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Game Design Secrets by Wagner James Au

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Excerpts from the Waking Mars Design Documents

Randy Smith of Tiger Style next explains the studio’s design document for Waking Mars. “This document sets out the highest level direction for Waking Mars. Similar to the Spider concept document, it describes the focals of the project and goes into each with some additional depth and explanation. [See Figures 16-20 and 16-21.]

“It has a ‘pitch’ that in this case is an evocative summary of the high-level story (which is actually somewhat different than what we shipped).” (See Figures 16-22 through 16-24 in the next section.)

Figure 16-20: Waking Mars overall direction design doc

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Figure 16-21: Waking Mars overall direction design doc, continued

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Waking Mars Story Premise (from the Original Design Doc)

From the original design doc:

In 2093, the colonization of Mars is just beginning. Several expeditions around the planet are tasked with inspecting sites of scientific interest. You are a member of such a team investigating one of the many lava tube caves. This cave happens to be along the slope of Valles Marineris. An unexpected dust storm causes a horrible accident. The outpost is destroyed and you are the sole survivor. You are forced into the cave system to survive the disaster.

Figure 16-22: Waking Mars gameplay summary

“[About] ...

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