Acorn Ace: Group Pitch

Project Summary:
 In Acorn Ace, you control Ace, a private in the Squirrel Squadron, in his first mission in the war against the birds: parachute down the trees and bomb the resident birds. However, the mission literally snags at the beginning – Ace has a rough descent and his acorn bombs get stuck at the tops of the trees.

To complete the mission, Ace must first traverse the trees and reach the top, avoiding the battlefield of birds and obstacles on the way up. Once he retrieves his bombs, he must continue with his mission of parachuting down and bombing the birds.


Game Design Idea:
Part [1]: The climbing portion of the game is defensive, frenzied, and hurried. The player controls Ace in his climb to the top while dodging obstacles like birds and branches. Ace has a characteristic style of climbing, the “Squirrel Swirl”, which makes climbing a challenge. Ace climbs in a spiral that goes up and rotates around the trees he climbs; in order to jump between trees, he must be facing the target tree or spiral up until he reaches this orientation. In addition, his jump between trees is parabolic and he lands slightly lower than his jump point on the other tree.  These mechanics employ latency to provide a smooth gameplay experience that requires skill to successfully navigate the level.

Part [2]: The descent portion of the game has an opposite feel: Ace is now gliding down by parachute and is on the offensive. The mechanics involved in this portion are floaty and slower,  and the player guides his descent horizontally and bombing of the birds.

For both segments, movement upwards and downwards are automatic – the player is in control of lateral movement and jumping/firing mechanics.


“Fun” and “aha moments”:
One of the primary joy mechanics of the game is the “Squirrel Swirl”, which gives the player a frenzied, twitchy, agile feel that is fluid and character-driven. Jumping between trees compounds this effect by adding an additional dimension to Ace’s movement. Jumping and swirling upwards will be tied together as fluid movements with the use of intentional latency and polish effects.

Another fun mechanic of the game is the floating, parachuting segment, which contrasts the feel of the ascending gameplay. This contrast accentuates the satisfaction of offensive gameplay, since the player has experienced vulnerability and now has a means of enacting revenge on the agents that attacked him/her during the first stage of the game. Cartoony polish effects will provide additional humor and satisfaction to successfully bombing birds.


Team Members:
John Coombs – Character Lead
Amy Lambeth – Art Lead
Miles Gantt – Environment Lead

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