Monday, 16 April 2012

Battlemals Concept Document

3DS Game Development Document


-          Character
o   Boy and girl human characters
o   Customizable hair, clothes and other features

-          Music
o   Themed music for each area, with faster tempos during battles
o   8 bit music or similar simple style to suit limited sound capabilities of 3DS

-          Art Direction
o   Colourful colour scheme but not loads of bright colours so it doesn’t seem too childish
o   Simple, not realistic graphics to go with the 3DS’ pixel resolution

-          User-interface/Menu systems
o   Rounded square icons on touch screen to select moves, creatures, items

o   Health and stamina bars at top corners of top screen


-          Game Mechanics
o   Create your main character and choose its gender, skin, hair and eye colour, hair style and clothes.

o   Collect and train creatures

o   Earn XP to level up creatures and learn new moves

o   Creatures evolve into stronger forms

o   Customizable house where creatures are kept

o   In house view, the lower screen shows a creature that you can stroke, poke and play with. You can also customise it with accessories, armour and weapons.

o   Explore different areas to find different creatures
o   Areas are unlocked by the player earning enough money to buy a bike or speedboat, etc, to get to the area.

o   Creatures are found randomly in levels and can be caught by weakening them in battle and throwing a Net at them.

o   Items can be found and unlocked randomly in different areas and by doing well in the game, eg. defeating or collecting a certain number of creatures. Items such as weapons, armour, clothes, furniture and coins.

o   Keep unneeded items in storage box in your house

o   Map shown on bottom screen helps to guide the player

-          Controls
o   D-Pad and ABXY buttons used while exploring
o   Either D-Pad and ABXY buttons or touch screen can be used during battle
o   D-Pad, ABXY buttons and touch screen is used to customise house and creatures
o   Camera is used to play AR battles with friends via WiFi or using the same 3DS

-          Items
o   Items that can be used in the game come in different catergories:
§  Weapons to put on your creatures that can be used in battle
§  Armour to put on your creatures to increase defense
§  Accessories to put on your creature that add a special bonus (eg. +5 fire damage) or just to look nice
§  Clothes and accessories to put on your human character
§  Potions and other pick-me-ups that can be used during battle to heal creatures and add bonuses
-          Collectables
o   As there are so many usable items that can be found and rewarded, there won’t be many collectables.
§  The creatures themselves all needed to be collected
§  50 jelly beans are hidden around the game and need to be found


-          Technical Limitiations
o   Not as good graphical capabilities as consoles and PC so the creatures and environments won’t look as good as they could

-          Platform Pro’s and Con’s
o   Pro’s
§  Portable so it can be played a lot in brief gaming sessions
§  3DS’ cameras make Augmented Reality battles possible
§  3D capabilities add another dimension without the need for glasses
o   Con’s
§  Not able to experience great sound and graphics like console and PC games

-          Brief Technical Overview of Platform
Size: 2.9 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
Weight: Approx. 8 oz
Battery life: 3-5 hours (5-8 hours when playing DS game)
Stylus: Extendable to approx. 3.94 when fully extended

Buttons: Arrow keys, A/B/X/Y, L/R and Start/Select
Circle Pad (360-degree analog input)
Touch screen
Embedded Microphone
Motion sensor
Gyro sensor

Non-gameplay input:
3d Depth Slider
Home button
Wireless switch
Power button

Game card slot (for 3DS and DS games)
SD Card slot
Charging cradle connector
AC adaptor port
Audio jack

Wireless Connection: 2.4 GHz
Sound: Two speakers positioned to the left and right of the top screen (supports virtual surround sound)
Cameras: One inner camera and two outer (3D) cameras each with 0.3 mega pixels resolution


-          Environment/level concepts and descriptions
o   Levels
§  Hometown
·         Player’s house
·         Other houses
·         Shops

§  Jungle

§  Cave
                              §  Antarctic

§  Desert

§  Forest

§  Farm

§  Ocean

o   Each level has a theme running through it
§  Different level art
§  Themed battle area
§  Themed music
§  Specific creatures found in each area

-          Narrative Overview/Narrative Flow Chart
o   The story of the game is based around the animals of the land getting bored with their everyday lives and the children in the game, getting bored of the boring animals.
o   Some children decide to fight them and train them which gives them both more purpose
o   Animals get stronger and wear armour and weapons, making life more interesting
o   The competitive children strive to have better animals than their friends

-          Dialogue
o   Not much dialogue as the game is based around the creatures
o   Mostly competitive phrases like ‘Go get ‘em!”
o   Player cannot talk to creatures


-          Risks
o   Too similar to Pokémon games
o   Players might find normal animals boring
o   Could be seen as cruel towards animals
o   Will it be addictive?

3DS Game Synthesis Document

          of Research


Nintendogs + Cats came out on 25th March 2011 for the 3DS. It is a pet simulation game with basic gameplay of looking after and training a puppy. It is more attractive to children than anyone else because of the simple gameplay, cute puppies and the want children have to look after a pet or doll. I think the customization in the game is also appealing to them as they can choose which colour puppy they want, dress them up in clothes and accessories and also furnish their home.

The player can care for their puppy by feeding it, petting it, washing it and playing with it. They can also train their puppy by entering and practising for competitions and taking it for walks.

I think the online features are pretty good as by using StreetPass, your 3DS will find other players you walk by in the street and make their Mii characters and pets appear in the park where you walk your dog. I like this feature as it does make it more realistic and more varied as well rather than seeing the same pre-made characters over and over. You can also share photos of each others pets, give gifts, send messages and download accessories for your pet and pre-made Mii character's with their own pets.

In Nintendog's + Cats you can also own a cat. I like this feature as cats are very different to dogs, making the game more interesting and fun to see the cats and dogs playing together. However, your cat can only stay in the house, meaning there is little you can do with your cat.

As for the controls, they are used nicely in order to maximise the input, making it more interactive. The main controls is the touch screen and stylus, which is used to look after the pet's needs, give the dog a name and train the pet by throwing toys and holding the lead. The microphone is also used to give the dog commands such as telling it to sit down or play dead. The camera feature uses Augmented Reality to show the dog in your own living room or the palm of your hand. You can then take photos of it and share with other players. This is something I could look into doing as the brief states we have to use the camera and in Nintendogs + Cats it's not a big part of the game, it's just a small extra instead.



This moodboard shows the graphical capabilities of the 3DS well as the pets look a lot more lifelike compared to it's predecessor on the DS. You will also notice at the bottom middle that when stroking your pet, you see your pet(s) in the top screen with their silhouettes on the bottom screen that you stroke. It's a good way of being able to show the dogs in 3D but I think it makes it seem a bit unrealistic and also wastes a screen which could show a menu or other things. According to reviews, the 3D on your pet(s) close up doesn't make much difference anyway and is put more to good use when taking your dog out, so if you throw a ball, the pet will look like it is far away from you.

The Sims 3

The Sims is a popular simulation series that was originally and still is most popular on the PC. EA Games has developed it into 3 different series with numerous expansions, spreading across all game platforms. The easiest way to describe the Sims is by saying it is like a virtual doll house. You can create different characters for your family and completely customise and change their house.

It appeals to both genders and all ages for many reasons. It is very creative, allowing you to make your own house and choose different clothes, furniture, garden features and more. With the new ability to also change the colours and textures of everything. Another appealing feature is the ability to play with life. You can create a single bachelor or a big family, with the choice of making them succeed or torturing them.

Rather than following a story through the game, you make your own up. Your Sims get older and can start their own family, learn skills to gain promotions and upgrade and expand their house. Other features in the game include completing Challenges and individual Sim's Wishes to unlock Karma Powers. Karma Powers let you make good or bad things happen to your Sims such as repairing and cleaning the whole house or making an earthquake or ghosts appear. These features of just playing with life, making everything how you want it can make the game very fun. It's also very addictive because you want to make your Sims accomplish something or do something interesting which makes you keep coming back to it and not wanting to put the controller/mouse down. Another reason older people might like the game is because it is an easy game to play for non-gamers as it isn't just a graphic shooter. I reckon some people might feel nostalgic towards it too as  they might've played Sims when they were younger.

As for online features of the Sims, you cannot actually play online with your Sims.  This is something EA Games did try but it went horribly wrong, leading to virtual brothels being set up. Instead you can upload your Sims, Houses, Furniture styles and photos to the internet from your PC or console. For The Sims on 3DS you can just share the Sim you create.

Overall I love the fact you can play The Sims for ages and still not be bored as you are determined to make your Sims successful so you can afford to buy them a big house with nice furniture.



All the images on this moodboard are from the 3DS version of The Sims 3. Using the touch screen you can sculpt your Sims face and add and move furniture. It is also used to easily select options on menus when creating your Sim, buying items from shops and others. On the top screen images, you can see the interface is laid out very similar to other versions but a lot simpler, not showing the Sims needs. The bottom screen shows a birds-eye view of your house or area with the option to zoom in and out and angle it to get better views.


Pokémon is a very popular game and anime series owned by Nintendo. It is a franchise that had children including myself hooked, collecting trading cards and trying to swap them for a Charizard, watching the English-dubbed anime series and also playing Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow for Nintendo Gameboy.

The main feature of Pokémon is the creatures themselves known as Pokémon. There are a number of different Pokémon to find and collect, depending on the generation (for example 151 in the 1st generation). Your objective is the same as Ash Ketchum's (the main character from the anime), to be Pokémon Master. This involves collecting every Pokémon there is and becoming champion by earning all 8 gym badges and defeating the Elite Four and current champion at the Pokémon League.

At the beginning of the game, the player gets a starter Pokémon so they can then go into the wild and capture more Pokémon. To capture one the player needs to make it weak in battle first and then throw a Pokéball at it. By training them in battle, the Pokémon can level up, evolve and learn new moves to use in battle.

In the latest DS games, Black and White, the bottom screen is primarily to show C-Gear, the wireless/infrared menu. It has a wide variety of things you can do with it such as the Xtransceiver which is like a radio where you can speak to nearby players and see eachother if using a DSi or 3DS. You can also send one of your Pokémon to Pokémon Dream World, which is an online game where you can find new Pokémon and then transfer them back to your game save. Using infrared you can battle and trade Pokémon and also earn Sweet Hearts by checking compatibility in Feeling Check. The Sweet Hearts can then be exchanged for a Hearts Scale in game. All these different features of online/social gameplay make the game stand out and make you want to try it out. Meaning interesting ways of online gaming will attract more people.

An addictive part of this game is the competitive element. The want to have better Pokémon and more gym badges than your friends will make you play the game a lot more often. It is also personal too as you just want to get your Pokémon better and better so you can defeat gym leaders and progress to new places with new Pokémon.



The colourful image at the top right of my moodboard is C-Gear, the bottom screen menu for Wireless and Infrared. The lower touch screen is handy while playing to easily select moves in battle and menu options as shown in the middle images. The battle scenes and general walking around are very much-like older versions of Pokémon but with enhanced graphics, making the world look 3D and highly detailed.

Game Ideas

I have looked at the Nintendogs, The Sims 3 and Pokémon games in detail. These games are different and from each I have pulled out different ideas from them:

-          Camera and Touch Screen features don’t necessarily have to be the main gameplay and can just be small features
-          Augmented Reality is an attractive, simple way of using the camera facility
-          Level systems and creation aspects make for addictive and interesting gameplay in order to gain a bigger audience.
-          A game with a story (or one you can make) is more likely to attract an older audience compared to casual gameplay
-          Variety in games also make it more exciting, for example more animals in Nintendogs instead of just dogs would be a lot more exciting like the 150-odd Pokémon in the Pokémon games.
-          Using the touch screen as a mini-game, such as throwing or winding up a toy in Nintendogs means for more casual gameplay, attracting children.
-          Whereas using it as a creative means of moving furniture and sculpting a Sim’s face will likely attract more older people compared to a casual experience.

3DS Game Research Document

Analysis of research

Nintendo 3DS Specification

Launch Date: 27th March 2011
Size: 2.9 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
Weight: Approx. 8 oz
Battery life: 3-5 hours (5-8 hours when playing DS game)
Stylus: Extendable to approx. 3.94 when fully extended

Buttons: Arrow keys, A/B/X/Y, L/R and Start/Select
Circle Pad (360-degree analog input)
Touch screen
Embedded Microphone
Motion sensor
Gyro sensor

Non-gameplay input:
3d Depth Slider
Home button
Wireless switch
Power button

Game card slot (for 3DS and DS games)
SD Card slot
Charging cradle connector
AC adaptor port
Audio jack

Wireless Connection: 2.4 GHz

Sound: Two speakers positioned to the left and right of the top screen (supports virtual surround sound)

Cameras: One inner camera and two outer (3D) cameras with 0.3 mega pixels resolution

The Nintendo 3DS has many ways of inputting information which will all need to be considered when designing a game for it, especially the touch screen and camera abilities with 3D output on the top screen as well.

Augmented Reality

I looked at Augmented Reality as I need to use the camera in my game, and Augmented Reality is an easy way of using it rather than trying to think of complicated or weird gameplay. Augmented Reality is a new feature for handheld consoles and other devices, using their cameras and 'Augmented Reality' cards to play games in your own environment. Placing an AR card(s) in front of your devices camera, whether it is a 3DS or PSP, will trigger things in-game, such as spawning a character or showing a mini-game.

Good examples of this are Invizmals and EyePet for PSP and AR Games and Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir for 3DS. Invizimals and EyePet both use the camera to spawn your creatures/pet into your environment. In Invizimals, the AR card is used as a trap to capture creatures. Different creatures can be found depending on the colour of the surface the card is on and the time of day. In EyePet, you use the AR card to make your pet appear so you can interact with it. Remembering that the PSP doesn’t have touch ability like the DS, makes EyePet very different to its PS3 component. As you cannot touch the pet via the screen and you also cannot touch the pet from behind the camera, as it will obstruct the view of the AR card.

AR Games uses the cards to spawn a mini-game that you can also manoeuvre around by moving the DS around the AR card. It comes with a normal AR card, as well as 5 character ones where you can spawn Mario, Link and other Nintendo characters to take photos of. Spirit Camera uses the camera to show ghost characters in your environment. It comes with a 16-page Augmented Reality Book that is used during the game to spawn the ghosts and cutscenes to tell the story.

Augmented Reality is a good idea to take gaming another step forward, showing the game in your own environment and manoeuvring around it, but it does seem like a feature that will easily get boring or over-used in the games industry for unnecessary gameplay elements. Nintendogs and Cats uses it which is something I found out after much researching of the game, because it is such an unnecessary, small element in the game, to take photos of your pet in your living room. Tetris Axis also uses it to show your own background while you play Tetris but I think this is also unnecessary for the game, and doesn’t introduce any new gameplay because of it, it is solely there just to change the background.

Pet games

I started looking at pet games after I noticed how the PSP’s EyePet and Invizimals used Augmented Reality to make the game(s) more exciting and interactive. I then looked at more pet games such as Nintendogs and Wappy Dog to see how the pet games were like using the DS’ touch screen and microphone.

Excluding Invizimals as this isn’t a pet game, I noticed the similar traits of these games, such as basic grooming and feeding to look after the pet, customization of the pet and also mini-games such as taking the pet for a walk and entering competitions.

Nintendogs is a very popular one as it features realistic and cute puppies that can be interacted with via the touchpad and microphone. This makes it quite realistic as you can call to your dog and stroke him with the stylus.

Wappy Dog stands out compared to other pet games as it features a large plastic dog that the child can play with alongside the DS. This is probably the closest thing you will get instead of having a real pet, which is what makes these games so appealing to children, as not all children are allowed to own pets.

EyePet was a good idea but I wasn’t sure about the Augmented Reality in the game. The PS3 version was really successful because the player(s) can interact with the pet like it is actually there, seeing themselves on the tv screen with the pet. Whereas on the PSP version, if you tried so stroke your pet, you would probably obstruct the AR marker and the pet would vanish. This made me think that the Nintendo DS’ touch screen would be useful as you can instead stroke the pet using the stylus on the touch screen, like Nintendogs and other DS pet games.

So I noticed a gap as you could see your pet in your own environment and be able to stroke that image on the touch screen, which hasn’t been done before. I had the idea of really maximising the ways to input and interact with your pet, using the camera with AR cards, touch screen and microphone.


Above is a mindmap of all the ideas I have pulled out of the games I have looked at.


After looking at an array of research related to pet games, I realised the main audience is children, when my brief states I need to attract a wide audience including more mature adults. So I need to figure out how I can attract an older audience.

The Sims and Pokémon games are good games to look at as these attract wide audiences. The Sims attracts a large audience as it is a game you control all yourself, with high customization on making your own characters and houses, like a virtual dollhouse. Pokémon also attracts a large audience as it is appealing to kids but also more geekier adults, maybe because they started playing when they were young and it is a bit of nostalgia they don’t want to let go of, but also because it is an addictive game where you level up your Pokémon and fight to try and be the best Pokémon trainer you can be.