The following is a compilation of 67 scanned game design pages and sketches in no particular order that were created during the development of Dick Wilde. These pages where drawn on paper and have been hanging on the walls and sitting on tables during development.
Dick Wilde is a VR wave shooter in which you take the role of Dick Wilde who is an extreme pest exterminator. His job is to save the island from a horde of mutant invasive species.
The game was first released for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. It was later released as a launch title for the PlayStation 4 VR Aim Controller.
This page pitched the idea of grouped piranhas jumping around and towards the player.
Comments as to how the ragdoll system should behave. It required a bit more than a basic implementation to get the desired effects.
Early sketch on three different environments and nine different levels based on difficulty and variation in primary enemies.
Early draft on different kinds of wave compositions.
Overview of the different enemy attack types.
This was probably the page we used the most often whenever we had to explain the different types of enemies .
The page that pitched the idea of showing players how far they’ve come. Prior to that we didn’t have waves in the same sense. The point was to give players a short break to catch their breath and to review their performance.
Early enemy concept of a game mode called ‘Monster Survival’ with mutant alligators. This was the game mode that we later decided to continue with as our primary mode.
The pitch for a game mode called ‘Carp Frenzy’, where mutated carp fish would be jumping around in the water and the player had to hit as many as possible.
Electric eel were supposed to be an environment specific enemy type. It ended up being present in all environments with an important role in the game as an enemy that stuns the player for a few seconds.
Another sketch of the early ‘Carp Frenzy’ game mode. After a lot of testing we found that solely attacking fish that did not propose any threat was not entertaining enough.
Sketch of a crazy idea we had one afternoon. The idea was that Dick had to defend his gator barbecue party from enraged seagulls. This idea didn’t make it far.
Another crazy idea that circulated for a couple of days. Dick had to transport delicious steaks from one side of a river with mutated creatures to the other. As with the gator barbecue, this idea didn’t survive for long.
Perhaps the craziest idea we had on the table in that period was this one. Dick had to operate a mutated gator processing facility from a distance using ranged weapons. While the idea got attention for its obscure nature, it didn’t survive.
Concept for a target practice mode intended for gently introducing the players to VR and operation of the different weapons. While this mode would have been a great addition, it didn’t make it as we experienced that new players were well off being thrown directly into the real action. As a result, this mode was not prioritized and eventually went off the list of features we wanted in the release.
Concept page for different recognizable fish jump patterns. Enemy patterns ended up with a different and more general implementation in the game in the way waves are composed.
Concept for flying fish. These eventually turned into the spitter fish and dragonflies seen in the game.
Concept of the piranhas. These were originally supposed to behave like the jumping carp fish.
Concept of the puffer smoke fish. Destroying these would create a large cloud of smoke disrupting clarity and making it more difficult for the player to hit their targets. It was designed as a trade-off allowing the player to choose to earn some extra points while increasing difficulty temporarily.
Explosive puffer fish. If the player is good at timing, the player could take out a group of enemies with a single hit.
Concept for the electric ball bat. This weapon made it all the way to final testing with detailed models and animations. However, it did not create the same levels of success among testers as the other weapons. It was eventually removed completely. However, the idea of chain lightning was transferred onto the bow and arrow weapon. This allowed the bow to be a viable weapon even on the higher difficulties in the game.
Early concept of critical hit boxes on enemies. The hit boxes for critical hits eventually became a lot smaller than depicted on this page.
Concept for an assisting drone Dick Wilde could call in as a power up to help clear difficult waves. This concept eventually turned into the support weapon system where the player may select one of four powerup crates after completing a wave.
This page detailed an idea as to how the bow could work firing laser guided rockets. The inspiration was the laser guided rocket launcher from Half-Life and Half-Life 2. The concept was scrapped because it did not allow for skilled players to fire precise shots rapidly as they would have to continue aiming at their target until impact.
First sketch of the spitter fish enemy. The first iteration of this enemy had wings and would sit a moment in mid air before spitting towards the player’s face. It was later dissected into two different enemy types; dragonflies and the spitter fish that is seen in the final version which attack at the apex of their jump.
An early draft of how enemies could be jumping through the water in a zig-zag pattern towards the player. This concept later evolved into the piranha and swordfish enemy types seen in the final version of the game.
First draft of the electric bat. It was originally a short range weapon that the player could use to toast enemies that came close. It was severely overpowered and we found that once it was balanced properly, it simply wasn’t fun to use as it created more frustration than excitement. It evolved into the electric ball launcher and was eventually removed as mentioned earlier.
Another early draft of environments vs difficulties.
Notes on the streak & combo system we had in the game at an early stage. Only the combo system survived.
Concept for how we would display difficulties of the levels to the player.
Design outline for a weapon unlock and rental system. The idea was that players would be able to unlock weapons as they progressed.
Game design notes and feedback after a day with test sessions.
Graph for a very early version of the ‘Carp Frenzy’ game mode. Back then, the game was supposed to be divided into three different modes to satisfy different types of players.
Another game graph. This one was for the ‘Killerfish Attack’ mode (later named ‘Survival’).
Graph for the ‘Seagull Hunt’ game mode. This mode was targeted at players who liked to compete in precision and timing. Compared to the others, this was our sniper mode.
An early sketch of mutant gators running on the water. These were supposed to be quick enemies that demanded immediate attention.
This was perhaps the first time the eel was conceptualized as the peeking lurker it became in the final rendition of the game.
Early concept of the grenade launcher.
Another crazy idea that didn’t make it. The idea was that giant tentacle arms would rise from the water and attack the player.
We reworked the pitch for the game several times during the course of development. This one quite closely resembles the final one.
Very early design page for the ‘Carp Frenzy’ mode.
Design page for the ‘Seagull Hunt’ mode.
Design page for the ‘Killerfish Attack’ mode. This was one of the first design pages I made for the game. Back then the game had a 360 degree play area and a sonar device at the middle of the boat acting as a minimap showing incoming enemies. We soon found that by reducing the play area to 180 degrees and less, we could effectively remove the players’ frustrations with having to pay attention to all 360 degrees and spinning around getting wrapped in the wires.
Concept for the junk launcher. We thought it was a cool idea to shoot all sorts of stuff using a powerful cannon similar to that of the junk launcher in the Fallout series. The junk launcher was in the prototype for a long time until it was ultimately removed.
Notes for a week plan. We usually created these after our weekly meetings where we would discuss priorities.
Notes for the enemy wave creation I used to design all of the waves in the game. I put together a list of different enemy compositions I needed so that I could spawn these groups of enemies on specific points in time on a specified angle and distance from the player. Our programmer put together a parser that enabled me to create and test enemy waves super easily. I spent many hours with this system every day for weeks in order to tune every single wave.
Another quick one-pager for the game. I remember making this one for my own sake as a sort of reality check in order to test my grasp on the current direction of the game. With so many ideas and interesting debates from day to day, it was easy to feel an uncertainty of what exactly was solidified in the core and current direction of the game.
Concept for a frenzy meter. The idea was the player was supposed to keep the frenzy meter going for as long as possible to earn maximum points. The system however created situations where players would avoid shooting at targets to save them until the timer was about to run out. This conflicted with our established idea that we always wanted players to compete on killing things as fast and effectively as possible. The system was canned as a result.
First concept for the boss of the game. A mutant turtle that spawns enemies. The idea was spawned from one of many discussions on how we could create a climatic last note on the levels to increase the feeling of accomplishment in success.
First concept of the different types of support weapons. These originates from a time where the player had three lives instead of a health bar with a percentage.
An early sketch for a shop screen where the player could purchase new weapons with money earned in the levels. We ended up going away from this system entirely as we wanted our players to have the full arsenal of weapons available from the get-go. Among the reasons as to why we took this decision was that we didn’t expect a majority of our players to complete the game and that would mean that there was a high chance that players would never try what could become their favorite weapon.
A very early first draft of our score scoreboard. Dick Wilde was supposed to be a game about performance and chasing highscores from the very beginning.
A draft of the an old selection of weapons. Back then Dick Wilde was primarily focused around melee combat and throwing attacks. We eventually decided to get rid of melee and throwing weapons entirely.
A draft for a party mode mutator screen with functionality similar to that of Rocket League.
Early draft of the game laid out on a map on which the player would travel around to the different locations.
Sketch for a game mode where the player had to defend small ducklings from deadly piranhas. We tried to look for ways to create a feeling of urgency in the player and this was a proposed idea to solve that. We quickly realized that there is perhaps little reason to care much about virtual ducklings. It turned out that gators jumping at your face was a much more effective way of creating the sense of urgency we were aiming for.
One of the first sketches of the ‘Killerfish Attack’ game mode. At that point the idea was that giant killer squids would mass towards the player while the player had to use axes to split their heads.
Fish paths inspired by sound waves.
Sketch of a coin system we intended to have in the game at an early stage. At that point had an idea that all weapons should be modular and upgrade-able. It was supposed to be a big part of the game to assemble and try out different weapon compositions.
Draft on the flow in the party mode.
Another sketch on the unlock system.
Draft on the weapon powerup system.
Very early draft on the scene flow of the game.
Sketch of a powerup delivery drone. Dick would call in the drone in order to receive crates with powerful powerups.
An early idea we had was that the player could drink moonshine in order to bring the game into slowmotion. We had this mechanic in the game for a very long time.