Self Initiated Project

This year we have to create a section of a game based on our own idea, rather than being provided with an idea to develop. For this project we have to produce a project proposal document and a small section of the game that is playable in order to demonstrate how we imagine the game would look and work if it were developed fully.

For my idea, I chose to base my game on the book H.G Well’s “War of the Worlds”, and several pieces of the media that it inspired, including Jeff Wayne’s musical version (2012 version), and the compendium of short stories “War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches”, as well as other alien invasion based media.


The Proposal Document

The first step of the process to creating the game was to get it approved by our tutor, to make sure that he thought that our ideas were accomplishable. We had to present the basics of our ideas to him, and present him with a proposal document, within 20 seconds, in order to analyse weather we could convey that kind of information rapidly, as we may well have to do so in the industry.

What follows is the content of the Proposal document at the time.


Abstract

The game will be an open world Science Fiction survival/horror game based on “The War of the Worlds”. The game will draw inspiration mainly from the original book “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells; the Musical Version by Jeff Wayne; and the compendium of short stories, “War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches” edited by Kevin J. Anderson. The project will also draw inspiration from other War of the Worlds/Alien Invasion related media.

The game will follow the player as they attempt to survive through a Martian invasion at the end of the 19th/beginning of 20th century. The player will start off with very little equipment or knowledge, and will have to scavenge through buildings in villages. During the course of the game, the player will have to keep an eye on their health, hunger, and exhaustion levels in order to ensure that they do not starve or become exhausted, as this will lead to penalties against what the character can do, and eventually death if not dealt with. The player will also have to watch what they eat, as eating foods that are toxic or have gone bad will lead to the character becoming ill, which will lead to negative effects on the player. depending on what the illness is, it may wear off over time, or it may be permanent and require being cured with medicine.

Whilst they player is searching through buildings, they will also occasionally discover crafting recipes, allowing them to create items without having to find them, or repair items that they already have, as long as they have the correct materials. The player may also discover books that, when read, will increase their skill in a certain area by a small amount. These books will be quite rare though, so mainly the player’s skills will only increase if they use them. For example, if a player uses their repair skill on a regular basis to repair items, their skill in that are will increase to allow them to repair more complex items, but if they neglect their foraging or farming skills, they will have to continue to scavenge in houses, or build up their skills until they can farm.

Eventually, players may want to make a dwelling for themselves, or inhabit one of the many abandoned homes throughout the countryside. At this point, as long as the player has the necessary skills, equipment, and ingredients, they can begin milling land and planting crops to farm, meaning they are less likely to need to scavenge for food. The player would also be able to domesticate several animals for them to farm for food or crafting ingredients.

The Martians will wander throughout the environment in their Tripod war machines, searching for the player and other humans spread throughout the environment. The players main aim would be to avoid the Tripods, as they would not be in a reasonable position to fight them, and if the tripod catches the player, they will be fed on by the Martians. The Martians will occasionally descend from their Tripods, which puts the player in a better position to kill them. As well as having the Tripods and Martians wandering through the environment, the Martians will have several permenant sites that they would inhabit, constructed in and around their fallen Cylinders. The environment around these sites would be very different to the rest of the environment, as the Martians will have begun terraforming the ground, introducing different vegetation and animals to the planet.

Spread throughout the countryside, there will be diary entries. These diary entries, when read by the player, wold provide parts of other people’s stories during the  invasion, and could even provide map markers, crafting recepies, or even information about the Martians and their fighting machines. The player would be able to collect these diary entries inside of their own journal, and read them at any time during gameplay.

The main goal of the game will be to survive against the Martians for as long as possible.


Goals

From a professional point of view, I want to be able to improve my skills at using the game engine Unreal 4. I would like most to be able to learn to use the blueprints feature to be able to make more complex games. I would also like to improve my ability to make 3D models using Autodesk 3Ds Max, and be able to animate those models using Autodesk Maya.

I would like this piece to be good enough to go in my portfolio.


User Experience

Audience:
Whilst I do not intend to include scenes of graphic or gory violence, there may be parts of the game where a scene that is unsettling, disturbing, or horrifying will take place. The Martians also feed by taking the blood of their victims, which will not be graphic , but the player may feel disgusted if they see it. I estimate that these features would make the game a PEGI 16 or PEGI 18. The game will definitely include fear and violence, and may also include some bad language.

Competitive Analysis:
The game may be quite similar to pre-existing open world survival games, such as: The Long Dark; Day Z; The Forest; No Man’s Sky; and Minecraft. However, all of these games contain enemies that can be fought and killed with weapons, and my game will place them in a world where they can no longer be the masters, as the Tripods will be extremely difficult to kill.


Project Content

Content:
The Content that I will be producing for the Projects hand-in is: A Section of traversable environment with several geological features; Several pieces of vegetation and trees that can be foraged and chopped down; A searchable building with several items to find and collect (including several diary entries), as well as areas to craft items with things found in the environment; Some animals to domesticate and farm; and several enemies to fight.

Functional Requirements:
The pieces of software that I will use during the project are:
– Autodesk 3Ds Max for 3D models
– Autodesk Maya for Animation
– Adobe Photoshop for Textures
– Epic Games Unreal Engine 4 as Game Engine


Appendix

PEGI ratings:
PEGI (2016) What do the labels mean? [Online] Available from: http://www.pegi.info/en/index/id/33/ [Accessed: 11th October 2016]

Research sources:
Wells, H.G. (2015) The War of the Worlds Dodo Collections [Online] Available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B015EW0TXG/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 [Accessed: 11th October 2016]

Anderson, K. J. (ed.) (2013) War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches. London: Titan Books.

Wayne, J. (2012) Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, Sony CMG

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