This a partial game design document for the third-person shooter "Ooze." For portfolio purposes it's only a partial document.
OOZE by Samantha Wallschlaeger
1. Game Overview 1.1. Game Concept: Ooze is a third-person shooter taking place in the ruined modern-day city of North Haven, in the midst of an attack on Earth. The story follows Ooze, a sentient weapon whose original purpose is to assist in the ongoing destruction of humanity. A complication arises, however, when it forgets this purpose and instead embarks on a search to find a young girl named Iris, its missing other half, and ultimately the meaning of its existence. Along the way it encounters (and must survive) other sentient weapons, scared and hostile humans, and the harsh landscape Earth has become. Throughout the story Ooze becomes an unwitting hero for the city it was destined to destroy. Ooze is at its core a game about finding your purpose. While Ooze attempts to find the other half of himself, which he lost in the opening of the game, he also must discover what he wants his purpose to be, not what he was created for. At the same time, he also discovers the purpose (and importance) of humanity, learned through his interactions with Ivy and other humans. 1.2. Feature Set: Absorbable and customizable weapons Rewards and penalties based on choices made in-game Hidden areas in each map to explore and find side quests A leveling system, with abilities for Ooze to unlock Puzzle-based mini-games to unlock information and valuable items Red livewires to replenish Ooze’s health, and blue to replenish his energy. 1.3. Genre: Third-person shooter, with slight elements of action-adventure. 1.4. Target Audience: Males and female causal gamers, age 18-35. Specific elements of the game are used to target a female audience. 1.5. Game Flow Summary: The flow of the game is organized by areas of the city. The plot of one area must be completed before moving on to a new area, much like in Borderlands. If each area is explored fully, there are side quests to complete. In addition, players are rewarded for returning to an old area, as new side quests appear after certain plot points are completed. Game flow is linear and intentionally simple. With the exception of side quests, events must be completed in order. Plot missions are gathered through Ooze’s walkie-talkie, through Iris, or through encountering certain NPC’s. 1.6. Look and Feel: Ooze is, essentially, a post-apocalyptic game (technically its set in the midst of an apocalypse), so the visual style is dark and dreary. Grays, reds, and black are heavily used. The art style is 3D but with a distinctly cartoonish, 2D feel, perhaps enhanced by cel shading (also similar to Borderlands). Ooze is intended to be an artistic experience as much as a game. 1.7. Project Scope
1.7.1. Locations: 11 Parking Garage Iris’ Apartment Building Vilas Zoo Vilas Park St. Paul Hospital The Sewers Regency Theater Koeller Memorial Library Hudson Place Mall The Shipyard Stratton Building 1.7.2. NPC’s 126.96.36.199. Major: Iris The Other Half 188.8.131.52. Enemy Types: Name 1 (any weapon) Name 2 (slice doesn’t work) Name 3 (bullets and slice don’t work, only fire type items kill) Military Personnel Random Humans Zoo Animals 1.7.3. Weapons: Slice (knife) Pistol Sniper SMG Flamethrower Rocket Launcher 2. Gameplay and Mechanics 2.1. Gameplay 2.1.1. Game Progression: Ooze is a fairly linear game. Aside from the side quests, missions must be completed in order. A new mission is not received until the first one is completed, as the game follows a linear story. However, the player determines how Ooze evolves throughout the game, and also how the game itself ends. In the final moments Ooze must choose between the reason he was created, and the friend he’s made in Iris. Two different endings reflect the outcome of that decision. The game progresses through several areas of the city; these areas are locked to the player until their necessary time in the plot. Each area has its own plot and also fits
into the entire plot as a whole. The player can choose to go back to old areas after completion and find extra hidden side quests. 2.1.2. Mission Structure: Missions are triggered either by cut scenes or snippets picked up through the walkie-talkie. Each are of the city has a main story mission and up to three side quests. A mission can be anything from a fetch quest from Iris to a search for the Other Half based on clues. Side quests can be puzzles, fetches, enemy elimination, All missions include avoiding or eliminating enemies, including other sentient weapons, humans, and the unstable landscape of the city. 2.1.3. Objectives Over the course of the game, the main objective for Ooze (and the player) is to find his Other Half. However, Ooze’s secondary objective is to keep Iris safe. Since Iris is a naturally courageous and heroic character, she projects her own objective onto Ooze and the player as well, which is to defeat the sentient weapons and save humanity. 2.1.4. Play Flow The player begins the game with no weapons. As Ooze moves through the areas of the game and progresses with the plot, he absorbs weapons and “becomes” them. Each weapon absorbed is added to the player’s arsenal and can be used against creatures (and humans) or to complete challenges. Weapons are presented to the player in a certain order as they become essential to gameplay. The player picks up most of the missions and quests through snippets on the walkie-talkie, which Ooze also absorbs. As Ooze gains a larger arsenal and the player adjusts to gameplay, the enemies and challenges become more difficult in each area of the map. This is the main reason areas are blocked off until certain plot points are completed. 2.2. Mechanics 2.2.1. Physics: Since the game takes place on present-day Earth, the in-game world’s physics are the same as the real world. However, the sentient weapons follow unnatural physics. Some creatures are impervious to melee weapons, some are bullet-proof, and some are fire-proof. In addition, Ooze can squeeze under and into tight spaces, as he’s made of a viscous muck-like substance. 2.2.2. Movement: Ooze is affected by gravity just as Earth creatures are. He walks and runs just like a human, albeit smaller. Ooze has the ability to squish into small spaces and under low objects, as he’s made of a goo-like substance. In combat, Ooze uses his body as a human would use a certain weapon. For example, when using Slice, he uses his arm as a knife. When using the Pistol, he shoots “bullets” out of his arm, which now resembles the barrel of a gun. And so forth. 2.2.3. Objects 184.108.40.206. Weapons:
When Ooze picks up a weapon (or the walkie-talkie), he absorbs it and it becomes a part of him, rather than being added to an inventory. Weapons can be cycled through just as in other shooters. Weapons like guns, the flamethrower, and the rocket launcher don’t run out of ammo, but using them causes Ooze’s energy to deplete. Ooze then needs to be recharged by a blue livewire. 220.127.116.11. Other objects: Other objects, such as those retrieved in fetch quests, are also engulfed by Ooze. However, these objects are added to an inventory the player can view. Inventory objects also include important information such as notes and data drives. Livewires are scattered throughout the game. Red livewires recharge health, and blue recharge energy. Ooze cannot pick up livewires, but can choose to touch one to replenish himself. 2.2.4. Actions 18.104.22.168. Switches and Buttons: 22.214.171.124. Picking Up, Carrying, Dropping: As mentioned before, picking up and object results in absorption, if it’s a weapon, or an addition to the inventory, if it’s any other object. Ooze can drop these inventory items at any time, but weapons cannot be dropped. 126.96.36.199. Talking: Since Ooze doesn’t talk, the player can instead select to listen in on NPC’s in order to obtain missions or side quests. Iris can be interacted with, but again, Ooze can’t talk back. If Iris is with Ooze (as she is for most of the game), she speaks for him. 188.8.131.52. Reading: When the player picks up any piece of writing—note, letter, datapad, anything—it shows up immediately on the screen for the player to read. After that, it remains in Ooze’s inventory to be revisited at any time. 2.2.5. Combat Combat is essentially the same as other third-person shooters. The difference, however, is the POV. Whereas most TPS games have a human playable character at the same height as the enemy, Ooze is small, and therefore the POV is closer to the ground. Enemies all look larger, including humans. Ooze can use his weapons (including Slice) using the trigger buttons, or a melee hit with the left bumper. 2.2.6. Economy Since the city of North Haven is in a state of ruin, money is meaningless. Therefore, a crude bartering system has taken its place. The player must trade items for either other items or information, or perform tasks to obtain objects. Aside from that, the only way to get something is to steal it. 2.3. Screens 2.3.1. Menu
By pressing the Start button, the player can access the Menu, which is where the various screens are located. 184.108.40.206. Inventory This is where objects are stored. The player can look at objects and read descriptions or discard objects. 220.127.116.11. Ooze This screen displays Ooze’s health and energy, as well as his level, skills, and weapons. 18.104.22.168.1. Skills Slice Accuracy Power Stealth Lock Pick Energy 22.214.171.124. Missions This shows Ooze’s current mission and/or side quests, as well as the ones he’s completed. 126.96.36.199. Options The player can change control, difficulty, and audio options here, as well as turn subtitles on or off. 188.8.131.52. Save Game 184.108.40.206. Load Game 220.127.116.11. Quit 2.4. Replaying and Saving The player can save, quit, and reload at any point in the game except during a battle. In addition, an autosave feature saves the game after major checkpoints have been reached. 3. Story, Setting, and Character 3.1. Story and Narrative 3.1.1. Back Story No one on Earth knows why these strange sentient weapons are attacking. They simply showed up one day and the destruction began. The weapons themselves don’t have the answer, either; they attack, as they were made to. But these weapons were, in fact, created. The Mechanics, as Ooze knows them by, built these creatures out of weaponized organic matter to lead an attack on Earth. Throughout the game, we discover this alien race simply ran out of room on their own planet, and so they decided Earth seemed like a suitable place for a colony. Assuming humans are non-sapient beings, they began razing the existing civilizations to make room for their own people. They hold the firm belief that humans are just animals, unable to use reason or intellect, and therefore the destruction of Earth is no different than our own leveling of forests to make way for cities. 3.1.2. Plot Elements
3.1.3. Game Progression Ooze’s motivation throughout the game is to find the Other Half. At first, it’s a search for comfort and familiarity; Ooze is drawn to the other piece of himself. but each new area Ooze enters reveals more of the horrors the Other Half is committing: killing humans, destroying buildings, decimating the city. Encouraged by Iris, Ooze’s mission to find the Other Half becomes one of necessity, to destroy it and save this dangerous new place he calls “home.” 3.2. Game World 3.2.1. General Look and Feel North Haven was once a decent-sized city; it’s not a snarling mouth of jagged, destroyed buildings and smoking ruins. They world looks perilous and hostile, a mix of grays, reds, and blacks, with jagged lines and dark spaces. 3.2.2. The Parking Ramp 18.104.22.168. General Description: This is a typical four-story parking ramp. It has been hit hard, so portions of it are destroyed, and even missing. This presents navigation difficulty and acts as a maze of sorts. The interior is dark and echoing, with sunlight illuminating where the chunks of wall are missing. 22.214.171.124. Plot: 126.96.36.199.1. Investigate Screaming Ooze has to work his way through the first two levels (as stated before, rather mazelike), using Slice and Melee to clear obstructions. 188.8.131.52.2. Rescue Iris This is where Ooze first encounters Iris, hiding and injured on the third level. Two Scavengers are rooting around in the rubble. Ooze accidentally draws their attention to Iris, and they attack. Ooze now has to fight the Scavengers and kill them. When he defeats them, Iris runs off and drops her walkie-talkie. Ooze can absorb this to gain access to the radio. Immediately, the radio buzzes and relays information about a black creature attacking at Vilas Zoo. 184.108.40.206.3. Rescue Trapped Humans After a radio snippet, Ooze and Iris work their way up to the top level (4) to rescue a group of trapped humans. The maze aspect comes back into play, but now there are also Scavengers milling about on each level. Ooze and Iris have to kill these to move forward. Once they reach the top, they discover the Other Half has the humans trapped, including children. Ooze tries to interact with it but it attacks. After a brief battle (in which killing the Other Half seems impossible), the Other Half kills the entire group of humans and flees. Seeing this, Iris is distraught and resolves to destroy the Other Half.
220.127.116.11. Enemies: Scavengers (part 2 and 3), Other Half (part 3) 3.2.3. Vilas Zoo 18.104.22.168. General Description: Set in a greener area of the city, the animal exhibits and cages are arranged in an imperfect circle around a central point, the polar bear pit. Most of the cages are either blasted open or completely destroyed, though some remain intact with animals still inside. Escaped animals run loose, though they’re confined to the zoo grounds by high brick walls. 22.214.171.124. Plot: 126.96.36.199.1. Locate the Other Half In this area, Ooze has to explore the destroyed zoo to find the mysterious attacker. Exhibits are destroyed in a way that the player has to travel in a spiral toward the center, where the polar bear exhibit is located. Along the way Ooze can absorb a pistol and gain Shoot. He encounters Scavengers and the new Troopers, which walk on two legs and have a shooting ability. Humans and uncaged animals are also scattered around; the player can choose to kill them or sneak past. When Ooze reaches the center, he finds the Other Half, and they regard each other for a while, curious and happy. Shots ring out, and a group of humans attack. While Ooze ducks, the Other Half shoots a jet of flame and kills a human. It grows in size, then flees. The remaining humans turn their attention to Ooze, who now must escape into Vilas Park. 188.8.131.52. Enemies: Scavengers, Troopers, Humans, Zoo Animals 3.2.4. Vilas Park 3.2.5. Iris’ Apartment Building 3.2.6. St. Paul Hospital 3.2.7. The Sewers 3.2.8. Regency Theater 3.2.9. Koeller Memorial Library 3.2.10. Hudson Place Mall 3.2.11. The Shipyard 3.2.12. The Stratton Building 3.2.13. The Streets 3.3. Characters 3.3.1. Ooze 184.108.40.206. Overview: Ooze is the protagonist and playable character in the game. Intended to be a sentient weapon for an invading alien race, an accident causes him to forget his purpose and become an innocent bystander in the war. He is motivated by both his quest to find his Other Half, and by his protective feelings for Iris, a girl he
meets along the way. While he can understand human language, he can’t reproduce it. Because of this, he’s a silent protagonist for the duration of the game. 220.127.116.11. Physical Appearance: Ooze is small; about a third of an average human’s height. He’s made of a viscous black goo, and while he holds a standard shape, which looks a bit like a chubbier, rounder version of a child, he can shape shift to suit his needs. His eyes are large and glowing, giving him illumination in dark places. 18.104.22.168. Special Abilities: Melee Shape-shifting Weapon absorption: Slice, Shoot, Rapid Shoot, Snipe, Rocket, Flame Lock-pick Recharge 3.3.2. Iris 22.214.171.124. Overview: Iris is a 12-year-old girl living in North Haven. Until she encounters Ooze, she is completely alone. Though she’s initially frightened of Ooze, her courage and heroism are uncommon for a girl so young. Once she teams up with Ooze, it’s her bravery that leads to Ooze saving North Haven from the weapon creatures. She transforms Ooze from a passive bystander to a hero. She also stands out for her technical abilities. Tough and resourceful, it’s clear she’s grown up fending for herself. 126.96.36.199. Physical Appearance: Since fashion is the least of Iris’ worries, her look is practical. Short and a t-shirt, with her brown hair in a messy ponytail. She’s skinny for her age, with bony limbs. 188.8.131.52. Special Abilities: Shoot (once she acquires a gun) Iris acts as Ooze’s communicator. The player can use her to talk to other humans to get side quests or information. Iris has technical and mechanical abilities. She can fix broken electrical equipment even hotwire cars. 3.3.3. The Other Half 184.108.40.206. Overview: Not much is known about this nameless counterpart to Ooze except that they used to be two halves of one sentient weapon. But whereas Ooze seems predisposed to avoiding conflict, the Other Half is drawn to it. It propels the game forward by causing panic and killing humans. As the plot progresses, the Other Half transforms from neutral into an unstoppable killing machine, the exact opposite of Ooze. By the end it’s too far gone and must be destroyed. 220.127.116.11. Physical Appearance:
At first, the Other Half looks exactly like Ooze. However, as the game moves forward (and the Other Half displays more violent and horrifying behavior), it grows in size and evolves in appearance. Its limbs lengthen, its back hunches, and its face becomes uglier. By the end it looks exactly like the large creatures from the beginning of the game. 18.104.22.168. Special Abilities: The Other Half has all the same abilities as Ooze. In addition, it gets these abilities before Ooze does. For example, it can use Flame at Vilas Zoo already, where Ooze has just learned Shoot. 3.3.4. Scavengers 22.214.171.124. Overview: These creatures are the weakest members of the sentient weapons. They’re sent in as a sort of clean-up crew to root out and kill stragglers. 126.96.36.199. Physical Appearance: Scavengers have a body type similar to a hyena, but they consist of the same goo as Ooze’s body (though they’re gray in color rather than black). Like Ooze, they have eyes that function as headlights. 188.8.131.52. Special Abilities: Scavengers can use Slice in their front legs or teeth. They also have tough armor with high defense, with the weak spot being their bellies. 3.3.5. Troopers 184.108.40.206. Overview: Troopers are the soldiers of the sentient weapons. Often found in groups, they sweep through territories in the first wave. 220.127.116.11. Physical Appearance: Unlike Scavengers, Troopers stand on two legs. Though they’re made of the same material, Troopers have a scaly appearance, dull brown in color. They have no need for armor, as their skin itself is armored. 18.104.22.168. Special Abilities: As they’re a step up from Scavengers, Troopers have the Shoot ability. 3.3.6. Tanks 22.214.171.124. Overview: Tanks, are, of course, the heavy artillery. In later levels, it’s safe to assume that wherever a group of Troopers are gathered, a Tank isn’t too far away. 126.96.36.199. Physical Appearance: Tanks walk on four legs, with short back legs and long, powerful front legs. They’re built sturdy, with thick limbs, heavy trunks and thick skin. A gray-green in color, their shape is more amorphous than Troopers, more the gooey texture of Scavengers (though with better defense). 188.8.131.52. Special Abilities: Tanks have a Rocket Launch ability that deals plenty of damage. If the player gets too close, a Tank will also use its powerful front legs to deal a blow.
3.3.7. Leviathans: 184.108.40.206. Overview: Huge and nearly impossible to kill, Leviathans deal the majority of the destruction. These are the creatures seen at the beginning of the game. As they’re expert killing machines with virtually no weakness, they’re programmed to terminate at the sound of a certain signal, a built-in failsafe the Mechanics installed. This is what the Other Half becomes, and what Ooze was meant to be. 220.127.116.11. Physical Appearance: Twice the size of Tanks, Leviathans look a bit like elongated Tanks, with short legs and long arms. For their size they’re quick in their movements. They have a viscous, black exterior with glowing lamplike eyes. 18.104.22.168. Special Abilities: Leviathans can do everything Ooze can do, from Slice all the way to Flamethrowing. 3.3.8. The Mechanics 22.214.171.124. Overview: “The Mechanics” are the term Ooze remembers from his creators. He occasionally gets strange, garbled messages from the Mechanics, which his injuries prevent him from receiving in full. Only one message from them is fully received, trying to convince Ooze to end this futile fighting. They say that even if Ooze defeats the Other Half and the creatures, the Mechanics will still claim Earth. 126.96.36.199. Physical Appearance: The Mechanics never show themselves, so no one on Earth knows what they look like. 188.8.131.52. Special Abilities: Unknown.