Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Can You Spot the Differences Part 3

And here's the second half of the original A Kingdom for Keflings pitch document. This may make more sense if you read the first half of the document first. I'm going to repeat what I said in the first post in case anyone picks this up at this post and hasn't read the "disclaimer" yet:

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.

Competitive Multiplayer Modes
My Kingdom has a place for multiplayer competition as well. Players may find other players that want to compete through Xbox Live (8 player compatible), or may compete with friends through a single console (4 player compatible). In competitive modes, players face off against one another in a neutral kingdom which is either selected by the host player or randomly generated by the game, thus no competitor’s actual kingdom is affected. In this neutral kingdom, players compete in a variety of ways to prove themselves to be the best kingdom managers.

Examples of Competitive Multiplayer modes:
• Technology Race – players race to see who can develop the most advanced technology given limited resources and time.
• Claim Jumper – the playing field is divided into a grid. Players claim grid sections by having the biggest/most buildings on them. The player with the most grid sections when the time runs out wins.
• Apocalypse Survivor – destructive elements such as tornados, earth quakes, meteors, etc. have bombarded the players’ kingdoms. In addition, players can spend time repairing their own kingdom or helping tear down other kingdoms. The kingdom in the best shape after a timer runs out is the winning kingdom.

Xbox Live Integration

The environment of Xbox Live is one in which many social and interactive features can take place. My Kingdom takes advantage of this through the use of Statistics Records that record players’ accomplishments. Players can compare accomplishments (as in Hexic HD) through Leaderboards, along with traditional high scores.

The game interface uses the players’ gamer picture or video from the Xbox 360 Camera to represent players, as well as indicating who is talking during voice chat, allowing for a highly social and interactive experience.

Players will be awarded for a wide variety of achievements including multi-player achievements, solo achievements, and achievements based on completing specific tasks in game play.

My Kingdom also takes advantage of the customer’s “preferred players,” and friends lists, matching players with those they like to play with, whenever possible.

And finally, My Kingdom includes support for extra downloadable content including new game types, environments, challenges, characters, tools, technology, etc.

The 4 Pillars of Live Arcade
Every live arcade game should adhere to 4 pillars of success. My Kingdom accomplishes this task with gusto.

1. “Pick-up-and-playability.” My Kingdom is a game that may be easily played for any length of time without inconvenience. With short start-up and shutdown times, a player may quickly enter and/or exit the game without losing progress. Levels are relatively short and plentiful, providing short frames of required time dedication on the player’s part, but maintaining overall game length.

2. “Next-Gen visuals.” My Kingdom features sometimes quirky but always beautiful cartoon-style images similar to those of Cloning Clyde and, while not requiring ultra-realistic visual components, the clarity, smoothness, and tone of the art and visuals is fitting for a machine with the capabilities of the Xbox 360.

3. “Multiplayer capability.” Solo players and parties of friends alike will feel at home with the My Kingdom game options. Story-oriented single player and cooperative modes, matched with competitive multiplayer modes of up to 8 people make this game compatible for players with any degree of sociality.

4. “Extendability.” My Kingdom has many areas to expand over time through downloadable content, including: new characters, new game modes, new building materials, new building technologies, new levels, new resources, and more.

Development Team Size

Below is the proposed team size. This chart includes a ramp up in team size that we've found very cost efficient. Many of the decisions and direction can be decided by a smaller core team and after the foundation has been laid, it is much easier for other team members to be more effective with their time.

Wahoo/NinjaBee has a large enough staff to be flexible with team allocation. For example, if later in the project we discover that there are more art needs than programming needs we can easily adjust.

1 comment:

Jet Set Studio said...

Once again, thanks for the unique chance to dig a little deeper into this game and the development process!