Floating Trip[G3]-Team: Automata

Game Name: Floating Trip
Group Name: Automata
Team member: goillinois, techgamer

We use italics to highlight the things we revised.

Game Description:
A boat is floating along a turbulent stream. However, there are lots of rocks blocking on the way. The goal of the player is to control the boat to pass through those obstacles without getting hit by any rock and reach the end of the journey. The way to avoid hitting by a rock is to use a bamboo stick to steer around. If the player can reach the end of the stream, then he wins; otherwise he loses the game if he hit any rock on his way. However, players can win points as they pass through certain checkpoints along the journey. The points they earn will be displayed on screen when they finish.

Why is this fun/ motivation:
The stream would not be that easy for a player to get through at their first try. So the player has to play several rounds to get experience how to avoid rocks in each situation. Each round, we would provide a score which tells him how many checkpoints he passed so that player would feel interested and want to play again to exceed last score.

A detailed plan for the game:
We would first focus on doing the fluid simulation and making the boat floating on the stream. The boat should be able to drop down with the current and its speed should also be determined by the speed of the current. We think this part would take a while. So in the alpha playtest, we would only provide a simple control of the boat, which is just using right arrow and left arrow to control the heading direction of the boat, to make the game playable. Besides, we would also set up the environment and implement the game states (like, game start, game end).
Later, we would implement the bamboo pole which the boat can use to partly control its moving speeding and avoid hitting by rocks. We would first implement a simple control version which is that the bamboo pole could hit the point that mouse hovers on. And we would apply a constant counter force on the boat to make it move in the opposite direction once user hit a key. If this works well, then we would let the user to control the amount of force applied on the pole by controlling the time the key being held on.
After finishing the main features, we would add checking points, and improving sound effect.

Tree feature set targets:

Minimum low-bar:
1, We will be able to simulate the fluid stream;
2, We will be able to make the boat floating on the stream;
3, The player will be able to pole the boat with a bamboo stick;
4, We will inform the player if he wins or loses at the end of the game;

Expect Feature Set:
1, There will be checkpoints along the stream. Once player pass through the checkpoints,
they will earn some points;

Desired high-bar:
1, Player can throw bombs on rocks to blow them up;
1, There will be coins in the stream for players to collect, collected coins will turn to
bombs at checkpoints;
2, The rock player pushed with the bamboo pole will turn into a coin;


Week of 11/10
Implement the river simulation. (goillinois)
Set up the boat and its movement on the river. (techgamer)

Week of 11/17
Polish the movement of the boat, revise the game according to feedbacks. (techgamer, goillinois)
11/20 Alpha Playtest

Week of 11/24
Implement checkpoint. (techgamer)
Implement bamboo steering. (techgamer, goillinois)

Week of 12/01
Continue working on bamboo steering (techgamer, goillinois)
Adding sound effects and improve the game environment (techgamer, goillinois)
Final presentation preparation (goillinois, techgamer)
12/04 Final Playtesting

A target feature set for each milestone:

Goal for Alpha Playtest:
The fluid is well simulated, rocks are placed in the stream and the boat can float along the turbulent float. The user can control the heading direction of the boat using right and left arrow key. We are targeting this subset of game because we hope to learn how the feeling of moving on a boat for players (e.g. Is the speed of the current too high to work with? Does it really feel as moving on a current instead of moving on the ground? ). Also, we would like to get some feedbacks about the difficulty of the level. (e.g. where those rocks should be put along the stream)

Goal for Final Playtest:
We would definitely finish implementing the basic animation of bamboo pole ( the version without applying force as described in the plan) and try to complete the hard version ( with force applied). Checking points feature will also be finished. This subset of features would add more floating game feel for the game. The bamboo pole would allow the player to have more interactions with the environment. Passing checking points to get points would make the game more interesting to play. After the play-test, we hope to learn whether the bamboo pole is easy for players to use and whether the players would eager to play the game again no matter he wins or loses.

View G2 post
Revised Design Document

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