I created a complete design document for a theoretical game called Wave Trekker. The document covers pretty much everything short of actually making the game. It’s a 3D open world style boating adventure in which the player travels around an open ocean in search of massive sea monsters to defeat. It was really liberating being able to design a game without having to actually make it at the same time. I really had fun working out the systems, writing out dialogue, and mapping out the areas.
Take a look at the design document to view the details of the game.
Selected Systems Breakdown
To demonstrate some of the finer aspects of the game, I’ve selected a few of the game’s major systems and broken them down below. For a much more complete explanation, take a look at the design doc linked above.
There are a number of items in the game that the player can collect. These items do various things, from loot that the player can sell to upgrades for the player’s boat. Below is table of all the items in the game. I also made a Google docs version which can be found here
|ITEM||Usage||Location||Buy Value (in scales)||Sell Value (in scales)||Purchasable from||Dropped By||Drop Percentage (%)|
|Repair Kit||Restores 75 health points||purchased, found, pirate common drop||100||60||Tidewind, Ebshore, Antra, Pluthe||Pirate||60|
|Fuel Reserve Tank||Restores 75 fuel||purchased, found, pirate rare drop||120||75||Tidewind, Ebshore, Antra, Pluthe||Pirate||20|
|Sailfish||loot||Sailfish drop||– – –||10||– – –||Sailfish||100|
|Chomper Scales||loot||Chomper common drop||– – –||20||– – –||Chomper||60|
|Chomper Fin||loot||Chomper rare drop||– – –||40||– – –||Chomper||20|
|Sawray Teeth||loot||Sawfish common drop||– – –||30||– – –||Sawray||60|
|Sawray Gel||loot||Sawfish rare drop||– – –||50||– – –||Sawray||20|
|Salt||loot||Brine common drop||– – –||20||– – –||Brine||60|
|Nautilus Shell||loot||Brine rare drop||– – –||70||– – –||Brine||20|
|Engine Parts||Allow player to access rougher areas, allow player to boost||Galmalok drop||– – –||– – –||– – –||Galmalok||100|
|Advanced Hull Armor||Increase player health to 150||Manja drop||– – –||– – –||– – –||Manja||100|
|Advanced Ammo Loader||Decrease all reload/cooldown times by 20%||Hispaniola drop||– – –||– – –||– – –||Hispaniola||100|
|Fuel Tank Expansion||Increases fuel to 150||Purchased at Ebshore trader||400||– – –||Ebshore||– – –||– – –|
|Advanced Torpedo Launcher||Increases torpedo capacity by 4||Recieved from Oflora High Council OR purchased from Antra Trader||700||– – –||Antra||– – –||– – –|
|Advanced Booster Module||Increases boost speed to 3.0, increases boost damege to 15||Purchased from Pluthe thrader||800||– – –||Pluthe||– – –||– – –|
Fuel and Boosting
The primary way the player moves around the game world in Wave Trekker is by boat. One of the key decisions I had to make was whether or not the boat’s engine would consume fuel. The most obvious concern I had was what would happen if the player ran out of fuel in the middle of the ocean? Additionally, I didn’t want players to have to keep track of a constantly depreciating resource that would ultimately bog down the experience and draw focus away from the more important elements of the game such as exploration and combat. I did end up incorporating a fuel resource, but it is only consumed when the player uses the boost ability.
Part way through the game, the player’s boat gains the ability to boost. This can be useful as a means to travel across the world more quickly, evade enemy attacks, or ram certain enemies. This boosting ability consumes fuel, limiting how often the player can use it.
Fuel Consumption Equation:
Fuel Consumed = 5+(10*t)
where ‘t’ is the time in seconds that the boost button is held down
The initial cost of 5 units of fuel as soon as the button is pressed ensures that boosting has an up front cost followed by a slower burn. This makes it more cost effective for players to utilize longer, more carefullly thought out boosts rather than quickly tapping the button. Initially, the player can hold a maximum of 100 units of fuel, meaning that a single boost held down for 9.5 seconds would completely drain a full fuel tank.
A normal boost doubles the boat’s speed. However, the player can collect an upgrade that will increase the boost speed to 3 times the normal boat speed.
Damage output equation:
Boost Damage Output = 100*(Boost Speed)
This means that boost damage is increased along with speed once the player collects the advanced boost module.