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Overview of Research and Game Design Document ADGD33

Princess to the Rescue

Contents

I want to create a game where the girl can be the hero and save the day. I will be designing a role playing game (RPG) to be made into a tablet application. The game will be geared towards a young female audience as I feel this demographic is underepresented in the gaming world.

Mission Statement

A female led RPG. A game for girls that does not involve hair and make-up. An RPG that finds other methods, besides killing, to defeat enemies. Five individual and uniquely designed worlds A story in which the male character is saved by the female protagonist The morale of the story is that friendship and kindness are what matter

The unique selling points of the game:

Most popular games are made with men in mind, most of the protagonists are men, they are a fantasy of what men wish they could be like, and the women are often an extension of that fantasy. Games which feature female leads frequently over sexualise their characters, Juliet (Lollipop Chainsaw) and Bayonetta come from successful games, but their sexuality appears to be their main weapon. Samus, from the Metroid series, was only revealed to be a woman at the end of Metroid. She is believed to be the least sexualised char acter ever, but does her success come at a price? Is she only popular because her feminity has been stripped away. In a lot of games, such as Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim and Guild Wars 2 the player can chose to be either male or female and customise their appearance to exagerate certain features, allowing the character to be as sexualised or androgenous as they please, although it is interesting that in the mildly unpopular MMO Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic it is possible to create an

obese and unattractive male character, but not female. Besides, the gender makes very little difference in either games, in Skyrim NPCs react more to your race than your sex and I believe it makes no difference at all in Guild Wars 2. There are many other games that contain female protagonists, but they always seem to appear as part of a team of men. Its almost a requirement, along with the white beefcakes, the team must contain a token woman and token ethic minority.

Why am I doing this?

bracing her love for pink and rainbows, yet still be badass enough to defeat all evil and save the day without a man in sight? This is the purpose of this game. To tell little girls that they can be just as much of a hero as the boys.

The popular damsel in distress trope is also put to frequent use in games, like the highly successful Mario (1985) series. In almost every game Mario has to rescue Princess Peach, as she has been captured (yet again) by Bowser. Link has to rescue Zelda (1986), Dante follows his beloved Beatrice into Hell in Dantes Inferno (2010). Although some women have decided that theyve had enough of being the helpless damsel, shes still a very popular stock character. So with all these popular games, and the testosterone they create, is it possible for a girl to save the day? Can she be a girl, em-

When I was a child the only specifically girly games I owned were basic point and click adventures. One, based on the film Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997) involved collecting fairy dust and photographing fairies, and Detective Barbie: Carnival Caper (1998). I loved this game; Ken has been kidnapped and Barbie must collect clues and track him down, Scooby Doo style. It also included mini games where Barbie had to chase a shadowy figure through the fairground and on rides. In the fifteen years since then the variety of games for girls has increased, and become more diverse, with Barbie still making repearted appearances. Ubisofts series of games Imagine (est 2007) allows girls to be whatever they want to be. They promote careers to young girls, from fashion designer, to zoo keeper, to chef. I think these are very positive games; while the jobs on offer are mostly feminine, someone at the top of their fields would have to be very dedicated and driven. The players have goals that they have to reach, and are

encouraged to push harder to achieve greatness for themselves, instead of relying on others. A lot of other games are not so positive; while searching for apps on the Apple market, geared towards young girls there were an awful lot that just centred on make-up and looking pretty. The message these send out to girls is that their personal worth is based on their appearance.

What games currently exist for girls?

ties, collect equipment to boost your stats and face off against enemies. Starting to sound a bit like World of Warcraft (2004) or Dungeons and Dragons (1974), doesnt it? However in WoW or D&D, the player becomes physically stronger and they teach comradeship, whearas Sorority Life, and the like, encourage superficial relationships and comercialism. Imagination and freedom of exploration are not encouraged.

Sorority Life, a Facebook game, was released in 2010 and declares that you will be the hottest girl on campus when you play. Basically you have to invite friends to join your network, and host social events to raise your status. As you spend more time playing you can earn money to spend on items like lipstick and handbags, to make you appear more charming and influential. You can even buy yourself a boyfriend. As an added bonus, you can compete against other avatars to see who is the hottest, and have a catfight if you feel threatened. In a way, this is not dissimilar to other RPGs. You make acquaintances, join par-

The standard Princess archetype is of a blonde haired, blue eyed girl who waits in a castle to be rescued by her Prince Charming. This character appears in books, movies, games, and every other media. Many legends centre around a damsel in distress, who must be saved. That is their reason for existance, just as their knight purely exists to be the saviour. The damsel will be naive, foolish, inept, and, most likely, a virgin. The character appears all over the world, from Greece, where Andromeda was sacrficed to appease the sea god Poseidon, before being rescued by the heroic Perseus, to India where the epic Ramayana tells of Sita who was kidnapped by the evil Ravana and must be rescued by her husband. It is no surprise that the damsel became a recurring character in fairytales of the Middle Ages, particularly in Europe, where the princess locked in a tower is a familiar motif (and subject to mockery in the 2001 film Shrek). The patron saint of England, St George became famous for saving a girl from certain death by dragon.

What has influenced the Princess?


In stories told to children the physically attractive are rewarded, the heroes and heroines are shining examples of purity, virginity, and beauty. They always come out on top, while the warty, ugly, and the hunchbacked are shunned and are automatically the bad-guys. Fairytales make up a large part of childhood for a girl, they are on their toys, in their books and their films. Dominating this princess world is the Disney franchise, who have been making princess films for children since 1937. The first princesses are damsels in distress, not doubt about it. Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora cannot do anything for themselves apart from take their lot with no complaint and sing about a better future. It is up to those around them, dwarfs or fairies, to help them achieve those dreams. Alice is a dreamer, she is similar to the next princess, Ariel, depsite having about forty years between them. They dream of

other worlds, and want to explore. Alice is quite unique in that she has no love interest and is a young child, but Ariel sacrifices her voice to pursue her prince. This may be seem as anti-feminist, but I think its good that she is actively pursuing someone instead of waiting for them, and in the end she saves his life, instead of the other way around. The ninties brought what is considered to be the Disney Renaisance, and many fiesty females. Belle actively refuses to be a damsel and marries the beast, shunning Gaston who is superficial and sees her as a baby-machine. Jasmine refuses to let men control her destiny, and marries Aladdin on her own terms. She is even willing to give up her life as a princess for a new life, albeit naively as she has no idea what is beyond the walls. In the late ninties we see princesses who have a cause, they are no longer a pretty naive face, they fight for what they believe in. Pocahontas and Kida fear for the distruction of their beautiful lands, Esmerelda wants

to protect her fellow gypsies and Mulan is willing to take on the huns if it stops her father going to war. They are on a mission and will not be stopped. Tiana teaches us that we must work hard to achieve our dreams, she is saving to buy a restaurant and is determind to get it, even if it means sacrificing her social life and friends. Once she has married her prince she still works in her restaurant and its amazing because she wanted it to be. Traditionally Rapunzel is THE damsel in distress, and while she does require a degree of rescuing in Tangled, she can also protect herself with her frying pan and magic hair. She is incredibly resourceful and determind. To be honest, none of these characters would win any awards with feminists, but they are getting better and improving. There is a large difference between Snow Whites personality and Tianas, and it can only get better.

Away from these fairy tale princesses, are there plenty of more positive female role models within the media. One of the most popular and current of which is Hermione Granger, heroine of JK Rowlings Harry Potter Series. According to Liz Feuerbach, who wrote an article entitled The Women of the Harry Potter Universe:
Rowling wrote Hermione to eschew stereotypes. She doesnt end up with the hero; she is never there to function as Harrys love interest. She prefers Arithmancy to Divination in school. Hermione is also a total badass, despite her prim and proper reputation. () So often, female characters are allowed to be aggressive or rebellious, but in exchange are stripped of any traditionally feminine qualities and instead are forced to pick up traditionally masculine traits. However, Hermione is never made to do that. Most notably, she is written to be highly logical AND emotionally expressive, a combination not commonly afforded to most of todays leading ladies.

Hermione made being clever cool, she was never described as being physically attractive, but she was awesome. JK Rowling has even said:
Fat is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her. I mean, is fat really the worst thing a human being can be? Is fat worse than vindictive, jealous, shallow, vain, boring or cruel? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? Im not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadnt seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? Youve lost a lot of weight

since the last time I saw you! Well, I said, slightly nonplussed, the last time you saw me Id just had a baby. What I felt like saying was, Ive produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Arent either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size? But no my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate! Ive got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I dont want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; Id rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny a thousand things, before thin. And frankly, Id rather they didnt give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has

fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.

A Song of Ice and Fire, written by George RR Martin and dramatised by HBO also has a wide aray of female characters, Catelyn and Cersei, fiercely protective mothers who will do anything to protect their children, Brienne who only wants to be a knight and defend her king, Sansa who believes in fairy tales and wants a Prince Charming to rescue her, Arya and Asha who see no reason why women cannot fight and rule, to name just a few. I think thats one of the reasons the books have been such a success, the range of deep and original female leads, who all have to find a way to survive in a very male dominated world (images on the right). Although not relating to female leads, The Lord of The Rings (1954-5) has a very solid and lovely theme within them: you do not need to be a warrior, or particulary brave to save the world. Two little hobbits, from a sleepy village succeed purely because they have each other, and the friendship they

share helps them pull through. This is quite a beautiful and refreshing change from big strong men in tough armour who march into battle. Brute strength is not always the answer. I would like my Princess to be a strong rolemodel, brave, clever, and kind. She should be the sort of girl other girls aspire to be like. She should not feel any obligation to find a man to rule her kingdom for her, desire to find a husband will not rule her life. But I love the happiness of Disney princesses, the never ending optimism that everything will be ok, and that there will be a happy ending. She will rule her kingdom fairly and her subjects will love her. When the wizard curses her subjects she is intially cautious and worried about the journey she has to take to save them, but after Poco gives her encouragement, she leaves on her quest. Once she has gotten over her worries she is shown to be brave and couragous, acquiring more desirable traits as she journeys on wards.

I considered making her brave from the off, but to develop efficiently as a character and grow up, she needs to begin as naive and learn these traits. The player will be able to customise the Princess, as they will give her their name, and can choose her skin and hair colour. They will also be able to select a colour for her armour. The only issue I worry about with the racial options is that Causasian, Coloured, and Asian people have different features as well as skin tones. When Mattel introduced a black Barbie in the 1960s they used the white Barbie mold with brown plastic, it wasnt until the 2009 So In Style range that an accurate black barbie was made, with larger lips, a wider nose and more prominent cheekbones.

The mentor is a prominent character is fiction, particularly fantasy and sci-fi. He is the Gandalf, the Dumbledore, the Fairy Godmother of his story, he teaches the hero what they need to know about the new world they are entering. He is often well travelled and will present the hero with an artifact of sorts, sometimes a weapon, sometimes just a piece of advice. Sometimes the mentor is not a physical mentor, but just a sense of justice or code of honor. Mentors are especially important in games. When you pick up a game you wont know how to do everything automatically, so most games will provide a mentor for you to learn the skills required. In Pokemon Professor Oak serves as a physical mentor, he introduces you to the game and takes you step by step through starting your journey. Other characters pick up the mentor role, to show the player how to catch a Pokemon and to give you a tour around the first town. A lot of game have on screen instructions, which break the fourth wall by talking directly to the player as opposed to the character, this can often break the real-

ism of the game

Poco - The Mentor Archetype

Some games, like Guild Wars 2, use events and quests to teach the player new skills. When entering the Player Vs Player combat for the first time, you must complete a short tutorial in the form of events to ensure that you have the skills neccessary. I feel that physical mentors are the best in games, they improve the players immersion into the game world and avoid breaking the fourth wall, as they talk to your character and not neccessarily you. However, due to the size of the screen required for my game, and the storyline, I think this wont be possible, and that I should have a mixture of the two. I initially wanted a character similar in appearance to Navi, in the Zelda series, who would be a genderless entity and would exist to help the Princess. However after talking to people about my game I decided that I would instead use a red panda (because theyre adorable) called Poco (which means little in Spanish). She is the guardian spir-

it for the kingdom, and is the smallest red panda in all the land. Her powers are only strong enough to save the creatures of the kingdom and not to cure the people. She will tutor the player through the levels and help them progress with hints and tips. She provides the Princess with a magic wand to save the creatures.

Its a popular choice on phones and tablets to give brief instructions on screen to show how to play the game. Simple animations demonstrate how to play Cut The Rope (far right), and, like Contre Jour (far left, top), it even includes an illustration of a finger. Heroes vs Monsters (far left, below) gives a quick tutorial on how to play with new instructions popping up after you have completed each step. Gears (right) has a help page to tell the player how the game works. While this is a good idea to get a lot of information down in one place I am sure I am not alone in saying that I pass over these quite quickly. When I want to play a game I dont want to sit down and read half a dozen pages about mechanics and power-ups that probably wont appear until several levels in, by which time I have forgotten what they do. And if I can be bothered to read it, a five year old child certainly will not. Nyan Cat, Lost in Space (left, top) only has two controls, tap to jump, double tap to double jump. Easy peasy. This is been

writen on the menu screen because its so simple, and no-one will remember it. There are many different power ups, enemies and bonuses in the game, which are listed in another menu. Like with Gears this menu is very long, but you dont really need to read it. I never did and was able to play the game quite well by guessing and using common sense. The Earth speaks to you in Kumo Lumo (left, below) and tells you what to do in each level, using pop up windows and small dialogue boxes to give instrcutions. I really like this, as small tips can be shown as the game goes on and more indepth. I want the instructions that appear to be neat, concise, and easy to read and understand. Like I said, I have a short attention span, and Im an adult, a five year old does not want a an essay on how to move. I feel its also neccessary to cover all bases, upon seeing Cut The Rope, I assumed you would cut using your finger, but the developers added the instructions because it may not be apparent to everyone, they may think

How is The Mentor shown in apps?


you need to tilt the device or push the ball. I dont want to assume that my audience is stupid, but just because something is obvious to one person, it doesnt mean that everyone will automatically understand it.

The Evil Wizard plays the part of the character archetype The Shadow. The Shadow is often a reflection of the hero, it is can be their fears, desires, or rejected qualities. They may not be all bad, they may have admirable or redeeming qualities. Sometimes the Shadow is inside us, its an inner demon that must be accepted or purged. Examples of The Shadow in popular media would be Sauron, in The Lord of the Rings (who is even referred to as, The Shadow in The East), Voldemort, from Harry Potter, and Darth Vader, Star Wars. The Wizard in my game exists to cause terror and trouble. He arrives in the kingdom and puts a curse of vanity on the people. They stop living their peaceful lives and suddenly become obsessed by their looks and material items. This greatly upsets the Princess and she resolves to lift the curse on her people. As per evil villian standard, the Wizard

has a lair hidden away in the mountains, it is even inside a volcano, all that is missing is a fluffy white cat to sit on his lap as he casually spins round in his chair. Villains often have a difficult past, four of the best villians in movies would have to be Voldemort, Darth Vader, Hannibal Lector, and Norman Bates (Psycho). What they all have in common is a difficult childhood, be in because they have an overbearing mother, they grew up in an orphanage, they were a slave, or they accidentally ate their sister. There is something dark in all of their pasts that made them as bitter and twisted as they are in their story. Because my game is about teaching that looks and material goods do not matter, I will link the Wizards past to that. When the wizard was younger he was teased for his unattractive features, and grew bitter and twisted because of it. After years of solitude in his lair the bitterness multiplied and he now enjoys terrorising neighbouring kingdoms and giving them the insecurities he once felt about himself.

He arrives at the start of the game to put a curse on the people of the town. Because of the Princesss royal blood she escapes the curse and starts to hunt him down.

The Evil Wizard

He has also cursed the many creatures and animals inhabiting the land, putting them into a zombie-like state, which Pocos magic can break. Once he is defeated by the Princess he returns to her kingdom with her where he lifts the curse he placed on her kingdom and lives in peace with her.

The Ordinary World: The introduction shows us what the country is like, its a happy bountiful land The Call to Adventure: The local evil wizard is having a particularly bad day, he casts a spell on the people, freezing them. Only the princess is left untouched, due to her royal blood.
insecure and scared, how can she possibly defeat the evil wizard and save her kingdom?

The Heros Journey


The Ordeal: She must defeat the Wizard and show him the error of his ways
can now return to her kingdom with the redeemed wizard, where she is loved more than ever. The story is simple, but as the audience is children, I dont want it to be too complicated or in depth. The plot of the story could be described as Voyage and Return, as the Princess learns more about herself and improves as a person on her quest, or Overcoming the Monster, as she must essentially defeat the wizard who has a hold on her kingdom. The conflict in the game is Character vs Character, as the Princess is set against the wizard.

Return with the Elixir: Princess

Refusal of the Call: Princess feels

Meeting the Mentor: Princess seeks out the Mentor to help her and give her the strength and bravery needed for her quest
begins!

Crossing the Threshold: The game

Tests, Allies, Enemies: Princess travels across a number of worlds to the Wizards cave

The game will be a side-scoller, for a number of reasons: I will completing this project by myself. I am confident that I can create a 2D platformer by myself. If I were make the game in 3D I would have to use Unity or UDK, which quite frankly scare me a little because when we were introduced to them it didnt go terribly well, especially Unity, which had a tendency to crash and wipe my save file every hour. Theres something about that which makes me disinclined to use it again. Making a game in 3D means that I would have to make human characters in 3D Max and animate them. I do not possess animation skills, and Im not interested in acquiring them, I would rather refine skills like drawing or texture creation which I actually enjoy and wish I could do better. Yes I would be able to work on texture creation in a 3D game, but tablets arent amazing and the games with the better graphics tend to be the 2D ones. They can be incredibly beautiful.

I think the kind of game produced in 2D would appeal more to my target audience than a 3D one.

Side-Scrolling Platformer

I will be using Construct 2 to create this game. I have not used this engine before this year, but it appears to be an easy to use, well designed, and user friendly engine. I definetly do not want to use Flash, I find it too buggy and I do not know want to learn Action Script 3. C2 is also free, up to a point, and to make a demo I imagine I will not need to purchase the full version. The mechanics in the game will not be overly complicated, for now at least. In the future I may try to work directly with children to make more levels with different obstacles. My demo level will take a lot of influence from Mario, and similar 2D platformers. I will introduce several enemies to level, which must be cured of their curse. As bad as it is to say, once I have sat

down and begun to play with C2 a bit more, I will be able to see what mechanics can easily be added and which will cause too much trouble.

I know I can look up tutorials for most things, but I dont think I learn as much if my level is bits of other peoples work put together; I would much rather work it all out for myself.

In many games the player is constantly moving through the world, on a never ending quest. For most of these games there is only one button used, simplifying the controls extremely. In Whale Trail the player taps and holds to jump up out of the clouds, but it must be judged right as a jump too big will result in a loop the loop which may make you hit a dark cloud. Jumping too often will make you run out of energy. This way of moving is suitable for a quick paced, linear game, part of me wonders if I should simplify my game to make it work with just one tap, but I dont really want to. An interesting mechanic is changing the environment, as opposed to controlling the character. Sprits, like Lemmings, requires the player to change little creatures to help the rest

One Tap Wonder

of them reach safety. They leave their origin one by one and walk as far as they can, you must click one and give it a job to enable them to walk further, they can become vine steps, a blowing cloud, or they can burrow through the ground. You must work quickly to save as many Spirits as possible. While this method of movement is certainly interesting and could be used to create an interesting game, I feel it would be unsuitable for mine. As you are not controlling the player it disconnects you from the world and makes you feel like more of an observer.

Controlling the player


run and shoot. The main things to consider when deciding on what control system: Is is suitable for the target audience? Does it work on a 2D screen? Will it work with my game idea? I think that the best way to go is to have a virtual d-pad, a simplified version of what appears in Total Recoil. Obvious controls are good, to avoid any chance of confusion. Below is an idea of what I want to make, upon asking others what they assumed the controls meant, I was told backwards/left, forwards/right, pew pew pew, up/jump. So I think they got it. I would have liked to have had just the one button to press, but I couldnt think of a way to make it work within my ideas.

Conclusion

Manipulate Environment

Total Recoil is a isometic game in which you play as a soldier who collects weapons and to attack enemies. It has two joysticks, one to control the movement of the character and one to control the weapon. The joysticks are constantly on screen, and are well placed to be able to hold an iPad and control it. I really like this method of control, for a game of this type, as it speeds up action and makes it easier for the player to

On Screen Joystick

One of my favourite PC games from when I was little, Spooky Castle: The Adventures of Kid Mystic, uses a very simple system to upgrade weapons ect. When an enemy is killed they drop coins, which you collect and upgrade your hat for defence, staff for attack power, boots for speed and other items for other bonuses. There is no effects on each item to understand, it is merely this one is better than that one. Added to this, in the individual levels within the world the player must collect orbs to be able to shoot, and diamonds to improve it. Red makes them shoot faster, yellow reflects them off walls and blue shoots them in both directions. Four levels in each world contain spell books, with spells like Healing, Fireball and Ice Blast, again self-explanatory and easy to understand. Obviously the idea of collecting money and buying stuff is not original, but I played this game a lot as a child and always found it to be nice and simple, and easy for kids to understand.

Especially if you compare this to Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, where the player must choose from a variety of skill trees to upgrade, depending on what kind of character they have. Then they can choose which perk to upgrade within that. A lot of adults and seasoned players find this confusing so it is most definetly not the way to go. The upgrades will not be as simple as attack, defence etc. They will continue to enforce positive female roles, and use different words, for example instead of upgrading attack, you upgrade bravery or determination for defence. To upgrade the player must collect flowers from each level, and then visit a shop to spend it. They will have to have all the upgrades to defeat the wizard.

Armour of Determination +25 Defence Boots of Wit +25 Speed Wand of Bravery +25 Attack Amulet of Tenderness Doubles health

Upgrades

Item Upgrades

When you start the game you can choose from a small number of simple customisation options, such selecting hair and skin colours, and choosing a colour for the armour. The image to the left is an example of how the different customisations could be portrayed.. The player can choose between pale, olive, yellow, or dark brown skin. This allows the player to make their character into different ethnicities. Hair colour can either be blonde, brown, ginger, black, purple, pink, or blue. The player can have normal hair colours as well as some unnatural, because its fun to have weirdly coloured hair.

Character Customisation

Chibi is a Japanese slang word for a short person or child, but has become a term used, particularly in anime, to describe a deformed character with an overly large heads and short limbs, making them resemble small children. This is often used to show exagerated emotion, like anger, which can be more easily shown on a large face than a small one. Like all anime the faces have large eyes and small noses and mouths, also to better show emotion. This style is used by popular Facebook game creator Zynga for their human characters. Zyngas games, including Farmville and Castleville, are predominatly played by women and children and these graphics appeal to this audience more than they would to boys and men. App developer Triniti Interactive have made numerous games with the characters with the same little face, yet they all have their own personalities and roles. You can tell which one is the wizard, which is the skeleton ect. Theyre kind of like those paper dolls you get as a child, they all look exactly

the same, but have different outfits. The images on the left are from an app called Heroes vs Monsters. Chibi are an appropriate style for my characters because they take advantage of the space allowed for them. Faces show more emotion that bodies, so more can be expressed in that small space.

Chibi Style

When looking at visual styles I already had an idea in mind, my research for it stretched from South Park (1997), to kids tv show Charlie and Lola (2000), to the animations created by Terry Gilliam for Monty Python (1969-83). I want to create a childish style, using paper cut outs and textures taken from everyday life. I spent a considerable amount of time last year recreating textures to look life-like (wood, stone etc) and this year I want to try something new. The style of South Park is what first made me think of doing this. Trey Parker and Matt Stone created the predesecors to, and pilot of, their sucessful show with just construction paper and glue. The pilot took roughly three months to complete, but now a new episode can be made in just a few days. The cartoon uses mostly primary colours and geometric shapes. The child characters are only distinguishable by their clothing and hats, and any Canadians in the show are even more simplified and all look

pretty much the same. All of the characters move in a jerky fashion, with limited facial expressions, as per the cut out style. Many non-fictional characters that appear in the show, like Saddam Hussein, have photographs as their faces, which move in a similar way to the rest of the cast. There are also episodes that use live footage, such The Pandemic 2: The Startling, an episode in series twelve where a guinea-bee, guinea-pirate and guinea-saurus-rex wreck havoc on the Colarado town in a Cloverfield spoof (copying the disastor theme and handheld camera). Terry Gilliam, part of the legendary Monty Pythons Flying Circus, created the iconic animation for the show, using cut out techniques. In 1974 Gilliam took part in a BBC tv show entitled The Do-It Yourself Film Animation Show where he gave advice on creating cut out animation. He would use anything he could find to make the animations, including family photos, magazines. He particularly liked old

photos, because of how the faces looked. Anything could be taken out of context, a purfume bottle could become part of a futuristic metropolis or a city could be placed in a cave of rocks. Photos and airbrushed images were a preference because they could achieve a level of roundness and 3D that traditional cartoons of the time could not. What appeals most to me about this style is how childish and handmade it looks. And I feel it is quite unique; hundreds of games are trying to get as realistic as possible, the 8-bit revival is going strong, and pretty ghostly indie games pop-up frequently too. I am positive that this games art style will make it stand out from the crowd. Programs I will use: Adobe Photoshop Adobe Illustrator

Uniquely Textured

The kingdom is where our story starts, it is supposed to look like a generic fantasy land, like the Shire in The Lord of the Rings, or a Disney country. The castle I found is in France, and reminds me very much of the castle in Tangled, and Divinitys Reach in Guild Wars 2. I want there to be lots of flowers and bright colours, despite the curse this is still is lovely land. I really like the windmill I found, and would like to include that in the level, and maybe a farm or barn, with haybales and other things to navigate It is here that the player learns the basics of playing the game. They must move around and gain courage by saving the cursed creatures you find.

Creatures found here


Mole Hedgehog Badger Fox

World One: The Kingdom

Evolved slightly from the tropical beach idea, part of this world involves crossing the sea to another island. I was also thinking of having an additional enemy in spikey things found in the sea, or jellyfish. There are lots of beautiful plants and creatures to be found in the sea, all of which are susceptible to curses. A possible mechanic in this world is using a boat to float along, or jumping from buoy to buoy to avoid the water. The Princess learns about navigation as she must travels in her boat from her land to the neighbouring island.

Creatures found here


Starfish Clownfish Turtle Jellyfish

World Two: Across the Sea

This world is calm and serene. It is very beautiful, and the buildings are quite ornate. There are flowing rivers, filled with lilies and small pagodas line the banks. I think this will be the prettiest world, and it is high on my list of worlds to create. I would like there to be a level within it that is dark. The bottom image in the last picture would be at night, with glowing lanterns and fire flies, maybe Chinese lanterns in the background as well. I think it could be an incredibly beautiful level. Here the Princess learns the value of inner peace and calm.

Creatures found here


Panda Dragon Mantis White Tiger

World Three: Eastern Lands

Here the terrain gets much more dangerous, there are slippery slopes to be aware of, and fields of lavender, and other other scrub plants. There are also jets of steam and hot water that must be avoided. This world features a typically scary creature (a ghost) which must also be cured of its curse, and which lives in a castle. There is also danger of snow storms and maybe even falling trees. Because of how dangerous and precarious the land is here, the Princess must master her balance to continue

Creatures found here Bear Ghost Snow Leopard Yak

World Four: Up Into The Mountains

Misty islands that you have to jump across, avoiding unpredictable weather and storm clouds, leading to a deep cave in which there is a fiery mountain, covered in lava. This is the most difficult and scary part of the journey, and the Princess must be completely selfless if she is to finish her quest

World Five: Cave and Floating Islands


Creatures found here Bat Lizard Troll Bear

As games are constantly becoming popular to a wider audience, it is important to include everyone in your potential audience. This includes those who suffer from disabilties, and who may not be able to play games normally like the average person. Able Gamers have produced a document, discussing and listing ways that companies can make their games inclusive and suitable for all kinds of disabilities. Ive looked at some of the things they suggest that are relevant to my game.

Catering to Disabilities
abled and ablebodied players alike. Online games, like World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic, have done this very well, and its important for those who dont have the same use of their hands as others. With modern gaming mice being able to house dozens of buttons a player with only one hand, for example, would be able to map all their skills onto the mouse, while also using it to run about. Level 2 Movable/Resizable UI Those with low stamina or dexterity need to be able to place elements of the UI in easy to reach places. While it may be hard to impliment, the ability to move UI increases fun and reduces frustration of the player. Difficulty Settings Games often ask use to do complicated combinations of actions, and some people just cant do it. They give up and get a different game. Now if there was a easier setting, or if the player had to option to skip areas after failing so many times. Mass Ef-

Roughly 20% of the UK and USA are disabled, and three quarters of the disabled community have moderate to severe mobility issues, inhibiting how they are able to play games. These mobility impairments can range from the loss of a limb, to severe spinal injuries that require eye tracking and voice recognition software. Level 1 Remappable keys This feature is high in demand, for dis-

Mobility - How We Move

fect 3 also gives the option of being almost invincible so that the player can enjoy the story without losing interest in the game. And Gears of Wars 3 even allows players to play co-op on different difficulties. Sensitively Sliders For players with strength or dexterity problems, this is a must. It can mean players only have to move the mouse a little bit to move a large distance, and on the other hand players can reduce sensitivity, so that they have greater control over movement, and broader motions will produce more precise actions. Input devices Many people with disabilities have third party software, with voice recognition, or on-screen keyboards. Civilization V allows players to use products like this without it interferring with the game at all. Speed Settings Everyone works at different speeds, and some people cannot process informa-

tion as quickly as others. Some games allow you to slow it down and take it step by step so that you can enjoy the game at your own pace. In My Game Key mapping is one of three must have options, its simple, caters to a very wide group of people, and gets the most requests. For my demo, I would not be able to offer this option, how ever I was originally going to use the space bar to shoot, I will change this to control. Although if I have time, I may look in to having an option to play with the mouse, or with the keyboard. You could use the mouse to direct the Princess about, click to jump, and right click to shoot. For the iPad version I will do something similar to the makers of Muffin Knight. As you can see, they let you resize and drag the buttons around, so you can have them wherever you are comfortable with them.

Level 3

They also give the option of attaching a bluetooth controller. Difficulty and speed settings are also something I could look at after I have made my demo, but worrying about it now would cause too much hassle. As I was writing about this I came across this image comparing how Guild Wars 2 and Maple Story (with World of Warcraft skills...) do key bindings. I would have to agree, Maple Story do it much better.

Changable Font Sizes Computers have always had the option to change font size, but computer games often lack this. Its really simple, and the lack of option stops a lot of people from enjoying games. Colourblind Options The most frequent colour issue is the inability to distinguish red and green, or blue and yellow. It is something very frequently forgotten about, and can be a major problem when an ally is marked as green and an enemy is red, for example. Pop Cap, maker of Bejeweled, have been including colour blind options long before it became mandatory, and their games often work regardless. The gems are not only different colours, they are different shapes too. Its much easier to make the marker a different shape than re-do the whole scheme for those who are colour-blind, and it makes everyone feel automatically included.

Level 2 Customisable Fonts Pretty fonts are pretty, but not everyone can read them, an option to switch them out for something more plain, like Arial will allow some gamers to enjoy the experience more as they will not be straining to read Level 3 Text-to-Speech If the game could read out any text to you, it would be amazing for those who find it hard to read. MMOs, and complex RPGs, like Skyrim, have an awful lot to read in small writing. They would do very well to

How we see

Level 1 Changeable Text Colours Often colours associated with different functions are very similar, or the shades are hard to distinguish between. Commonly found in MMOs are labels and text in chat that all looks the same. Star Wars: The Old Republic allows players to choose which ever colour they wish for text. This problem has come about after certain colours become associated with certain functions.

implement something like this In My Game To be honest I would like to avoid having to add in most of these options, purely because I want to make it simple to read anyway; the game is for kids, who have a lower reading age than adults anyway and dont neccessarily understand what colours are associated with what yet. I am very keen to make my game colour blind friendly, although I hope my textures will take care of that, as they will be clearly different items. As for text-to-speech, I think I will include an option to have any tutorial text read out aloud to the player. I dont think it will be hard to impliment, and will be invaluable I found an incredibly useful tool for colourblindness, Colbis Colour Blindness simulator lets you see how someone with different kinds of colour blindness sees your game

The images on the right show the same colours, but viewed by people with different types of colour blindness. [http://www.colblindor.com/cob lis-color-blindness-simulator]