Rabbit Bureau of Investigation Design Document

Final Update

This game has been put on a back burner for the time being so that games with an angelic theme can be developed. Some elements from the RBI documents may be included in these angelic games, and RBI may be revisited at some future date.

Ideas

???Skills should be improved when they are used, books about them are read, or training is provided by NPCs. When a skill is mastered, new skills are made available.

Some Aspects:

Design History

Version 0.09 (2010/10/19)
Version 0.08 (2009/11/22)
Version 0.07 (2009/11/10)
Version 0.06 (2009/10/05)
Version 0.05 (2009/09/22)
Version 0.04 (2009/09/08)
Version 0.03 (2009/07/16)
Version 0.02 (2009/07/12)
Version 0.01 (2009/03/25)

Game Type

Genre RPG
Input Devices Mouse (Required), Keyboard (Optional; hot keys only)
Platform Windows XP/Vista/7
Program Type Full-screen/windowed application
Rendering 2d orthogonal
Screen Resolution 1024x768, 32-bit color (changeable to various resolutions)
Target Audience Anyone

What Makes This Game Special

Casual
Rabbit Bureau of Investigation will be completely casual. Quests won't generally span across more than one area. Games can be saved or loaded at any time except during combat.
Simple Game System
The game system underlying RBI is much simpler than most RPG systems. There are no "primary" statistics. Instead, there are only the statistics that have a direct effect on the characters' actions (e.g. HP, Sequence). Any skill's effectiveness is the determined by the character's level and the skill's effectiveness (which is determined by the skill itself). There is no way to improve skills except by gaining levels, but it may be possible to learn "improved" skills that replace the older skills.
Streamlined Gameplay

Many RPGs feature equipment screens, merchant screens, unnecessary skills, minigames, and even strange sequences where the player has to jump across precarious chasms. In some games, these "features" can become a huge annoyance.

Rabbit Bureau of Investigation leaves all that out so that the player can focus entirely on the gameplay. Equipment is automatically equipped when possible.

Game Description

Rabbit Bureau of Investigation is a remake of the old Rabbits RPG I developed a long time ago, which was a remake of the old Rabbit Warriors game I had never finished even before that. This remake restores some of the original Rabbit Warriors plot (or at least what I can remember of it) that I had left out of Rabbits due to lack of artwork.

Yes, the aliens and space monkeys will be back. No more "face men". Or, at least, there will be less of them.)

RBI also adds some new plotline and has a more modern setting than the older games.

Gameplay

Character Development

All PCs can upgrade their equipment. Most PCs gain levels. Lagomorphs don't gain levels, but can shapeshift into any monster that has been fought, which allows the PC to use the abilities of the character shapeshifted into. Robots don't gain levels, but they get extra equipment that increases their statistics.

Gaining Levels

Experience Points: n * (n - 1) * 5 to reach level n (0 for level 1, 10 for level 2, 30, 60, ...). This is the same as for Fallout 1 & 2 except multiplied by a smaller number.

At level up, the character gains 1 aspect, which is equivalent to 1 level of 1 D&D-style class. The difference is that these levels are less linear. Some aspects require other aspects, but it's not something where you have to get 10 specific aspects just to get one particular aspect.

Gaining an aspect raises the character's statistics and provides him with a new ability. Aspects are more meaningful than perks in a perk-based system.

There is a long list of abilities that characters can gain. Each ability has various settings that are affected by the character's level. For instance, an attack would have accuracy, minimum and maximum damage, damage type, and area of effect. These setting should be similar to those in Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich but simpler.

Combat

Combat is similar to Septerra Core (which is similar to Final Fantasy but better). Combat occurs in a separate screen with the player's party facing right and the enemies facing left. Each PC has a portrait two bars. One bar is HP. The other bar is the Action Bar.

The Action Bar has 3-4 sections. When 1 or more sections of the Action Bar are full, the player can click on the character's portrait to select an action for the character to use. When more sections of the Action Bar are full, more powerful actions will be available to the character.

Characters with higher Speed statistics will have their Action Bars fill up faster. Hasted characters will have a much increased Speed statistic.

Game Options

Screen Resolution, Full-screen vs. Windowed, Music/Sound volume, Hot Key Settings, Combat Difficulty.

Ability System

You can use an ability without expending any kind of magic points or alchemical reagents. Abilities just work. There are no saving throws. Instead, some characters are resistant or immune to a particular kind of magic. Resistant characters only suffer half the effect, and immune characters suffer none at all.

Damage, etc. is determined by the skill, the rank of the skill, and the user's level. Status-effecting abilities have a certain duration that depends only upon the skill and its rank.

Typically, more powerful abilities of the same type will require more aspects to obtain but will be more effective.

Characters are healed by eating carrots (which are also used as currency).

Outside of Combat

Moving around: Point-and-click to walk to the location. Left click on any object to interact with it. Right click to change your action type. Other action types include: shoving people out of the way or examining. When the action type changes to examine, the status pane should change to show the results.

Bartering: Fallout-like bartering is used to trade for items.

Cell Phone: You can use the cell phone to contact RBI headquarters (or other people whose phone numbers you get). This allows you to start a conversation with whoever's on the other end of the cell phone. Whenever you complete a quest, you get a message from headquarters on your cell phone. You can then call them back to get your next quest.

Computers: Using a computer opens up a dialogue screen like anything else. You can use computers to do things like turn on elevators, shut off power plants, etc.

Opening Doors: Unlocked doors can simply be opened. Locked doors can be knocked on, which results in a conversation with the inhabitants (if they're there). Otherwise, you need to find a key.

FUTURE FEATURE: Shapeshifting: [This ability is not included in this game.] Shapeshifting can be used to make Linda appear as different characters outside of combat. This changes what some people say when they talk to you. If you're a mouse or something, they mostly just won't talk to you. During combat, Linda can use the special attacks of the characters she's shapeshifted instead of her own magic. Linda can shapeshift into any character you've talked to or fought in the game.

Talking: This is like Dragon Fable. A few topics are displayed as buttons on the screen. You select a button and the NPC replies (sometimes you speak as well). The text is displayed at the top of the screen next to the picture of whoever is speaking.

Game World

Overview

There are separate maps for each area, and they are connected only by a magical portal. There are no wilderness maps in between. To travel to a new location, you must find the rune stone for that location. Many rune stones will be given to you by the commander assigning you quests.

Key Locations

This will be explained in the story line, though the details will be somewhat sketchy.

Time and Day/Night

During non-combat, every second of real time is 1 minute of game time. During combat, every turn of combat is 1 minute of game time. The game is effectively paused during dialogue and when you view the menu.

There might be a day/night cycle. At night, the tiles will be displayed as darker, though the characters won't be.

Area Flow

There will be a linear set of areas that you must travel through. Additionally, there will be some other areas that you can travel to whenever they are marked on your map. Travel between areas will be accomplished by driving your car.

Interior To Exterior Transitions

Interiors are covered by the roof layer, where exteriors are not. Whenever you are inside a building the roof for that building isn't displayed.

Game Characters

The Player

The player selects either Ralph or Jessica at the start of the game.

Ralph Rabbit (Male Rabbit)

Appearance: Ralph has an eyepatch over his left eye. Ralph is a Dirty Harry-type of rabbit. Ralph is middle-aged. Ralph's fur is grey-blue. He wears only a stethoscope and an eyepatch.

Jessica Bunny (Female Rabbit)

Appearance: Jessica is dressed up like a detective (e.g. Sherlock Holmes), but carries a gun. Jessica's fur is hot pink.

Allies

After you find these allies, they are in your party permanently.

Tito (Male Platypus)

Appearance: Tito is a platypus eskimo. He wears a parka no matter how hot it is.

Background: Tito is a hero among the Eskimo platypuses. He will do anything to save his people from being enslaved by the Martians.

Personality: Tito doesn't say much, but his comments are usually deep and meaningful. He's much like Chuck Norris.

Linda (Female Lagomorph)

Appearance: Linda is a female lagomorph who can shapechange into various forms. Her natural form is a bunny, but she is a genetically engineered superhero. In her natural form, she wears a police outfit with an L on her chest. Linda can shapeshift into anyone she faces in battle so long as they are the same size (or at least close to it).

Background: Linda was created by scientists in a laboratory. She was created to fight crime by the Rabbit Bureau of Investigation.

Personality: Linda is a special agent assigned to assisst Ralph their on their mission to stop M.O.U.S.E. Since she's relatively new, she doesn't have much of a personality.

Chuck (Robot)

Appearance: A robot ninja.

Background: Chuck is a combat robot built by the RBI to be used as the ultimate warrior.

Personality: Chuck just repeats quotations that other people have said, usually at the wrong time.

Enemies

Martians
Oozes

M.O.U.S.E. Villains

  1. Adolf Mouseler
  2. Osama Bin Ratten
  3. Darth Cheney
  4. Martian Veronica
  5. Ghengis Rat
  6. Vlad Ratula
  7. Attila the Rat
  8. Joseph Mouselin
  9. Mouse Zedong
  10. Mouse Hussein
  11. Fidel Moustro
  12. Benito Mousie
Martian Veronica (Female Martian)

Appearance: Martian Veronica is a pink martian. As a martian, she has four arms.

Background: Martian Veronica is trying to exterminate the human race (not the rabbit race). She's actually Veronica Vandervoot changed into a Martian by the virus and then sent back in time.

Personality: Classic villain. Whenever she talks, she says the species of the person before their name.

Noncombatants

General Noncombatants
Name Species Appearance
Child Rabbit 1-3 Rabbit Three different rabbit children
Healer Rabbit Jewish hat, fake beard, suit.
Farmer Rabbit 1 Rabbit Flannel shirt, no pants, and pitch fork.
Farmer Rabbit 2 Rabbit Another rabbit bumpkin that looks different.
Police Rabbit 1-3 Rabbit Standard-looking police
Littleton
Name Species Appearance
Joshua Rabbit Rabbit farmer
J Edgar Rabbit Fortress
Name Species Appearance
Director Obama Rabbit Black female rabbit

Game Background

Mood

The game is humorous and cartoony. The player should be mildly amused most of the time. In the best case scenario, the storyline should be mildly surprising.

Setting

This game is set in the modern world. Anthromorphic animals have used their magic to hide their settlements from humans.

Single-Player Game

Overview

Hours of Gameplay 20-40?

Saving and Loading

The game can be saved at any time except during combat.

Story

Read it here.

User Interface

Overview

The interface is generally a mouse-controlled version of Final Fantasy. Many new-fangled features (fog of ignorance, maps, etc.) will be added.

Input

Most input comes from the mouse. Left click to move to a location or do the current action. Right click to change actions (or left click on the action button).

There are also keyboard hot keys. There are no plans to add general keyboard controls because targetting would be gimpy.

Main Screen

[Display Image Here]

Fog of Ignorance - Any areas the player hasn't been to you are covered by a fog of "ignorance".

The player has a map, but the areas the player hasn't been to yet aren't displayed.

Map Editor

Similar to that of the original Rabbits except that it has a tile selection panel.

Barter Screen

Similar to Fallout except the bartering tables will take up most of the screen. Money (carrots) will be added automatically just like in Fallout Tactics.

Equipment will be upgraded on a similar screen, but the upgrades for each character will have to be displayed on the right side of the screen somehow.

Dialogue Screen

[Display Image Here]

Inside the System

Artwork

All artwork should be drawn with the intention of being on a 1024x768 screen in 32-bit color.

Character Artwork

The characters should be 48x64. Each character has a number of different image files. All the image files are given specific names and then placed in a folder for that character. Some characters (mostly monsters) share the same artwork. There are template files for each time of file, but they are also described below.

For standing images, each file contains the character standing still, facing one direction. There must be 1 file for each direction.

Filename Image
stand_east.png
stand_north.png
stand_south.png
stand_west.png

Other image files contain 4-frame animations. Each frame is 48x64 pixels, and the frames are separated by vertical black lines. All frames are placed in one row within the file.

Filename Image
walk_east.png
walk_north.png
walk_south.png
walk_west.png

For the attacking images, I added 24 pixels to the width of the character so that there's room for weapons swinging. Due to the combat system being a sideview, each character need only have an attack animation for one direction. For the player characters, all the artwork should be at the left side facing right. For the enemies, all the artwork should be at the right side facing left.

Filename Image
attack_east.png

The wounded animations contain 24 additional pixels per frame too, though I'm unsure if this is necessary. Like the attack animations, the wounded animations need only be in one direction.

Filename Image
wounded_east.png

Spellcasting, item use, etc. will most likely each have one animation that's drawn over any character during any of these actions.

Additionally, it would be good to have an animation for each character dying (which will probably be referred to as getting knocked unconcious in the game). The dying animation should end with a body lying on the ground so that unconcious PCs can be woken up.

Some characters won't need all of the image files. Enemies won't generally need walking images. Noncombatants only need standing and walking images, but it would be cool to have a mind control area where characters who are usually noncombatants fight you.

Noncharacter Artwork

The tile size is 48x48 and the artwork is orthogonal. There is a ground layer, a decal layer (which contains anything that should be lying on top of the ground layer), and a roof layer.

The sprite layer will contain non-character objects as well as characters.

There will be 4-frame animations for spellcasting and using items are omitted, but they aren't going to be "character" art per se. Rather, there should be only one spellcasting animation for all characters and one item animation for all characters. The animation would have to be something like glowing light or sparkles that gets drawn on top of the character.

Similarly, some spell effects might have 4-frame animations that are used for all characters.

Music

A list of songs will be randomly cycle through the noncombat portion of the game. There will be a special song for combat and a special song for bosses. There will also be a special song for the title screen.

Programming

Overview

This should be relatively straightforward.

Artificial Intelligence

AI will be relatively minimal. Each enemy will have a simple algorithm for determining who to target and will use abilities randomly. When an ability is unusable, it won't be selected.

Formulas

[List any formulas that are used within the game and explain what they're for.]

Game System

[This is how the game "works" internally. In a computer RPG, this would include everything that you would find in a pen-and-paper RPG's main source book. In an arcade game, this might include something about how weapons are fired.]

Sound Effects

Undecided as of yet.

World Editing

The game should include a simple map editor. This map editor will be similar to the one included with the last version of Rabbits except for the following:

Lists

Aspects

These are the aspects that can be gained upon level up. They are organized by type.

  1. Paramedic - Increases the effect of healing items you use by 10%.
  2. Combat Medic - Characters with this aspect can use the Dual Heal skill. Requires: Paramedic.
  3. Doctor - Increases the effect of healing items you use by 15% (for a total of 25% when combined with Paramedic). Required: Combat Medic.

Objects

Rabbit Ranks

These are the ranks in the RBI.

Other RBI positions:

Abilities

These are the abilities that characters in the game can use. Some abilities may be usable only by monsters.

Inventory
Gun
Kung Fu
Magic
Martian
Miscellaneous
Stun Baton

Copyright (C) 2009-2010 Orbital Cows Software. All rights reserved.