Toast! - Late to school.
Toast is a 2D side scrolling endless runner game where you must control the movement of a hungry but late female student to class.
Toast! - Late to school.
Toast is a 2D side scrolling endless runner game where you must control the movement of a hungry but late female student to class.
Toast’s central character, a high
school girl named Sakura, is a model student living in suburban Japan.
Unfortunately, today, she has missed her alarm and consequently has slept-in to
the extent that it is unlikely for her to be on time to class. To avoid any
reprimands from school, Sakura leaves for class in a hurry, only half ready.
Backpack and blazer neither fully adorned, Sakura attempts to race through the
seemingly endless streets on her way to high school along with her iconic slice
of toast uneaten in her mouth. Struggling to complete all these tasks at the
same time is not easy, as Sakura must also avoid any obstacles on her path.
[note: name is subject to change at any time during the development of the game]
Role of the player:
The player is tasked with controlling the un-highly co-ordinated movement of a high school student, Sakura, who is late to class. Your job is to keep her running endlessly for as long as you can [and hope for a high score] whilst also trying to collect helpful pick-ups, avoid obstacles and collect toast icons that help keep her grip on the piece of toast in her mouth.
To progress within the game, players must avoid obstacles by jumping over them or going up several 'layers' [example: jumping on a car to get onto a balcony to avoid the road construction that will end the game] The major objective of the game is to achieve a high score, to beat your own previous scores and that of your friends.
Toast features an art style representative of anime, this relationship with Japanese culture extends to the environment, characters, power-ups, and obstacles. Various user interface elements inform the player of impending obstacles, their score and score multipliers. Toast is designed to include iconic anime references as “Easter eggs”.
Toast is a rhythm based endless runner game that fits the casual genre.
Targeted towards fans of anime, Toast’s core gamers would include those who actively enjoy anime as well as fans of casual runner games.
Look and feel:
Designed to look and feel much like an extended anime scene, Toast includes many references to anime, and exhibits numerous tropes specific to the anime medium.
Toast’s central character, a high school girl named Sakura, is a model student living in suburban Japan. Unfortunately, today, she has missed her alarm and consequently has slept-in to the extent that it is unlikely for her to be on time to class. To avoid any reprimands from school, Sakura leaves for class in a hurry, only half ready. Backpack and blazer neither fully adorned, Sakura attempts to race through the seemingly endless streets on her way to high school along with her iconic slice of toast uneaten in her mouth. Struggling to complete all these tasks at the same time is not easy, as Sakura must also avoid any obstacles on her path.
Type of play:
Toast is a single player game where players move from left to right to achieve a high score. [an option to run right to light will be available to fit that authentic Japanese feel]
[Games that closely resemble the 2d look we are going for.]
Story, Setting and Character
The premise of the game is of a Japanese girl named Sakura waking up to find herself late to school. In a rush to hopefully make it on time, she runs out of the house with a piece of toast in her mouth not wanting to go hungry on her way there. The character must dodge obstacles in her way by jumping over objects, people and moving vehicles whilst still maintaining the piece of toast securely in her mouth. To help her during her rush to get to school, various pickups are randomly spawned around various areas of the game which aide Sakura during her run.
Sakura starts out standing still and
moves automatically when the countdown ends. She drops her toast [ends in a
game over] if she is hit with a minor obstacle (such as a soccer ball), or she
has not collected enough ‘toast’ icons from around the area and her grip meter depletes
The look and feel of the game is very anime derived, and as so the scenes and settings of the background feature different parts of Japanese cultures. The game originally starts off in a suburban Japanese city which is populated with crowded slightly old houses lined up next to each other in a very cramped together manner with busy slightly run down shop fronts. Low and overcrowded tangled power lines hang in front of the houses in a hazardous way to evoke the feeling into the player that the main character lives in a not so glamorous lifestyle and could also help the player realize why going to school is important to her so she can grow up and live in a much better place.
The game features a parallax scrolling background and at random intervals the scenery will change to other Japanese scenery. These sceneries will change by either slowly starting to transition the city into suburban streets or by having the main character run under a dark bridge for a couple of seconds (where only the main character is just visible) and eventually have her exit the bridge and enter a new scenery. This is a quick way of quickly changing the scenery without having to slowly taper the location slowly (example, the bridge would be good for changing the scenery from busy crowded skyscraper buildings to traditional Japanese temples.
Basic look for each setting will be the following:
Suburban Japanese City – As mentioned already, the suburban Japanese city is the setting for the start of the game and feature run down house and hazardous overhanging cables.
Traditional Japanese temples and structures - Contrasting to the heavy in build dence city areas are beautiful red traditional Japanese temples and structures. Post and lintel support a large and gently curved roof with the roof being the most visually impressive component, often constituting half the size of the whole edifice. The slightly curved eaves extend far beyond the walls, covering verandas. These temples are arranged in a beautiful manner spaced out perfectly between one another to avoid overcrowding buildings together. They vary in size from height, width and length. Beautiful vegetation and gardens with bonsai and blossom trees surround the Japanese Temples with some trees positioned in the foreground for design looks. This places are populated with Geishas and tourists taking pictures and exploring the temples.
Skyscraper cosmopolitan city – Taking inspiration from big cities such as Tokyo, the cosmopolitan area in Toast will feature a mixture of tall, fancy, modern skyscraper buildings that contain big double doors at the front of the buildings with tall floor to ceiling length glass windows, somewhat reminiscent of tall office buildings and smaller but also tall builds such as shops that are covered with colourful and exotic billboards and advertisements. To show some sort of realism in the game, not all buildings are the same width, they will be randomise to show some builds to be quite wide as opposed to others. (Due to the screen limitations, only some of the bottom half of the buildings will be seen) Even in the day time lights are flashing all around in Japan, this could increase the difficulty of the game as it can distract the player by momentarily brightening the screen with a flash across the screen (Will look like a flash that was taking from a camera) for a split second to distract the player. Heavy crowds are a must in big cities and Sakura will run by copious amounts of large crowds that are in her foreground and background. Some big crowds will stop at a street light at a giant intersection, but Sakura will have to run through the giant streets and jump over cars in order to make it to school.
A Japanese girl named Sakura living in a suburban type Japanese city wakes up to find out she has slept through her alarm. Panicked about how she could have missed the loud alarm and also the possibility of being late to school, she abruptly wakes up and gets ready as fast as she can. Not wanting to miss out on school, but also not wanting to skip out on breakfast due to her belief of breakfast being an important meal of the day, she toasts a piece of bread and rushes outside through her front door knowing she has missed her bus and ultimately decides on running to school.
Back Story: Main Character is a Japanese girl living in a traditional Japanese suburban area, it could be seen that she is smart girl that enjoys school and is always on time [clues about her life and her personality can be found in the cut scene when she wakes up in her room, such as photos or awards in the background etc.]
Personality: Judging by her perfect attendance award that can be seen in her room during the cut scene for the game, her personality could be concluded that she is a smart, disciplined girl that is always punctual and on time. She dresses in her school uniform which is worn neat and correctly, indicating that she is proud of her school and eager to learn. She is highly aiming to achieve extremely high academic results in order to ensure her a successful future career that will hopefully take her out of her current living situation.
Look: She wears her designated school uniform. Her uniform colours are blue and white which are stereotypically the colours worn in my manga books and tv shows that feature school girls. This will help relate the game back to the the fact that Toast is very anime derived as well as targeting large audiences of manga fans with their ability to recognise the kinda art style that is being incorporated into the game. She wears a blue traditional school overlapping material skirt that sits waist that falls in the middle of her thigh. Her white collared tailored shirt tucks into her skirt neatly with her sleeves finishing in the middle of her bicep. On Top of her white shirt is a plain basic blue vest that is also neatly tucked into her skirt. She wears a blue blazer on top of her shirt and vest, completing the anime school girl look. Contrasting with the blue uniform is a very small red tie attached to her collar. She wears blue slightly platformed ballet shoes and wears a small basic backpack worn properly around her two arms.
Special Abilities: The main character does not possess any superhuman special abilities. She is a normal everyday human being. The only special abilities she can possess are from pick-ups that are scattered randomly throughout the level. She has the ability however, to continually run without running out of any stamina or gaining any fatigue, but for the purpose of the game and the constant moving screen the player needs to keep up with, she is granted the ability to constantly sprint for gameplay reasons.
Relevance to the game: The main character has the most relevance to the game out of all characters that are represented in the game due to her status of being the only playable character and having the central game base around her sleeping in and being late to school.
Relationship to other characters: Sakura doesn’t have a distinguished or notable relationship with any object or person within the game. This could be due to her need to hurry and rush to school in order to prevent herself from becoming late to school. All objects except for pick ups are all to be avoided by Sakura making herself distance from any relationship with an object in the game.
The game world of Toast would have a visual aesthetic style that is modelled and deliberately aimed to imitate the style of Japanese Anime comics and cartoons. The best example of the overall visual aesthetic style that we would aim to imitate is that of cartoons like the Pokemon series. The visual style in the Pokemon cartoons, for example, make use of a wide palette of both vivid and contrasted colours, and shading in order to evoke a sense of excitement to the cartoon world. It is our aim to create a game with a look that evokes much the same emotions in our audiences when they play, as the cartoons do to their audiences when they view them. The Pokemon cartoons not only employ a visual style that is reminiscent of what we wish to achieve with our own visual style, but also evoke the same overall mood of the game we wish to employ as well.
The main game area, and only level of the game, would be made up of a Japanese-city-style suburbia. One thing the main game area would be made up of is the different obstacles you have to avoid in the game, such as cars, construction equipment (potentially things like cement mixers and witch's hats), and street vendors, amongst other things. Another thing that would populate the game world would be the power-ups that are randomly set up around the game world as you progress through it.
Art and Animation
The art and animation of the final game would have to have a style that matches that of anime. This is done deliberately in order to enhance the overall response that the intended audience of the game (fans of the anime genre) would have towards this game. In doing this, the game would have a more exaggerated style when it comes to character movement animations for example. By exaggerated, it is meant that there would be more emphasis on the animations being made to look more "cartoon-esque" and hand drawn, and less lifelike in appearance. The background of the game would have to have a moderate level of detail, as to allow the player to be able to examine it closely and find they can appreciate it if they chose to, but not too detailed as to slow down not only the development process, but also the performance of the game on PCs. The background would be basically made up of typical suburban features that can be found not only in Japan, but in cities worldwide. These background features would include apartment blocks, shop-fronts and doorways into large buildings.
Gameplay elements would include the player model, along with obstacle and powerup models. The player model would resemble that of a typical Japanese schoolgirl in her teen years. Obstacles would include objects like construction site equipment, street vendor stalls, and cars. Powerup models would have to be decided on later on in the development process, but must be created while keeping a design mindset of clear communication with the model as to what it's purpose is, and also keeping the anime style at the same time. This clear-communication-mindset must be kept as to give the player better ability to make judgement in situations where they must think and make split-second decisions more effectively.
Special effects in Toast would not be very prevalent, but in the cases where the player picks up powerups, there would be special effects for those cases. The details of these special effects would once again be decided later on in the development of the game, but when they are decided, once more the same mindset must be used as when developing the models for the powerups themselves. That mindset is that of keeping clear communication with the special effects as to what their effect is by their visualisation, so that the player is given more opportunity to play better.
Cinematics and cut-scenes would not be in the game, as this game is not focused on a story, but instead on the pure gameplay itself.
The GUI (Graphical User Interface) would be designed so that there is clear communication to the player from the game as to what is happening with and to their score as they play the game, as well as the powerups that they are using. The way the GUI would be set up is to display the current points that the player has accumulated in their current play session, and to display the current powerup/s that are in effect, or if there are any at all at the current time. There would also be a shell that displays the meter that is replenished by holding the toast and mashing the toast button.
Sound and Music
Sound and Music
The sound effects for the game would not be overly demanding to produce, as many of the effects could potentially be found in freeware websites that deal with free sound effects. Sound effects would be required for whenever a powerup is obtained, and potentially when the powerups are in effect, in order to give audio cues to the player for when they can play the game with a certain mindset of playing. The audio cues would potentially be derived from anime cartoons as well (with proper permissions withstanding), or at least derived from websites that do anime-style sound effects, as in they could be based on the same style as the sounds from anime cartoons.
With the music in the game, what is being aimed to be used is music that suits the style of the game, as well as the pacing of it, so that the music can add to the excitement of what is happening. Seeing as the pacing gets faster, what is believed to be a good genre of music to suit the game is Japanese Punk Rock. Punk Rock is especially notable for it's faster-than-usual pacing than regular rock, and the aim of using this genre of music is to give the game a more energetic mood, which is another aspect of Punk Rock that we believe would enhance the final game. Specifically using Japanese Punk Rock is a move that was made to further immerse the players of Toast in the setting of the game, seeing as it is based in Japan. However, it should be pointed out that Punk Rock in other languages could be used, but the results of such a move could be widely varied.
Loading Screen – Loading screens are common in computer programs and video games, their purpose is to load and initialize parts of the game properly in order for the game to run. Most games now a day’s load increasingly faster than games that were introduced and released in the 1990’s. Loading screens are also a good chance for artists and modelling/animators to become creative and showcase artworks without the technical limitations that are required for in-game visuals.
Main Menu – The menu screen is the interface that allows players to access what a game has to offer in terms of options, the ability to quit a game, tutorials, credits and of course playing the actual game. Upon the opening of the games menu, the title of the game appears, as well as several different options to take you to a different interface. The games menu cannot be accessed anytime in-game without result the player to leave the game entirely and start a new game.
By default, there are 4 buttons in the title screen menu for Toast: Play, Options, How to and Exit.
The Options Screen – An options screen is where players can configure and tweak the game to suit their computer specifications and the players own personal wants. (Volume, Sounds FX etc.) It is essential for all games to include an option menu in ensure customer satisfaction in buying a game and having the ability to play the game to their desired frame rate or specification.
Selecting the options
menu in toast opens up a new interface called options.
[note: A thank you button will also be added that will list all of the generous people who helped contribute to funding this game.]
Risks and challenges
Risks that could incur during the development of the game:
Risk: Assets required might not be finished in time or tackled too many assets.
- Character model
- Character running animation
- Character falling animation
- Character jumping animation
- Scrolling camera
- Parallax background of 2D houses and shop fronts
- Score system
- Alert system
- Obstacle models: Car, construction equipment (eg. Witches hats), street vendor & cart.
- Pick-up icons: Short time invulnerability, Double points.
- Menu screen
- Game over screen
- Running script
- Holding toast script
- Spam/falling script
- Jumping script
- Score script
- Alert script
- Obstacle placement script
- Script for each pick-up
Solution: Either seek help from another party/person to help finish them within the time frame, or cut out some of the assets that might not be needed straight away. We hope that with our combined experience that this wont be an issue.
Risk: Corrupt computer
Solution: Between all team members we currently are in possession of 3 laptops and 3 computers all of high end quality specs. Multiple saves on the computer, usb, email, online cloud saving and portable harddrive will be done to ensure that one corrupt computer will not stop this project with an delays.
Risk: Time was much too short that we predicted.
Solution: We never know what could happen in the future. Sometimes personal problems came up unexpectedly and we hope that helpers understand this and that they need to be tend to first and fore-most. Emails and apologises will be sent notifying everyone of these possible delays and hopefully a new guideline of when the new release date will be done. Hopefully we will also have a standby helper to ease the absence of another person.
We hope that all goes smoothly with no interruptions. We believe that everyone has the right to know what is going on with a game that they help funded which is why we have given certain supporters the ability to receive emails from us with updates and showing progression of the game. All problems that incur with the game will also be addressed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)