Aimless Manor – Design Document

Concept Overview

The goal of Aimless manor is to produce a puzzle based single player game where the player is trapped within a manor where every door leads to a different room each time.


Gameplay Overview

The player will be exploring a manor with non-euclidean rooms and solving the puzzles within each room in order to escape. The player starts in a hallway with 6 rooms, where each of the six rooms cycle through a set of randomized rooms. The cycle stops after the player has solved all puzzles for the initial room and are returned to the hallway. Once the player has completed all the room puzzles they find a key in the hallway that unlocks the last door, finishing the final puzzle.


Team

Paul:                                               Background music | Sound effects

Natalie:                                          Modeling | Shaders

Grace:                                            Programming

Sydney:                                         Lighting | Particle effects | Post processing

Pandy:                                           Project Manager | Materials | Modeling

Vivian:                                           Modeling

Chris:                                             Programming

Josh:                                               Programming


Target Demographic

Casual gamers who enjoy puzzle solving and escape rooms, driven by exploration and narratives.


Target Platform and Technical Limitations

  • 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7 and above
  • Processor: Intel i5 and above
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Graphics: GTX 750/Radeon 7790 and above

Artistic Outline

The manor is set to a classic refurbished 1900s style with high ceilings and tall windows. Rooms are well furnished with an overall wood theme. Each room is brightly lit and has its own set colour scheme to reflect the tone of the area.


Reference

  • What Remains of Edith Finch
  • Antichamber
  • Stanley Parable
  • Layers of Fear
  • Visage
  • Fragments of Euclid
  • Gone Home
  • Rusty Lake

Story

Setting

Within a manor with no way of escaping, the main character documents their time spent trapped in the manor. Lynn records her findings in hopes of making sense of the house’s nonsensical layout.

We begin with Lynn on her second week in the manor. She’s still trapped and has begun talking to herself in order to stay sane. She muses that it feels like she’s not alone sometimes (referencing to the player’s presence), and the environment clues that someone else is here.

There is a spacious hallway with six doors. One of the doors is severely damaged and locked. Lynn remarks that she marked that door herself to remind her which door she came through before getting trapped in this looping hall. The other doors in the hall lead to a different room each time, making it difficult to navigate through the manor. Lynn believes that by restoring the rooms, she’ll break herself out of the hallway loop and unlock the damaged door.
Once all rooms have been completed, the hallway no longer loops and is instead a regular hallway. At the end of it, Lynn finds the key to unlock the door. On the other side of the door, Lynn sees a shadowed figure and thinks it to be the other stranger that’s been trapped here. She runs towards them as it disappears and Lynn finds herself in the same hallway she just escaped.

Characters

Lynn

Game Mechanics

Player Movement: First person camera with Xbox controller

Interaction: Point and click with the controller to interact with and pick up objects.

Controls

Xbox controller

Game Tasks

Complete the puzzles within all six rooms to escape from the main hall.

Hallway

The hall is an endless loop and is impossible to reach the damaged door at the end. There is a side table in the hallway but is missing its drawer. Once all rooms have been restored, the drawer will appear in the table. Player can open the drawer to find a key. When holding the key, the hallway is no longer endless and player can reach the damaged door and unlock it. Going through the door leads the player into the exact same hallway and ends the game.

Bathroom

First room that the player encounters. Demonstrates the puzzles throughout the manor. The mirror is dirtied with grime. Take the towel from the towel rack to wipe clean the mirror. Next, the bathtub is missing its faucet. Go through doors until in the office to find a faucet sticking out of the wall. Take the faucet and return to bathtub to reattach it. Bathroom is now restored and door leads to hallway again.

Kitchen

Enter kitchen to find dining table and island on the ceiling. When entering this room, player’s may sometime enter upside-down. The puzzles can be completed in any order. Firstly, the dining table needs to be set. The utensil drawer in the kitchen is locked. Go to office and open the globe to find the keys. Take the keys to the kitchen to unlock the drawer and retrieve utensils and set the table. Next, the vase on the island has been knocked over. Pick up the vase and fill it with water from the sink. Place the vase back on the island and stick the flower back into the vase. Finally, the stovetop is missing one of its burners. Go to the bathroom and look through the clean mirror to find the missing burner. Return to kitchen to put it back. Kitchen is now restored and leads to hallway.

Bedroom

There’s a walk-in closet attached to the bedroom. The pillow is missing from the bed and the lamp is missing its lampshade. Also, there’s a book on the ceiling and its pages are missing. The missing pillow is found in the bathroom bathtub, take it and return it to the bed. Next, by walking through the walk-in closet clockwise twice, the player will find the lampshade in the doorway of the closet. Take the lampshade and walk counterclockwise twice in the closet to return to the correct bedroom and place the lampshade back. Retrieve the flying book from the ceiling and set it on the table. Its missing pages are flying around the living room. Enter the living room upside down and collect the two pages. Put the pages back into the book so that it has all its pages. Bed room is restored and leads to hallway.

Living Room

The living room has a large but empty fireplace and the coffee table is on the ceiling. Coffee table is set with a spoon and saucer but the cup is missing. Enter the kitchen and take the teacup and place it onto the saucer. Next, to bring the table back down to the floor, go to the bedroom and take the book with the wings cover and set it onto the coffee table. When entering the living room again, the coffee table will be back on the floor. One of the windows is a doorway that leads to the void, there the player can find firewood. Once wood is in the fireplace, player can use the matches on the fireplace mantle and light the fire. The living room is now complete and leads back to the hallway.

Office

Enter into office to find large portrait painting on the ceiling. The piano is lightly playing but disappears when player walks close to it. There are 2 plants floating in the room without its pots. Cycle through the rooms to re-enter the office upside down. Walk into the painting and retrieve a key. The painting can now be picked up. Take it and re-enter the office and hang it back onto the wall. Next, enter the kitchen and open up the marked cabinets in this order: IV, I, III, V, II and take the planter that appears back to the office. One of the windows is actually a doorway. Player walks through it into a space-like void. In the void is the missing sheet music. When holding the sheet music, the piano will no longer disappear. Return the sheets to the piano to fix it. Office is now complete and the door leads back to hallway.

Components

  • 3D renderer (Unity)
  • Save/load system
  • Particle effects
  • State machine
  • Random room path generation
  • Stencil (non-euclidean)
  • Inventory
  • UI
  • Object tracking

Audio Assets

A “core” layer of background music will play for the entire game duration. Each room / item then has an associated layer of music (eg., the office, which prominently features a piano, comes with a piano layer) which combines with the core layer to create different moods and musical atmospheres. Additionally, narrative flow will be provided by voice acting.

Art Assets

3D (Autodesk Maya/Blender/Substance Painter)

  • All Rooms
  • Objects within room
  • Furniture within room
  • Doors

2D (Photoshop/Illustrator/Substance Designer)

  • Particle effect sprite sheets
  • Object and furniture materials
  • Texture maps
  • UI/Menu

Text Assets

  • Tutorial
  • Narration/Voice acting
  • Subtitles

Research

Non-Euclidean rooms and how the effect can be achieved in Unity. Examples of real-world illusions of non-euclidean elements.

1900s-1800s interior design of the manor. What style of furniture and materials are used during this time. Accuracy of the space setup.

Flow Chart

This is gif shows how the player solving the initial puzzle in the manor. The player starts out in the bathroom where they notice that the mirror is dirty. The character will remark that they should clean the mirror and that there isn’t anything in the bathroom to use, but they might find a rag somewhere else. Opening the door, they are lead to the office instead of the main hallway where the bathroom initially connected to. The player can explore the office but will not find anything. Opening the door again, they enter the kitchen where the rag on the counter is highlighted. Picking up the rag, the next time they open the door, it will take them back to the bathroom. Interacting with the mirror while holding the rag will complete the puzzle.

Room Layout

Project Timeline

January 28th: Plot and storyboarding

February 10th: Bathroom and Office models complete. Inventory and randomly connecting rooms started. Basics of non-euclidean rooms.

February 18th (Reading Week): Kitchen and Hallway models complete. Script complete and voice actor acquired. Testing tutorial puzzles. Bathroom particles complete. Pause menu complete.

February 25th: Bedroom and Living room models complete. Working prototype of all integrated mechanics. Tutorial room (Bathroom) ready for playing. Inventory system complete. Random and upside down rooms complete. Magic Mirror integrated. Object outlining when hovered complete. Object interactions started.

March 1st: All remaining models complete. Spritesheets for particles complete.

March 4th: First half of room materials complete. Begin any custom texture maps. Begin object animations. Remaining particles complete. Voice acting complete. Non-euclidean elements complete. Playtesting possible.

March 11th: All rooms integrated with base puzzles playable. Subtitles complete. Playtest feedback adjustments made.

March 18th: Object animations complete. Custom texture maps complete.

March 25th: All materials complete. Music complete.

April 1st: All music and SFX integrated into game.

April 8th: Bug fixes and completing any remaining 3D/2D assets. Object interactions complete. All assets imported.

April 15th: Game complete.

April 17th: Level-Up Showcase.

Future Mechanics and Ideas

  • Random room layout generation
  • Outdoor space
  • Attic Room
  • Journal-esque UI
  • Interactive Text
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