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Design Document for Style Rules For You: Jenn Sandercock

Welcome to my Style Rules For You Design Document...

This page contains the design document for my Style Rules for You project. The initial idea was inspired by idea 13 of my game idea a week project. You can also follow the links to the overview page and the business and marketing plan.

Style Rules Header

High Concept

Stop being a clothing victim! Find out which clothes don't suit your body and which ones will get you turning heads. Be a part of the Style Academy and learn how to dress for your body shape and how to spot other body shapes. Become an accomplished stylist and get useful feedback on the outfits you create. Participate in mini-games to find out whether you can pick a style disaster from style success; finish off an outfit; find out what's wrong with an outfit; or work out what body shape an outfit is best for. Create your own avatar to dress and buy clothes for. Be part of a community: challenge friends or ask for their advice.

Common Questions

Design Goals

GamePlay Design

Highlights

Game Progression

The player is enrolled as a cadet in the Style Academy which will teach them the style rules that apply to their body shape, to other body shapes and simple colour matching techniques. They can optionally enter details about their body shape so that players can choose not to learn about all the body shapes. Players then work their way up in the Style Academy by completing tests and exams of their knowledge of the style rules (mini-games). Each test only takes a short amount of time, and the player always has a list of further tests to do, giving them the feeling that they can just complete one more test. Players earn "Style Points" based on how well they complete the Tests and earn "Clothing Points" based on the difficultly of the test. When the player has a certain number of Style Points and has passed enough tests, they can attempt the end of level exam. If they pass the end of level exam, they will move to the next level. The tests for the primary levels only have a few rules to remember, however as the game progresses the player must remember more rules and how the rules work together.

Style Rules

Each rule is a simple example of a combination that does or doesn't work. Some examples are:

The player is told a small number of rules at a time and then can apply their knowledge in tests and exams. The player can skip through the rules if they do not want to read them, so that players who are already familiar with style rules are not forced to read them. All rules that the player has been told are stored in a list that is accessible when not in the middle of a test or exam.

Tests

Tests allow players to show their understanding of the Style Rules. Players can choose from a number of possible tests at any one time, including previously completed ones. The list of available tests contains specific information such as the difficultly, the body shape, event reason and location. Some tests specify that they apply to a particular body shape. The player gets bonus Style and Clothing Points for completing tests relating to their own body shape. This means that it is possible for the player to continue without learning about other body shapes, if they so desire.

For each test the player can earn both Style and Clothing Points.

When receiving their score, players are given a feedback card that tells them why they got the score they did. It may detail, for example, which clothing and accessory items worked with an outfit and which didn't work. When the player has earned enough Style Points and passed a minimum number of tests, they can attempt the end of level exam, where they create an entire outfit (see next section). Players earn Brooches for their achievements and can attach the brooch to their avatar's clothes, if desired. There are four different types of tests available as described below.

What goes with this? The player is given a partially finished outfit on a model. They must finish the outfit by adding items, with less items being needed for starting levels. Additionally, in early levels, the number of clothing items the player can choose from is also reduced so the player is given an indication of which direction the outfit should take. As the player progresses, they will be given more clothes to choose from, so their job will become more difficult. Players can ask for feedback from the in-built database up to 3 times or ask for help from their friends, before submitting a final outfit. If the player passes the Test with a score of 5 or more Style Points, they win one of the items they placed on the model. This item goes to their Wardrobe can be used to customise their avatar.

What's wrong with this? The setup of this Test is similar to "What goes with this", however in this case the player is shown a completely dressed body that has some items that do not fit. The player must find the items that should be taken off the model. Again, the player can ask for feedback from the in-built database or from their friends. The player selects each item with their mouse and is shown a pop up box to ask for advice, take off the model, or cancel their action. If they take off a piece from the model that they shouldn't have, then their maximum score is reduced, and that item is placed back on the model. If the player passes this Test (score of 5 Style Points or more), they can choose from one of the good items or one of the bad items of clothing to win for their Wardrobe.

What body with this? In this Test the player is shown a number of clothing items and a number of body shapes. The player must match the body shapes to the clothing item that is most suited to it. The player can ask for assistance from the database or from friends prior to submitting an answer. If the player gets the majority of the matches correct, they will pass the Test and win one of the items of clothing used in that mini-game.

Style Police In these Tests, the player has a backdrop of a particular setting, e.g. a workplace, street or restaurant. 2D characters in complete outfits scroll across the screen. The player acts as the Style Police, stopping the badly dressed characters before they disappear from the screen. To stop a character, the player clicks on a character they think is badly dressed according to the Style Rules, and then confirms their choice. As the game progresses, the characters move more quickly and the differences between "good" and "bad" dressing are less pronounced. The player's score is based on the number of correct and incorrect choices they make. If the player achieves a score of 5 or more Style Points, they pass the Test and are awarded an item of clothing that was just seen.

Exams

When the player has obtained enough Style Points and passed a certain number of Tests, they can compete in the end of level exam. In the end of level Exams, the player must complete an entire outfit for a body shape of their choosing (most likely to be their own body shape). In the exam, they must use all the rules that have been learnt in the past level. This means that they are given more clothes and options than are possible in the mini-game Tests. If the player gets a score of 5 or more Style Points they pass to the next level of the Style Academy and also win all of the items they placed on the model.

Challenges

Challenges are multiplayer Tests. There are two forms of challenge. The simplest is when the player challenges a friend to beat their score for a particular Test. The Test is sent to their friend who can choose to complete the Test (regardless of their current level in the game) or use their previous Test score if they have already completed that particular Test.

The other form of challenge is one that the player creates themselves, i.e. a form of user expression. They can create their own version of some of the Tests. Specifically, they can create the following:

For these challenges, the player can only use the clothes they have stored in their Wardrobe. The challenges can be sent to individuals, such as the player's friends, or can be posted on the community challenge wall for other people to attempt. Other players can report community challenges that are not suitable.

Asking For Advice

During Tests, Exams and Challenges, players are unable to directly access the Style Rule listings. However, they can ask for advice from the system or from their friends. They can ask for advice from the in-built system up to 3 times. It will give some preliminary feedback to the player. For example, if the player is doing a "What goes with this" test, they can ask for feedback on the outfit they have currently. The feedback will give them a maximum of one piece of advice about the outfit. If the outfit is already perfect, they will be told this.

If the player needs further help, they can ask their friends for assistance. In this case, they send a sample of the game to a friend asking for help to complete it. The friend is then able to choose an item of clothing they think is good or an item of clothing they think is bad and send this information back to the original player.

Brooches As Player Achievements

As the player progresses through the game they are awarded Brooches to recognise their achievements. The Brooches represent a broad range of possible activities and accomplishments that the player can do within the game. For example, there will be Brooches that relate to:

These brooches can be pinned to the player's avatar as part of the customisation options.

Wardrobe

Every time the player successfully passes a Test, Exam or Challenge, they win at least one item of clothing. These items are then stored in their Wardrobe. The player also earns Clothing Points by passing Tests and Exams. These points can be used to buy more items of clothing. If the player needs more points to obtain an item of clothing, they can use microtransactions to convert Facebook Credits into Clothing Points. Sometimes when the player completes a Test they are given an option to send a winning item of clothing to a friend. The player can also give a certain number of free gifts to friends every day, or give away items of clothing from their own Wardrobe. The items of clothing that are available for sale are those that the player has seen so far in the Tests, so the number of items to buy increases as the game continues.

Profile Customisation

Users can express themselves through customisation of their profile. At the beginning of the game, the player is encouraged to input information about their own body shape. This information can be used to create a player avatar that reflects their real-world appearance, or the player can choose to make their avatar look however they would like. The player can dress their avatar using the clothes in their Wardrobe. Players can win Brooches for dressing their avatar well according to the Style Rules. For amusement, the player can also attempt to create the worst possible outfit as well.

Privacy and News Posting

Although information on the body shape of the player is stored, they can decide whether this information is shared with their friends and the wider community. This ability to set their privacy settings extends to their scores for individual Tests and Exams. Players can choose to publish their achievements on their Live Feed in Facebook. Note that posting on the Live Feed is a key way to encourage viral marketing.

Leaderboard

Players can compare their progress in the game to their friends and the global community. Progress can be ranked based on Style Points, level in the Style Academy, number of Brooches and most Wardrobe clothes.

User Interface

Victory Conditions

Players are encouraged to continue playing the game so that they can reach the next level in the Style Academy. The game will be released with a fixed number of Tests and Exams, and therefore levels. When the player has passed all of these exams they will obtain a Brooch to say they have completed all the current Tests. Players will be encouraged to compete and contribute to the Community Challenges. In order to maintain player interest, more Tests and Exams can be added periodically. Further, the player will always have the opportunity to repeat Tests and Exams to improve their score.

Game Asset Design

Player Avatar

For the prototype, the player will not be able to change the physical appearance of their avatar, only the clothes that they wear. However, for the full game the player will be able to change:

Players can use a randomly generated avatar or input as much or as little personal information as they like, and control the privacy settings on who can see the exact details.

Game Characters

In the prototype, the body shape used will be based on the average Australian woman, who is a size 16 , brick shape (no obvious narrowing at the waist). In the final game, there will be approximately 10 to 20 characters that will be based on a range on female bodies, including different weights, heights, skin colours and age. The characters will be created using simple tools, such as a 2D rendering in Poser 8 or DAZ.

Clothing and Rule Databases

The clothing and rule database is a key component in determining the amount of Style Points awarded to players and the feedback given. In the prototype the rules will be based on body shape and colour matching. The two types of rules will be stored in separate databases.

All the rules and values will be sourced based on colour theory, fashion books, and theories on clothes and body shape as well as common sense. Clothes will be stored with keyword links of the features the item has and its colour. For example, one particular top might be light blue and have a scoop neck with batwing sleeves. Each outfit will have two scores calculated for it, the body shape score and the colour matching score. The two scores are combined with even weighting to give the player their overall score for the outfit. By having body shape and colour competing in the score, there will be no one "perfect" outfit that the player can easily see. If further rule dimensions were required based on other bodily differences, then new databases can be added. In this case, the player's overall score would then need to combine in the new database scores, either as an average or a weighted average.