[Exclusive]Tomb Raider Anniversary Edition Documents

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they are real.

We thank the uploader regardless as it allows us to read and dream about the
cancelled game.

upd. the documents have been confirmed to be genuine.

10th Anniversary Edition

1.
Introduction

The original Tomb Raider was released in 1996, so 2006 will be the 10th
anniversary. This document outlines a concept for creating a special edition of
the original game for the PSP platform to coincide with this anniversary.

The concept is to provide players with a “re-mastered” hand-held
version of the classic game. This should appeal to people who played it first
time around, and those who missed out. Retro gaming has shown itself to be a
lucrative market, and Nintendo in particular have had considerable success with
versions of SNES titles on GBA and Mario 64 on the DS.

So the idea would be to build a new set of PSP Tomb Raider games based
on the proven gameplay of the original game engine, but brought up to date
using the additional power of the PSP.

Although the idea is to preserve the original gameplay and levels
(albeit in a graphically enhanced form), additional Easter egg and bonus
features are planned to add an extra dimension to this version. In order to
finally satiate the fans lust for a multiplayer Tomb Raider, the plan is to
include a 2 player cooperative mode by teaming up with Lara’s younger cousin
Melissa Croft.

Feature
Summary

The game will be a version of the original game, with the following
enhancements:

1.
Higher
resolution textures.

2.
More
detailed geometry. The original geometry will be exported to Maya and updated
to add detail.

3.
Improved
lighting. The original game had monotone lighting – the proposal is to add
coloured lighting.

4.
Replacement
of sprites with 3D models.

5.
Improved
particle effects.

6.
Full
screen effects (blooming, focal blur).

7.
Updated
sound effects.

8.
Fully
skinned and detail Lara model.

9.
Skinned
and higher detail enemy character and creature models.

10.
FMV
sequences redone. Alternatively, it may be possible to resample the original
sequences.

In addition to these cosmetic improvements to the original game,
additional new features are planned:

11.
Variations
to original game
. Slight
tweaks to the original puzzle setups, or positions of bad guys to add surprise
for people who remember the original.

12.
New
secret areas.
These will
be added to the maps and unlocked by special items collected on previous
levels. They will contain the new outfits / weapons and rare collectables.

13.
New
extended ending.
The
original game ended very abruptly because of time constraints. It would be good
to include the “escaping from the collapsing pyramid” sequence that was
originally planned.

14.
Tweaked
controls:
Smoother
controls, and additional animations and moves (especially for combat).

15.
Cooperative
wi-fi mode.
Two players
get to explore the tombs as a team. Puzzles would be tweaked to require both
players to work together e.g. heavy levers that require both girls to move.
Additionally, players will compete over the collectables (see below).

16.
Puzzle
locks.
Mini-game style
puzzle locks to enter certain rooms.

17.
Collectable
artefacts scattered around the levels.
So each tomb will be filled with treasure items, some
more easy to find than others, and some more rare than others. There will be
different classes of collectables, some of which can unlock new secret areas.

18.
Trading. Treasures and special items can be traded
with other PSP TR1 players. Each PSP’s unique ID will be used to randomly seed
the player’s TR1 levels with a subset of the available artefacts, so for
players to collect them all they will need to trade with friends. Additionally,
in Wi-Fi coop mode, the levels would be seeded with items from both versions,
so it is an opportunity to collect items that are not available in your
version.

19.
Treasure
room.
Back at Lara’s
mansion, the treasure room will record which special items have been located
and which are still to be found.

20.
Unlockable
weapons and outfits.
Extra
weapons that were in later games and new outfits for Lara can be found in the
game.

21.
Dynamic
lighting
. Including the
introduction of flares from TR2.

22.
Analogue
control.
Optional analogue
control for movement.

2.   Control

image

Direction Control:

Pressing Up – Moves
Lara forward at a running pace.

Pressing Down – Makes Lara jump backward a short
distance.

Pressing Left or Right – Turns Lara in the desired
direction.

Analog Controller:

Use to look around the environment, tap the
analog stick to re-centre the camera behind Lara. Alternatively, this could use
could only be activated be pressing a ‘look’ button – normally it could be used
for analogue control as in Free Running.

X Button: Action

Cross allows Lara to perform a variety of
tasks depending on the situation, e.g. Press when Lara is near a wall to climb
up, press when Lara is near a switch to make Lara pull it, Press when Lara’s
guns are drawn to fire.

Square Button: Jump

Lara can jump in any direction to evade her enemies,
press Square and Lara will jump straight up into the air. If you press a
direction immediately after pressing Square Lara will jump in that direction.

Triangle Button: Draw

Press Triangle to draw Lara’s guns, if she
spots something hostile she’ll point her guns at it.

Circle Button: Roll

Press Circle to make Lara perform a diving
forward roll, she finishes up facing 180’, Handy for making quick turns.

L Button:

Hold down to allow Lara to walk forward,
backward and to the left and right, whilst walking Lara won’t fall off any
ledge. If you walk up to a ledge Lara will stop, when standing still pushing
left or right allows Lara to sidestep in the desired direction.

R Button:

When Lara has her guns drawn, tap Right
Trigger to make Lara lock onto an enemy, she will now point at the desired
target awaiting the player to fire. If there are multiple enemies tap Right
Trigger again to switch lock between them. (Note: We may be able to replace
draw with this, thus freeing up the triangle button).

Select:

Press select to enter Lara’s backpack, this
is where she keeps her weapons, ammo, health, save game and puzzle items.

Start:

Press start to pause the action and view
how well Lara is doing on the current level, viewable stats include – Time
Taken, Distance Run, Ammo Used, Saves Used, etc…

PSP Control Tweaks

An area of concern would be that the control scheme from TR4 would not
be up to modern standards. However, it should be noted that many of the
limitations of the original Tomb Raider games’ control are the result of the
PS1 pad’s digital input. Until analog sticks became standard, the camera
relative control that is used virtually universally nowadays was not an option.

The PSP is also mainly digital, with a configuration that is very
similar to the original PS1 pads. Although it does have an analog stick, this
has been found to have very limited sensitivity, travel and user feedback. It
is also awkwardly positioned on the PSP unit. Consequently, it should be noted
that most PSP games are choosing to use the digital pad for primary control.

However, the plan for TR PSP would still be to address as many of the
shortcomings of the original Tomb Raider control scheme as possible. This would
include:

·
Current
control set tweaked to provide more fluid movement.

·
Additional
moves added to match the TR7 move set.

·
Combat
system overhauled to use similar target relative movement scheme proposed for
TR7 (see the section on Combat).

·
Animation
blending introduced to provide more responsive controls than the pure animation
driven system.

·
‘Attractor
system’ from Free Running used to provide better level markup.

The camera relative controls of Free Running
would suite Tomb Raider very well, we have produced a test area to prove this.

Extra Moves

We could add some moves from later TR games
but ones that won’t break the current map configurations:

Climb – could
be added without any worries because the climbable walls have specific textures
and can only be performed within specific areas.

Crawl
another easy move to implement, we could use this to allow access to hidden
areas too.

Sprint – Tap X repeatedly when running to activate the sprint, works pretty
much as it does in free running, running out after a while. When in combat mode
X is used to fire, so no sprinting when fighting.

Corner Climbing – Allow Lara to climb around corners when shimmying,
this won’t break anything on the whole, there may be a few specific areas but
we can easily fix them.

Horizontal Poles – First we should
simplify the controls to just holding X to stay on the pole, which keeps Lara
swinging too. Release X to drop or tap jump to, well jump. We could use poles
in none essential areas and also modify sequence jumps to include them.

‘Sweetening’
the TR1 Controls

In general, the
controls need to be more forgiving (e.g. last chance grab to prevent most fatal
falls), more fluid, and generally faster. Some of this can be taken from later
TRs (e.g. Auto-lining the player up with locks and levers) and some from Free
Running. We should also look at a few entirely new ‘moves’ which will not
conflict with map design but will make the game feel more fluid and up-to-date
(e.g. a running pickup anim for collecting objects while on the move). The
extensive use of blending rather than link anims should help to make the
control system more responsive.

It is also likely that we will use the ‘attractor system’ from Free
Running to provide better level markup and give the player more leeway in
control.

Map
Control Rules from TR1

In order for
the maps to work, we must stick absolutely to the map rules from TR1:

Vaulting
& Climbing

·
0.25
blocks (1 click) Lara automatically steps up.

·
0.5
blocks (2 clicks) Lara vaults up when player presses ‘action’

·
0.75
blocks (3 clicks) Lara climbs up when player presses ‘action’

·
1 block
(4 clicks) Lara jumps straight up and grabs if the player holds ‘action’

·
0.25
blocks (1 click) When in water Lara can climb out.

Note: All vaulting and climbing can be performed onto
a sloping surface, but only if the angle is 0.25 (1 click) or less

Jumping
Vertical

·
1.75
blocks (7 clicks) this is the maximum height Lara can jump straight up to grab.

Standing
Jump Forward

·
Standing
Jump forward 1 block to land on the centre of the target block.

·
Standing
Jump forward 2 blocks to grab the edge of the target block.

Running Jump
Forward

·
Running
Jump forward 2 blocks to land on the centre of the target block.

·
Running
Jump forward 3 blocks to grab the edge.

Back Flip

·
Lara
can back flip 2 blocks.

Side Flip

·
Lara
can side flip 2 blocks.

Sliding

·
Anything
on or above 0.75 blocks (3 clicks) will cause Lara to slide

Shimmy

·
Anything
on or below 0.25 blocks (1 click) sloping edge can be shimmied along.

180’ Roll

·
Lara
always rolls across 1 block when she 180’ rolls, this is to allow her to climb
onto a block and quickly turn to face the opposite direction ready to perform a
running jump.

Tapping
forward on D-Pad

·
Lara
steps 0.75 blocks forward and stops.

Tapping back
on D-Pad

·
Lara
performs a small jump back from the front of the block to the back, placing her
in the perfect position to run and jump from the edge.

3.
Camera and Collision

The present Free Running camera is generally pretty good, and it is
also likely that the TR1 camera would have to be ditched anyway because it
relied on the AI box system (which will disappear if the collision becomes
non-grid-based).

There could also be a secondary camera system designed specifically for
trap areas. Basically you hold R-Trigger when your guns aren’t drawn, now
the camera stays behind Lara and acts more like the original TR cam, now Lara
can sidestep, side jump, roll and pull off all kinds of crazy manoeuvring that
would be much harder in the regular control system. The player can release the
R-Trigger to return to regular control and camera.

4.
Combat and AI

Two of the things that made the combat unsatisfactory in the previous
Tomb Raiders were automatic locking-on and unlimited ammo.

The automatic lock on and firing would be replaced by a system where
Lara has to actually press a button to lock onto a target, and must press that
button again to cycle between targets (this was implemented in TR 4 or 5 but
was relegated to an optional control rather than being the default). This method forces the player to be actively
responsible for targeting on enemies, and is thus more rewarding.

We will experiment with removing unlimited
ammo. This would require at least one of the following adjustments:

1.     There would need
to be respawning ammo pickups in the level. This was used from TR3 onwards for
specific level-essential ammo (such as crossbow bolts that were used for
solving a puzzle) but this idea could be extended to normal pistol ammo (so
Lara can always get more ammo, but it might mean going back someway through the
level.

2.    Lara would need a
close range attack such as a kick, punch or pistol whip. If we have close
combat, we will also need to experiment with using a Zelda style lock on
baddies, so Lara rotates around the enemy whilst firing

We could
also experiment with forcing the player to reload (possibly using the ‘draw
weapon’ button).

We will also use the baddies from later TRs (though
textured/modelled to look like the correct animal for TR1), and extend their
abilities in terms of where they can get to on a map. There were quite a few
tweaks and improvements in the AI over the course of Tomb Raiders 1-5 so we
will use the later code as a basis. If the collision maps end up not being grid
based then we will need to use navmeshes instead of the box system used for AI
route finding in the old Tomb Raiders.

5.
Hazards and Triggering

Traps need to be exported from old TR with everything setup, including
anims and how they are triggered. Obviously all of the animations will
eventually be updated, but we need to get the traps working from day one. A
complete list of the traps/hazards that need recreating are in the appendices.

We should also look at making the traps non-lethal where possible.
Instant death is less acceptable in modern games, and for many of the traps it
would be an easy fix to put in a last-chance grab or something similar to make
the game more forgiving.

6.
Save Game

We will not totally remove the save game crystals for the PSP, as this
would greatly dilute the game play (because the player would be allowed to save
the game as often as they liked). It would also remove the tension that was
present in TR1 as you searched for the crystals and the joy when you found
them.

Instead we would keep the blue crystals from the original game, maybe
adding a couple here and there if we think it’s necessary, and also adding
another smaller green crystal that can be found in smaller hidden places and
are collected in the normal fashion, the green crystals are a ‘save anywhere’
type and are placed in the inventory until the player feels he needs to use
one.

The player is given a fixed number of green crystals at the start of
each level, which would initially be high and then reduce as the game
progresses, after a level has been completed any spare green crystals are taken
from the player and can be traded for either health or ammo, no crystals are
carried over, allowing for easier difficulty level balancing.

This method would keep the tension of the original but still allow some
degree of ‘save anywhere’ without ruining the dynamic of the game. The player
would still take care when using a green crystal because they know there is a
finite amount, tie that in with the possibility of being rewarded for not using
the green crystals and the player isn’t going to want to waste them.

Another possible feature would be a “Save and Quit” save at any point
which allows the player to save the game anywhere but which is erased when the
player reloads it. This allows the player to save the game because the doorbell
rings or they need to get off the bus, but prevents save game abuse. However,
the fact that the PSP has a ‘hibernate’ mode means this may not be necessary

7.
Co-operative Play

The first thing we should do is get two
Lara’s dropped into the 1 player game without any modifications and allow a 2
player Wi-Fi link, simply to test how much fun it would be. This is the very
basic form of cooperative play and wouldn’t take too long to implement.

Next we add extra new cooperative elements
such as a different looking secondary character (Melissa Croft, Lara’s younger,
sexier, but slightly dodgy cousin), separate inventories for each player would
promote them to fight for the treasure, ammo, puzzle and health pickups.
Trading between the two inventories would also allow the two players to swap
different items depending on their circumstances i.e. player 1 has loads of
medi-packs and no ammo, player 2 has loads of ammo and no medi-packs, so they
trade. Everybody’s happy.

Now we change existing puzzles without
changing the geometry or puzzle setup, push-able blocks require both characters
to push them, pressure pads now require both characters to stand on them, large
levers require two people to shift them, etc.

The next phase of co-op mechanics would be
actual map changing specifically for the co-op adventure, this could be
localised to rooms within the room system and could act as a co-op only flip
map. For example:

Player 1 and Player 2 are standing
before a high wall with a pressure pad directly in front of them;

Player 1

stands
on the pressure pad, which opens a door around the corner.

Player 2

goes through the door
and up a flight of stairs.

Player 1

steps off the pressure
pad and tries to run through the door, it closes again. He returns to the
pressure pad area.

Player 2

is waiting above the
pressure pad on top of the wall, when

Player 1

gets close to the pressure pad

Player 2

gets a prompt on his screen that says ‘Press X to pull player 2 up’

If he presses X we are
presented with a small cutscene of

Player 2

helping

Player 1

up onto the wall. It is
possible that ‘cutscene’ will actually be a linked anim with a simple camera
cut to mask any ‘snapping’ of position or rotation.

Note: The one player version of this
example simply required the player to push a block onto the pressure pad,
allowing the door to stay open; all we’ve done is remove the block.

This allows us to add extra puzzle bits to
the levels without breaking the original 1 player game. It should be noted that
it doesn’t matter if the 2 player game is somewhat different to single player –
for instance, allowing one player to give the other a leg-up and then being
pulled up may allow the player to reach higher than the 7-click maximum they
can get to on their own. As long as this doesn’t create bugs, it’s okay if it
allows the players to bypass one or two puzzles that they would otherwise have
to face in the single player game.

There are
also other types of multi-player interaction which are fun without being
directly co-operative – e.g. if a boulder comes rolling down a slope and
there’s only one alcove to hide in, and that isn’t being enough for both
players, then one player is going to have to find some other way of escaping
(and fast!).

There will
also be occasions where one player will provide covering fire taking out
enemies while the other player opens a puzzle lock or pulls levers to get a
door open.

In treasure rooms the players will be
actively competitive trying to get to the treasure first. Although we don’t
want the players actively trying to kill each other, the levels could be
designed in such a way that they can slow each other down.

Although it’s a completely different sort of
game, the most recent 2D Zelda on GameCube uses this co-operative/competitive
style very effectively (with up to 4 players). They use many of the mechanisms
that we have already proposed (such as needing more than one person to push a
block, and needing people to be standing on pressure pads in different rooms to
open a door) but it would be worth going through the game in detail to look at
their co-operative puzzles, even though the 3D environment of Tomb Raider
provides us with many more possibilities.

8.
Multiplayer Trading/Unlocking

Tomb Raider 1 had many items in the levels that looked collectable but
weren’t, in TR: TAE we could allow the player to collect them along with many
other items too, some items being invisible apart from a small glint when the
light catches them, these items are valuable to Lara.

Even though they are none essential to finishing the game the
antiquities are grouped into collections based on where they were found and
what they are, there could be a collection of roman coins for example.

Each time a level is completed the player is given the option to return
to Lara’s mansion and drop off the antiques they have accrued in the level,
they will appear in display cases inside the treasure room. Empty cases hint to
the player that other collections are to be found if they look hard enough, and
empty positions within a display case show the player how many items there is
in that collection.

Because it is unlikely that two players will go through the whole game
in co-operative mode, the single-player game should unlock the equivalent
co-operative level once that level is complete. This allows players to play a
single level in co-operative mode once that level has been unlocked.

World
Raider Tombs

Completing an antiques collection unlocks a secret ‘World Raider’
hidden tomb. The tombs have different themes depending on difficulty and skill,
these are: Trap Tomb, treasure Tomb, Combat Tomb. Each proper level (or area)
of the game has a World Raider Tomb equivalent. It is also possible that we’ll
unlock one-off tombs from other famous areas of antiquity.

The Player doesn’t have to find all of the pieces to a collection to
unlock a World Raider Tomb; they can trade spare pieces with other PSP users to
get the ones they need. The logic could be done something like this –

Tom has most of the antiques to unlock Peru World
Raider Tomb 1 and only needs one more piece. He also has a couple of pieces for
Egypt World Raider Tomb 3.

Player 1

has only a few pieces of the Peru collection
but has most of the pieces for Egyptian World Raider Tomb 3; he needs three
more pieces to unlock it.

Player 2

asks

Player 1

if he wants to trade one of his Egyptian
pieces for the Peru
piece he needs,

Player 1

being a bit greedy declines the offer.

Player 2

now asks if all three of the Egyptian pieces will
do for the one Peru
piece,

Player 1

agrees and the items are traded.

The key thing about trading is that the items remain unique to a
players save game, for example – Now that Tom has traded the Peru piece he
won’t be able to collect it again in his version of the game, because it’s
already been collected and traded, the only way he can acquire this piece is by
trading it back from another PSP player. This means that depending on how each
individual player progresses through the game they will unlock different World
Raider Tombs.

Another system, which could be used either instead of or as well as the
previous system, would be to allow temporary unlocking of features depending on
the combination of items that the two players possess. For example, I have a
number of shards of an impressive Grecian urn, but not the full thing. You also
have an incomplete urn, but between us we have all of the pieces of it
(probably plus some duplicates). Neither of us individually has access to the
Angkor Wat treasure room, but it is unlocked for us while we share a wi-fi
connection so we can play a co-operative (or competitive!) treasure hunt in
there.

Many other unlockables are also possible in the game, such as unlocking
extra weapons or outfits. We should also allow the player to play the game
through single-player with Melissa Croft once they’ve completed it with Lara.

9.
Viral Marketing

This technique
should be considered for TR:TAE It is a way of trying to use purchasers of the
game to distribute demos of the game and encourage others to play it.

1)    The game allows the player to
create a playable demo of the game (which only has a small subset of
levels/content) onto a memory stick provided by another PSP owner.

2)    When they start up their demo
game, some of the items in the game are created using the unique ID of their
PSP… some of these items will not be available in the main (non-demo) game, and
there is a possibility that they might be quite rare.

3)    These items can be traded (potentially
back to the person who owns the original game)… the player would have to play
for a while to get these items.

4)    The demo save game can be loaded
into the full game – so if the player of the demo buys the full game they can
continue from wherever they got to in the demo.

This means that
owners of the game have an incentive to give away demos of the game, because
they might get something out of it. There is also the lottery ticket aspect
that you have no idea what items any particular PSP will produce until you put
the demo on it and play the game.

Notes:

·
“items” is used here as a cover-all name for anything of value or
interest in the game, and is not limited to inventory items.

·
I think that actually putting the demo onto a memory stick is the ideal
way forward because the player can then take it away with them and get hooked
on the game at their leisure. It would be even better if the demo could itself
spawn demos, but this might present technical difficulties. However, the
concept would still work if the game could spawn a multiplayer game over Wi-Fi

·
Obviously we would need to find out from Sony very early on if this
sort of thing would be allowed.

10.
Front End and Inventory

Although many
improvements have been made to the TR front end and inventory over the years,
many people are still attached to the original ‘carousel’ front end and
inventory. As a front end this is possibly a bit minimalist for a modern game,
so the proposal is to have a front end which pays homage to the original TR
front end, for example by having the items laid out on a table at which Lara is
sitting and having the camera spin round to focus on each item as you move the
d-pad left or right.

The in-game
inventory should be based on the original TR, while including many of the enhancements
that were made over the entire TR series (such as shortcuts for the most common
inventory actions)

11.
Levels and Maps

The idea is to preserve the original levels (albeit in a graphically
enhanced form), with additional secret areas and treasure rooms. The proposal
would be to revisit all areas of the game engine to see what improvements could
be made. The geometry built in Maya rather than the simple TR editor based on
the original level maps. The collision would remain largely unchanged but could
be modified in areas where we were certain it would not break the gameplay.

Static Objects need
to be exported from the old TR maps with instancing already set up and basic
collision, and flip maps need to be exported from old TR fully with triggers
intact. We will investigate using the technique of later TRs, where rooms could
be individually flipped rather than the universal flipping on and off which
took place in TR1 (and led to some very convoluted triggering).

We will also use coloured
lighting and light states for certain rooms, similar to flip maps but with
flipped lights, so you could set up a blend type between the two light states,
good for creating flickering lights without the need for dynamic light.

For the levels, there will be a general tidying and improvement in
terms of new, better textures and removing some of the worst aspects of
blockiness. Some areas will be further improved, and particular “spectacular”
points of the map will be given the most attention in terms of graphic
reworking. We are currently identifying which areas in each level to
concentrate on. Here are a couple of examples:

image

Peru Caves – The Key
Primary areas being the Bridge and the Overgrown ruins.

image

St. Francis’
Folly – The main ‘shaft’ area is the primary area.

12.
Graphics and Animation

The game will
based on the original game, with the following enhancements:

1.
Higher
resolution textures.

2.
More
detailed geometry. The original geometry will be exported to Maya and updated
to add detail.

3.
Improved
lighting. The original game had monotone lighting – the proposal is to add
coloured lighting.

4.
Replacement
of sprites with 3D models.

5.
Improved
particle effects.

6.
Full
screen effects (blooming, focal blur).

7.
Fully
skinned and detail Lara model (depending on which version of Lara we decide to
use)

8.
Link
anims replaced with blending

9.
Skinned
and higher detail enemy character and creature models.

10.
FMV
sequences redone. Alternatively, it may be possible to resample the original
sequences.

11.
Use ragdoll physics for Lara

13.
Difficulty and Tutorials

The game needs to be easier in general (for modern, particularly US
tastes) and we will need to extend the tutorials to cover any new moves. As
well as making the game more forgiving (by using things such as last-chance
grab), we can add context-sensitive control help in early levels in the same
manner as Free Running (either giving the player help in particular points on
the map, or supplying feedback when they do something wrong).

14.
Audio

Nothing major to do here… update some of the sound effects, put floor
material sound effects in (as in later TRs), keep original music. The only
possible problems are: Lara’s voice and VOs for FMV, new voice stuff for
Melissa (it would be nice is there was some “chat” between the two Crofts).

15.
Design Methodology

Take the existing Tomb Raider 1 design, then add new aspects to the
game but in a modular fashion so that we can finish the game at any point
without breaking it. This applies to the overall game design in terms of adding
new features as well as the reworking of the actual levels from Tomb Raider 1.

16.
Resources

Timeline

The installed base for PSP units in early
2006 is predicted by Sony to be in the region of 5 million units. Sales of a
PSP Tomb Raider would therefore likely be in the region of 250,000 – 500,000
units assuming an attach rate of 5-10%.

So, due to the limited sales potential of the
title on a relatively new platform, the project scope would need to be limited
to allow a small team to turn around the game in a short time period.

The current plan is therefore for Tomb Raider
PSP to ship Q2 2006.

Team

Expectation is that team size would be an
average of 15 people (peak 20) over 10-12 months.

An additional full-time programmer may be
needed. Also, 5-10 more artists would be required depending on the scope of the
project.

The Treasure
Room

Croft Manor holds more secrets than one dare to count,
Lara’s most precious secret being the treasure room, here Lara displays her
most precious items and also trades with other Tomb Raiders via her Laptop.
Within the treasure room lies many glass display cabinets, the cabinets are
arranged around a large bronze globe in the center of the room, some of th
cabinets are full, some are partially full, other lie empty, waiting for Lara
to fill them.

Getting in

The Treasure room is initially hidden from the player
but if they care to look in Lara’s inventory they will find half of a Dragonfly
Broach, if the player finds the other half, which is hidden within the first
room of the house, they can combine the two halves into a key that unlocks a
secret door, the secret door can be found near a tiffany lamp with the same
dragonfly shape on it, if Lara places the key into the lock of the drawer on
the table that the lamp sits on, it will open the secret door instead of the
drawer.

Once inside the treasure room the player can view
Lara’s most precious items, and also view the empty cases too, these are to be
filled by the player, completing collections with unlock bonus features (see
below), there are 16 empty cabinets in the treasure room, each cabinet unlocks
a special feature, the special features are:

Lost Tomb (see below for more details)

Weapons

Outfits

Concept Material

If the player positions Lara in front of a display
cabinet and presses ‘X’ they will be presented with a fullscreen view of the
cabinet, allowing them to see exactly what they need to collect or trade and
what they already have. If the player views a completed collection for the
first time they will be congratulated and asked if they wish to view, wear,
arm, or visit the unlocked feature depending on what the feature is. For
example –

‘Well done, you have unlocked the Egyptian Lost Tomb,
would you like to explore it now YES/NO?’

If the player selects YES, the camera flies near to
the globe and settles on Egypt.

If they select NO, the camera returns to the normal
ingame camera behind Lara.

What Treasure
does

Treasure can be collected in-game and also in the Lost
Tombs (See Below) and is usually part of a larger artifact. When a cabinet has
been filled, or a collection completed, the player is rewarded with a surprise
feature unlock.

Trading between PSP
users

Lara can trade treasure items with other Tomb Raiders
via the PSP’s Wi-Fi link, the player accesses the trade screen by guiding Lara
to the laptop that sits on Lara’s desk and pressing ‘X’, now the player is
presented with a full screen menu, something like this

image

Lara’s items
are displayed on the left whilst the other connected player (connect via Sony
standard Wi-Fi link) has his artefacts displayed on the right. The artefacts
highlighted in red are the ones that Lara and the other Tomb Raider are
prepared to trade, the player can only select his items to highlight in red.
The small box next to each item represents which artefacts both players want to
have, the player can only place a tick (represented as a T) in the other Tomb
Raiders list, so in John Smiths half, Lara has ticked Roman Coin 7, Egyptian
Statue piece 8, and Peruvian Pot piece 4, John Smith has ticked Roman Coin 1
and Greek Vase piece 3, so Lara has ticked more artefacts than John, but if
both players are happy with the trade then pressing ‘X’ when the large bottom
portion of the screen is highlighted will complete the trade and swap the
desired items.

Once traded the
new items will appear inside their respective display case. All tradeable
artifacts can be found more than once within the game, but some are found more
often than others, this will differ from PSP to PSP by using a random seed
generator in connection with the unique ID that every PSP has, this means that
every PSP owner who has Tomb Raider will have different treasure to find and
trade, thus promoting artifact trading between PSP users to help them unlock
special features.

Lost Tombs

Probably the
most prized unlockable feature, Lost Tombs have many challenges and treasure to
find and conquer, some of the treasure is only found inside Lost Tombs so for
the player to complete his collection requires him to find Lost Tombs. There
are four Lost Tombs to find, each tomb having a veriety of challenges to
overcome, here are the types –

Combat
Challenge – Lara is locked inside a small arena, enemies attack her from all
sides, kill them all and survive to reach the treasure.

Puzzle
Challenge – Lara is faced with a tricky timed puzzle, she must solve it to
reach the treasure.

Trap Challenge
– A run the gauntlet style challenge. Lara must traverse the trap sequence to
reach the treasure.

2 Player
Co-Operative Inventory ‘Give’ feature

In two player Co-Op mode Lara and Melissa take on the
adventure together via the PSP Wi-Fi link, each player controls either Lara or
Melissa. When Lara or Melissa collects certain items such as medi-packs or
ammo, they can be given to the other character to help them out. Here is how
it’s done –

  • Lara
    and Melissa are standing close to each other
  • Player
    1(Lara) accesses his inventory by pressing ‘start’
  • He
    selects a Small Medi-Pack by rotating the carousel with left and right
    analog and presses ‘X’
  • An
    option box is displayed for the Small Medi-Pack –

Use, Combine or Give
to Melissa

  • Player
    1 uses the Up and Down analog direction and selects ‘Give to Melissa’ by
    pressing ‘X’
  • Player
    1 is now presented with an option box ‘Are you sure YES/NO?
  • He
    selects YES by pushing left or right on the analog (default yes) and
    presses ‘X’
  • The
    Small Medi-Pack disappears from Player 1 (Lara’s) inventory and appears in
    Player 2 (Melissa’s) inventory.
  • Player
    2 (Melissa) receives an on-screen prompt ‘Lara has given you an item’
    followed by the given item (Small Medi-Pack) appearing in the bottom right
    corner of the screen, as if Melissa had just collected it herself.
  • Now
    Player 2 (Melissa) can access her inventory and view/use the new item as
    they wish.

Points to note:

The ‘Giving’ feature can only be accessed when both
characters are close to one another. This creates some interesting situations
(see below for examples) of how the giving feature can be used.

Only certain types of item can be given, these are –
Health Items, Puzzle Items such as keys or artifacts, Ammo.

Items that can’t be given are – Save Crystals
(unnecessary because both players progress is saved), weapons, treasure (Can
only be traded in the Treasure room).

When Lara and Melissa are close to each other, an
onscreen icon appears to let both players know that they can give items to each
other.

Example Puzzle
Situations:

Example A –

Lara and Melissa have been split up and have to work
alone for a while, Lara is in a room with water in it, Melissa is in an enemy
infested dungeon, the two rooms are joined by a small port cullis. Lara swims
around and finds a key, a cut cam shows the exit door opening for her, but
Melissa can’t find anything to open her exit door, Lara must go up to the port-cullis
and give Melissa the key to the exit door, allowing her to exit with Lara.

Example B –

Melissa stands on the pressure pad, allowing Lara to
climb onto the raised block and climb onto a higher ledge. Lara finds an
artefact on the ledge and passes it down to Melissa so she can unlock a door
that leads up to the ledge Lara stands on.

Co-operative Play

The
first thing we should do is get two Lara’s dropped into the 1 player game
without any modifications and allow a 2 player Wi-Fi link, simply to test how
much fun it would be. This is the very basic form of cooperative play and
wouldn’t take too long to implement.

Next we add
extra new cooperative elements such as a different looking secondary character
(Melissa Croft, Lara’s younger, sexier, but slightly dodgy cousin), separate
inventories for each player would promote them to fight for the treasure, ammo,
puzzle and health pickups. Trading between the two inventories would also allow
the two players to swap different items depending on their circumstances i.e.
player 1 has loads of medi-packs and no ammo, player 2 has loads of ammo and no
medi-packs, so they trade. Everybody’s happy.

Now
we change existing puzzles without changing the geometry or puzzle setup,
push-able blocks require both characters to push them, pressure pads now
require both characters to stand on them, large levers require two people to
shift them, etc.

The next phase
of co-op mechanics would be actual map changing specifically for the co-op
adventure, this could be localised to rooms within the room system and could
act as a co-op only flip map. For example:

Person A and Person B are standing before a high
wall with a pressure pad directly in front of them; Person A stands on the
pressure pad, which opens a door around the corner.

Person B goes through the door and up a flight of
stairs.

Person A steps off the pressure pad and tries to run
through the door, it closes again. He returns to the pressure pad area.

Person B is waiting above the pressure pad on top of
the wall, when Person A gets close to the pressure pad Person B gets a prompt
on his screen that says ‘Press X to pull player 2 up’

If he presses X we are presented with a small
cutscene of Person B helping Person A up onto the wall. It is possible that
‘cutscene’ will actually be a linked anim with a simple camera cut to mask any
‘snapping’ of position or rotation.

Note: The one player version of this example simply required
the player to push a block onto the pressure pad, allowing the door to stay
open; all we’ve done is remove the block.

This allows us
to add extra puzzle bits to the levels without breaking the original 1 player
game. It should be noted that it doesn’t matter if the 2 player game is
somewhat different to single player – for instance, allowing one player to give
the other a leg-up and then being pulled up may allow the player to reach
higher than the 7-click maximum they can get to on their own. As long as this
doesn’t create bugs, it’s okay if it allows the players to bypass one or two
puzzles that they would otherwise have to face in the single player game.

There
are also other types of multi-player interaction which are fun without being
directly co-operative – e.g. if a boulder comes rolling down a slope and
there’s only one alcove to hide in, and that isn’t being enough for both
players, then one player is going to have to find some other way of escaping
(and fast!).

There
will also be occasions where one player will provide covering fire taking out
enemies while the other player opens a puzzle lock or pulls levers to get a
door open.

In treasure
rooms the players will be actively competitive trying to get to the treasure
first. Although we don’t want the players actively trying to kill each other,
the levels could be designed in such a way that they can slow each other down.

Although it’s
a completely different sort of game, the most recent 2D Zelda on GameCube uses
this co-operative/competitive style very effectively (with up to 4 players).
They use many of the mechanisms that we have already proposed (such as needing
more than one person to push a block, and needing people to be standing on
pressure pads in different rooms to open a door) but it would be worth going
through the game in detail to look at their co-operative puzzles, even though
the 3D environment of Tomb Raider provides us with many more possibilities.

Escape
from Atlantis

Overview

The
new final level of Tomb Raider 10th Anniversary pitches Lara against
a huge Atlantean War Machine controlled by Natla. Lara must escape from the
crumbling remains of Atlantis through caverns filled with flowing Lava as the
War Machine uses it’s terrifying energy beam to blast whole sections of cavern
inward, Natla is hell-bent on destroying Lara and what left of Atlantis,
nothing else matters to her now.

Objective

Lara
must escape from Atlantis through the volcanic caverns and destroy the war
machine with Natla inside it.

Level
Flow –

Lead in:

The level begins where
the last left off, inside the great pyramid structure. Lara has just battled
with a mutated flying Natla and has seemingly killed her, Lara then climbs
around the structure to find a way out, when she reaches the high columns and
jumps onto the first one a cut scene is triggered –

Cutscene:

The pinnacle of the
pyramid structure is blasted inward by a huge energy beam, a massive hole has
been created in the roof sending floods of light rays into the dark interior,
the whole structure starts to shake periodically as the unseen colossus
approaches, Lara fights against the tremors to stay atop the column as she
stares up into the light, waiting.

The light is drowned
out as a huge shape fills most of the hole leaving only small streaks around
it’s edges, the war machine pears into the pyramid looking for something, it’s
search beams scanning the room beneath. Lara quickly hangs from the back of the
pillar as the beam heads toward her, then down to the floor. The beam stops
moving, it’s found what it came for, Natla.

The beam intensified as
Natla’s limp body is dragged from the floor in the beam, as she begins to rise
high into the void Natla stirs, shocked at first as she rises slowly toward the
colossus above.

Lara climbs back onto
the column and blasts at Natla as she rises in the beam, her bullets are
harmlessly bounced away, Natla begins to laugh, a long insane laugh as she
realises that Lara is still alive and she has the power to finish her off. She
is carried all the way up into the belly of the war machine, ready to destroy
Lara once and for all. The war machine turns to look at Lara.

Game on.

In-Level Gameplay:

1. Lara starts atop the
tall stone pillar, her immediate aim is to cross the chamber to the exit on the
far wall. She must move quickly as the War machine blasts the pillar she’s
standing on just as she jumps to the next, it constantly targets Lara using the
search beam as she jumps from pillar to pillar into the what she thinks is the
exit tunnel.

2. Lara reaches the sloped tunnel and starts to run down
it, there is a strange red glow at the far end. The war machine leaves the main
pyramid chamber out of view, the huge tremors accompany it as it leaves. Ahead
of Lara in the tunnel, small rocks and dust falls from the ceiling with each
tremor, as the tremors become more distant the dust falls move further down the
tunnel, Lara realises that the war machine is moving ahead ready to attack her
again.

3. The tunnel joins high up into a larger cavern, looking
down Lara can see a vast river of lava flowing to her left into the cave which
is blocked off by a large rockfall, the lava flows between the rocks and off
into an unseen cave, to her right lies a huge lava fall. Lara jumps across the
cavern onto another high ledge and turns right toward the lava fall, the fall
flows into an Atlantean chamber with a large suspended platform in its centre,
the gantry that leads to the platform has been destroyed by part of the falls.
Lara jumps, climbs and shimmys around the chamber until she reaches the
platform, it’s some sort of lift that should take her to the surface.

Lara pushes the button on the lift and it begins to rise
but stops as a huge blast rips through the wall of the chamber cutting the lift
power, it malfunctions and drops toward the lava below. The lift platform lands
in the lava with Lara still on it, luckily it floats down the river away from
the falls back into the cavern toward the blocked off bit. As the platform
approaches the blocked off area the huge familiar tremors of the war machine
start again, this time getting closer and more intense, sending plumes of lava
skyward.

Another huge blast shatters the blockage as the war machine
peers through the hole, Lara jumps from the platform onto the rocky ledge and
into a small tunnel, the tunnel dog-legs back into the main cavern which is now
curving to the right

4. When she emerges the war machine is still there peering
in through the darkness, search beam cutting through the mist, looking for her.
The ledge Lara stands on has smaller outcrops jutting upward, giving her places
to hide, but Lara is attacked by a smaller sentinel that alerts the larger war
machine, it blasts the ledge, sending it into the lava, Lara jumps onto the
ledge as it floats down stream, the war machine keeps tracking and blasts
another huge chunk of ceiling from the cavern, it falls into the lava too,
creating another platform for Lara to jump to. As Lara floats away from the
sentinel it moves away again.

5. Around the bend the river narrows into another falls,
jamming the platform against its walls, Lara climbs up the rock face into a
larger chamber. The chamber has a high rock platform with the lava flowing
downward through a natural archway into a large pool, a stone walkway leads
around the edge of the cavern toward the exit, Lara runs across the walkway and
is stopped by the energy beam from the war machine which tears through the
walkway sending it tumbling into the lava, leaving Lara stranded on a small
outcrop, she must climb back where she came from onto the platform.

Once back on the platform the war machine blasts through
the ceiling again and targets Lara, there are a few rock formations in here
that she can use as cover, but if the war machine sees her the beam blasts it
away. Lara must get across to the opposite side of the chamber, the only way is
to force the war machine into blasting a tall rocky outcrop, which falls across
the gap creating a rock bridge.

Lara starts to run across the bridge, when she’s two thirds
of the way across the energy beam rips through part of it, tilting it downward,
Lara must sprint to make it to the other side before it falls into the Lava.

Lara finds herself on another large platform and must keep
moving here, a series of jumps lies ahead onto a section of sloping platforms,
Lara jumps between them as they are blasted one by one behind her, after the
jumps lies another platform with a large outcrop near it’s edge. High up on the
wall is a small cave entrance but it’s too high for Lara to reach, she must
trick the war machine into blasting the outcrop, the force of the blast slams
the outcrop against the wall, creating a way up to the cave entrance, Lara
quickly climbs up and into the cave.

6. The cave doglegs back into the main cavern onto a small
rock platform, Lara must climb down from it onto a lower platform just above
the surface of the Lava. There are more platforms sticking out from the
surface, some are flat while others are sloped, the lava is also more violent
here with plumes of fire and ash jetting upward into the cavern. Lara must
cross this section to proceed onward.

The cavern joins into another larger cave that runs across
it, the lava is faster in here and is fed by another lava fall to Lara’s left.
Large chunks of rock are constantly pushed over the falls and down the river,
she must use them to cross to the far side just before the cave bends to the
left.

7. Lara jumps onto the small platform and is attacked by
smaller sentinels, she jumps down onto a lower platform which breaks away from
the cavern wall and floats down around the bend, as Lara turns the corner she
is confronted with a truly terrifying site, the war machine is standing in what
looks like the crater of a live volcano, it’s huge legs bracing it against the
walls with it’s massive body hanging over the centre of the lava lake, it seems
to be dormant as Lara approaches she sees the long proboscis hanging down into
the lava, it’s recharging itself for the final battle.

8. The lava lake has a large island in the centre with a
hole in it, with the rest of the lava flowing around it. As Lara jumps onto the
island the war machine is awakened, it retracts the proboscis and tracks Lara,
the machine must be destroyed thus killing Natla too but this is no easy task
as it tracks Lara with more ferocity than before, blasting chunks of the island
away as it does so.

The war machine uses it’s tractor beam to lift huge chunks of
rock from the island and blasts them back at Lara, if she leads the war machine
near a molten ball of lava that’s just been spat from the lake it will beam
them up too, Lara must shoot the magma ball whilst it’s in the beam to explode
it near the war machine, taking damage from it and temporarily disrupting it’s
shields, she can now target the elbow structures of its four huge legs, but
only for a short while before the shields go back up. Only two of the four
elbows must be destroyed to send the war machine crashing into the lava.

Cutscene:

The war machine explodes in the lava lake, sending plumes
of magma across the island, Lara begins the long climb up the side of the
crater to the light above, as she climbs the sound of a chopper can be heard,
Lara looks down and sees the lava boiling up inside the crater, the volcano is
about to erupt, she climbs faster and sees the chopper. Winston, Lara’s trusted
butler, talks over the loudspeaker “Afternoon ma’am, I just thought I’d drop in
and give you a hand” the lava begins to rise, Lara quickly jumps to the chopper
and grabs the landing skid, the chopper rises quickly out of the crater as the
lava plume chases it up, the volcano explodes just as the chopper clears it,
Lara shouts to Winston “Mine’s an Earl Grey, white with two sugars. Oh and
Winston, thanks”

The End.

Technical Info

The War Machine

Although huge and
terrifying, the war machine isn’t actually a full blown enemy due to its size,
it’s actually bigger than the area Lara moves through, so having it appear on
the outside of the room is a good thing. The war machine will have a series of
scripted animations, which are triggered as Lara moves through the caverns –

Appear over the hole – The war machine straddles the hole
in the roof and lowers its torso inside.

Disappears from view – The war machine lifts its torso out
of the hole and walks off.

Once in position the
war machines torso and head area can track Lara, this isn’t done with animation
but in code, allowing it to follow her pretty much anywhere in the room below.

The
war machine has one pretty terrifying weapon in the form of an energy beam,
Lara must move quickly as the beam has a slight lag before it catches up to
her, the player has a warning period before the full energy beam is activated,
as follows:

Search beam = Green

As the war machine
tracks Lara it’s search beam is harmless, she can quickly dash through it
without harm but if she lingers in it too long –

Pre Fire Target Lock =
Red

The beam turns red,
signalling to the player that they have to get out of the beam quickly before
they get toasted, if they fail to get out –

Energy Beam = White

A huge ray of pure
energy is blasted forth from the war machine, taking heavy damage from Lara,
she can only be hit twice with a full Health bar by this. She will even lose a
small amount of damage just being near to the beam.

Weak Spot = No Beam

After the energy beam has expired there is a small period
before the search beam kicks in again, this is Lara’s chance to rain a few well-placed
shots into the massive lens. This will stop the war machine tracking Lara for a
short while.

Our aim is to give the
impression that the war machine is present in the level even if the player
can’t see it. There are many tricks we can use to accomplish this –

Camera Shake – Used to represent the war machine stomping
around on the surface whilst Lara is below, the camera shake should be
scaleable to allow us to strengthen or weaken the shake to give the impression
that the war machine is passing overhead, couple this with timed dust effects
from the ceiling and good meaty stomping sound effects and the illusion is
complete.

The Energy Beam – The war machine will mostly be
represented by this, we have triggered areas of the map that prompt an audio
‘power up’ effect to warn the player, then the energy beam blasts through the
ceiling, creating a hole (flip map), if Lara is caught in the beam she loses
tons of damage. So the player thinks the war machine is near even though they
don’t see it.

The final confrontation
– In the final room the war machine is already inside the volcano in position. Its
head and torso tracks Lara as before but now she can target the knee joints, so
another few anims are needed to show the machine getting hit and taking damage.

Moving Platforms

This level requires the
use of moving animated platforms, to allow us to float chunks of rock down the
lava rivers, the platforms should also have the facility to have attractors, FX
and triggers attached to them which move with the platform, ala AOD.

image