CS 134
Assignment 3

Side-scroller Mayhem

(Due 6/12 at midnight, no late assignments accepted!)


The game is an action side-scroller where the goal is to stay alive while you collect points (gold coins) and avoid treacherous obstacles and enemies. The game's excitement builds on well-balanced level design and an ample supply of gold! To make things as easy as possible to animate, the character will be flying (I was thinking just a jet without gravity but feel free to get creative if you want to add gravity as part of the fun!)

In this project you will be graded on your final implementation. The simple grading rubric comes from five categories at 20% each:

1) Core mechanics. The progression of the game follows a classice side-scrolling mechanic. Progressing left to right to advance in the level, and as the level continues the obstacles and bad guys get more complicated to avoid while the gold offers a clear goal for what to grab.

2) The player will control his player character (PC) through button press inputs in 4 cardinal directions relative to the PCs own position. Up/Down work as normal and forward and back push the character forward/right or back/left along the path progress of the level. Meanwhile, the camera will track the nominal/home position of the character as a steady tracking camera.

3) Environmental obstacles, collision and response. There will be obstructions that the PC will run into - or attempt to avoid. The shapes and size of the obstacles and their effect on the PC are flexible parameters for you or your team to customize in your game. A suggestion is that the obstacles cause damage and/or kill the PC but option on specifics are up to you. For example, you can have them simply slow the character with no damage, only a time penalty, if time is an aspect of your game.

4) Avoid the baddies and get the gold. Develop an enemy - what it is, how many, and where they appear as well as their effect on the PC is all up to you. Do they move? Do they have AI? Do they shoot? To add interest, treasure collection a'la Mario-style should be added. Generate coins (or treasures/points/prizes/bonuses or whatever you think seems fit) and place them strategically through the obstacle course. What these "goodies" are and where they are placed is up to you also, as well as their effect on the PC.

5) Level design. You now should take these described mechanics and make two levels, one easier and one harder. The shape of the course is up to you, but balancing the level so that it is both easier and harder without being trivial or impossible is what this 20% is for.

That's all.

Have fun! Aside from the 5 criteria above you are free to modify and add as long as the main concepts come through in the final game.

Need more detail? Follow up with either the Instructor or the TA. Note, some detail needs to be filled in by you and your team, as part of the game design process - but if you are unclear, or have questions... Just ask!

Oh yeah:
10% EC for best added feature
10% EC for best gameplay
(Both as judged by an undisclosed panel of two mystery judges =)