible. And thanks for attending my Ted Talk. Good day now!


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