Archon Design Document

Project Design Document: Group Archon

Members: Alex Clegg, John Turner, Jaron Gao

The Game

            Our game idea has changed slightly from the initial pitch. We believe that a change in scale from our initial idea was necessary, and some adjustments were made to account for this. Aside from that, the basic metaphor and player experience objectives remain the same:

The apocalypse is old news. You’re a prototypical post human – pure intellect housed in a frail, cybernetic sphere and content with an eternity of silence contemplation in the gestalt of what remains of your race. However, invaders drawn to Earth by the very power source that sustains you threaten your race once again. Sensing your coming demise, you have risen from your meditation in an attempt once again to weather the worst. You must find, repair and interface with ancient Mechs from humanity’s barbaric past to prepare for the arrival of the invading swarms. Can you harness the various dormant abilities of these violent relics in order to triumph in the war that once again threatens your vary existence? Time is running short. The hordes approach.

Projected Player Experience Key Points

Change of gameplay styles

– The initial race to find and control mechs.

– The strategic element of laying out defenses while facing swarms of smaller enemies.

– The full-on combat against the enemy mechs and a possible boss fight.


Change of Control Feels and Perspectives

– Controlling each mech is going to be a different experience.

– 1st – 3rd person options

– Control schemes differ between different mechs, each with strengths and weaknesses


The speed of the action and the balancing of attention between the immediate threat (kill the currently attacking mobs) and the pending threat (prepare for the next wave which is going to be even tougher than that which is currently attacking).


Feature Set Targets:


– 3 controllable mechs

– Basic mech special abilities

– AI/Player controlled turrets

– At least 2 types of enemy mobs/mechs

– Wave combat system

– Defeat and Victory conditions

– Perspective and ‘feel’ switch between mechs


– Each mech to have ‘minions’ (small turrets, flocks of small explosive bots, etc…)

– Minions and mechs AI controlled with player keystroke commands when not occupied by the player (player is ALWAYS in 1st or 3rd person controlling some aspect of the game)

– Enemy swarm and tougher enemy mechs

– Combat environment/terrain and advanced combat abilities (special attacks, shields, etc) general GUI display with necessary information

– Mech repair and reclamation implemented at a basic level (by % chance or simple GUI method)


– Boss fight as final wave

– Mini-games for repair and reclaim, advanced GUI

– More mechs, minions, abilities and enemies

– Advanced AI for enemies

– Terrain and environment objects with active triggered events and effects

– Multiplayer


Overall, this timeline shows a fairly heavy startup for our project. We believe that in order to get things up and running initially, we will require a front weighted development schedule. In order to have a playable demo by the date of the alpha, we intend to have basic versions of our desired mechanics in effect. The rest of the time after alphas will be spent refining and building depth into these basic versions.


Week 1 (oct. 25 – 29):            SVN setup, basic Unity project setup, setup of empty ‘frames’ for classes we plan to implement. Usable assets from members’ previous projects extracted and imported to project.

Week 2 (oct. 29 – nov. 5):       Mech perspective/feel setup, turret setup, basic terrain elements for testing and alpha, basic combat elements(ray casting for weapons, HP, death), mech abilities and minions, basic enemy mob and spawning.

Week 3 (nov. 5 – nov. 12):      Alpha week. Wave combat mechanism, minions for each mech, victory and defeat conditions, AI, separation of phases (swarm vs enemy mechs), basic mech repair and reclaim

Week 4 (nov. 12 – nov. 19):    Advanced combat abilities, respond to playtest feedback, balancing of mechanics and deepening of previously implemented mechanics.

Week 5 (nov. 19 – nov. 26):    Thanksgiving Week. Polish, continued balancing, advanced AI, game preview setup for project playtesting, possible implementation of ‘extra’ features.

Week 6 (nov. 26 – nov. 29):    Game Due. Possible final improvements and game export.







Alpha Feature Set Expectations:

Our goal for the alpha is to provide a player with a prepared, staged combat experience. The player will be able to experience the switch between different perspectives and the style of quick, strategic combat that will make up the foundation of our end product. We will not have implemented the majority of the advanced abilities, minions or enemies, but we will have at least one turret type minion, several mechs, at least one type of enemy to fight. We hope to capture the core feeling of combat in our game, despite a minimal amount of polish and a lack of long term objective. Our target feature set (from the overall feature set on page 2 and the schedule on page 3) is enumerated below.


– 3 controllable mechs            – Mech perspectives and feel             – AI/Player controlled turrets

– At least 2 types of enemy mobs/mechs       – Combat system         – some abilities and minions

– some enemy mob(s) and spawning


Through alpha playtesting, we would like to determine which elements of the combat players tend to prefer. Do they think the learning curve is too steep? Do they prefer more 1st or 3rd person for the style of combat we present? Do they feel overwhelmed by choices or are there not enough? These are the types of questions we intend to ask and we hope that with the core of the game implemented, player feedback will allow us to steer the ‘depth’ development to follow toward a rich, rewarding gameplay experience.

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