Niemiec ST DevBlog

Jan 26

2nd week so far…

In our first meeting this semester and of “Broken Spring Run” we agreed that player testing of mime and rebel showed us that players got bored very quickly due to the mime not having any challenge mechanic, that rebel wasn’t as interesting over time, and we plan on doing split personality puzzles and we needed a new mechanic to give more flavor to our puzzles. So we came up with two personalities that we were thinking of adding in this run through. The two personalities consist of a personality that could jump or teleport over certain walls to get  around and the other one would move around a pitch black level with only a small light source it carried that may run out. We also at these meetings came up with a shattering glass element that would be a more visual and thematic way of a timer, score system, and way of building tension for the player as they play with out the player needing to look at the sanity bar (our old timer/score system). We also have another artist, Austin Light, jumping on board to team up with Amanda. We are glad to have him. We are planning for our artist to bring a darker and more twisted look to our game. We also contacted the audio mercs to let them know we need more audio from them.

Then so far this week I created 25 levels. 5 basic starter levels for each personality. We have 5 at the moment but plan on cutting either jumpy or dark (using short hand names). I also was to build very very very simple levels for what be used for a GDC build. I constructed these levels the other day and made digital blue prints of them to show to Bill today. I am meeting with him on Thursdays at 3:00 to work with him on getting better progression and tension and release for “Broken”. The rest of the week I plan on working on another 20-25 levels for rough draft for the next set of levels. 

Jan 17

Back on the web

Hey everyone I’m back on the internet! since I last posted unrelated to my work on “Broken” I moved into a new house and have no internet there till late Wednesday or Thursday. However as soon as I do get internet at my place I’ll be able to post some notes and scribbles I created over winter break for this semesters run of “broken”. Been working on new ideas for new personalities, new game mode, and newer more polished puzzles for the users. So I’m excited to be back and hope this semester runs smoothly!

Dec 13

Broken Docs


Game Design Document

Written by: Seth Golovin, Kriz Rojas, Nick Niemiec, Morgan O’Brian

Version : 3.00

Date: 12/13/2011

Copyright 2007 by Seth Golovin, Kriz Rojas, Nick Niemiec, Morgan O’Brian All Rights Reserved.

Do not Duplicate or Distribute without the express permission of the copyright holder.

This document is considered to be CONFIDENTIAL and PRIVATE.




01.00.00 3

02.00.00 3

03.00.00 3

Premise 4










rules 5













Characters 9




Concept Document





ESRB Rating

Target Market


Player Motivation

Marketing Position

Competitive Analysis


Game Story


Concept Document



Play Modes




Art Style

Summary/Future Updates


Theory / Game Balance


Game Engine

User Interface



Concept Document


Art Added


Broken is a fun but deep puzzle game where you simultaneously control the different personalities of a mentally ill character. Attempt to merge the personalities and reclaim your sanity.


Broken is a puzzle game. In the game, the screen is split down the center vertically. On either side is a near identical person. The goal of the player is to get both of these people to an exit somewhere in the single screen level. The trick is that players control the characters at the same time. When hitting left, the character on the left goes left, while the character on the right will move in a different direction. In essence moving one direction with one character causes the other character to move in a related but different direction. Players must navigate maze like levels so that both characters are standing on the exit at the same time. Initially characters will move opposite horizontally, but this will change in later levels. The game is split into worlds, with each world representing a different personality of the spit personality main character. Each world contains a different set of movement rules, with some worlds making the character move quickly towards fire, or even moving in the same direction.


The purpose of this game is to be a fun game that is very easy to pick up yet remains engaging throughout. We expect this game will be very interesting and is a breathe of fresh air for puzzle games.


Broken is a puzzle game. The puzzles involve manipulating two characters simultaneously to try and get to the exit of a maze. This genre was chosen because it is easy to implement in a limited time frame, and because the genre has seen a high level of popularity, especially on mobile devices. This puzzle framework was specifically chosen because the basic mechanics are simple to build and levels can be rapidly completed. This lets the team release a polished product that can easily be expanded upon with additional levels and mechanics down the line.


PC and iPad. PC was chosen for its wide variety of players and because it is easy to develop for. iPad was chosen due to the popularity of puzzle games on the platform, and the popularity of the platform itself.


Broken is rated E for it contains minimal cartoon violence and scary themes.


Young adults with an interest in psychology and compelling puzzle gameplay. Casual gamers, especially fans of mobile puzzle games, as well as those hardcore gamers who are interested in playing a simple but deep puzzle game.


The goal of the game is to provide an enjoyable experience for the player by offering deep and rewarding puzzle gameplay combined with a compelling story.


The player will be motivated to solve all of the puzzles and also to cure the mental patient of his disorder. The player will be driven to solve the puzzles due to the strong feeling of reward that comes from overcoming a difficult mental task, and also to get a high score on the integrated leaderboards.


Broken is a single player puzzle game with only the basic puzzle mode where the player tries to get both of the characters onto their respective exits to win the level. These puzzles were created for single player use and on average take a little less then three minutes to solve on medium to difficult puzzles.


Broken is a single player game for ages thirteen and up. Levels depending on difficulty can take any where between several seconds to about two and a half minutes. Each level has a sanity bar which acts as a scoring device that starts at 180 seconds or three minutes and ticks down. Players are scored on how fast they finish a level. The three minutes we gave to players was based off several playtests. The player needs both characters on the exits at the same time to move onto the next level.


Players face several interesting challenges in Broken. Players will need to first learn the relationship of the two characters they are in control of at the current personality world. Next players will need to avoid sanity draining walls that quickly sap their sanity away lowering their score for the current level. Following the sanity draining walls are the kill walls that when touched restart the puzzle for the player and lower their current sanity by 30 points. Then each personality has a special challenge mechanic that the player will need to learn and be aware of such as the vertigo’s perceptive change and the rebel’s trash dump. Players will need to learn these as we give no instructions and leave it up the player to learn the simple yet deep systems much like Minecraft.


The most fundamental strategy to Broken is to learn the movement relation of the two characters the player is controlling; This small factor will help the player when kill walls and drain sanity walls come into play. The next important strategy is to use walls when needed. Pushing against a wall will help maneuver the other character but players should watch out cause both characters can be effected by sanity drain walls and kill walls. Players will also start to pick up on directional patterns of levels as they play through levels.


Broken is set up in three stages for each personality world. The first is the learn movement mechanic stage, the second is the adding of draining walls and kill walls, and the last stages of a world have the special challenge mechanic. This sets up a learn as you go pattern on top of a building upon mechanics and strategies the player already learned. Players are given these three stages in each world to allow for the player to pick up and learn mechanics that are new to the player. This sets up for good flow. Broken is a skill based game with no luck involved.


The levels are set up to look like rooms in a mental hospital with plants and trash cans on the normalish character side. The rogue personality side will have the hospital as seen through their eyes. The player will have a top down view of the world where the characters are seen in a different perspective to give the game a more offset and relation between what the characters see and what is real to them.


Three technological features of our game are the dual character control, level editor, and leader board. We created the dual character controls with fairly no issues however on our first attempt we accidentally created the pyro movement to be too fast and had to test what the values of the movement had to be to keep the puzzle good and playable with its design. The level editor was a great thing that we created early on so that building levels for broken were very easy. By using sets of prefabs and the simple click and drag properties of the Unity engine these level editors made creating levels only a minute or two of work when you had the levels mapped out already. We also improved upon the editor as we went which was a problem cause we needed to rebuild older levels to add in the new elements of the much more current level editor. Then we added a score system that slowly ticks away. It was originally a float and confused players with the decimal points so we changed to a int and then a double. We also had problems where players would restart or hit a kill wall and would send them into negative numbers which led us into writing more code to make sure players couldn’t go into negative numbers. Then once a player wins the game the score is saved on the leader board.


The visual interface for the user is a very simple one. Above the area of play, or level, is the sanity bar that visually decrements as well a number that accompanies the bar to show exact measurement of sanity. Then the level is below the sanity bar and is where the player controls the two characters in hope of having both of them on the exit to win. Below the level is the main menu button, retry button, and skip level button.


The art work is a darkish cartoony look and very different for each of the personalities. This was done like music, to show a clear difference between personalities which impresses upon the player that the movement mechanics are different for each world. The rag doll look of the characters as they move along the level gives a eerie feel as they float along their different worlds. The personality characters are also drawn to give clues to how they interact in the world. For example the mime in real life can follow you up and down but when he mocks you or follows your actions while facing you its mirrored.


Music and sound effects will also change in each world depending on the personality. The challenge was to find fitting sounds and audio that would give more life and information to the player of the different personalities that they encounter while playing through broken. Just like in the old Mario games the background music gave information on what the level was like. For example the level is a sea level, ghost level, or sky level.


Our game has a clever mirrored controls puzzle mechanic and a compelling story that separates it from other puzzle games. The dark tone of the game, furthermore, sets it apart from other puzzle games, especially on iOS, but the simple mechanics make it easy to pick up and play for more casual gamers.

COMPETATIVE ANALYSIS One and One Story – This flash game uses a similar movement mechanic in its design. Like Broken, players must move two characters at once, with each level having a different form of movement constraint. Unlike Broken, though, the goal of this game is to get the two characters next to each other. Also, this game is controlled like a platformer and shown from a side-view not a top down view like Broken.

Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor – This dark puzzle game found on iOS also uses clever movement puzzles and features a mature storyline. Although its mechanics are different, the concept of traveling through different parts of a single location while solving puzzles is the same.


A poor man has lost his sanity. Unable to control his thoughts he is sent to a mental asylum. While there he realizes that to become healthy he must merge his different personalities into a single entity.


The story of Broken revolves around a man with dissociative identity disorder, wherein a person has multiple personalities. Stuck in a mental hospital, the man must regain his sanity. To do this he must merge his personalities into a single whole mind. Each personality is represented by a game mechanic. The Mime personality displayed on the right of the screen, for example, will move in opposing directions to the main personality. Throughout the game the player will travel the halls of the mental hospital and try to fix his broken mind.


Jim – Is a mentally disturbed patient whose personalities have taken a life of their own. His fractured mind has caused him a great deal of pain. He wants to merge his personalities so he can once again be whole.

Pyro – Jim’s pyro personality is very rash and dare devilish. He loves to sprint towards fire as if playing chicken with the flames he loves.

Rebel – Jim’s rebel personality doesn’t like to follow Jim at all. He would rather do the exact opposite so that he won’t be the same as Jim. On top of all that he is a litter bug as well.


Broken is a single player puzzle game where you aid Jim in his journey to get back his run away personalities that are causing trouble. With Broken’s dual character controls and different personality puzzle worlds Broken is easily a very addictive game that is simple to to pick up but complex to master.

Broken has several awesome updates in the upcoming future. There are plans for new personalities, levels, new level select, updated art, and better scoring system. Broken is also planned to jump to smart phones as well!

This is the packaging for broken!!!

This is the packaging for broken!!!

Dec 07

3 things…

I wish coming into this class that I would have know more about how to work with Unity audio and art cause in “Bunnies!” and “Broken” the art and audio was always what tripped us up a bit or slowed us.

The most important thing I have learned from Small Team is to always make sure that you and your teammates know what they are doing during the week. We have had moments where we thought people were on page with us but we would meet up or be showing off stuff and some one wouldn’t have stuff done or they kept info from you without realizing that which made presentation so very fun.

A thing I want to remember for next semester is to keep in contact with audio and art people as much and as often as possible. By doing that it will make life near the end of your game a lot easier.

Goals for this week…

these are the goals of this week:

Seth — Is working on the analytical langauge for Bill. So that we can next semester create levels with better progression and create better flow.

Morgan — Is finishing any audio scripting that is need and fixing any other script that we feel need to be fixed.

Kriz — Is going to fix the tiles in our game to see if that helps our visual issues as well as creating packaging.

Nick — Is going to do the final documentation for “Broken”.

Dec 06

Vertigo level screenshot!

Vertigo level screenshot!

Pyro level screen

Pyro level screen


So today we are showing off our final version of broken today! it has been a interesting week. We had problems early in the week with the art and collision but kriz hammered that out in one night. Seth finished up the gui for us while Morgan got the score board and scoring system done. I got in a most the audio into the game however we weren’t given one of our personalities audio files so before next week they will pass us off the music for the rebel and I’ll place it into a rebel character prefab. I did see an interesting thing while adding in audio… the code I was using was the same script I created, from a tutorial video and forum readings I found, and when I put the script to get an end level script the audio would be skipped over. If I commented out the restart or next level code the audio played so my code worked and it is because of this I didn’t add in end level sound. I wanted our game to work and not sacrifice functionality. We are also talking about where we want to go with broken next semester with Broken!

screenshot of one of our Rebel levels in Broken!

screenshot of one of our Rebel levels in Broken!