Mazmira, An Example Game Design Document





  • Intro: Elijah and Lyra running on a long bridge (over water) away from an asylum looking prison where they were running experiments on humans including them (maybe mental institution). Very large man (Dovalin) chasing them. As they cross the end of the bridge Elijah gets caught by Dovalin. Elijah resists, Dovalin slams the head of Elijah to the ground. Elijah looks up to Lyra and mouths to her to run. Scared, she runs. Dovalin pulls out a device and puts it on his hand. He then puts his hand to the head of Elijah and starts extracting a green ethereal looking essence. When it is fully extracted Elijah goes limp, Dovalin throws the essence over his shoulder (where it lands in a dumpster in an alley). Dovalin then gets up off the ground, laughing, and grabs the now limp body and brings it back to the asylum(institution). In the dumpster Elijah’s essence (soul?) lays there for days unable to move until someone comes by and throws away a broken cleaner robot. The guy throwing away the cleaner robot couldn’t see the greenish essence. When the greenish essence and the broken robot come into contact the robot absorbs the essence. Elijah now has control of the broken robot and realizes that his soul can move between bodies (first new/real mechanic). He uses the robot’s body to get out of the dumpster and starts his search for the girl he ran away with knowing he needed to protect her from Dovalin.
  • Main: After the beginning of the game Elijah sets out to find Lyra and get his body back from Dovalin. Along the way he acquires skills in a large array of robots/persons/animals he can control by throwing his own essence at them and using them (advancement over time and use). During his adventure to find Lyra he runs into Evelin who tries and stop him, this is where he meets Sark who helps him against Evelin and throughout the rest of the journey at important areas. Depending on the area they interact it could be a different experience, in the high-rise she could try to seduce and dissuade him from his adventure, in the underground area she could assault him with a large number of enemies, in the ground floor of the city she could try and assassinate him. After the first Evelin encounter she routinely shows up (almost guiding him) to Lyra and his body. At some point in the game Elijah finds out that Dovalin has captured Lyra and is taking her back to the asylum. Elijah then goes to the asylum and engages Dovalin and all the defenses of the monstrous castle-like building. (ending explained below)


  • A large city landscape (like coruscant from star wars) but very dark and dirty on the ground level. The period is similar to that of the movie Real Steal, technology advanced enough to have robots. Large underground, black market like, areas. The main floor of the world (city level), and high rises are where the action happens. Final stage of game is back in the asylum rescuing the girl.


  • The object of the game is to recover your body and save the girl while stopping the group that stole your body and defeating Dovalin.


  • The game flows at first by introducing the need for new types of persons/object to control, the basic cleaner robot might not be able to jump as far as a human and to get to a certain point in the game you might have to be able to jump the chasm (or just throw your essence across).
  • Clear objectives in defeating parts of the organization behind the larger man to create a sense of progression in the story.
  • Hint/traces of the girls presence at critical points always just out of your grasp for most of the game(like princess peach and Mario but not quite as lame).


  • As you progress the men supporting Dovalin become better equipped and have improved technology and the support of (controllable) robots. That’s how it increases in difficulty, to counter this increase, skills with certain types of controlled persons/objects are added for the players use and new types of persons/objects to control.


  • The game ends with Elijah defeating Dovalin in a battle and getting the girl without being able to save his body (it’s taken away, out of his control, during the final fight by another unknown enemy who is standing beside Evelin). He explains to the girl that he is who he is and she accepts it.
  • Setup for next game: The Defiant still have Elijah’s body but they have given control of it to an unknown person. That unknown person, using Elijah’s body is hunting Elijah and Lyra.

Characters and/or Units

  • Main character, guy, Elijah (but no one recognizes him as Elijah without his body except Sark), 5’10 150lbs
  • Main story character, girl, Lyra, 5’3, 105 lbs, created a bond with Elijah while they were both being tested on in the asylum.
  • Main support character, guy, Sark, 5’8, 140 lbs, meets Elijah when Evelin shows up, in any of the three areas. Shows up periodically throughout the game at important moments as a support, understands that Elijah has lost control of his body but can’t tell who he is currently controlling (can’t see the essence) until late in the game when he steals a device from one of the enemies. Makes for humorous scenes early in the game.
  • Main villain character, guy, Dovalin, 6’ 9 280lbs supported by The Defiant (organization), head guy at the asylum (not in The Defiant) overseeing the facility and its property (Elijah’s and Lyra’s bodies)
  • Support Villain Character, girl, assistant of Dovalin, named Evelin, looks like Scarlett Johansson from The Avengers, shows up at critical points during the game in an attempt to stop Elijah (also to tell the player that he is on the right path). Plays a bigger role in The Defiant than Dovalin knows, appears in the second game.
  • Some robot types/person the main character can control
    • Basic robot janitor type, good at moving around unnoticed, doesn’t draw attention, the first unit that Elijah ever takes control of.
    • Large spider-like robot type, good for scaling heights, when not in use, acts as pet to humans
    • Sniper robot type, good for long range assassinations, acrobatic movement, low health, poor hand to hand combat. Hard to sneak up on and take control of without being noticed, rarely alone, can see the essence being thrown
    • Dog/cheetah-like type robot, fast, jumps far, good for escaping into small areas, acts as pet when not controlled.
    • Normal pets (dogs, cats), good for blending in to a crowd.
    • Humans dressed as business men, good for getting into guarded areas via security clearances.
    • Assassin human type, excels at blending in, good hand to hand combat, acrobatic movement, very resilient.
    • Humans as gang members, good for starting a riot to create a distraction.
    • Humans as homeless people, good for going unnoticed in an area and listening in on nearby conversations.
  • Enemy types (robots and humans, increasing weapon types and skill)
    • Many of the same types as what the player can control except they stand out a bit more, either a uniform or marking that makes them unique to everyone else (most can still be taken over by Elijah).
    • Some enemy types have equipment that allows them to see when Elijah is throwing his essence from one body to another to prevent easy escape, this ability is picked up by Sark midway through the game so that he can better support Elijah.
  • Some ways controllable characters can improve
    • Pets, bite increases in damage, jump farther, run faster
    • Robots, attach new equipment (flying?, climbing, grappling)
    • Humans, hide better, use equipment more efficiently (accuracy, reload speed), endurance to run farther (stamina)

Level Design

  • Three main areas underground (bad people), ground level of the city (dirty but normal people), up in a high rise (fancy expensive looking and nice).
  • Each of the three levels not only are very distinct looking from each other but the way the npc characters move feel different. In the high-rise area the npc characters could move slower are more carefree, in the ground level area the npc characters could move fast and hurried like they are always in a rush, and in the underground area the npc characters could all act wary of each other like they know if they let their guard down something bad might happen to them.
  • In each area I want it to feel very open and not constrained by the limits of the world, even though there are boundaries. In each area you can climb on what you want (like Assassin’s Creed) but doing so may draw attention depending on what area you are in.
  • I’d like for the game to be able to be finished no matter what area you stay in, so if you like the ground level there are a series of quests/hints/objectives that can lead you to other areas or keep you in that area to the end. Ideally making it possible to complete the game without having seen the other two areas.


  • I would like for the ground level to feel very open (even if it is a crowded city), like the cities in Assassin’s Creed III but be closed off in the same way (city limit).
  • The high-rise area of the city would mostly be inside nice looking buildings and rooms but the option to go outside the building (maybe to move between floors unnoticed) is available.
  • The underground area of the city would be very cavernous like, many things to climb on and hide in but running freely is limited.


  • I liken the robots to those from the movie Real Steal (but with guns and stuff) and the human bad guys like the good guys in Gears of War but maybe a little bit more subtle looking, so they can still blend in to a crowd.
  • The underground level and ground levels are meant to be depressing and the high rise area meant to invoke the feeling of being out of place.
  • The city design could be like Coruscant from Star Wars the Clone Wars TV show, well lit but still dark and dirty, easy to go unnoticed and multiple layers.


  • The ability to throw (literally) your soul from one controllable thing to another permanently and use any abilities that controllable thing might have. (continued use with a particular type will unlock new skills in that type)
  • Others included in the control section.


  • Hand to hand combat, ranged combat (guns), swords, timed and remote explosives.
  • Clearly defined health bar that only regenerates when using certain items (like oil for robots or food for humans), it doesn’t regenerate just by leaving combat.


  • Maybe the hardest part of the game, with so many types of controllable characters(just in this pitch alone) learning every different type of control might be too difficult.
  • Essence throwing
  • Climbing
  • Jumping
  • Running
  • Falling
  • Listening
  • Driving (speed bike like things)
  • Rolling (if a robot that can, like the star wars droid)
  • Acrobatic movements (if a person/robot of that type)
  • Radio communications
  • Aiming (guns) and firing
  • Hand-to-hand combat keys
  • Blending in


  • The player sees ammo if using a gun, health, a map, he/she has access to a journal that tracks relevant information (but doesn’t tell them exactly where to go by putting something on the map, have to read or listen to know what needs to be done).
  • Very minimal inventory (because when you throw your soul your items don’t follow, means you have to manage things properly or hide things in certain places to come back too) the journal is never lost.
  • Equipment doesn’t go much beyond guns, armor, explosives, swords, guns/swords are just pick up and use and armor is minimalistic in opportunity to improve, explosives are rare and usually provided in areas where it’s clear how to use them.
  • Shops do exist for buying equipment but money is hard to come by unless you take control of someone that has a great deal (business man) to begin with.
  • Leveling up with types of characters is a somewhat automatic process, you can choose to advance in a weapon type by using it but you never pick the skill like a talent point. New/Special skills come after time spent/experience earned.

System Requirements / Platform

  • Xbox, ps3, pc, WiiU
  • On the WiiU the gamepad controller would work as a source of easy access information, like details about someone you are targeting in the form of equipment, skills, affiliations
  • How I have it envisioned might be too much for Xbox or ps3, so it may be just pc

Sounds and Music

  • Very distinct music for easy area
    • For the high-rise area, happy, awkward upscale music.
    • For the ground level of the city, depressing, muddled music
    • For the underground area, heavy, metal-like music (but not overwhelming)
  • As far as sounds from gameplay, those appropriate to their origin, gun shots sound like gun shots, swords hitting swords sound like two pieces of metal hitting each other.


  • Don’t really know, action adventure drama? Might be based on how you play the game, very aggressive approach versus a subtle sneaky one

Similar Titles

  • Dishonored (at least in controlling something that isn’t you)
  • Assassin’s Creed III (movement, map style)
  • If there is anything else that could be likened to it, I can’t think of it or I haven’t played it, maybe Farcry?

Target Audience

  • Adult 18+ (rated M) very serious theme


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