Section 1 – Art Team

Team Personnel

1 Character Artist
1 Environment Artist
1 Interface / Cutscene Artist

Section 2 – Executive Summary

2.1 High Concept

Alley Katz is a mentally challenging puzzle/racing game designed to encourage people to keep fit. Players will have to think quickly under pressure and their fitness levels will be challenged during the other parts of the race.
The game is designed for the PC and Microsoft Xbox, both of which already have large consumer bases. The plethora of peripheral devices offered by these systems offer a perfect control system for the game.

2.2 Unique Features

Alley Katz benefits from being the first cycling title that encourages users to set up a bicycle in front of their computer screen. This is left up to the user, a simple method is to raise the rear of the bike making it easy to pedal indoors. A heart monitor is connected to the user, and depending on the game situation, the player must either reduce or increase his heartbeat.
Currently, there are no titles in this niche and the game will likely receive additional attention because of this.

2.3 Visual Style

As Alley Katz is based on real world locations, the visual style should be as realistic as the engine allows.

2.4 Project Scope

As the prototype is based in Dundee, the area shown in figure 1 is the basis of our scene.

PROTOTYPE SCENE MAP OF DUNDEE

FIGURE 1 – PROTOTYPE SCENE MAP OF DUNDEE

From this, the number of distinct locations is listed below:

  • University of Abertay
  • Tay Bridge
  • Castle Street Tourist Office
  • The Phoenix Pub
  • Newsagents
  • Agacan Restaurant
  • Contemporary Arts Cinema Complex

2.5 Target Audience

The target audience for this game is extremely broad and it will appeal to casual players and computer game enthusiasts alike. It will appeal to the millions across the globe who take part in similar races. Everyone has owned a bike at some stage in their life, and our user-generated life-sized bicycle interface will no doubt seem instantly familiar.
People wishing to get fit may also be tempted by this product. The heart monitor rewards the player for increasing their heartbeats, providing a score-based exercise ‘hook’ and making for a fulfilling workout.

2.6 Delivery Platforms

The delivery platform of choice will be any PC with a minimum of 512MB RAM and a 1GHz processor.

Section 3 – Budgets

As Alley Katz is designed to be distributed on a single DVD disk, the 4.3 GB allowed should provide enough space.
In terms of minimum specifications, we can expect most users to have a PC with 512MB RAM and a 1GHz processor. Performance benchmarks should be carried out on machines of this specification during each phase, ensuring that the final polygon count is appropriate.
A number of resolution tests will be performed, and the game should be playable in both windowed and full screen mode. Our extensive studies have shown that the most common windowed resolution for PC games is 800×600 pixels, and especially thorough testing at this resolution will go some way towards ensuring the unhindered execution of the finished product for the greatest number of consumers.

Section 4 – Production Plan

4.1 Animation

The primary animation sequences will involve the character controlled by the player. Background and cutscene animations will also be considered, but are of a lower priority for our prototype.

4.2 Integration into the Game

The majority of the graphics used by Alley Katz will be created in a modelling and animation package. 3D Studio Max 9 and the open-source Blender are currently under consideration. We may have to rely on third-party plugins to export to a model format supported by the game engine that we choose. A small selection of items such as menu buttons may be created as bitmaps and later imported into the game.

Section 5 – Art Bible

5.1 Overview

The art within Alley Katz is designed with our target audience in mind. The final art style should be appealing to this target audience, but at the same time appropriate to the performance requirements of the game. After some deliberation, we decided to go with a realistic look with stylised elements.

5.1.1 Reference Material

We take visual inspiration from the Grand Theft Auto games and Crash Bandicoot (reflecting our realistic but somewhat stylised look), and from the fair city of Dundee.

5.2 Characters

The full game will include a character representing each of the programmers involved in this project.
For the prototype, we require one male and one female character.

5.2.1 Male Character -

The male character is an incredibly athletic 25 year old full time courier. Standing roughly 6ft
tall, with unkempt black hair, crystal blue eyes and full, handsome features. Dressing in casual sportswear, t-shirt and army shorts, he has a variety of piercings and tattoos.

Regular Animation:

Walk Animation (4 directions, idle)
Bicycle Animation (4 directions, idle)
Situation Specific Animations:
Entering Shops
Performing Puzzles

5.2.2 Female Character –

Standing roughly 5ft 6 Siobhan could very well be the poster child for healthy living. Years of physical activity through sport have left her with a lean and toned body. Sporting blond shoulder length hair hitched in a pony tail, and eyes of the purest jade, Siobhan is indeed a pretty young lady. Dressing athletically, Siobhan wears a vest top and hoodie, with hot pants and trainers.
Regular Animation:
Walk Animation (4 directions, idle)
Bicycle Animation (4 directions, idle)
Situation Specific Animations:
Entering Shops
Performing Puzzles

5.3 Environments

5.3.1 University of Abertay

The game begins outside the University of Abertay. A scene shows five riders as they are handed envelopes and we switch to a view of the race countdown. A girl acts as the grand marshal and throws a bra into the air. Once it hits the ground the race begins.

5.3.2 Castle Street Tourist Office – Puzzle 1

The player has to collect a leaflet, “Welcome to Dundee”.

5.3.3 The Phoenix Pub – Puzzle 2

The player has to down a shot of whiskey and collect a stamp from the bar staff.

5.3.4 Newsagents – Puzzle 3

The player has to purchase a Bournville chocolate bar. We expect this shrewd product placement to yield millions in advertising revenue.

5.3.5 Agacan Restaurant – Puzzle 4

The player has to collect a menu from the “Agacan” Restaurant at the Nethergate.

5.3.6 Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre – Puzzle 5

The player has to cycle to the Dundee Contemporary Arts cinema complex and collect 3 used ticket stubs that can be found scattered around the premises, indoors and out.

5.4 Player Bicycles

The user has choice of 7 bicycles; mountain, racer, chopper, uni-cycle, penny farthing, tandem and recumbent. The following figures illustrate them.

Chopper

FIGURE 2 – CHOPPER

Penny Farthing

FIGURE 3 – PENNY FARTHING

Racer

FIGURE 4 – RACER

Unicycle

FIGURE 5 – UNICYCLE

Tandem Bicycle

FIGURE 6 – TANDEM

Recumbent Bicycle

FIGURE 7 – RECUMBENT FIGURE

Mountain Bicycle

FIGURE 8 – MOUNTAIN BIKE

Section 6 – Asset List

6.1 Characters

6.1.1 Male Character (Animations)

  • Walk Animation (4 directions, idle, jump)
  • Bicycle Animation (4 directions, idle, jump)
  • Crash Animation

6.1.2 Female Character (Animations)

  • Walk Animation (4 directions, idle, jump)
  • Bicycle Animation (4 directions, idle, jump)
  • Crash Animation

6.2 Backgrounds

  • Buildings
  • Night time Sky
  • Day time Sky

6.3 Environmental Objects

  • Cars
  • Buses
  • Street Lights
  • Bus Stops
  • Trees
  • Street Signs
  • Trucks
  • Pedestrian crossings

6.4 User Interface

  • Title Screen x3
  • Menu item hover effect
  • Dundee map
  • Puzzle Completed Meter
  • Health Meter
  • Menu System
  • Mouse pointer graphic

6.5 Sound

6.5.1 Ambient

  • Rain
  • Wind
  • Sea

6.5.2 Music

  • Intro Scene
  • Puzzle Completed
  • Ending Scene

6.5.3 Sound Effects

  • Walking on grass
  • Walking on sand
  • Walking on the street
  • Car Engines
  • Truck Engines
  • Bus Engines
  • Opening Door of Puzzle 1
  • Opening Door of Puzzle 2
  • Opening Door of Puzzle 3
  • Opening Door of Puzzle 4
  • Opening Door of Puzzle 5
  • Map Rustle
  • Sea
  • Crash
  • Drinking shot
  • Birds chirping

Section 7 – Schedule

7.1 Week 2

Basic concept art is completed for characters and locations.

7.2 Week 4

Artists should constantly check off their work, making sure deliverables are acceptable.
Final character and environments designs should be decided upon.
Construction of characters should begin.
Dummy environment creation for the programmers to work on.
Construction of full environments begins.
Interface artist begins work on GUI concept art.

7.3 Week 6

All interface art required complete by the end of Week 6.
Art team should work closely with programmers to produce required graphics.

7.4 Week 8

Character art should be nearing a completed stage, artists will continue towards this goal.
Environment Artist should ready Environment art for collision programming.

7.5 Week 10

Character art should be near completion, the artist should work towards this end.
Likewise, environment art should be all but complete; artist should have t ready by the end of Week 10.

7.6 Week 13

All art should be completed by the end of Week 13, and much should be implemented.
Art team should work with programmers, correcting any problems/ oversights in Pre-production.

The .pdf version of this report can be found here.

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Related posts:

  1. Alley Katz – Meeting Minutes
  2. Alley Katz – Game Design Document
  3. Alley Katz Overview
  4. Alley Katz – Technical Design Document

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