The Game: An Overview
Go Animal is a city wide, location active, team based territory game for I-phone and Android. In Go Animal the player joins an animal team and helps to capture territory. It is a slower paced game that goes with you as you travel around your city. Game rounds will last for up to four days, as players battle to capture area.
In the game, “pins” called Waypoints, will be hidden on the map. You may use and look at the map just like any other map program but Waypoints will only appear if you are physically close enough to them. These Waypoints can then be picked up and then dropped in a location of your choosing. Waypoints become Waymarkers when you posses them. When they are placed on the map in your current location they can connect to other Waymarkers from your team. Two Waymarkers within a city block from each other will form a line. Three Waymarkers will form a triangle; more will form a larger shape. When you create this territory, you and your team will get points. If your territory is surrounded by the Waymarkers and lines of an opposing team you will lose your territory. If you place a Waymarker close enough to your team’s territory you will be forming a team connection. Increasing the number of points that are dropped together will form a stronger, more densely connected and protected area. The opposing team can chip away this area by bisecting corner Waypoints. The game is won by being the team with the most area when the time runs out. Special team items will also be hidden on the map. For example, if the rabbit “special item” is found by a member of the rabbit team they will be allowed to drop three Waypoints in a small area all at once . This may be a one time use ability, activated only when the special item is found.
Why does this game stand out and what’s the deal?
This game is designed to be fun and easy to play. It is different from other map games in its simplicity and accessibility. It will also be free of ads and popups. The first two teams, the Deer and Rabbit, will be free to join. So that means anyone with a supported mobile device can join for free without ads. The game will monetize by selling additional characters in the app store. It may also sell the ability to see push notifications like when a Waypoint is nearby when the app is in the background.
Privacy: Go animal only displays the location of your dropped waypoint, not where you are. In order to protect your privacy waypoints will not be tagged with your player info but only your team. You can get your player name out there by advancing on the leaderboard. Player safety is important. We will be working to keep your information and location your business and will not sell or use that information for other purposes.
The Game Rules:
1. Waymarkers will be generated at the beginning of the round. These Round Generated Waymarkers will be randomly placed across the city map.Think of them like PAC Man food. Some of these markers will be unreachable due to the cities actual physical layout including private and government property and cityscape which is not safe for traversing. Due to the randomness of the generation some waymarkers will be over bodies of water or in areas that are unsafe for travel such as highways or freeways. Please play responsibly following all normal rules for travel and avoid trespassing or putting yourself in danger. *see full gameplay disclosure
2. Round Generated Waymarkers may be captured if a player is within 30 feet of the waymarker.
(Exact distance depends on beta testing of the game). A notification will appear on the map while in the game prompting you to pick up the Waymarker.
3. A player may only hold 4 Waymarkers in their inventory at any given time unless their team’s special animal ability allows them to carry more markers (the bear team).
4. A Waymarker may be placed at any location besides inside of an opposing team’s area. They are placed by physically going to the location in the city with a smartphone and choosing the “place waymarker” inventory button. Placed waymarkers will be coded with the player’s team color and become “Waypoints”
5. When a Waymarker/ Waypoint is placed within 340 feet of another Waypoint they will form a connection. The connection will be displayed as a line.(Exact distance depends on beta testing of the game, 340 feet is the estimated distance of 1 city block)
6. When a set of 3 or more Waymarkers are connected an area will be formed. The player who places the Waymarker that forms the area will receive points based on the size of the area. The team’s area score will increase by the area amount in square feet. The area created will be coded with the teams color and possibly a team icon. The team with the highest area score at the end of the time limit wins the round.
7. For Orca team’s “golden points” only:When two different team’s areas have overlapping sections due to golden points, the overlapping section does not count towards the team score. In other words this area is nullified. If the shared area is cleared so that one team now has the previous shared area, this teams area will increase. (This is in reference to the “golden points” of the Orca teams special ability. , see teams section for explanation)
8. If a player closes off an area using the connections placed by their teammates they will receive the area score. In other words, whichever player on a team creates the connection that creates an area will receive the points for that area even if the other Waymarkers were previously placed by their teammates.
9. If a player creates/closes off an area around the placed Waymarker of another team this Waymarker will be captured. The captured Waymarker of the opposing team will be added to the inventory of the player who captured it. Multiple Waymarkers may be captured at the same time and may be added to the inventory up to the amount the player can carry.
10. If a Waypoint that forms a connection is captured, the connection will be lost. If this connection formed an area, the area may also be lost. A smaller area may still be supported if the connection is webbed to multiple points.
11. A Waypoint that is surrounded by an area of the same team will be preserved. Its connections will be preserved but they may not be displayed. In this fashion, a web of connected Waymarkers is formed. This web will help to protect the area of a team. As a strategy it is beneficial to create multiple connections inside of an area. One good way to possibly illustrate this on screen, will be with colors. The teams area will be a darker color where the connections are of the highest density.
12. Team special ability items will be auto generated throughout the map at game start. A player may only see these items on the map if they are within 30 feet of them. When they are within 30 feet of an item the player will be prompted to pick up the item. Once the item is picked up the player’s special team ability will become active. The length of this active ability depends on the team. (The foxes special ability will be to see and steal these items, only if their ability is active.)
13. Rounds will have a time limit. The time limit will possibly be as long as 4 days. The time limit will be determined by beta testing the game. This time will be displayed on the game screen in hours remaining.
14. A round summary will be available in the menu and top players from the round will be displayed.
15. There will be a leader board where the usernames top players from the combined games will be displayed in the traditional arcade style.
Picking up a Waymarker: 50 Points
Creating a Waypoint connection :50 Points
Creating an area: (Determined by size of area)
Capturing a Waypoint: 100 Points per waymarker
Being on the round winning team bonus: 300
Finding a team player ability Icon: 100 Points
Using the team ability: 50 Points
“Rabbits are fast, rabbits are quick
they doge,dart and dash,
they can make small areas in a flash”
>Players on the rabbit team who find a special item may instantly drop a small triangle territory consisting of three points in the location of their choosing. This is a one time ability and can be reactivated by finding another rabbit team special item .
“Deer move in herds
when they stick together
they'll outrun fur scale and feather!”
>The player from the deer team who finds a special item may temporarily act as a Waypoint. That is if they stay in one place for a bit they can act as a waypoint. By doing this they may be able to finish off a connection to get the area score. The connection will be lost once the player leaves the area.
“Seeing from above
faster than ducks and doves,
stealing a meal by surprise,
the hawk swoops down with keen eyes”
>The Hawk player who finds the special item may for a limited time see all remaining Waymarkers on the map from any distance. This will give them insight on where unfound waymarkers may be hiding.
“Cleaver and filled with wit,
They may be small but fit and crafty,
They move like a scout and can keep a keen lookout.”
>The Fox’s special ability is to be able to see and capture the special items from other teams. The strategy is to capture these for points and to prevent other teams from gaining an advantage.
“Oceans majestic killers
travel in pods and remind us
how nature’s beauty does”
>The Orca may drop a “golden point” This is an anchor, a permanent point for the Orca team that cannot be captured. The Orca's special items will be rare so the golden points must be used wisely.
“Big and slow is how the bear will go
but they carry their weight and cover their ground
It’s hard to capture territory when they're around.”
>The bear may carry an extra Waymarker. When the bear special item is found the player who finds this item will have an extra inventory slot for the rest of the round. This extra slot will allow them to carry more Waymarkers around with them.
seasons tied to this fish’s luck “
>The salmon player may create a “run” or a line of points instantly like the rabbit. This can be useful for quickly adding a long team connection. Like the rabbits ability it can only be used once per special item found.
(More Animal teams pending:Abilities subject to change based on beta testing)
The Funds: Where will they go?
The funds will go into programming the game. Hiring the game designers in Seattle WA; Coding, the bread and butter. This will also be new media design of all the the menu’s and GUI’s. It will be getting the logic of the game to work with map data. It will be beta testing the app to get the distances right and to make the gameplay as fun and easy as possible It will also go into hiring the same Illustrator to finish all of the character art. A small portion will go into promotion of the game. It will also go to host any game data on a server and that data’s upkeep.
This game will be attempted to be produced and released by May 2014 or earlier.
Immediately following the kickstarter, the rewards will be processed. The design will then be handed over to a Seattle design studio/ company when the best one is found. This will be within the month following funding.
The T-shirts and posters will be made locally in Seattle. (A keep it here philosophy)
The illustrations of donors will be made by me and posted to the Go-Animal site. These illustrations and donor blurbs will appear in the game credits on the app as well.
Future Expansion Ideas:
The game will be expanded to new cities, starting with NYC, San Fran, Chicago, Boston, ect.
If possible a bracket tournament of Go-Animal will be made. These would be a month long tournament. Each week the top players will move onto a private game for the next week. The number of players will diminish each week and be narrowed down to the top ten or twenty for the last week of the month. Possibly once a year there will be a tournament of the very top players.
A version of the game with illustrated monster characters and possibly a tie into local business who can give special points for checking in. (Such as in a foursquare style application)
Some new animal teams may be hidden on the city map for players to find, kind of like easter eggs.
3d Map Data, the denser the territory, the more connections the more vertical (3d) the territory will appear on the map. There may also be some basic animations.
Thomas McFarland is a packaging designer and amateur illustrator who lives in Beacon Hill and works in Belltown,Seattle. He has been thinking about this game for over 5 years, just with it simmering back there waiting to be made.
Credits and Thanks:
Kickstarter Video Editing and Animation: Tess Martinhttp://www.tessmartinart.com/
Open CC Music By: Artist: Jaspertine, Track: Terminal
Game Art by: Peter Lazarski
Special Thank You too:
Barbara K.Doug M.Jeremy B.Awesome Co-workers and Extras: Keith, Jannie, Nicola, Jessie, and Josh
The 2,500 year old game of Go, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_(game)
Reading Inspiration of Ready Player One, A Novel by Ernest Cline
Risks and challenges
Finding a good Dev team: I will be working to find a suitable development team for programming the game. If you are a motivated developer who is interested in programming and building Go Animal, please contact Thomas McF.
Project Scope:We will work to keep the game in scope, due to the simplicity of the design it should be achievable. It does not require motion graphics or intensive animations. It will also be designed to work with an existing map data source/ platform. The logic of the gameplay is hopefully sound and will be fun.There is a small risk that it does not translate from idea into an actual fully formed and fun game.This will be accomplished by making a good “Product Requirement” writeup or contract with the software/ app developers.
City Center only locations:
Due to the probable requirement of customizing the gameplay area when developing it will only be available in the Seattle city. Probably King Country only. But it will be attempted to allow the game to expand.
Mobile Device accuracy:
One of the biggest challenges will be working with is the inaccuracies of mobile devices. The map data for these devices can often be quite unpredictable. Hopefully through beta testing we will be able to get good info on what are good distances for gameplay.
Mobile Device Battery Life:
Using real time data and GPS location data can be intensive on the battery life of a mobile device. It would need to be designed so as to use silent push data but in a way that does not drain battery life excessively.
Team ability advantage:
One teams special ability may lend itself to being unfairly advantageous. Beta testing should be able to find these loopholes to make the teams more even and to nail down the special team abilities.
Waypoints and no-go or inaccessible locations
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Waypoints will be “auto populated” on the map. Some if not a lot of these points will be generated in locations that are unreachable due to geography but most likely due to private property or government property. The game will come with a disclaimer asking players to stay within their comfort zones and obey all local laws and avoid trespassing. Don’t go somewhere that does not feel safe, some of the Waymarkers will just be unreachable. (Some can also be acquired and placed in creative ways, think boats and bikes)