Ssssucculent – G3

Team: Ssssucculent
Game name: Ssssucculent
Members: freya, montspy, vulcan

Revised design document

Game idea

Ssssucculent is a 2.5D, third-person view “endless runner” style game in which the player controls a snake avatar and tries to gain as many points as possible before the game ends. The game setting is a desert in the southwestern United States, and all characters and scenery are chosen to fit this desert feel. The avatar is a rattlesnake that slithers back and forth over a sandy and rocky terrain. Running into obstacles, such as boulders, cacti, or tumbleweeds, makes the game end earlier. The player accumulates points by surviving longer and by eating desert critters like shrews and roadrunners.

Sssucculent is an exciting and challenging game.  Although the controls are simple, the player must master the back and forth slithering motion of the snake in order to reach further distances.  Pick ups, multiplier zones, and strategically placed critters allow more skillful players to gain points faster by choosing more difficult trajectories. The game saves a list of the top 10 high scores, and the player gets satisfaction from beating previous records.


Game Play: The player starts the game with three lives and 60 seconds on the timer. The goal is to get as many points possible before time or lives run out. The player loses a life when he or she hits an obstacle. Additionally, the player has the opportunity to gain lives and time by collecting pickups or critters. The player gains points as he or she travels forwards along the track.

Bonus points and extra time are awarded for eating critters (for example, +50 points or +5s).  The amount gained depends on the type of the critter. Eating critters is risky for the player because he has to modify his trajectory because some high-value critters are intentionally placed in areas which are difficult or dangerous to reach. Also, the snake becomes harder to control during the digestion time.

Multiplier zones are areas on the track that boost the rate at which the points are accumulated by granting a temporary point multiplier.  This reward comes with some risk, as these zones are often close to the edges or to obstacles.

Level Design: The track along which the player moves is procedurally generated. The track is comprised of different sized chunks with various levels of obstacle density:

  • Wide: Designed for speed. The player is encouraged to have a large trajectory. Low obstacle density. Critters are fast and nimble.
  • Moderate: The track is large enough to allow large turns and a good speed, but obstacles often force the player to alter his trajectory.
  • Narrow: The player has to constantly alter his trajectory. Critters are slower, but the high obstacle density makes it very risky to eat them.
  • Branching: The player has to choose between two or more alternatives. More rewarding branches are correspondingly more risky.

The track has more turns as the player moves further forward. Additionally, there are a few shortcut tunnels which move the snake forward automatically. Areas further along the track are both more difficult to complete and carry more valuable critters and secrets, giving players an interesting choice between safety and score.

In-Game Critters: There are three in-game critters the snake can eat:

  • A hare: Mainly found in the moderate-sized chunks, this critter is fast and makes a lot of zig-zag turns as it runs.
  • A shrew: Lives in narrow environments with a lot of boulders and cacti to hide as it is small and not very fast.
  • A roadrunner bird: Found in large plains, this critter moves very quickly in a fairly straight trajectory.

Each critter temporarily slows down the snake when it is eaten and makes it harder to control according to its size.

Graphics: The game view is third-person (camera behind the snake’s head) and the game is viewed in 2.5D. The camera is locked to the track to avoid disorientation and motion sickness.


A lot of progress was made in creating the avatar behavior during the creation of a game feel prototype.  We will build on top of this prototype to create the finished game.

Minimum low-bar:

  • Finalized snake controls
  • Simple scoring mechanic (timer, distance, critter bonuses)
  • More than one critter (with simple AI: obstacle avoidance)
  • Simple procedural level generation (with several hand-made chunk variations but without increasing difficulty with distance)


  • Complete scoring mechanic (with multiplier zones and life pickups)
  • Three critters (with AI: escape the snake)
  • Improved procedural level generation (larger chunk library, avoidance of too-easy or too-hard segments)
  • Tunnel shortcuts


  • Level generation increases difficulty with distance, procedurally generated chunks
  • Malicious game (critters and procedural generation actively lead snake into dangerous situations)

Alpha Build

  • Finalize snake and camera movement
  • Simple procedural level generation
  • Simple scoring mechanic
  • Critters with simple AI (critters avoid obstacles)


  • Multiplier zones
  • Improved procedural level generation (smarter generation)
  • Improved critter AI (critters avoid escape the snake too)
  • Tunnel shortcuts
  • Polish

Targets for weekly progress

Nov 2 – 8

  • Get familiar with code base – All
  • Tweak snake and camera movement – Montspy
  • Basic game mechanics – Freya
  • Add 3 lives
  • Scoring for distance movedProcedural level generation – Vulcan
  • Critter design – Freya

Nov 9 – 15

  • (More) Procedural level generation – Vulcan
  • Basic critter AI – Montspy
  • Improve scoring for critters – Freya

Nov 16 – 22

  • Clean up for alpha build goals – All
  • Nov 19: Alpha Build
  • Multiplier zones – Freya and Montspy

Nov 23 – 29

  • Final critter AI – Montspy
  • (Always more) Procedural level generation – Vulcan
  • Add shortcut mechanic – Freya
  • Polish – Freya and Montspy

Dec 1 – 6

  • More polish – All
  • Dec 4: Final Playtesting

Dec 8th – Presentation

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