Practice based Research Game Project Document V2
Project Name: Elateth
So far in this project I have researched the subjects of Cosmic Mega-structures, Cosmic Entities, Genetic Alteration and Cosmicism, due to the nature of all these subjects my future research will mostly be Sci-fi related. I liked the idea of Cosmic Mega-structures the most so I have continued with that research which brought me to all sorts of subjects about using Mega-structures to power advanced civilisations and even create gigantic space habitats for colonies of sentient beings. I have also looked at the possibility of alien species currently building such structures deep in space.
For reference, Cosmic Entities are essentially space gods, higher beings and unknown horrors existing in the far corners of the universe and are incredibly more advanced than we can conceive. The part of Genetic Alteration I looked at is the idea of creating super soldiers or heroes through the accidental or purposeful exposure of unknown materials of chemicals. Cosmicism is the idea thzt compared with the vast and more highly advanced unimaginable species, that hypothetically exist out in deep space, humanity is nothing and life is meaningless.
My subjects would all be at home within sci-fi media probably because this interests me greatly, pushing humanity beyond the comfort zone and amongst the stars provides so many great premises like their survival, adaption and how we would deal with the knowledge of an alien race.
I extended my research into looking at immense Mega-structures that can be used as habitats and how a species would go about creating such a structure and occupying it, it also brought up the interesting idea of how slowly adjusting the living conditions within such a structure would help adapt it’s occupents over time. The greater goals of adapting the species occupying it would be to some day adapt to the atmosphere of a possible alien planet. A few noteworthy structures that have promise of more research for this would be a Topopolis, a giant rotating tube looped around a sun, an O’Neill Cylinder, two counter rotating cylinders pointed at the sun and a Niven or Bishop Ring, a giant open ring shaped habitat.
These examples provide an interesting setting for a game and maybe even provide new angles to follow within other genres but I started to wonder what kind of style such a game would use and how the style would effect actions in game.
Retrofuturism was my next step with the subjects of Cyberpunk, Steampunk and Deiselpunk taking key roles in my research. Not only would the entire image of the game change depending on what kind of style I would use but also interactions within the game. If I were to create a game where one would have to deal with scenarios like resource shortages, this would be a much large problem in a Deiselpunk game than a Steampunk game. The narrative, a part of the game I enjoy most, would be hugely effected and hugely different from genre to genre.
I’ve also been looking into retro pixel style graphics like one would find on an old ZX Spectrum or a Commodore 64. Using a website called Piskel, I’ve been abale to replicate imagery from games such as Exolon or Jet Pac, I’m starting to think that I could create interesting visuals for my game with this.
By producing this game I hope to progress my own skills because I’ll be making this alone and will be doing every part of it myself, coding and art included. This will be a new milestone for my personal games development. It will also prove to be a good asset and a good start to my proffessional portfolio, hopefully attracting potential employers and providing a decent start to my career. Companies that specialize in pixel graphics and good gameplay might consider something like mine, maybe even online games companies like Nitrome. If this game is marketable it might even provide a small income.
For my game I’ve chosen a retro sci-fi setting and graphics like Exolon or Uridium, people that have played old consoles back in the day might enjoy a game like mine as it might bring a feeling of nostalgia. Those that enjoy sci-fi may enjoy my narrative and setting as I want to not only include somekind of space flight but also a very Lovecraftian backstory for the game.
Its local competive element would attract a large age range, from kids to adults, everyone could enjoy a bit of competition on their sofa. The slightly violent nature will obviously prevent it from being marketable to small children but I’m not planning on having any gore or actual visuals of death, only destroyed space ships.
My current game idea will be rather different from any competition as the main mechanic in the game is practically unique, no other game that I have found during my research has used a tether between two vehicles as a weapon to destroy the vehicle you’re tethered to. I’m hoping to also provide a fun and competitive experience that can be found in games like Speedrunners, I would have to introduce a timer or increasing moment of peril.
The subjects that aren’t specifically related to games are my mega-structure research, my retrofuturism research, my Cosmic Entities research, my Cosmicism reasearch and my Genetic Alteration.
A report I have been looking into is all about Dyson Spheres and detecting alien activity amongst the stars. ‘Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation’ is a paper by Freeman J. Dyson that states that it’s logical to look for Infrared Radiation amongst the stairs that might be caused by a Mega-structure that could cover a star. It’s pointed out that for an advanced civilisation to progress they will eventually need the enitre output of energy from a star.
I’ve also been looking into science fiction novels for stories relating to mega-structures like ‘Ringworld’ by Larry Niven. Ringworld is exactly what it says in the title, it’s a story set on a giant Niven Ring habitat with detailed descriptions of how the ring functions and the ecosystem in it. Every thing is included, even how they mamage a day and night cycle on such a structure.
Another Novel I looked into was ‘Tau Zero’ by Poul Anderson, this novel looks into Time Dilation and the increase of Mass at great speeds, the book also gets really deep towards the end with the concept of outliving the Universe and witnessing the birth of the next cycle.
Based on my research so far I will be producing a 2D pixel style game on Unity, this will be a local competitive game where you would have to fight against the other player while avoiding environmental obstacles and increasing peril. For our arcade event I can create it for a normal PC but I was thinking that due to such simple controls I could easily make it for the Nintendo Switch.
Just before Christmas and over the Christmas period I will be focusing on the concepts of obstacles and traps within the game, I will also be attempting to understand the code behind the game.
Next up in my project I will be continuing creating my game, I will not be needing any complicated methodologies to structure my project as I am working alone. I will separate my tasks into three categories, Art, Code and Building and work on one category per week. The Art category will focus on all the art that will go with the narrative and menu screens as well as the in game animations and sprites. The Code category will work on the basic coding behind the game and document my struggle to write the game script. The Building category will focus on exactly that, putting the game together and all the extra bits not covered by the other two subjects. Each week I will be focusing on one subject only, alternating with art, code, building then back to art.
I will be testing my game on my class mates and holding polls with them as well, because they’re games design students they will provide me with proper constructive criticism for me to look into and improve my work where I see fit.