2.06 - Underwater Horror

Idea for November 1, 2007

Theme: Underwater

includes topics that expand on the theme

  • Big
  • Open
  • Full of life
  • Rich environment
  • Ships
  • Freedom
  • Pressure
  • Underwater city
  • Limited light
  • Limited ait
  • Merfolk
  • Bubbles
  • Music/ambience
  • Exploration
  • Treasure
  • Lost
  • Currents
  • Cold
  • Whirlpools
  • Coral reefs
  • Sense of direction
  • Colonization
  • Tridents
  • Harpoons
  • Pollution
  • Predators
  • Massive, deadly creatures
  • Myths and legends
  • Depth charges
  • Mines, torpedoes
  • Underwater warfare

Genre: Horror/Survival

game genre with possible significant changes or important points

  • Possible Genres:
    • FPS
    • Flight sim
    • RTS
    • Evolution sim
    • Adventure/Exploration
    • Treasure Hunting
  • Perhaps include some educational elements about underwater experiences, aquatic life, etc.


individual gameplay mechanics and mechanics categorized by system

  • Movement/Navigation/Environment notes:
    • Pressure/depth varies with location, used to gauge height, position and threat level
    • Safe areas are dry, and contain a (for the sake of the game) limitless supply of air
    • A pressure-reader is provided to the player, and a broken reader or player mistake will throw the player off-track
    • Saving is done in safe area via cut-scene to pass both time and serve as a reminder of events and goals: similar to having a meal in the Grandia series
    • Immersive environment introduces visual cues and environment specific elements to cue player to danger or act as navigational beacons, e.g. dead coral, air bubbles, etc.
    • Actions by player or CPU enemies could scare away light-emitting fish, warning the player? As a penalty for excess movement in an area?
    • Saving/Sleep could be interrupted by monsters or rising water levels
    • Traces of player blood in water could incite aquatic life to madness, i.e. feeding frenzy
    • Adaptive safe zones: safe areas may not remain safe
  • Research/Documentation:
    • Take photos of say scriptures early game, then later you decipher and get clues in order to progress
    • Mapping system that is assembled by the user as the game progresses?
    • Get clues from aquatic life? e.g. 'this fish doesn't belong in this environment… oh geez great white shark’
    • Bonus at end according to documentation percentage complete? Secrets, unlockables, New Game + kind of deal?
    • Puzzles that rely on observing the player’s surroundings and accurately deciphering ancient ruins
    • Linking pictures to different locations on a map as a way of keeping track of important information or places
  • Inventory/Player status:
    • Limited set of utilities: blowtorch, knife, harpoon, flashlight; think RE:4 style limitations for inventory
    • Player must pick and choose what to include in inventory; items must be stored in a safe zone when not in use, or carried as cargo (slows down player, can be easily lost if player is attacked)
    • More inventory on player weighs player down; might be intentional for some areas of the game
    • Items are one of a kind: if player loses a harpoon launched, they MUST retrieve it to get it back, whatever that may entail (entering a dangerous predator’s lair, where it was dropped while fleeing?)
    • Over time, safe areas in the game may become unsafe: they may be desecrated during sleep or be pilfered by CPUs when player is away. This could be done by other survivors whom you haven’t met yet? Sabotage of scuba gear that requires repair?
    • Stamina is given instead of health: death is quick and sudden, and usually resulting from a shortage of stamina
    • Nourishment system: players must eat and maintain their health; hunt for suitable food (food may be inedible)


narrative elements concerning plot, characters, world

  • Player is a researcher, exploring expansive caves that opened up during an earthquake
  • The Earth shifts again, trapping the player inside with no way to contact out
  • Inside are ancient structures
  • Maybe player was a part of a team of people, and must search for the others?
  • Setting:
    • Recently flooded city, buried in a severe natural disaster?
    • Ancient civilization that was lost centuries ago? (a little clichéd, but always fun)
    • Use a lot of glass-like material in the game: this allows the player is see areas, dangers, or be shocked by something, but is protected by the transparent barrier; think the ‘G-Man’ affect


includes possible target user group traits

Possible Technology

includes hardware that would best support the game


includes GDDG members who contributed to this idea and were present during the discussion

  • Mediator: Cody Church
  • Holly Becker
  • Tyler Nickel
  • Vincent Cua
  • Kevin Lee
  • Shane Morin
  • Ethan Johanson
  • Chris Walters
  • Lanz Singbeil
  • Kyle Sakai
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