Uprising – Game Prototype & Design Document

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***Note: This document is part of my Bachelor’s thesis – I made a feature demo for this game in four months ***

uprisingCover

Overview

“Uprising” is a historical game combining elements of RPG and FPS. Set at a pivotal moment in 1949 when the brutal Civil War between the Chinese Nationalists and the Communists was at its height, “Uprising” is a game about war, survival and hope. The game is inspired by true stories from the Chungking Mutiny, one of the most significant mutiny in history. The player will experience the wartime events through the eyes of a young sailor. The game is built in Unity and C#, it’s intended to be available for the PC, Mac and Linux.

 

Target Audience and Platforms

The game is geared toward older teens and adults aged 18 – 45, both male and female. The primary audience are moderate RPG players who are history enthusiasts. The secondary audience are transitional story-driven FPS players.

 

Unique Selling Points(USPs)

  • Innovative gameplay which blends RPG and strategy seamlessly with FPS action. Key elements from each genre are used to reinforce the core gameplay, creating a unified experience.
  • Realistic art style and smooth UI design that submerges the player into a warlike atmosphere. Physics based animations, beautifully rendered characters and environments based on historical research.
  • Immersive sound design and original soundtrack. Gameplay events can influence the music dynamically.
  • Interactive storytelling through trackable quest system, dialogue choices and consequences.

 

Core Gameplay

The core gameplay focuses on a mix of story, deep roleplaying and quest mechanics. It consists of various warfare missions based on historical events. The victory condition is that the player must complete these missions for survival and mutiny success, such as cutting off the emergency wireless communication, hacking the terminal to turn off the security system and capturing the loyalist soldiers. The game is over when the player is killed or has been captured by a patrol soldier, resulting in the failure of mutiny and the execution of the rebelling soldiers.

The game engages the player using a Goal-Achievement-Reward cycle, the completion of small goals links to larger goals. This linkage creates a series of rewarding experiences.

 

Player Mechanics

Uprising features interactive, goal-oriented gameplay. There is  a quest system with dynamic mission objectives.

The controls are designed to be intuitive, using a standard WASD control scheme on keyboard. Player actions include walking, running, crouching, jumping, melee attack, shooting and interaction(use computer terminals, levers, door locks, etc).

The player will use this combination of mechanics to explore the game environment.

 

Health and Damage

The player has a health Heads Up Display(HUD). When they reach zero, the player is “dead” and the gameplay starts again from the last checkpoint.

Damage can be taken from:

  1. Falling from a height
  2. Being attacked by hostile soldiers

 

Backstory

I have extensively studied the history in order to get an accurate backstory, as well as to develop ideas for the characters, gameplay, interactions, the right look and feel for this game. Every detail was researched to make the game world feel more alive.

During the Civil War of China in 1940s, a rebellious crew hijacked HMS Aurora – the most powerful warship of its time – then stealthily sailed out of the Nationalist-controlled zone. The rebellion proved contagious as similar uprisings soon sprang up. Within a matter of months, the government disintegrated and the communists seized control over China in 1949.

The interactive story is told through the point of view of Zeng, a 18 year-old boy who lost everything during the war and sought revenge by joining the Nationalist Army – where he got selected as one of the top 500 soldiers to be sent to the UK on a mission, training with the British Navy and eventually taking HMS Aurora to China, transforming it into the most powerful battleship in the Chinese Naval history. However, as soon as the ship arrived, the morale was low. Many people were angry with the government as it was extremely corrupt. Just days after the new flagship arrived, a third of the crew deserted. Zeng decided to join the Underground Resistance, participating in a dangerous plot to seize of the ship and start a mutiny, an act which changed the course of history.

 

Art & Environment

There will be a heavy retro visual theme utilising various environmental imagery such as sea, warship, propaganda posters, low lighting, etc. The first person perspective is combined with edgy aesthetics and unique sound design to create a state of deep immersion for the player.

The game area is broken down into modular levels with scripted game events which are triggered by interaction with NPCs.

The player can wander about without any direct purpose. However, if they want to advance the story, they must proceed through the levels along certain paths depending on the mission they took.

 

Music & Sound Effects

The music sets the heavy mood of the game world as well as Indicating a call to action for the player during the gameplay events. Key tracks can be triggered when certain key events in each level happen.

Each track’s musical style should be representative of the level it’s associated with and would follow a ambient based vibe. Piano, percussions, subtle synth textures and ambience pads will be used to accomplish the goal. Additionally, the music should consist of seamless loops that can be cycled repeatedly.

All the music and sound effects should be normalized, mixed, and compressed as ogg with a sampling rate which is no lower than 128kbps.

Sound design will be the most important audio element in the game, as the player will hear ambient sound effects more than they will the music. There are three main categories: Character, System and Ambience.

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