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This is a multi-player game themed in late Golden Age Piracy era. Caribbean setting primarily. The game-modes range from standard multi-player such Death-match, Team Death-match, Capture The Flag to Cooperative campaigns featuring Tomb Raiding, Treasure Hunting, and Pillaging towns/ports.

Contents

Style/Theme

The world of Pirates has its own style. It is a mix of artistic styles and impressions of the world.
Overall mood:

Colourful, adventurous, comedic (dark humour at times), visually dramatic, classic swashbuckling.
Realistic geometry and details (not cartoon), but vivid colour.
Think technicolor films.

Realistic animation (not cartoon), but deaths and violence that is not realistic for entertainment purposes:
It is important to relate to the world visually, thus the realism element, but for the world itself to be fantastic and entertaining which is where the non-realistic elements mentioned come in. The balance outlined is important in getting the right theme/mood. If historical accuracy harms the game and there is no good remedy, then historical inaccuracy is favoured; Entertainment is most important, we try to keep historical accuracy as much as we can, but a line is drawn.

UI/Hud

Should be customisable, can move things around or rearrange. (Also toggle show/hide)

Designed to take full advantage of a PC environment, like your typical strategy game. No game controller scroll menus.

A window system is welcome and desired for certain elements.

Minimalism is preferred.

Highlights/Hints

An optional system to help you interact with the environment. Can be disabled at any time.

Teams

Colour coded teams, red and blue.

Default themes (logo/flag and name) for each team.

Possibility to customise the theme (not colour) based on previously determined info from team’s captain.

Captain’s are randomly selected, but can apply and be voted for. If they are terrible, mutiny may be committed.

A secondary colour that is customisable, is an option in consideration, but the primary red or blue will be fixed/static.

Classes

There are no forced classes in Pirates.

This means you may wield any weapon in the game, at any time.

It does not mean all players are the same. Instead of classes, you can fine tune your player’s abilities.

Level of customisation

Abilities

Modify speed, health, health regen, armour, etc.

It is important to consider balancing with this.

Example: Higher hit-points may mean slower movement speed or attack damage.

Visual/Audio

Muscle density of player’s body must visually change based on their player type. A scout like class will be skinny, while a tank like class will be bulky.

Customizable clothes and accessories as follows:

   * Headwear ('Just Hair' and Bald options as well)
   * Shirts/Tops/Vests
   * Jackets/Coats
   * Undergarments and Pants
   * Boots (also barefeet)
   * Acessories (ear rings, hook, eye patch, etc)
  • Unlockables

Gain access to additional assets for visual customisation as a reward for achievements in game.

Presets

Presets give the player basic classes to either start playing with immediately, or as a starting point for their editing.

Basic

Basic are the 3 types of gameplay classes.

   * Light (Scout)
   * Balanced
   * Heavy (Tank)

Light is 200% agility (50% strength) Balanced is 100% agility, 100% strength Heavy is 200% strength (50% agility)

Full

These presets contain more than just the basic speed/damage combinations. These are more unique combinations of that + visual customisation. Think of them as traditional classes, in a game that has no customisation; but in our game, they are presets. They have a suggested weapon of choice to match the theme of the character.

  • Defaults
   * The Swabbie       Themeatic weapon:  Cutlass
   * The Lady Pirate   Themeatic weapon:  Rapier
   * The Drunkard      Themeatic weapon:  Blunderbuss
   * The Marksmen      Themeatic weapon:  Musket
   * The Mercy-Giver   Themeatic weapon:  Two Handed Weapon (Claymore, Sledgehammer, something intense)
  • Unlockables – Comes with new mesh, skin, and voice assets for customisation.
   * The Captain       Themeatic weapon:  Cutlass w/ jagged edges or pistol cutlass
   * The Corsair       Themeatic weapon:  Scimitar
   * The Native        Themeatic weapon:  Bow & Tomahawk
   * The Kamikaze      Themeatic weapon:  Small Explosives

Arsenal

Tier System

Example of what the tier system may look like:

arsenal

Explosives, and incendiary are part of this game but not discussed much because they are pretty straight forward.

Poison’s are mentioned more below under Additional Info

Inventory System

Each player has 3 main areas where they carry items and weapons.

1. Back
2. Chest
3. Hips

Certain weapons can only be stored in fixed locations, for example:
Muskets are stored only on your back, Cutlasses are stored only at the hips.
Pistols are stored primarily on your chest.

Your chest has up to 6 spaces that can be used for various smaller items. Could be 4 pistols and 2 grenades for instance.

Hips are 2 main slots. Typically reserved for swords and large ammo bags.

Mods/Extensions

The ability to upgrade existing weapons.

Simple mods like a bayonet added to a musket

Or complex mods like a cutlass with a pistol in the hilt.

Additional Info

Pick up in-game
Almost all weapons can be picked up in-game, but lesser quality/cheaper weapons will appear more than valuable higher cost.

Props as weapons
Use props in environments as melee or throwable weapons. Can lead to some amusing deaths :) *Player killed by tankard*

Poisons
Get poison from map elements instead of the market. Grab a spider, snake, tree-frog and extract the poison quickly to your blade and use it on someone.

Trader or Armory
There will be a place to purchase, sell, and upgrade weapons. There are up to three levels of melee & ranged weapons, as well as unlockables.

Combat

This is the bare bones of the game, that everything else (gamemodes/maps) is built on top of.

Melee

4-6 swings, with 1 auto-block.

Swings

Swings physically collide and act as a block or mini-stun.

There are direction based swings for movement keys or mouse movement

And trigger buttons for special attacks, as well as taunts/expressions.

Blocks

Blocks do not expire, but only protect you from full damage, and they do not stun your enemy or give you an advantage.

You should be focusing mostly on using your attacks.

Customisation (Experimental)

Customise some or all of your sword swings.
Not animating the sword swing per-say, though that could be a really advanced option if we want, but I was thinking more simple like choosing from a set of swings and binding them.

If this creates issues with balance, then we could restrict this to just a customisable “special” attack, and leave the default directional attacks fixed.

Misc

Strategic movement, kicks, throwing dirt in your opponents eyes, etc are just as important as your sword tactics.

Use whatever you can to win, except for hacks. If you hack, your booty will be plundered in a prison cell full of rats.

Ranged

Stances

-Each weapon can be fired in relaxed pose or aim mode.

-For ranged weapon like blunderbuss or musket, we can use the rear of the gun to hit enemies in a quick defensive stun.

Reloading & Fire-rate

Firearms are slow
The guns of the day were single shot. Reload times varied, with muskets roughly 15 seconds with paper cartridges.

Muskets
Muskets like the Brown Bess, are the most accurate and furthest firing of the firearms in the game; naturally it has the longest reload time.

Muskets are not ideal for up-close combat, which is why bayonet’s are an option. They are also slow to reload and bulky, effecting how much you can carry.

Blunderbuss
The blunderbuss has a short reload time, but cannot fire great distances like the musket. However, it is vastly superior for up-close firing, as it’s cone of damage is very wide. It is similar to a shotgun.

Pistol
Pistols have a short reload time, and don’t hinder your movement, but deal the least damage and don’t have the best firing range. However, multiple pistols can be carried because of their small size, which allows for multiple shots without the need to reload. You can also dual wield.

Non-Firearm examples
Bows fire and reload faster than any gun, but have the weakest velocity. Like the pistol, they also do not hinder movement while reloading.

Crossbows though have a slow reload that pause movement, and they have greater velocity.

Tap Loading

For slow loading weapons like a musket, you can opt to tap load instead of reload (standard). Tap loading shaves off 5 seconds at the expense of projectile velocity (damage and distance/accuracy).

Cartridges

Muskets used paper cartridges, which were nothing more than measured amounts of black powder with a lead ball enveloped in paper.

We give you the ability to customise your cartridges. You can change the:

  • Fineness of powder
  • Amount of power
  • Ball Calibre

Effects of cartridge configurations

You do so at your own risk though, negative consequences exist for certain configurations.

For instance, a larger calibre lead ball w/ high amounts of powder will make your initial shots deal more damage with greater accuracy. But the long-term effect is the gun may not continue to fire, or you may even destroy it. In some cases, barrels can burst. Usually you might lose a finger, but sometimes worse.

You can reduce this by using a smaller calibre lead ball, which leaves enough space to continue to fire after powder residue build-up. However, the effect of using excessive powder still weathers the barrel faster (puts higher strain on) and does still increase the chances of undesirable events.

If you prefer a musket that has a nice balance, then the standard/default cartridge configuration will be for you.

Locking Mechanisms

The primary locking mechanism in the game is the flintlock.

Others include matchlock and wheel-lock. Each of these have their pros and cons.

The flintlock is the one we will focus on primarily. It has a chance to misfire, and this is because the point of ignition is open and not nearly as controlled.

Sparks generated from flint striking steel, are not always guaranteed to land in the pan, but will do so almost always.

But when the area of ignition is wet, firing becomes next to impossible. Because of this, flintlocks are not effective in the rain, and obviously underwater.

If your player has just exited the water, and he has a gun or pulls one out immediately after, an animation will automatically play where the player drys or shakes the water off. This is the brief cooldown.

Firearms are wonderful weapons, but they are not king. Melee (even if just a bayonet), other ranged, and explosives must be part of your arsenal if you want to stay alive.

Strategic movement

Strafe/Dodge
A quick side-step or jump to avoid an attack, such as a throwing axe or a lunge from a rapier is encouraged as part of the gameplay. Crouch jumping to avoid a low angled horizontal swing, or crouching to avoid a high angled horizontal swing are good methods of dodging as well. Forward and back movement/jumping is also another way to dodge attacks.

Sprint/Panic
You can sprint like the pansy chicken you are, away from danger.

This will automatically drop any treasure you are carrying, as well as prevent you from using any of your weapons for a brief second, and thereafter your stamina has to re-cooperate, which makes you walk instead of run.

When triggered perhaps the sound of a chicken shall play, and chicken feathers will explode off of you as you dash. Or maybe not, that might be too silly. We shall seeĀ šŸ˜‰

Kicking
The ability to kick your opponent for a mini-stun or evasion.

Gore (Black Comedy)

We don’t want to go for brutal realism as much as dark humour.

  • Melee – arms, legs, and head should be able to be severed.
  • Explosives (and possibly sledgehammer) – should separate entire body into gibs; bloody skull, spine, organs (heart, liver). Heart could still be beating.
  • Fire – Death by fire to result in a running & screaming charcoaled skeleton.

Gamemodes

Basics

  • Capture The Flag + Variants

CTF gamemode in variations, themed around treasure. 3 alterations/options of gamemode.

*Standard
-Capture X amount to win

*Scavenger Hunt
-Scattered around map, you must search first.
A true treasure hunt game, where you have to search about a map for hidden trinkets. The team that finds the most wins.

*Duration based
-Game continues until round-limit ends. Captures act as points, and team with highest points wins.

  • Team Deathmatch
    Team A vs Team B, with respawn.
  • Deathmatch
    Every man for himself.
    There are no teams, no order. Everyone for themselves, kill anyone that moves before they kill you. Good for the tavern map, nothing fits better for this situation than a bunch of drunk rowdy pirates in a tavern having a brawl.
  • Last Team Standing
    Team A vs Team B, without respawn.
  • King of the hill/Territory
    Hold area(s) for a duration/points.
  • Four Teams Variant
    Introduce variations of game-modes and maps that split players into four teams instead of two.

Custom/Unique

  • Puzzle
    Gameplay more focused on per-map puzzle solving than killing/combat.
  • Pillage
    You accumulate points for destruction and pillaging of town/port/fort. This could include territory gamemode in combination, so controlling areas would also accumulate points.
    NOTE: It is also possible to do a co-op version of this gamemode. 8 players vs AI enemies. For example: In Port Royal map, AI enemy would be the royal navy.
    Planned maps: Port Royal, The Orient, Spanish fort.
  • Tomb Raiding/Looting
    Ancient civilisations, underground tombs… filled with precious old artifacts aka booty.
    This can be implimented as either co-op or competitive (teams).
    Example planned map (Incan Underground Temple): You must survive this temple’s booby traps, escape from its ultimate collapse, and in the process be the team or individual to come out with the booty, alive.
  • The Kraken (optional)
    If we do well enough completing the tasks at hand, this would be an additional gamemode/map we could do.
    Would work best as co-op. All players vs AI monster.
    As team based, it could be an AI monster that attacks while the two teams fight.

NPCs

  • Monsters
    *Zombies
    *Mummies
    *Giant Spiders
    *Skeletons
    *Ghosts/Possession
    *The Kraken
    *Sharks

Terrified effect
For certain monsters in a few maps, we might want to consider a reaction of forced fear that freezes your player..
so that you have to avoid monsters or certain paths. The freeze wouldn’t be permanent so you could run away after, or depending on the monster.. attack it.
I’ve seen several games impliment something like this in one way or another so it should be completely safe to use.

  • British royal navy

Aside from Monsters, NPC’s would be good for a map like Port Royal, where royal navy soldiers can attack you, especially if it’s a co-op game.

Maps

  • Sea Battle/Ships – Two galleons

First basic map. 2 Pirate ships at sea, battle it out to the death. Can battle it out til’ last team standing or blow out the enemies hull and sink the land lubber. Arghh!
Can either be Last Team Standing, or Team Deathmatch. Will test both to determine what works best.

Round 1 – Players take to the cannons, and snipers prepare for the best shot as one player takes control of the ship in RTS fashion.
That lucky player will maneuver the ship while the rest of the team fires on the enemy ship.

Round 2 – Prepare to board! It is time for some up close and personal contact with the enemy. Fire your boomsticks and wield your cutlasses.
The ability to blow up the hull of the enemy ship from the inside (ignite the magazine) is an option in consideration, but needs to be tested.

Round 3 – Malestrom/hurricane. Play-time is over and you’re all gonna die. Battle to the death or let the weather kill you, your choiceĀ :).

  • Sea Battle/Ships – Other variations

Small ships against singular large ship: One team has multiple small to medium sized ships, and one team has a large ship and must defend.

Multiple ships for both teams: Both teams have a fleet of medium to small sized ships as opposed to 1 large ship per team.

Sail-boats only: One or two men per sailboat. This can be used for team-based or free-for-all. Sloops and Cutters are examples are sailboats of the era.

  • Island (Formerly ‘The Cove’ or ‘Caverns’)
    This beautiful island formed from a volcano has a huge cavern which features the wreckage of a 16th century Spanish gold ship, just waiting to be plundered.
    This was planned to be a CTF map featuring booty as the item.
  • Marooned
    A nice flat small/medium island in the carribean where pirates would usually get kicked off there ship and swim to, like the island that jack went to, but less trees and more flatness, with an amazing blueish ocean, but filled with sharks and seaturtles and maybe the cracken when you get to far out, you can kill the sharks and sea turtles, you can eat them for health. ANY gamemode.
  • Temple
    Deep underground of tribal ruins lies precious trinkets. You must loot the secret temple, but beware of clever traps and monsters.
  • Port Royal
    Port Royal is the biggest trading port in the west indies, and a city built by privateers. With the age of privateering coming to an end, many have gone rogue (pirate) and continued their successful careers in plundering the seas. The governor of Jamaica is cracking down on Pirates, Port Royal is no longer safe. Pirates are hung constantly, made example of. Maybe it is time to teach the governor a lesson.
    Invade the city, pillaging and plundering while battling the city’s soldiers.
  • Tavern brawl
    Deathmatch – Every man for himself. Bunch of drunk pirates just killing each other randomly.
  • Tortuga
    Team Deathmatch or Deathmatch in the famous Pirate haven
  • Sea-serpent
    Another variation of The Kracken, different monster.
  • Davy Jones Locker
    What really lies in/at Davey Jones Locker? Map idea not developed yet. Something to do with ocean floor theme.
  • Deep Jungle
    A map themed in a very thick jungle. Papua New Guinea style perhaps.
  • Ancient Ruins
    Different from temple. This would be an above ground map of a lost civilisation.
  • Haunted manor
    Puzzle map, with supernatural enemies.
  • Flying Dutchman
    A map themed around the flying dutchman
  • Atlantis
    The lost city. Could be a puzzle map.
  • The Orient
    East indies (Indian ocean) themed port city. Pillage gameplay like Port Royal.
  • Rats map
    The pirates are all action figure toys come alive in a gigantic modern room.
  • Graveyard
    Map for zombiesĀ :)
  • Shipwrecked in Antarctica
  • Tundra w/ Pine Forest
  • Volcanic/Magma map
  • Space Pirates
    Flying pirate ships in outerspace.

Virtual Reality

The game is designed to take advantage of virtual reality headsets.
This means that the first person camera view must use a world model for the player and weapon, and not a mere view model.
This will also require us to design our UI to work under VR mode.

Misc

Religion/Superstitions
Our pirates are the first Pastafarians. It is because of their disappearance that the Earth has been heating up, global warming. They believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster and his noodly love. The FSM will make an appearance in the game, permission provided by Bobby Henderson, founder of the church of FSM. Several references will be made throughout, many jokes.

Homage and/or Parody
Many easter eggs and references to be seen.

Taunt system

Custom voice clips + animations which you can trigger manually, and some that are automatic, such as victory animations and voice clips.

Types of voices/voice packs
There will be a variety of voice packs to choose from. Male, female, english, french, jamaican, etc.
Accents will be diverse and ordinary, no posh pirates.

Categories of lines (examples)

Agreement
Disagreement
Attack – Into battle – Go Combat
Retreat – Flee
Hit – Sustain Injury
Death
Insult opponents (pirates)
Insult opponents (royal navy)
Insult opponents (other/monsters)
Insult your team

Optimization ideas

This is a DX11 game and will be designed without sacrifice to be DX11.
The game should run on high-end DX9 and 10 hardware, but does not have to be cosmetically polished.
The game should be optimised for low-end DX11/12 hardware.