Hive Mind is a combination of an RTS and a Third Person Shooter in which you control a whole
group at once. It is about a group of robots that has to escape from an experimental lab that
is being taken over by insects. Your squad consists of four diﬀerent types of robots which are
all specialized in killing speciﬁc insects. It is the duty of the player to let the robots attack the
Core game play
Hive Mind’s core mechanic consists of walking (with your left stick), aiming (with your right
stick) and selecting your four diﬀerent unit types to attack (with Left Bumper, Left Trigger,
Right Bumper and Right Trigger.)
Hive Mind has one game mode in which you play the whole game. There are no mini-games or
stages in the game where you have to play with diﬀerent core mechanics.
Game Play Description
The main goal of Hive Mind is to escape from the lab. You must survive and advance through
This goal applies to both the linear stage and the non-linear stage. The secondary goal of
the linear stage is to force the player to become experienced with the diﬀerent types of units in
the group that the player is controlling. The secondary goal of the non-linear stage is to create
a slight chaos and challenging the player and unleash mayhem.
Detailed game play description
In order to achieve the games main goal and survive throughout the game, you must destroy
your enemies before they destroy you. Firstly, you must keep on walking to advance through
the stages. You can’t win the game by standing stand still. Secondly, to destroy the enemies,
you must ﬁrst move the cursor or pointer to the location of the enemy on the screen (or close
to its location) and then pull a trigger or bumper on the controller to let part of your squad
attack those enemies. In the following seconds, the triggered units will attack the enemies you
pointed at until they have all died or you have given your units another command. One of the
four types of units is stronger and much more eﬀective against speciﬁc enemies. The player
constantly has to look at the type of enemy and let the eﬀective units destroy them.
The user interface, or UI, of our game consists of several important elements. In the middle
on the top are the score the player has obtained up to that point and the number of spawning
points that have to be destroyed before advancing to a new stage in the level.
In the bottom corners of the screen are the four buttons displayed the player can use to
attack with his diﬀerent robots. Next to each of the buttons is an emblem which represents the
type of unit that will be activated when that button is pressed. In the emblem stands a number
which represents the number of units of that type that are currently in the player’s group. This
is to be used as a health indicator.
Each of the four buttons on the screen can be in two states: available and used. When a
button is pressed it goes from ’available’ to ’used’ , becomes darker and seems to be pushed into
the screen instead of coming out of the screen. As soon as the unit assigned to attack with the
button has ﬁnished its attack, the button goes back into the ’available’ state. By doing this, a
player can see immediately if a unit he wants to use is available to be used or if it is busy.
Scores and rewards
The player progresses by surviving and destroying the enemy. By doing this, the player completes the stages.
As of the arcade part of the game, the player earns points by destroying enemies. The
number of squad units alive will act as a kind of multiplier. So if you survive everything while
maintaining a high number of squad members your score will be higher than if you survive with
The satisfaction of Hive Mind is the fast rushing over and killing the many enemies. The player
is supposed to feel like a group of termites running over a mountain with great numbers and
speed, like a hunted group military soldiers running and ﬁghting for their lives, like a hunted
group of bison. The player has to constantly feel the pressure which releases once in a while,
while playing the game.
The most direct feedback that Hive Mind will contain is the amount of units in the players
squad and the amount of enemies on the screen. With less units on the screen, the player is
not doing so good. With a lot of enemies on the screen, the player has not chosen the right
strategy and will he most likely not survive. The rest of the feedback will be given through the
user interface, with average health per unit type in your squad, the amount of units, score and
combo’s, all giving indirect feedback.
The game will be controlled by the Xbox 360 controller.
Table 1: Controls for Xbox 360 controller
Left analog stick up & down
Walk to front or back
Left analog stick left & right
Strafe left or right
Right analog stick up & down Move Cursor up and down
Right analog stick left & right Move Cursor left and right
Attack with unit type 1
Attack with unit type 2
Attack with unit type 3
Attack with unit type 4
Shows high scores
Slider from 0-100
Slider from 0-100
Slider from 0-100
Start of the game
When you press ’Start game’ the ’introduction’ level starts.
The level or stage in Hive Mind is completed when the ﬁnal battle is won.
The level or stage in Hive Mind is failed when you die. When you die, you have to start over
The player is game over when the squad is dead, thus when you failed the level (because at this
point there is only one level).
When you completed the game it will look exactly the same, but instead of ’GAME OVER’ it
will show you ’WELL DONE!’ and ’You have successfully escaped!’.
High score screen
The high score screen will show the rank, name and score of the best players.
Art and visual style
The main style for our game will be a futuristic fantasy design. The game will take place in an
underground laboratory which is created by and employs a revolutionary new technique: using
living materials to create live. Every object in the game, including the characters, will look like
they were put together from diﬀerent parts like machines only the diﬀerent parts of each object
will look like they were grown instead of made. Objects like metal plates, tubes, nuts and bolts
are replaced by wood, vines, branches and leaves.
The laboratory in which the game takes place must look and feel like its own unique Ecosystem. Each object, enemy and character must look like it serves a purpose within the system.
Living systems like plants, mushrooms and slime blend into wooden constructions, roots and
vines. The laboratory looks like it has been around for a while. Most of the diﬀerent parts
are overgrown and partially infected with mold and fungus, other parts have grown together
because of it or are connected by strong ropes made by the robots.
In the squad are 4 diﬀerent classes/characters that you use. All the classes use middle/long range
weapons. The classes you have: Shotgunner, Machinegunner, Grenadier and Rocketlauncher.
The shotgun type is the most powerful at short/middle range. His character is a bit lazy
and leaning back. His posture forces him to wait until his enemy is close to blow his brains out,
the more he can kill the more active he will get. The weapon he uses is a shotgun kind of gun
that ﬁre a load of earth gathered materials.
The machine gun type is the role model for the new robot army. He is quick, intelligent and
wants to give up anything to survive and escape from the lab. He is the most powerful at middle
range. His weapon ﬁres a lot of special bullets per second. The bullets are a combination of
poisonous roots and an indestructible earth material. These special roots infect digital parts of
The grenadier type is a small and scared type. This model isn’t designed for warfare. It
was designed to seed new mushrooms in the labs for oxygen supplies for the doctors who were
working there. The design went kind of wrong and it came out that the mushrooms that he
seeded were highly explosive. Instead of seeding it redesigned itself to throw the explosive
mushrooms towards enemies.
The rocket launcher type is a massive machine that is the most eﬀective on long range. He
is the big brother of the squad who will defend his teammates at all costs. On the other hand
he is a very shy type which always operates in the background of the squad. The weapon he
uses is a huge launcher which ﬁres compressed burning hardwood. On the ﬁrst collision with
an enemy the rocket will shatter into a huge amount of piercing and burning parts.
The enemies in the game can be deﬁned into 2 groups: walking enemies and ﬂoating/ﬂying
enemies. All enemies communicate with each other using ultrasonic sounds. The walking
enemies come in 2 types: fast walking ant like enemies, and big, slow walking, bug like enemies.
These enemies don’t have an own will. They are programmed to prevent any escapades.
The ﬂying/ﬂoating enemies are fast creatures mainly for scouting through the levels. The
are represented as giant bees.
Player Characters (PC’s)
The player controls the 4 types of units as one squad.
Non-Player Characters (NPC’s)
The NPC’s will be the enemies. The enemies are insect based robots. They can communicate
with each other using ultrasonic sounds. Their artiﬁcial intelligence is highly advanced. On
the contrary, their bodies and weapons are very basic but lethal. They can attack with melee
and ranged attacks. The insects’ objective is to ﬁnd the ones who want to escape from the lab.
They can hardly operate solo and are very powerful in groups. Using their ultrasonic sound,
the other group can locate the player very quick. The insects operate on the ﬂoor and in the
Each level in Hive Mind contains two stages. The ﬁrst stage is a linear level in which the player
goes from point A to point B. These levels are designed to resemble a system of caverns with
several chambers designed as breeding chambers with cocoons in which the diﬀerent parts for
the robots are grown. Throughout these caverns hang numerous vines and roots that connect
supply the diﬀerent cocoons with nutrients and other substances to help them grow. These
vines and roots are in constant motion resembling the motions a human esophagus makes when
Hive Mind has only a few menu’s. These menus are designed to look like they are part of the
whole game world. The menu’s consist of a frame ’grown’ from the living materials within the
laboratory/factory. Suspended between various parts of the frame is a thin canvas on which
the various options are written. Some parts of the frame actually pierce through the canvas to
hold it in its place. Because the frames are ’grown’ we can design them in any shape we want
and create separations between menu’s.
The diﬀerent options can be selected by using the left analog stick or the D-pad and each
option is selected with the A- or Start-Button. Options are represented by text only no buttons.
The selected options are highlighted to make sure the player understands which is selected.
Text will be designed to ﬁt the design of the frame. By doing this we can allow certain areas
of the characters to light up instead of all the words.
All the diﬀerent maps have diﬀerent textures and decorations. The ﬁrst maps are more colorful
while the later maps are darker. The maps will be exported in pieces and will be imported into
the level editor. We will use the level editor to place breakable objects, spawn points, NPC’s,
The theme is a giant lab. The player goes through this lab which has 3 diﬀerent styles.
Every stage has almost the same routine but diﬀerent styles. You go through a linear tunnel
area and at the end you come in an open non-linear arena.
Not only does it go from light to dark, but the areas will also be more aﬀected by the insects.
The overall color changes over time. The more the player is getting towards the end of the game,
the more the textures will be colorful. That means that in the beginning, the textures are more
The only problem is that there is only one level and thus only one map.
The reinforcement and extra squads are locked up in a cocoon and the player can shoot the
cocoon so he frees his teammates. There are no extra animations required for any of this.
Specials and power ups
There are no specials and power ups: the cocoons are designed to give the player more
The expected time on an average stage is about 2 minutes.
The expected session length is about 10-15 minutes. Because there is only one level we
expect the player will play the full game because it isn’t very long.
In an attempt to create ’live’ scientists decided to approach that aspiration from a whole new
perspective. By using living materials from nature’s womb they hoped to create a new life form.
Deep below the earth scientists build a laboratory where they created their ﬁrst prototype: a
basis insect build completely with wood, earth, roots and vines. Because its body consists of
living materials the insect was capable of living and its own cognitive thoughts.
Even though just a prototype that ﬁrst basic insect was a great motivator for the scientists
to keep producing. Now that they knew it was possible the scientists would not stop. Their
aspiration proved to be too great to handle. The artiﬁcial intelligence within their prototypes
started to show the characteristics of a collective mind, a Hive Mind. When the time came
when the insects where too numerous to control, it was already too late. The scientists could
not challenge the insects when they decided as one to take over the laboratory.
A few scientists rushed down to the lowest level of the laboratory where their pride-projects
resided: Humanoid robots. The scientists rushed to release them from the growing chambers
before they were fully grown and became a part of the collective Hive Mind. As the scientists
set the humanoid-robots free they are killed by several insect robots.
The player is introduced to the point of the story where the scientists set the ﬁrst robots of
the player’s group free and is immediately thrown into battle with the insects that killed the
The player should feel like he is in a claustrophobic environment. This eﬀect can be done by
using DSP (Microsoft reverb). The moment the environment changes to a bigger scene the
audio will change accordingly. The reverb eﬀect will change every sound that is playing except
for the music.
The music must change pace accordingly to the number of enemies that are approaching the
player and the activity of the squad units. This can NOT be done OF COURSE by adjusting
the master speed/pitch, because that would ruin the melodies.
How we can do that is by changing the drum, bass and guitar tracks according to the state
of the squad. The more intensity in the game will result in more intense music.
Movement will sound like your foot is stuck in the mud and you are pulling your foot out of the
mud. Some enemies will be able to ﬂy. These ﬂying sounds must be made very recognizable.
These sounds must be scaled to a bigger proportion because these creatures are pretty big.
But alas, we haven’t found the right sounds yet, so there is not much sound for movements.
Every weapon of the squad in the game has a recognizable sound. Not every weapon of the
enemies are in place yet.
The only ambient sounds present are water drops.
Not allowed: Red blood or gore, nudity, mature language and cracking bone sounds.
The platform of this game will be the Xbox 360, the game focusing on Live Arcade using the
Xbox 360 controller.
The screen resolution of Hive Mind will be 1280 x 720 (aspect ratio 16:9). The ﬁeld of view will
be approximately 100. The game must ﬁt in 100 to 500 Mb.
Hive mind will have to run in minimum 45 frames per second and maximum 60 frames per
second if your PC is powerful enough...
In Hive Mind, the player will have to know what the diﬀerent types of robots can do. They are
the diﬀerent types of weapons you can employ, so it’s important the player knows their strengths.
By showing the player which strengths a robot has also displays the diﬀerent weaknesses the
How to play
When the game starts the diﬃculty of the level is very low allowing the player to become familiar
with the controls, the diﬀerent types of robots and the diﬀerent types of enemies. At the very
start of the game, the game will guide the player through all the buttons that can be used by a
small in-game window. Every time the player obtains a new type of robot the player will have
to use that robot immediately to advance in the level.
The basis controls are explained at the very start of the game. The speciﬁc utilities of every
robot are explained when they are obtained by the player.
The layout will be small 2D in-game windows with when necessary animated controls.
As the game progresses the player will be allowed to use more diﬀerent types of robots and will
be controlling a larger group. With every stage the amount of enemies will increase, they will
become more strategic and attack in larger and more diverse waves. At speciﬁc points during
the game the player will have a chance to get another type of unit.
During the ﬁrst few stages the diﬃculty curve is not very steep but as the game progresses
the players have to become more experienced to complete the ﬁnal levels.