All right there is a whole reason for the lack of posting…and it is called school.  See now is about the time everybody is starting right?  No, don’t worry about that though that isn’t it.  What is going on is that I have finals this coming week and I have a whole lot of stuff to work on.  So in some crazy means to turn this into something about anime or something, I’ll go ahead and talk about one of my finals.

See my major is Game Simulation Programing (GSP) and for my final I have to make a game…yeah…I’m not joking…really.  Anyway this does semi-relate because my game will be a Bullet Hell game or danmaku, but blah blah blah it all turns into the Touhou games.  Yeah thats right, Touhou bullets going every which way, so on, so fourth.  So instead of me like…trying to talk about it I can just show my design document that I had to do, and that is under the tag and all of that, and I will try to get back in the grove of things soon.

Title – Mid-Term the Game Part 2: The Final

Description/Feature Set – The game will be a shooter game with many, many bullets being shot at the character, to which the character will have to dodge the bullets more so than shoot the enemies.  The character in the game is more or less an ‘avatar’ of the player, because with how the story works out the character is the player in a sense.  The story for the game is after long hours but into a final for a class, it was stolen by the generic bad guy, and the only way to get it back is to play though the game left by the bad guy.  The game will feature 3 levels for the player to shoot and dodge though each with increasing difficulty.   Each level will feature a boss at the end, and the player will get a few tricks to help them though out the game.

Purpose/Application – The purpose of the game is to give a style of gameplay that isn’t done all that much in the US.  The type of game being the Bullet Hell or Danmaku.  These games have a set of features that are in most of them.  Some of these features being a huge amount of bullets to dodge, a small hit area on the player; being that there is only a spot on the player where it would count as a hit and not the whole sprite, and time based boss battles.

Premise/High-Concept – The premise of the game is to capture the style of the Bullet Hell games and providing that experience which I find to be a very awesome concept that I think people should be shown.   I expect for the game to show the basics of a Bullet Hell game and maybe have the player look into that type of game more.  What I hope the player gets out of the game is a new experience of a defined genre.

Genre – The genre of the game is a vertical shoot um’ up game, but more specially it is a Bullet Hell game.  The features of Bullet Hell games are stated earlier in the document.

Platform – The game will be one the PC.  The reason being it is being done using the Gamemaker engine, which only produces PC games.  Though I do think still given a choice I think I will still choose the PC to but it on.  The game being for a handheld would be a choice I would consider though.  Though there seems to be something about the PC and more or less because of the internet that most of the underground or different styled games turn up there.

Audience/Market – The audience for this game is not a big one and I do see that.  First there is the fact that the game won’t have high tech graphics or any of that new school jazz.  The game will very much so resemble the feel of an old SNES game maybe.  Though that does have an appeal in itself though, but after that the gameplay is not for everyone.  The game is meant to be a difficult game, and that could turn people off.

Rating – The rating for the game would be somewhere in the range of E10+ to the Teen rating.  The reason for this would be of course there is violence, but really the way I see it the deciding factor for each rating is if there is cursing in the story parts.  So the game could go either way more or less because of that decision.

Player Mode – The game is set to be a single player game.  For what the game is, there really isn’t a way to have two players, or at least a way where I would like how it is set up.  The same goes for online or LAN, I feel the game would be best set for single player, while the gamemaker software does limit the multiplayer modes, which did come in to play.  Though single player is the way to go with this type of game I do believe.

Time-Interval – The game will be in Real-Time, that is also about the only way for a game like this to be.  The game does focus on reaction time and all of that, which allows the player to dodge the bullets.  While it would be very interesting to see a turned based version of the game, I want to keep it as close as possible to the genre.

Backstory/Synopsis – The events that happen before the game are stated for the most part in the Premise/High Concept section.  The player was working on their final project for their game programming class, when just as they finished it the file was stolen.  This file of course had your heart and soul in it because it was to prove to yourself, your parents, and other family members you could do a good job.  Not to say there was honor and money as well on the line.  The person who stole it is just done as the bad guy/evil dude/etc…Though he or she was nice enough to leave a way to try to get the file back, which is by beating the game the evil dude left behind.

Character Descriptions –
Player Character – This of course is the player himself, who is also never seen during the game.   This also obviously is the main character of the game.  Taking control of the character in the game or the ‘avatar’ to beat the game and get their final back.  They character is not gone into much detail or anything because I want the player to take the role of him or her.
Bad Guy/Evil Dude – This is the bad guy of the game, who is a very mysterious character in him or herself.  They come steal your completed project and then leave you to fight though their game to try to get it back.  All in all just an evil guy, who could or could not be someone the player knows.

Competitive Analysis –
Ikaruga – Ikaruga may be the most well known Bullet Hell game.  It had releases on the Dreamcast and the Gamecube.  While the game does have some Bullet Hell features, it adds in a new twist.  That being that every enemy in the game is either black or white.  The player also has the ability to be either black or white.  If a bullet of the same color hits the player’s ship it is converted into power for a special attack, the other color and the player dies.  Also if the player is shooting an enemy of the opposite color it does double damage.  The game is very well done and with the black and white gameplay style it adds a puzzle part to the game as well.
Touhou Project Games – These are what I think define and are the standard for the Bullet Hell games.  There are around 10 of these each one becoming better than the last.  The one thing about these games is the difficulty levels that are available to choose from: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Lunatic.  Lunatic does not let the name down, bullets are always flying and it is crazy, at times finding the character is hard.  All of the characteristics of the Bullet Hell games are found here and arguably done the best in these games.
Warning Forever – This is a bit different from the rest because the game is only boss battles.  Though that does not make this game easer than the rest in anyway, the game is just as hard as any of them.  Bullets are always flying, though the boss is also does a lot more moving than in some of the other games.  This game also differs because there is a time limit instead of times, beating a boss adds time and dying takes time away.

Rules – The number of players as stated is one.  The age range I would have to say is more geared for teenagers because of the difficultly.  The time from start to finish I am hoping will be from 15-30 minutes which is a good time range for only 3 levels.  To win the game the player will have to beat the boss of each level and after the 3rd the game will be won.  The loss condition is if the player looses all of there lives.  In this game one hit to the ‘hit box’ of the character will cause the player to loose a life.  Scoring will be done though each enemy and or boss killed.  The end of the game will have the player getting the file back and the Evil Dude’s game will blow up or be destroyed, which would give honor to you and if things go well with the grading get the respect of your family and money too.

Challenges – The challenge to this game is all in the number of bullets that will fill the screen.  With not much room for error or even to move the player has to go though and dodge the flood of bullets that come near them.  While of course fighting off the enemies and the bosses during all of this.  Also the bullets won’t be the same different patterns of them will show up though out the game.

Strategies – The strategies that would have to be used would for one have to be quick reflexes.  Without those the player really has no chance to dodge all of the bullets.  Pattern Recognition would also be another one for the player to have, because there will be patterns to the bullets.  Then Color Recognition would be good to have just to be able to tell everything that is going on.

Theory/Game Balance – The balance to be used with this game is consistent challenges.  The game will start off easy enough, though it will still be difficult.  Then as it moves on the game will continue to get more difficult, death is bound the happen this is how the game should be to new players.  Though it will not be unfair death.  It is also not as not the player will not have any help, there will be either a power up or ability that can be used to get rid of a large section of bullets to gain more room to move or avoid death.  The game will mostly rely on the player skills, but luck will still be there to play a small role.

Perspective/Game View – The perspective of the game will be in 3rd person.  The game view of the game will be an overhead or aerial view.  This of course are standards for the shoot um’ up games for the most part.  It is just simple and effective and if it works there is no real reason to mess with it.

User Interface – When the game is first started there will be a menu screen which is active and the player will have a choice to view: story, controls, high scores, start the game, or exit the game.  Once the game is going on the right side will be score, number of lives, and number of power ups/bombs.  Overall it will be very simple and easy to see because most of the focus will have to be on the game at almost all times.

Audio – The audio that will be in the game are sounds and sound effects and music.  Both of which I want to try for them to have a future feel to them so laser sounds and that for the effects and techno for the music.  I also plan for the music to be upbeat to go with the pace of the game.

Summary/Future Updates – The game has a huge focus on being a Bullet Hell game and all of those ideas for the most part are in this game.  It will provide a unique gameplay and since it is something that is not seen often will give a new experience to players.  In the future I would love to add more levels, more characters to play as, and overall expand the game in just about every way.