Concept Log (Assignment)


Working Title

Please Don’t Touch the Laser

Concept Statement

Please Don’t Touch the Laser is a fast paced action shooter game, where you a control a character who is stuck with an 'always-on' laser – you must battle their way through rounds of enemies, using your misbehaving laser as a weapon... just try not to hit yourself.


Twin-stick Shooter

Due to the persistent shooting and independent control of shooting direction and movement, the game suits Gaamsutra's definition of a 'twin-stick shooter':

"Twin stick shooters are a genre of game which use two controls, typically operated by the thumbs. One control dictates the character's movement, the other the direction of shooting. Importantly, these can be operated independently, i.e. it's possible to move in one direction, and shoot in another." - (McAllister, 2011)

Though the game will primarily be designed for keyboard, it could easily be adapted to a gamepad - where it would primarily use the left stick for movement and the right stick for direction, just like the twin-stick shooter model.

Concept creation process

Originally conceptualised from a RayCast reflection coding error – using the ‘minimalism’ process, the idea was boiled down to it’s simple question. What if you (the player) needed to always avoid the laser (ray)?

The concept could then be ‘gamified’ or ‘scored’ by: - timing the levels (how fast can you finish this level without dying?), or - making the game a slower paced puzzle game – where you need to use your laser to activate elements of the level, all whilst trying to avoid hitting yourself, or - a wave-based (or endless) shooter, where you need to use your laser to defeat enemies whilst not killing yourself

I ended up choosing the top down, wave-based shooter concept. As this provides a good use of all the KIT109 tutorial concepts and scripts, with plenty of options to extend concepts further.

Influences include: - Boxhead for the wave based enemy spawning - Thomas Was Alone for the simple art style and basic lighting effects, colour and lighting (shown in figure 1 below) - Geometry Wars for the fast paced action and post processing effects


Figure 1 – simple art style in Thomas Was Alone (Touch Arcade, 2021)


Audience & competitive analysis

12 to 35-year-old male gamers, with a preference for top down shoot ‘em ups. This style also suit’s gamers who like twin-stick shooters and wave based enemy models.

This game suits the younger audience (starting from 12 years old), due to the fast pace and high replayability with short round times – allowing for many attempts to be made in the one sitting. The game also suits multiple players taking turns in a local setting, due the fast play times and the competitive nature of trying to one-up each other’s scores.

The fast and frantic nature of gameplay makes it unlikely to be well received by younger (< 12 years old) and older (> 35 year old) players.

In the market competitively, this game sits alongside other games well received titles like Nuclear Throne, Geometry Wars & Enter x Exit the Gungeon.

Please Don’t Touch the Laser is unique in the fact that is requires very considered shooting, it’s not safe just to spin & blast your way through all the enemies. This will appear to players who will appreciate the added puzzle like element of calculating laser angles in amongst the frantic action.

Game Treatment & Concepts



The game is set in 2049 – you’re in a laboratory that is under siege, enemies are trying to acquire the new ‘cutting edge’ laser weapon technology located inside – only the laser isn't finished, is it safe to use in retaliation?


Overview of mechanics


As a top-down shooter, the player can be controlled via an eight-way movement system – primarily via WASD on the keyboard, but could be extended to gamepad support.


The core concept of the game means that there is an always-on laser extending from the player in the direction they are facing. The laser bounces off most surfaces, meaning the player must be cautious when aiming.

There is scope to include power ups that last a short time, such as: - increasing the bounce limit of the laser, to hit many enemies at once - allowing the laser to pass through internal level walls - automatically disabling the laser when it could hit the player - speed boost for the player - slow motion


Enemies will hurt the player on touch, they will be fast and high in numbers – aiming to be a challenge using swarm like behaviour.

There is scope for multiple enemy types – including: - small, weak & fast: aiming to be challenge in swarms with horde mentality, faster than the player - larger, strong & slower: moving slowly towards to player but taking considerable time being hit to kill, these would provide more challenging when combined with many smaller enemies, requiring prioritisation from the player

Level Design

Levels will include both reflective and non-reflective surfaces for the laser, as well as objects on angles – to add an extra challenge when players try to calculate where the laser will reflect. Due to the need to see all surfaces to calculate the laser trajectory – it is expected that levels will fit inside a single game screen, with no camera movement.

There is intended to be multiple levels to unlock.

Figure 2: Basic concept art created by me, showing the simplest level design

The idea of the block in the middle of the level is to create a more interesting layout that encourages creative reflection with the laser.

It is also intended to address the issue of not being able to turn around with out hitting yourself (by 180 degree reflections back to the player) by allowing the use the middle block as an angled deflection. There will also have to be a small ‘grace period’ where the player is not hurt if the laser is on them for a very short amount of time, this will allow a ‘flick’ spin.



Figure 1 - Touch Arcade, 2021. Thomas Was Alone screenshot. [image] Available at:
[Accessed 11 April 2021].

McAllister, G., 2011. Gamasutra - A Guide To iOS Twin Stick Shooter Usability. [online] Gamasutra. Available at:
 <https:"" view="" feature="" 6323="" a_guide_to_ios_twin_stick_shooter_.php?print="1">[Accessed 15 April 2021].</https:>

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