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【Game Design Document】A Beat to kill - Experimental Game Design Document

1.1 Game Synopsis

This is a arcade first-person shooter game, players need to follow the rhythm of the music to shoot the enemies

1.2 Game Idea

Project: Beatkill is an experimental game that incorporates and mashes up elements of:

  • On rail Arcade shooters

  • Rhythm Games

  • Gory shoot-em-up games

On top of these elements we intend to incorporate a unique control scheme that promotes teamwork and cooperative play or challenging solo-play requiring immense hand eye coordination and speedy reflexes.

Art style, art concept "Gunfu" mentioned by Video Essay of Accented Cinema

Part 1

Part 2

Reference to the violent aesthetic Gun Fight in John Woo films and the subsequent related films such as The Matrix, John Wick

2.1 Game world

2.2 Existing Design Standards

The game is divided into three levels (3 scenes are considered for optimization)

Beginner - Slow BGM Narrow Japanese Street

Intermediate - Medium Speed BGM Narrow Nightclub

Hard - Fast BGM Abandoned Factory

Players can only do actions on the beat of the songs (difficulty is determined by BPM of the song).

Enemies appear by level design,players need react quickly at all times

The game combines traditional Arcade games and FPS games with rhythm game elements.

The game has a quick respawn button similar to GhostRunner

The player has no control over movement speed and direction, and has only about a 180-degree field of view (like the Arcade shooters).

Target playtime is 4 - 5 minutes to complete all levels if no mistakes are made.

The game is primarily designed to be a local co-operative multiplayer experience 2.3 Game Background

Game Style : “On rails” style arcade shooter with rhythm game elements.

Combine with Gunfu

2.4 Main Elements

Arcade Rhythm Souls like First Person Shooting

Cyberpunk Action adventure Bloody

2.5 Setting/Area

2025 Japan

2.6 Game Location( Environment Design and Lighting Design)

2.6.1 The first level prototype is Tokyo's red light district, a narrow Japanese cyberpunk alley. A bit shabby and full of all kinds of neon lights.

Some Reference Pictures

Level 1 Grey Box

Level 1 – You have arrived at your destination. Their front entrance is filled with bodyguards and the streets are filled with Yakuza gang members. No point trying to sneak in. You gotta shoot your way in.

This level keeps enemies in a confined space and allows players to get used to shooting and reloading on the beat without many distractions.

2.6.2 The Second Level is Night Club

Combines the John Wick series of films

Level 2 Grey Box

Level 2 – You have entered their nightclub. Since you went gun-blazing at their entrance, all the enemies inside are now on high alert for you. Watch the corners, find out where the leader is and make every shot count.

This level test what the player has learnt in the first level by introducing closer enemies and a less linear environment.

Reference from movie Guns. Akimbo.

Level 3 Grey Box

Level 3 –You have made contact with the leader and is waiting for you at a abandon factory. Upon entering the factory, the leader Ghidorah and the last of his remaining Yakuza members all try to kill you in a final confrontation. But upon arriving, you realise you have been shot and bleeding badly. You now realise, its now or never.

This level makes use of wide open spaces to challenge the player at all distances and angles.

2.7 Game flow and the proportion of each level

3.0 Art Style and Visual Design

3.1 The game incorporates a lot of John Woo's style with bullet-like effects that explode when fired.

3.2 More Rigidbody in Environment Design(Players can shoot whatever they want)

3.3 Guns have much more power than real life and Huge Muzzle Flame

When the enemy is hit (or explosive) by the player, Enemies will fly away

they will not only fly up but also spurt out a lot of blood 4.0 Mechanics

Mechanically speaking, Our Game is a twin stick on rails rhythm shooter. The player / players are given control over two guns each with individual inputs and must use these to dispatch enemies on the beat of the soundtrack, gaining points for their combat effectiveness.

Each gun uses only three forms of input: Aiming, shooting and reloading.

Aiming is done via analog joystick and isn’t anchored to the centre of the screen like in many modern FPS games. Rather, it employs the style of older arcade shooters where the players rotation is locked and the gun can be aimed anywhere around the screen.

Shooting and reloading both must be done to the beat of the soundtrack which is displayed via a UI element around each guns reticle similar to BPM: Bullets Per Minute (Awe Interactive, 2020). The timing for actions is given a small buffer amount before and after the actual beat strike to allow leniency for the player. Performing one of these actions off beat will incur an action penalty for the respective gun which bars them from action for X amount of beats.

Enemy AI will be simple with the primary enemy being a sword wielding yakuza that just run at the player. If they reach the player, the player dies. In order to stop the AI, the player must shoot the enemy, either twice in the body or once in the head or a combination of both. If shot in the body first the enemy is stunned for a moment and then slowed. Points are awarded to the player primarily by where they shoot the enemies but also for other feats of timing and accuracy.

Spawning of enemies will also be dependent on the beat of the song. As each level has a set amount of beats which equate to actions players are able to perform, levels will be balanced by how many mistakes a player can make before they’re overwhelmed. Special Power:

1, Enemies fly up when hit

2, Sparks everywhere

3, Blood Everywhere

4, gasoline barrel explosion

Bullet Time (BPM Shooting Unlocked?) 1, Special effect with the bullet 2,Slow down the music?

Game Challenge and Styles

The primary challenge is to consistently perform actions to the beat of the soundtrack while maintaining accuracy. This challenge is increased as the game progresses as more enemies spawn and the player has to exercise focus and remain calm as they prioritise which enemy to kill. World/Character Background Story (Writeen By Brandon)

Backstory – Gunther Reznov who was born in Russia but raised in America. He was taken away from his family and was raised as an orphan until he was taken in by the Legendary Assassin John Wick who raised and trained him to be an assassin. Gunther rose to be highly trained in martial arts, firearms, intelligence gathering, disguises, assassination techniques, more ruthless and smarter than John Wick where some believe that Gunther might be the only assassin that is equal to John Wick. John Wick also codenamed him “Dante”

Current Story - Dante is on the hunt for a Japanese gang lord by the name of “Ghidorah” who is the leader of the Japanese Yakuza that is responsible for the death of his family. He believes he has found where they are and plans to kill them all but also find out where they targeted his family.

Weapons (written by Eric

In the game we will be including 2 weapons. While we would have like to have added more variety of weaponry to keep the player on their toes. We felt that overwhelming the player with too much information and too many things to learn in the relative short time span of the game (3 levels) would be too overbearing for the player to enjoy. As such we have condensed our weapon selection down to two classes, the pistol and the shotgun.


The pistol will be the players’ first and primary weapons. The players’ will by default dual wield these pistols as the game is designed in a way where players must cooperate, giving control of one pistol to each player.

The pistol design itself will be heavily derived from either a Taran Tactical Industries Glock 34 or 2011 ‘Combat Master’ as seen below. TTI has already designed these weapons with more of a ‘space-gun’ aesthetic and we would like to build onto this design philosophy as the game is based in the near future and these weapons are definitely something that would be around for the next 2 decades at least.


The shotgun is a weapon unlocked in the latter levels of the game, it is used in a limited capacity so that players are able to clear larger amounts of enemies at once that may not be possible with 2 individual pistols. The shotgun is once again a test of the players’ teamwork and coordination skills as players must coordinate between shooting and reloading.

The shotgun reference of choice we have chosen is once again from the Taran Tactical Industries modification of the Benelli M4. A very reliable and mainstream shotgun seen in popular media today (such as John Wick) The TTI version of the Benelli M4 does not stray too far from the original itself and leaves plenty of room for artistic interpretation and enhancement.

TTI Benelli M4

Visual Enhancement and Stylistic changes to the weapons:

To build on top of the above weapon designs, we intend to draw inspiration from more futuristic fictional designs to enhance the current weapon designs. While fictional designs can be quite drastically different from realistic, we only intend to add elements to enhance the weapons rather than change them entirely. The Weapons themselves will still retain the characteristics of their original designs but with added elements to suit the setting of the game.

Reference plug-in

Volumetric Blood Fluids

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