Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Can You Spot the Differences Part 2

So yesterday I talked a little about the pitch document and showed you the pitch trailer for A Kingdom for Keflings. The first part of this document is posted below, but first a bit of explanation:

This is the original concept document we wrote before we pitched the game to anyone, including Microsoft. It's quite old (about 2 years old) and dramatically different from the final game in some ways.

Based on our own ideas and a great deal of interaction with the Live Arcade team, this concept grew, changed, and in some areas was completely redone multiple times. We developed the full design in a wiki for easy editing, and that turned out to be a good thing.

Looking over the document now, it's clear that we were embarrassingly naive in a few areas, including the planned manpower. This was a much more difficult project than we expected.

Character based city building and management

My Kingdom is a city building and simulation game with a twist. Rather than placing buildings and managing kingdoms through an omniscient, overhead interface, players control an avatar character that walks about the city directly constructing buildings and managing characters and affairs within his domain.

Key Features
• Character based city building
• Customizable Avatar Character
• Manage your population
• Visit other player’s cities and receive visitors to yours
• Multiple levels and scenarios

Players construct buildings by controlling their avatar to pick up pieces and place them. The avatar is moved about the environment with the left analog stick, while the right analog stick controls the camera. If the player wants to build a structure, he simply needs to gather the appropriate resources and place them. Some resources may be processed to produce other resources. For example: If the player wishes to build a bathhouse so his citizens can keep clean, he can gather a few pillars that have been created at the stone worker, put them in place, add a basin from a ceramic shop, and then hook up an aqueduct. A library can be built with a few pillars, a roof, and an intelligent character recruited to run it. The player can build several libraries and a school next to each other and thereby create an academy.

Story Game Mode
The player may progress through the game and build his or her kingdom by accomplishing “levels” that are presented to the player in a relatively linear fashion along a flexible story line. Each level in the campaign game presents the city builder with unique challenges and goals, and the game progressively adds new resources, tools, characters, and obstacles for the player to use and overcome as he/she progresses.

Cooperative Multiplayer
Players are free to build their kingdoms as solo characters, or in collaboration with others. Challenges will have added difficulty for every additional player facing them so as not to put single players at a disadvantage.

Collaborating on challenges is as simple as inviting another player, via Xbox Live, to come to a kingdom, then having them help. In addition, players who have been invited to a city may bring resources and items to be traded with the host player. The amount of freedom a visitor may take in a foreign kingdom is determined by the host, and the host has the power to eject unruly visitors without restraint.

Check back soon for the second half of the pitch document!

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