Design – Character Customization

I figured it might be helpful to share how I went/go about designing “Loop Dipole and the Chaoties”, so I’ll be posting and updating my design documents here. Feel free to use them as an example of how one can organize or “put their ideas down on paper” when making your games or projects. I originally wrote most of these on my Blackberry during times of convenience and clear mind.

Character Customization

The player starts the game with access to one Form (ship/vehicle), two abilities, two Customization Points, and one load out slot. Over the course of the game the player will unlock:

  • 17 Loadout Slots
  • 6 Abilities
  • 5 Forms (ships/vehicles)
  • 6 Customization Points

Each time a player completes a fountain puzzle they may unlock any Form, Ability, or Loadout Slot of their choice. When all five fountains on a side of planet Cube are completed, the player is granted 1 Customization Point. The exception to this is on the final seventh level of the game, where none of the fountains grant any extras to the player.

Forms (6 Total)

Loop is an energy being that likes to shape himself and wield his energies in fun and helpful ways. Each shape has different min and max values for the various stats, such as cargo hold, movement speed, energy efficiency, etc. They are also visually distinct from each other.

Abilities (8 Total)

The player may choose to bind any combination of two abilities to his right and his left mouse buttons. These abilities are either weapons, movement altering effects, utilities, or defenses. Abilities fire when their mouse button is pressed. Each ability requires it’s own type of energy to be used, which depletes over time with each use. Ability energy is restored at Loop’s house or by recharging from Loot’s cargo hold, provided that the player has picked up the correct energy type. Should the player not have any of the energy that is required for an ability in storage at his house, he will not be able to use any load that uses that ability when he respawns or changes shape at his house. At that point the player can either switch out the offending ability or go out and collect more of that energy type and store it at his house.

Loadout Slots (3 per Form, 18 Total)

Lodouts are where the player can set up customized configurations of their Forms. Each load out has 2 Ability Slots and 3 Stat Slots. Abilities are chosen from a drop down list from those that are available. Each Stat Slot has a drop down where the player can choose from one of the many stats that make up mechanical differences between the Forms. The player may spend up to 4 Customization Points in each Stat Slot. This is the same for every Load Out Slot, as they exist simply as convenient shortcuts to preferred configurations.

Configuration Points (8 Total)

The player starts with 2 of these and eventually earn 8 in total. These points are used, as noted above, to change player selected stats on a Form. Each Loadout has 12 open slots, which forces the player to choose how he wants to spend his 8 points, as he can’t just max out all three of his chosen stats. Each point will modify the stat by 10% into the player’s favor. On some Forms that may bring a stat simply into the realm of “good enough” when compared to a form that specializes in that stat or it might make an already specialized Form even more awesome at its intended role. Given that there will be around 20 total stats, allowing the player to customize 3 of them will not be over powered.

Each stat is associated with a type of energy and each point spent on the stat increases the amount of the energy the Form requires when the Loop takes it on. If the player is out an energy type required by a stat, he will not be able to use any Loadout that includes that stat until he refills his house with required engery type.

Energy Types

The player gather energy from around planet Cube and uses it to customize his character, power his abilities, and complete fountain puzzles. There are 7 different types of energy:

  • Red V – A reference to a dipole antenna
  • Orange Triangle – A homage to the traffic cones in SuperTuxCart
  • Yellow Star
  • Green Square
  • Blue Heart
  • Violet Ring – A reference to a loop antenna
  • White Diamond Gemstone