|Virtua Hamster design document
High Concept: A maze game in which the player assumes the role
of a rocket-powered hamster test pilot who must navigate
a gigantic habitrail from hell in order to thwart the plans
of an evil scientist and regain his rodent freedom.
Hook: The look and fast paced action of Virtua Racing and Virtua
Fighter combined with an amusing puzzle strategy game and an
unlikely group of heroes and enemies.
The majority of the game takes place in a mad scientists lab
The scientist has assembled a truly humongous habitrail-type maze in
to test his rocket powered rodent experiments.
The rocket back packs that the characters wear in the game are all
and were custom built for their rodent pilots. They are all unique
in appearance but they share the attributes of being high
performance rockets that are difficult to stop once started. The
pilots do have the ability to divert power to the retro rockets in
order to brake or, in some cases, to travel in reverse but for the
most part the characters are in constant forward motion. The pilots
all ride some form of skateboard. In order to steer the rocket, the
pilot leans into turns with the skateboard. These tiny skateboards
are similar to “Hot Wheels” in that the wheels create almost no
friction or traction, this can get a pilot into trouble if he gets
broadsided in an intersection- the lack of traction can make the
board and its rider spin out of control.
The maze is made up of translucent tubes so the player can see
the maze while he is racing through it. this will not only help keep
the player oriented but allows the player to plan strategies to
thwart the snake and other opponents that he sees in other parts of
Recognizable as a turnable tube by it’s ‘warning stripe’ pattern.
Banking your skateboard onto the wall of the tube just before the
turn will cause the corner to rotate so that you can complete your
Tube to tube Jumps
If you don’t have enough speed when you make a jump you either end
up in a less desirable part of the maze or you hit the floor. Once
on the floor you’ll be eaten by the mad inventors cat if you don’t
make it to one of the maze entrances quick.
Player One is a test pilot hamster from a rival lab and was stolen
by the mad scientist. Player One’s goal is to retrieve all of the
stolen blue-print pieces and escape from the lab. The hamster pilot
has to navigate the complicated maze as well as fend off evil rocket
riding rodents, a mechanical snake, and the scientists voracious
He relentlessly patrols the maze; clicking and
whirling, sniffing out rouge rodents and disposing of them. After a
meal he loses a certain amount of agility and speed due to the
hamster size lump he’s sporting. He can’t turn around in a tube but
he can find ways to get behind you if you tail him for too long. If
you can trick him into dropping out of the maze and onto the floor,
he is susceptible to the inventors voracious cat- the cat can’t eat
him but he can pick up and carry him away for a little abuse.
The cat patrols the entire building looking for tasty rodents who
have escaped the maze.
Once he gets a hold of you, you are doomed.
an old hamster sporting a steam powered 'Model-T' type rocket. He
befriends the hamster pilot and helps him to collect blue-print
Player Two can choose be one of several other characters:
Rocket Riding Rodent Opponents
The opponents actively try to stop you from collecting blue-print
parts. If they slam you from the front or side they will take the
last blue print section you acquired and run off with it.
a Kangaroo Rat with an Australian ‘out-back’ style rocket,
a Mole or shrew that lurks around like Peter Lorrie,
an armored, Armadillo-like, rodent from Brazil that chants soccer
crowd anthems and yells “Goooaaal!” when he makes a point against
a Pack-Rat who will grab any object he comes across and stuff into
one of his many pockets,
and a pack of alley rats with black leather and chrome rockets.
Burst of speed
Enables you to break through barriers and squash snake like an
accordion. Must have drag chute in order to come to a full stop.
Stops burst of speed when in tubes and works like a parachute if
deployed during a tube to tube jump or table top leap.
Retro Rocket Booster
Boosts the power of your reverse rockets so that you can propel
yourself backwards if you use them in the right situation. Can be
used like the regular retro rockets to heat up and pop corn kernels
in order to create a Popcorn Barrier.
A squeal so loud it momentarily stuns any other rodent within
hearing distance (they role on their backs and twitch.) No effect on
snake but he'll go for a stunned rodent before he goes for you.
Harpoon like device that launches from back pack and saps energy
from opponents, works on the snake too.
Store 'em in your cheeks and shoot 'em at your opponents' butts.
Using your Retro Rockets to propel you backwards lets you shoot
oncoming opponents in the face as well. No effect on snake.
Chew it up, blow a bubble and spit it out in a blind curve to catch
your opponent in a sticky mess. The longer you blow (by holding down
the A button)- the bigger it gets. Small bubbles grab wheels of
opponents skate board and send him flying. Big ones completely
envelope an opponent and stop him until he can clean it off. Large
bubbles also slow the snake. You can't spit seeds while you have the
gum in your mouth.
Eat one and become so hyper that you’re invincible. Can’t be stored
in cheek pouches.
Things that hinder the player:
Rodents wipe out if they hit a snake-oil slick. The mechanical snake
leaves slicks from time to time randomly.
Opponents can eat through popcorn barriers but it takes precious
to do so. The snake can’t get through these as easily but he can
eventually disassemble a barrier. If you run into your own barriers
at some point, use
the eat button to chew through.
A = Eat/ Load object into cheek pouches
B = Spit
C = Rotate objects from pouches to mouth
Start/Pause = Pauses game
The player wins the game by collecting all of the blue-print parts
from the lab. The game is over when all of the players lives are
used up, i.e. all of his pilots have been eaten.
Points of View:
The game shifts between first person and third, person views. While
the tubes the point of view stays in the first person, the player
sees through the hamsters eyes and his Heads-Up Display, but anytime
the player leaves the maze, like during jumps between tubes or
hitting the floor, the POV shifts to third person.
Real-time rendered polygons similar to Virtua Racing and Virtua