Solitude Will Rock Your World. Really. It will.

End of Time Productions Presents

1. Overview

With the superior graphic capabilities of Sony’s Playstation 3 and the new kinesthetic platform of the Playstation Move, we, End of Time Productions, hope to establish an instant hit that will forever be remembered as one of the greatest games for the Playstation 3 console. How can we make such a bold statement? Easily. With our new game entitled, Solitude, players will get a chance to immerse themselves in a traditional RPG (role-playing game) combined with the elements of an FPS (first-person shooter) on the new Move platform. Solitude will take place on a post-apocalyptic Earth, where the demons of Hell have broken loose and have almost wiped out the human population while claiming Earth as their new home. The player will assume the role of main character and follow a path of good or evil in determining the fate of the Earth and its inhabitants.

2. Audience Analysis

A. Target Market

Our target audience is simple; both causal and hardcore gamers, who often favor games that contain either partial or wholly RPG elements.  RPGs have a long standing history within the realm of games, from the traditional paper-and-pen games such Dungeons & Dragons to LARPs (live-action role playing) such as childhood favorites in the likes of Cops & Robbers to highly successful virtual RPGs franchises such as the Final Fantasy series. No matter the form, it is a safe assumption to make that consumers have had some experience with RPGs, thus making it a commonly accepted gaming genre and a genre in which a smooth and easy learning curve can be expected.

Aside from the historical aspects of why RPGs are a successful genre of games, let us examine the brass tacks that all video games live and die by; sales figures. According to the ESA (Entertainment Software Association), in 2009, the total revenue of all video games was 10.5 billion U.S. dollars[1].  Now, given the statistics for BOTH computer and video games, the total percentage of best-selling games under the RPG category was 19.7 percent[2]. If we were to apply that number to the total revenue of video games, which would result in our game being placed in a market that has a potential of approximately 2 billion U.S. dollars per year.

B. Required Entry Behaviors

Naturally, given the years of the genre’s existence, the player will need to know a basic level of RPG jargon. However, since there is a tutorial included within the initial levels of the game, the player will be able to learn such vocabulary as HP (hit points), MP (magic points), DMG (damage), RES (resistance), and other words that are crucial to the having an enjoyable and successful gaming experience. In conjunction to this genre jargon, the player will need to have a basic knowledge set of myths, lore, and tales regarding demons, apocalyptic traditions and some religious based “facts”. Alongside the required RPG jargon, the player will also be required to have relatively developed hand/eye coordination, muscle memory, and general memory. For instance, during a battle event, the player will be required to either mimic the motion of sword combat movements, or a customized magic move, which the player will have to recall in order to perform a certain magical skill.  However, there will be a “hotkey” option for beginner players that will allow a certain action to be bound to a particular button or set of buttons. Whether the player has little to no experience with RPGs or is an expert RPG-er, the suitable level of difficulty will be presented accordingly by a in game, interactive “quiz” that takes places during the stages of the tutorial.

3. Game Design

A. Title

The game is entitled Solitude for various reasons. Though commonly RPGs have a sense of social interaction within the defined virtual world, the setting of this game makes social interactivity take place solely with the remaining inhabitants of the world and the “demon-kind”, thus placing the character in world of solitude. One of mechanics of the game consists of a “choice” engine, which aligns the player based on the decisions made to a respective faction, the humans, the demon-kind, or the player as a sole faction. One of the key themes in this game is the sense of isolation from contact with others thus making the name Solitude appropriate.

B. Hardware Requirements

The following are hardware requirements for the game: Playstation 3 game console, the game disc (Blu-Ray format), Playstation Move (and bundled hardware), a broadband internet connection (for game fixes and future downloadable content), an HDMI connection (for high-resolution video output), and a SIXAXIS controller. The game will be Move compatible (not required) as this will discussed in upcoming sections.

C. Game Genre and Rating

Solitude will primarily be an RPG, as most of its elements are compliant with this genre such as earning experience points to level up, advancement points for character development,  and various character attributes. However, it will borrow elements from FPS based games during battle events and other various tasks, in which the player will take a first person view of their environment to accomplish certain tasks. The rating will fall under the “M” category for Mature due content that is deemed unsuitable for people under the age of 17. Due to its graphic content, language, drug references, and sexual themes, the “M” is deemed appropriate.  In recent years, video game suppliers have increased their requirements for selling rated “M” by asking for the driver’s license (and any other form of a government issued I.D). Technically, a person under the age of 17 will not be able to purchase this game, but there are caveats to this system. Parents and legal guardians can still purchase this game for a person under the age of 17, as long as they are 17 or older. Given statistics compiled by the ESA, 93% of parents are present when the a game is rented or purchased, thus eliminating a potential problem for those under the age of 17 that wish the play this game[3].

4. Game Mechanics

A. Core Game Play

As mentioned previously, the game will be set in a post-apocalyptic Earth, where demons from Hell have erupted to conquer the human race and the planet. As the player endures through a plethora of quests, puzzles, and battles, they will gain levels which in turn will allow them to attain magical powers.  One of the major components of the game include a “choice” engine, in which the character’s actions and dialogues with NPCs (non-playable character) will determine the alignment of the character towards a “good”, “neutral”, or “bad” side. For example, if the character decides to a kill a certain “good” rated character, those who are “good” around player will change their attitudes and behaviors resulting in a battle, quest opportunities lost (or gained), etc. Essentially, every choice or action the character chooses will have a consequence.

The battle system is the most intriguing part of the game, as this is where the Move platform will really come in. The game in non-battle sequences is portrayed through  a third-person perspective, but as soon as the player is engaged in a battle, the third-person perspective becomes a first-person perspective (this will be further discussed in the upcoming section). Aside from battle events, some of the basic actions that the player will be allowed to do is interact with the environment. Since the game is a free-to-wander world, if the player decides to go to an area with enemies way beyond their level, they will have to flee or have their character be killed.

B.  Core Game Dynamics

This game has more than one core dynamic associated with it. The primary core dynamic consists of building alongside secondary core dynamics being survival and destruction. Like most RPSs, building is the primary dynamic because on the focus of character development[4], while destruction the player has to destroy obstacles that get in the way of their goal. The secondary core consists of survival, which is standard dynamic given the theme of the game. Since the game takes place within a dystopian post-apocalyptic world, the player has to rely on inherent human instincts.[5] The destructive dynamic also flows in natural due to the way the game is designed because of the required stages of destructive quests. Thus by combining three successful yet different core dynamics, the game will appeal to those who seek out these dynamics in one grand package.

C. User Interface

When comparing hardware alone, Sony’s Playstation 3 has more computing power than Nintendo’s Wii in terms of both graphics and audio. Although the Wii has been the first game console to fully integrate and use kinesthetic as a control mechanism, it lacks in the graphic output quality the Playstation 3 delivers.[6] Now with Sony’s Playstation Move, the Playstation 3 can deliver the same, if not  better, kinesthetic gaming experience than the Wii. This was one of the main factor when our company was deciding which console to use. In essence, just the hardware alone (especially now) will have greater advantages than the Wii. Although our game’s core dynamic is not fitness based, it will bring an unprecedented amount of movement to the RPG genre.

In terms of software, Solitude will use both traditional methods of control as well as the Move platform. The Move controllers have built in digital joysticks which the player will be using as primary source of movement within the game. In special instances, such as battle events, the game will switch over to the Move motion detection system. The way the game allows this is, during normal play (wandering around within the game world), the  player will see their character from a third-person perspective and control the character through the digital joystick. In occurrences such as battle events, the game engine will automatically switch over from third-person to first-person.

During this first-person session, the player will be able to perform physical movements that mock the use of a sword and shield combination, in addition to an exclusive feature of our game. In a battle event, the player will have the option to either perform a specified movement to cast a specific magic spell or the player can create their own special combination of movements for that specific spell. In essence, a certain movement will act as a “hotkey” for a certain move which the player can choose from a defined list or customize their own.

5. Other Design Considerations

A. Artistic Elements

Nothing captures a dystopian world than a highly saturated and gritty look. The closest and most vivid description that can be given to emulate the look of game is artistic style of the film The Book of Eli. The highly exposed lights and the highly contrasted darks along with the high saturation levels and the gritty look will give the player a sense of despair yet urgency, two themes that will carry the narrative of the story.

Aside from the overall aesthetics of the game, the amount of blood and gore will be as realistic as possible. When we say as realistic as possible, we do not mean to exaggerate the amount of gore. For instance, if a NPC’s limb is removed, they will bleed out accordingly, not gush out blood for ten minutes. The physics will also be the same. A fine example of this would be the damage of a high caliber bullet. In real world examples, the entrance wound is usual small, but the exit wound (depending on the caliber) is vastly larger. Our game will simulate real physics and gore as close to what we seen in our actual world. While the story is fictitious, the physics and other elements will be as real as possible. After all, virtual realism is our specialty.

Also, like any other form of entertainment that uses motion based images (i.e. films), our game will be incomplete without an appropriate soundtrack. For our soundtrack we will use the best of the best composers such as John Williams or Hans Zimmer. For every visual details, there will be an equally crafted aural component. The use of symphonic elements is our ultimate goal.

6. Conclusion

Our game will be a success. By taking full advantage of both the Playstation 3 and the Move‘s hardware capabilities, our game will take the meaning of RPG to a whole new level. Superior graphics. Excellent plot line/character development. A new element of movement. We, End of Time Productions, will, better yet, are redefining what the RPGs of today and tomorrow are.

[1] ESA’s “2010 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry”

[2] ESA’s “2010 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry”

[3] ESA’s “2010 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry”

[4] “Chapter 1. The basics of game design” in Brathwaite, B., & Schreiber, I. (2009). Challenges for game designers. Boston, MA: Course Technology/Cengage Learning.

[5] “Chapter 1. The basics of game design” in Brathwaite, B., & Schreiber, I. (2009). Challenges for game designers. Boston, MA: Course Technology/Cengage Learning.

[6] “Chapter 1. The basics of game design” in Brathwaite, B., & Schreiber, I. (2009). Challenges for game designers. Boston, MA: Course Technology/Cengage Learning.


About EnderLeTurk

I like cheese.
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