I finished the game design doc, so I thought I'd share it with the forum.
Also, I found a concept artist to lock down the artistic vision. I'll post his art as soon as it gets finished.
Still looking for someone to do the sprite animations as well as program the game in flash. Let me know if you want to help!
Machina City (working title)
I. GENERAL INFORMATION ---
Machina City is a single player action platformer where the player controls a high tech military robot named Saga, who is desperately chasing after an enemy over the rooftops of Machina City.
Genre - Action Platformer / Side scrolling shooter
Platform - Flash
Character runs along generated rooftop segments jumping over gaps
Collect energy to transform into vehicle mode and shift to phase 2
Upon collecting enough energy, character can transform into a flying vehicle
Allow flight for a small period of time avoiding gaps in the rooftops, increasing speed
Ability to fire at enemies
II. DETAILED GAME DESCRIPTION ---
Basic Concept The player jumps along rooftops, trying to reach a final boss named 'Creator'. Saga has two modes: a humanoid robot mode and a flying vehicle mode. Upon picking up enough fuel, she has enough energy to transform into vehicle mode for a short time. Changing into aircraft mod, the game shifts to a different phase, playing like a side scrolling shooter. The player can fire Saga's weapons and deal damage to incoming enemies. The goal of the game is sustained survival, and then eventually killing the final boss.
Background Story -- Saga is a machine built for destruction. Through her creation, she has become an unwilling servant, who loathes violence and causing others pain. During routine maintenance, Saga briefly gains full control over her consciousness. This is her chance. If she can find her creator and destroy him without getting shut down, she can free herself from violent servitude.
The game begins with the background cityscape with no player character, or enemies. To start, Press Space Bar blinks slowly prompting the player. There is no tutorial and no options screen. Controls will be written subtly on this title page. Upon press, a short unskippable animation of Saga entering the scene plays. Saga lands on the farthest left platform and begins quickly flying forward (or the background begins moving right to left). The screen follows Saga, but keeps the character aligned to the left of the screen.
Sometimes fuel items appear on a rooftop platform. Once Saga has collected 3 of these, she can transform into vehicle mode, and change the phase of the game.
In vehicle mode, the game speeds up so that you can cover more ground, more quickly. Enemies spawn and move toward the character. In this phase, Saga can fire her weapons to defend herself and clear her path. After 10 seconds of flight, Saga returns to robot mode, transforming and dropping back down to a rooftop platform. The game then continues in the rooftop running phase.
After 240 seconds, the game shifts phases again and the Creator boss spawns. This boss holds position in the upper right hand corner of the screen, and has significant health.
While still managing to stay alive jumping along the rooftops, the player must pick up fuel and shift into vehicle mode and phase 2. Once in phase two Creator takes damage from Sagas attacks. Creator spawns smaller enemies, and has a projectile attack that deals damage to the player.
Once his health is depleted, the game is over and the player wins.
In robot form, Saga can take three hits from crashing into enemies, being struck by their projectile attacks, or by falling off the roofs. When she falls off the roof, she is quickly teleported back to a safe platform to continue. Once the player takes three hits of damage in robot mode, the game ends and the player loses. If the player collects enough fuel to transform into vehicle mode, her health is completely restored. Once in vehicle mode, saga can take three points of damage. If she takes three hits of damage before her vehicle phase ends, she will transform and return to full health robot mode.
Roof platforms are spawned in pattern blocks, with reasonable distances between each platform. The enemy AI is simple, and flying enemies fly forward in a straight line.
Viewport 960 x 320
Real Game screen 960 x 640
Camera generally follows the player, shifting upward in vehicle phase
Running - Player sprite 64 x 64
Hit Box 32 x 48
Vehicle mode player sprite 64 x 64
Hit Box 52 x 52
IV. INTERFACE ---
Damage, and current fuel will be displayed to the player by a health bar in the top left hand corner of the screen.
The game is designed to feel like the player is moving fast. It will not be overly difficult, as the distances between platforms will be built specifically sized just under the players jump capability. In addition, the health system is fairly forgiving, allowing players three chances to take damage without dying, and a chance to earn this health back.
Entire game play will last under five minutes for all players.
V. CONTROLS ---
Space Bar Jump
A Transform into Vehicle mode
Note The reason I decided to have a transform button is so that players can use this transformation to save themselves when they start to lose their timing with jumps. This adds an element of skill and strategy to transform mechanic which would be missing if it simply auto-transformed.
VI. ART ---
General style of graphics will be 16 bit pixel art.
Background piece 1- Farthest back layer 960 x 640
Background piece 2 Layer between background and game assets 960 x 640
Robot Sprite 64 x 64
Running Animation 8 frames
Jumping Animation 4 frames
Dying animation - explosion
Vehicle Sprite 64 x 64
Animated rear thruster 4 frames
Transformation animation 8 frames
Enemy 1 64 x 64
Enemy 2 64 x 64
Creator sprite 64 x 64
Saga weapon fire sprite 2 frame animation
Creator weapon fire sprite 2 frame animation
Destroy enemy explosion 4 frame animation
VII. SOUNDS AND MUSIC ---
Sound effects will all be done in an upbeat, retro, chip tune style similar to artists like Sabrepulse.
Sound and Music
Landing transformers style heavy clanking stomp
Fire weapon sound - Saga
Fire weapon sound Creator
Take damage sound
Destroy Enemy Sound
Menu Music 15 second loop slower, and uplifting
Background music 30 second upbeat chiptune loop fast and action packed