CHARACTER - Budding Ideas

Going into this project the relationship between the story and the game's mechanic itself was really important to consider. I feel as if the story should be considered alongside the mechanic - of which should be very strongly obvious to make a game enjoyable but with care of not creating a gimmick!


Ironically I feel like the three cards I picked randomly are just a small over-statement about my life, but regardless of that....

With last year's Fantastic Voyage project being focused on Education and being correct on the facts I wanted to take a more ironic side of educating, especially with the game element. I.e odd facts that aren't of vital importance to learn but more-so the quirky facts good for small-talk.

Originally I had a concept of controlling two moles underground, one with each analog stick. The idea of the game would be to micromanage two moles within the close vicinity of eachother; one digging infront for a path, and the second collecting ridiculous objects people have buried with a vacuum. With well-placed game-magic giant objects would be absorbed into a tiny vacuum. - and yes, using a vacuum underground surrounded by dirt. 

Using the card Home quite literally as an interactive feature of the game. The Education and Criticism however come from a much more script-related place in the game and link to why the moles are underground collecting objects speedily in the first place. A "leader of moles / emperor / king" full of egotism demands them to collect the objects in order to make a giant statue of himself above ground to scare the humans and prove they are not pests. All the objects you collect in the game reflect how the statue looks at the end. If you collected 100% chairs, then the statue will be made out of that! As you go through the game the King remarks mockingly on your ability to move underground, explaining how moles are pests, questioning how well you can see etc. Ironic learning. Furthermore, all objects you collect will be kept record of in a book where you can read small descriptions of each object.

So, think Katamari + Luigi's Mansion.

However, I do tend to come up with one idea, flesh it out too fast and stick with it without considering anything else. - Not this time! I thought about the template I had come up with of micro-managing two characters and liked the amount of interesting gameplay you could get from it, but I didn't also only want to re-skin the same idea, and so..

I pushed the idea of ironic learning far further (atleast I hope so) to have the premise of a game that begins with the concept that most people think tomatoes are vegetables; but they are actually a fruit. 

A Tomato King with a bad fashion-sense who controls a City situated inside a small Greenhouse is in denial over the fact he is a fruit and not a vegetable. As a result he begins trying to banish all fruit from his City with help from his baby-tomato army. Two Strawberries go undercover as Tomatoes to assassinate their way through the tomato army to reach the King and stop him. There is however another catch. The two Strawberries' personal motives for stopping the Tomato King are due to his terrible fashion sense. - and when I said they assassinate their way through it is in the most fabulous way possible. 

The premise behind "fabulous assassination" comes from the two strawberries' absolute need for stylish fashion sense. (according to themselves, anyway) They pass for tomatoes by wearing giant collars, hiding their triangular - and totally not spherical - head shapes. I mentioned keeping the template of two characters for micro-management.. it would be too difficult in this situation for the player to control two free fully-moving characters at the same time so instead the emphasis of the personal style of the two Strawberries can be differentiated slightly. You will be able to switch between each character whenever you feel you need to deal with the enemies ahead. For example, if there are many baby-tomato warriors in one area you would use the girl strawberry as she relies on strength. Whilst all encounters would be partially quicktime, her distinct play style involves a short 3-part roulette to choose the outfit she will dress her victims in; and then finishing them off with button mashing at the appropriate times. Whereas the boy strawberry is 100% about dazzling them with his looks and stylishness he has a play style based around rhythm. - Hitting buttons to the rhythm. When they finally reach the Tomato King they combine their two play styles together in waves, and use the girl strawberry's tomato-warrior victims as examples of their great fashion awareness. To add to the stylishness of the game I thought the game could have two styles. A slightly cartoonish style for most of the game; but in fight cutscenes they turn into fully-sized *fabulous* characters. - Sort of like a Spongebob closeup. 

Ultimately the home comes from the banishment of fruit from the Greenhouse City (their home)  because of the Tomato King. The criticism this time actually comes from the two strawberries towards eachother & towards the King. The Education, comes from the perspective of the two strawberries strongly believing their way of fashion is perfection & also that yes, tomatoes are a fruit.

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