Corndog Chronicles is a game that I became a part of two weeks into production. The game began as a simple joke of having hotdogs killing corndogs. Building upon that silly idea came elements taken from other games such as Warframe's weapon attachments, Slay the Spire's loot system, and top down dungeon crawler trends seen in games such as Binding of Isaac and Enter the Gungeon. Here is the original rough concept document written by Leo Lo:
Project Name: Corndog Chronicles
You are a sausage that is attempting to fight off the invading Corndog menace. The Corndogs have been abducting sausages for years. Then the unthinkable happened, the Corndogs kidnapped his wife and child! Now you are on a journey to destroy all the Corndogs and to save your wife and child, but the Corndogs have a dark secret. Save your wife and child and defeat the Corndogs.
Overall game concept:
A top down shooter with rouge-lite elements. Featuring comedic violence, perma-death, and meaningful decision during item progression.
Conflict: What creates the tension that motivates the player?
Narrative wise, the main character is trying to resist against a powerful regime and rescue his family. Inside the game, corndog soldiers would be shooting at the player, attempting to stop the player from progressing further. The player would have to fight back for self defense and vengeance. In addition, killing enemies would reward the player with more powerful weaponry, the player would have to overcome tough enemies if they want a bigger gun.
Character Game: (explain why the company should fund and produce this game; ie. how do we leverage this in other products or develop this idea into a full IP?)
Our game has a unique combination of aesthetic, mechanic, and dynamic. Aesthetically, not a lot of games on the market let the player play as a sausage that shoots corndogs. We have embraced the comedic contrast of a sausage welding realistic firearms. Hence, our game will be able to attract attention from the market. Mechanically, The game combines elements of many rough-lite games, while adding our own twist to it. The core gameplay loop would be a top-down shooter. The gameplay features perma-death, as well as random elements. However, unlike many rough-lite games, we present player choices when progressing through a level. Many games force the player to adapt their play style by randomizing their item drops. Yet, they often give players the feeling that they are dominated by randommization, and the players do not have many options with how they want to build up their arsenal. Our game will feature a progression system that gives player option on how to develop their weaponry throughout a level. The player would still have to adapt to different play style depending on randomization in order to promote replayability. However, they can aim for specific loot items that synergizes their current build, making the loot system more intentionally and strategic. Thus, dynamically, our game would differs comparing to other games in this genre.
How does this game advance the objective of character based games?
Our game will be featuring the ridiculousness of a sausage welding modern firearms while fighting against heavily armed and trained corndogs. The sausage and corndogs would be equipped with various kinds of modern and near-future weaponry, such as machine guns and laser weapons. This is all heavily tied with the narrative and gameplay as well. The background of our narrative is that corndogs are abducting sausages, and frying them into corndogs, converting sausages into their own people. Gameplay wise we also take advantage of our character design. The player sausage will be able to roll around the level due to its cylindrical shape.
How can this character be used as a marketing tool?
The character has unique potential to be used as a marketing tool in the food industry. By potentially working with a food manufacturer, we could brand the character following an existing manufacturer or a company looking to gain greater interest and name recognition.
Is the character identifiable?
Our main character will be just a sausage. This is mainly due to our aim to combine the silliness of a plain sausage and the seriousness of realistic weaponry. Our character would be identifiable mainly through the accessories and weapons that they equipped. When people see a bouncing sausage welding an assault rifle, they would know it is from our game.
What is the game’s genre?
This game is a rogue-lite top-down shooter.
Game Play: Describe the core game mechanics
Top down shooter
Walk and Roll
While walking the character can freely aim and shoot
Character can roll, which increase his movement speed, however he can only shoot above and below him
Items that allow the player to build their weaponry according to the situation
Procedurally generated map
Key Features: What key features either technical or otherwise are the selling point?
Tactical sausage shooter : Featuring unique aesthetic of a sausage killing corndogs with modern weaponry.
Rouge-lite elements : Perma-death and randomized loot that creates replayability
Build your weapon : Players can choose the weapon that they want
Technical Challenges: What roadblocks do we need to overcome?
The largest roadblock that we need to overcome is how to properly create a procedural generation system for map generation that provides and fun and unique experience on each play. Time permitting we would also like to add a procedural enemy spawning system that allows for variety on each play of the game. The system design for weapons could also prove to be a challenge due to the level of customization
Target Machine: The recommended hardware requirements.
The target platform is PC, and the recommended hardware requirements are
RECOMMENDED: (*Courtesy of the Binding of Isaac Rebirth)
OS: Windows 8 / 7 / Vista / XP
Processor: 2.4 GHz Quad Core 2.0 (or higher)
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 and higher, ATI Radeon HD-Series 4650 and higher, Nvidia GeForce 2xx-Series and up
Storage: 1 GB available space
Sound Card: Yes
Target Market: What is the target market?
Young adults would appreciate comedic violence and challenging gameplay with strategic elements.
Rough Ship Date: What is a rough date for completion?
We would like to have a gold release by the end of Q2 2019
Competitive: What competitive products are announced or released?
ie. What similar products already exist?
Our primary competitors in creating a game like this would be The Binding of Isaac, considered to be one of the dominating games in the roguelike genre. Two other projects that have market share in roguelike top-down shooters are Enter the Gungeon and Nuclear Dawn. This are the three main competitors that we face in releasing a new roguelike top-down shooter.
Our team consisted of five passionate developers, and that's what lead to our game being as well refined in 10 weeks as it was. While we didn't accomplish everything yet, the team is still very much committed to making the game fully complete and ready for distribution.
One of the best decisions we made during development was to work with source control, specifically PerForce. This allowed us to collaborate at any time without having to hand off builds in person or over cloud services. It was relatively easy to set up and use.
We also worked using an AGILE development cycle. We never held scrum meetings, and in hindsight maybe we should have, but our work ethic was impressive enough as college students that we could trust each other to get our tasks done.
After 10 weeks we had a fully playable game with most of the features we set out to create. We are all very proud of how things turned out. You can check out the Game Design Document on the right! Here are the features of Corndog Chronicles!
A multitude of different weapons to try with unique firing styles!
A multitude of different attachments and upgrades to collect!
Randomly generated rooms keep things interesting and get more difficult as you progress!
Different traps and enemies will keep you on your toes!
We still have plenty of things to add, this is only the tip of the iceberg!