Sunday, March 28, 2010


Well the deadline is here, and therefore it's time for us to raise the curtain on our idea.
For the application we had to write a 100 word pitch, and seeing as that's already done, we'll start with that:

"Prepare to lock horns in 'Grrr!'s' maniacal bouts of multiplayer mayhem on Wii! Choose your squad from a cast of quirky fantasy characters and take to the battlefield as you try to out-wit and out-manoeuvre your friends in short, frenetic battles.
You each use the Wii-remote to command your squad: issue attacks, dive for cover and fight to control wacky power-ups as you battle in your front room. Fights take place on various vibrant, dynamic arenas, where the balance can change in an instant.
'Grrr!' is an easy-to-learn, hard-to-master blast of tactical carnage, appealing to new players and veterans alike."

Being limited to 100 words meant we couldn't say everything we wanted, for instance we didn't get a chance to explain the actual gameplay, but hopefully when you see some concept art, it will become clear:

In addition to the 100 word pitch, we were also allowed 200 words each for 3 further sections, which were based on Dare main criteria for game entries. These are
  • Commercial Potential
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Use of Technology
Commercial Potential:
'Grrr!' is focused on quick-fire, same-screen multiplayer gameplay. Our target platform, Nintendo Wii, has a successful track record with appealing, social multiplayer games.

The simple controls and stylised visuals make our game attractive and accessible to our 12+ demographic, which makes up 70% of the 68-million Wii consoles owned worldwide. A similarly targetted game, Boom-Blox sold 1 million+ copies, showing that there is a large market for games in this demographic.

Unlike classic strategy games with tanks and soldiers, "Grrr!" is full of colourful and diverse characters with personalities to interest and draw in new players to the genre, whilst maintaining enough depth to satisfy hardcore gamers.

With matches consisting of 'best of 3' battles, but only taking 5 minutes to complete, everyone can jump on and have a go, giving "Grrr!" great party game appeal, similar to 'Street Fighter' or 'Smash Brothers', both of which are popular games with our target audience.

Fans of games such as 'Advanced Wars' will be drawn to the depth offered by the strategic elements of the gameplay, while players usually put off by complex strategy games can now pick up and play within seconds, and have enjoyable battles with their friends and family.

Innovation and Creativity:
'Grrr!' takes the strategy genre and flips it on its head. Gone is the resource management, base building, and tech-trees; instead, players choose a small squad and are immediately thrown into the action, making the game instantly accessible.

Our control system, using the Wii-remote as a pointer and simple button commands, allows two players to easily control their armies on the same screen. The entire playable area is visible from the start of the round, allowing for fast, exciting and visually engaging gameplay as no scrolling is required.

Typically, multiplayer strategy matches can take over 20 minutes to complete, whereas "Grrr!" fits an entire best-of-three series into 5 minutes. This allows players to 'party-play' and creates great rivalries as the competition heats up. Powerups also add more depth to gameplay, buffs such as +attack and +armour come side by side with Hippo-Catapults and nuke-shrooms.

"Grrr!" uses a mixture of comically stylised units, giving the entire game a fresh and light feel. By giving the characters appealing personalities and ensuring they are well balanced, players can choose the ones they like the look of, or simply enjoy using, rather than the most combat effective.

Use of Technology:
The Wii allows "Grrr!" a control scheme closer to that found on PC strategy games rather than the compromised game-pad control schemes associated with console equivalents. However, unlike the PC, the Wii allows the functionality of multiple controllers on one screen meaning both players have their own cursor to control their squad. Players use one button to select units and another to issue commands.

"Grrr!"'s battles take place on one screen with no need to scroll the map, so multiple players can share the same screen space and move their units without disturbing the camera or needing to split the screen. Simple unit selection and strong character design make the units easy to identify and control in the heat of battle, as illustrated in our battle screen mock-up.

Our stylised visuals suit the Wii's hardware capabilities, and the 12+ party-play style of the game suits the Wii's audience.

The Wii-remote's speakers will be used for individual unit sounds, therefore each player will hear their own characters, rather than a mix with their opponents, meaning it is always clear what command they have sent.

Those passages can be a bit daunting, but reading them gives you a much better idea of what we're hoping to create. Or at least that's what we planned when we wrote them...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Application AWAY!!

Well we submitted our application today, 3 days early in fact, but that just goes to show how damned professional we are.

We're not expecting a reply back yet, but hopefully by the end of next week we'll know whether or not we have a place at the interview/presentations.

If we do progress it'll make the last few weeks worthwhile, and if we don't we can at least carry on creating the game as part of uni, something our tutor Bob Steel told us a few days ago and makes the whole experience much less of a gamble. Whatever happens now, our hard work will not have been wasted.

But it would be great to get to Dundee.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The name of the game

Applications for DTBD are due on Sunday (28th) and before this it would be foolish to reveal too many details about our game, but we feel we can let slip one piece of mouth-water information, which is the name. The name of our game.
We have titled our project:


A simple but effective name I'm sure you will agree, with an excellent use of punctuation which really adds some flavour.
To better understand the name, you'll have to wait until Sunday, but I'm sure the intelligent among you will have noticed that we are called 'Bears with Jetpacks' and bears do indeed go 'Grrr!'. Coincidence? Tune in later to find out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bears with Jetpacks

This is the blog for the game producers "Bears with Jetpacks."

A group of 5 students from Sheffield Hallam university brought together for the 'Dare to be Digital' competition, we are now in the progress of designing our game in an attempt to get to the finals this summer in Dundee.

Phil Stewart: Team Leader + Artist
Tom Crofts: Artist
Mark Engley: Programmer + Designer
Stefan Scheuregger: Programmer + Sound
Amila Arachige: Programmer