Scrap Daniel & the Sugarpuff Brigade – Updated Design Docs


Design Document

Game Idea:

The game that we would like to implement is a top-down (2D) zero-gravity, physics based shooter. The game will take place in space where the player is in control of a spaceship. The goal of the game will be to destroy the incoming fleet of enemy spaceships that want to destroy the player.

In order to fulfil this goal the player will have to navigate around planets in space. These planets will be of various size and gravity strengths thus making it more difficult for the player to move around. The planets’ gravities will not only affect the player but also the spaceship’s bullets. The player will have an unlimited amount of bullets that are able to be rapidly fired. However, there will be a maximum “# of bullets on screen” so you can’t just shoot an infinite number instantaneously. Because the planet gravity affects the movement of the bullets, the bullets can sometimes hit unintended targets (such as the player themselves) or go off in unintended directions.

Furthermore there will be different types of planets. First there will be the distinction between gaseous and rocky planets. The gaseous planets will be able to be absorbed by the player if they collide with the planet, and the player’s size is greater than that of the planet. The bigger the player becomes, the slower their movement. So growing too big could potentially be seen as a hinderance. The rocky planets will be stationary and will not be able to be absorbed. This is to prevent the player ever having an empty playfield. The gaseous planets will be further divided into subcategories (2-4) where upon absorption will give the player some kind of benefit or power up. The health of the player will be determined by how large the player has gotten by absorbing planets. Upon receiving damage the player will shrink in size until bursting into oblivion.

In terms of our art assets, we are going for a simplistic/cartoony feel. We will really be going for abstraction with our art assets, instead of high-fidelity incredibly well made spaceships and planets. The bulk of our game experience revolves around the gameplay itself, and not really one’s immersion in the believability of the game world.

Our enemy spaceships will not be overly complex in terms of AI. Their paths will be pre-planned and non-dynamic, and they will always shoot within a certain range of the player’s current position. They will not take into consideration the gravity fields when firing, because the aliens have “super duper special rockets” that are immune to the effects of gravity.

User Experience:

We want our user to feel like they are actually piloting a spaceship in a zero gravity environment. To accomplish this, we will make the user feel “floaty” for lack of a better word, that is to say, it will be difficult to rapidly change trajectories, and movement input will be delayed a slight amount to simulate a rocket adding force incrementally. The acceleration of the ship will be slow, but the maximum speed could potentially be quite high if they keep providing movement input.

For our user controls, the player will move the spaceship with WASD/arrow keys, and will point which way the space ship is facing by using the mouse. The spaceship will always point towards the mouse cursor, so this is how the user will aim at the enemy spaceships. Shooting will simply be left clicking on the mouse.


Low bar: A game that has planets in the middle with gravity that affect the bullets of the player with other players on the opposing side to shoot.

Medium bar: Low bar + Different types of planets (gaseous vs rocky)

High bar: Medium bar + powerups for the different types of gaseous planets and having health determined by the size of the player.


Nov. 7 – fireable bullets that are affected by gravity – Clay
Nov. 14 – opposing players – William
Nov. 21 – opposing players that fire back at the character – Kevin
Nov. 28 – Different types of planets (gaseous vs Rocky) – Clay
Dec. 5 – Final Level design implemented that is neither too difficult nor too easy – William

*Each person assigned to a specific task will be the one in charge of seeing it’s finalization of implementation through. However, we will all be collaborating and working together throughout the design process, as opposed to simply one person being the only one to work on it for the week.

Goals at Milestones:

Alpha playtest: Our goal for the alpha playtest is to give the players opponents to shoot at while testing our core game mechanic of gravity influenced bullets. We decided to focus on delivering these aspects of the game since they are the vital ones for the final product. Due to this we want to get as much feedback on these features. We want to know if the gravity is too much or too little, whether the movement of the player is too loose or tight. This way we can have a polished game as soon as possible.

Final Playtest: We would like to have all of the bugs from the alpha playtest solved with the added features of the different types of planets. This will also mean having a very solid level design at the time of the playtest. We hope to get any final tweaking feedback from this playtest regarding the feedback from the alpha playtest. We also want to know whether or not the distinction between the different types of planets was drastic enough and that the nature of the planets is intuitive.

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