Game Design Document – High Level

OVERVIEW

Idea

  • City building simulation with RPG elements and a heavy focus on story telling as a mechanic to resolve conflict rather than resource gathering or building placement

Genre

  • Simulation
  • RPG

Similar Games

  • Civilization series
  • Tropico series
  • SimCity Societies

Setting and art style

  • 2D JRPG-style tile features “chibi” characters and a pixel art fantasy theme, set in the Discoridan Tales universe

Main player goal

  • To build and grow a settlement; guiding and assisting the citizens in the various challenges that they encounter through the use of fables, lore, and stories

SYSTEMS

Game currency

  • Value in the game is measured based on the impact of the player’s decisions across 3 metrics; Society, Economy, and Environment

Player progression

  • Progression is based on the growth and development of the settlement, measured against the balance of the 3 aforementioned metrics

PVE mechanics & features

  • NPCs present challenges to the player that need to be resolved through discourse whilst measuring the impact on, and balance of, the aforementioned metrics. These challenges will come in a variety of forms and cover a number of topics, from personal disagreements,  diplomatic debates with neighbouring settlements, economic or environmental threats.

PVP mechanics & features

  • No multiplayer elements are planned for the current release of the game, but there is scope for this in the future with diplomatic challenges and competitive scoreboards

Social mechanics and features

  • Platform chat and social media integration will allow for progression sharing, competitive score challenges, and group conversations, and related community building efforts

Monetisation mechanics and features

  • The initial release will be F2P with an expanded range of levels, challenges, buildings, and progression options offered as a paid product once the game has proven a success.

Unique mechanics and features

  • Whilst exploring the impact of settlements and peoples on a world through the medium of player choice has become a common theme in recent games, there are no notable examples where this is measured based on the power of words and their consequences.

STORY

Protagonist

  • Reed Markam, a recent graduate of the Amethyst Academy and rising star in the Crimson Consulate.

Antagonist

  • There is no single source of discontent or disruption, however balancing the impact of growing a settlement from a social, economic, and environmental perspective will provide a constant challenge alongside managing the frequent and varied demands and requests of the citizens.

Plot setup

Having recently graduated from the Amethyst Academy with majors in Communications and Philosophy and a minor in Theology, Reed Markam is eagerly looking forward to finding a calling and making a mark.

Alas, after a few months of temporary jobs and dismissive calls with prospective employers, it begins to dawn that it may not be as simple as Reed had initially thought to be someone in Modievan society.

On a cold night, down a dark alley, in a dimly lit tavern, Reed downs a drink and wonders what it was all for and where it all went wrong.

Getting up to leave, Reed stumbles home, determined to deal with all in the morning. Somehow.

Waking groggily the following morning, Reed blearily spots a red card trimmed in gold on the bedside table.

After curiously, and with great difficulty, lifting the card the words “Oppoltomony on a lighthouse!” rise through the drowsy haze of drunken vision.

As the haze clears, so do the words, which are instead revealed to be “Opportunity of a lifetime!”, followed by “Lost in the rat race? Left behind while your friends, relations, and their pets have all passed you by? Searching for your true calling? Look no further!”

Intrigued, Reed turns the card over to reveal contact information for “Geld Rouie – Diplomat, Consultant, Advisor, Leader of the Pack”.

Figuring there is nothing to lose, Reed calls teh number and is greeted by an oddly familiar voice-

        • Geld: “Hail Discordia! I didn’t expect to hear from your so soon… You had quite the night!”
        
        • Reed: “Did I? I thought it was pretty uneventful…”
        
        • Geld: “[chortles] Uneventful? I want to know what you consider eventful if agreeing to move to Modraak is uneventful for you!”
        
        • Reed: “I’m sorry, what did you say? Modraak? Why in Eris’ name would I agree to that?”
        
        • Geld: “You seemed very excited about it last night… Something about it ‘showing everyone’. You almost had me convinced it was your idea and not mine!”
        
        • Reed: “What exactly did I agree to?”
        
        • Geld: “You really don’t remember, do you? Ah well, no time like the present. Look out the window…”

It was about this time that Reed realised this wasn’t home; the bed was a rug on the floor and the beside table was a dusty crate.

        • Reed: “What in the name of Discordia… Where am I?”
        
        • Geld: “Look out the window, Reed. And welcome to our new home!”

Endgame

  • The player must grow the settlement from a humble dwelling to a bustling city, achieving a balance of social, economic, and environmental impact.

TARGET AUDIENCE

Achievers ♦️

  • Score system that requires focus and planning to balance
  • Quests and challenges with achievements

Explorers ♠️

  • World lore to learn
  • Unique systems to understand
  • Different locations and styles to play with

Socializers ♥️

  • Gameplay is heavily focused on decisions through discourse
  • Social platforms hosting the game will allow for discussion, hints, tips, and progress sharing

Killers ♣

  • Social platforms and sharing options will allow for score sharing and rankings
  • Gameplay will allow for speed runs and other forms of competitive play, despite the single player nature of the game

PITCH

Genre & difficulty (5 secs)

  • Midcore city sim with RPG elements and a heavy focus on story and community

Competition (5 secs)

  • Frostpunk
  • Rimworld
  • Dwarf Fortress
  • King of Dragon Pass
  • Six Ages

Better because (10 secs)

  • Lower bar of entry for new players in the genre due to narrative/RPG focus
  • Less focused on resource gathering and management and more on community building
  • Unique balance metric for social, economical, and environmental impact instead of a focus on just one of the three

Audience (10 secs)

  • Simulation/strategy played looking for a new take on the genre and a unique challenge
  • RPG players looking to expand their horizons to include more than just quest completion and reward gathering

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