Torque Game Engine Design Document: The Fable of Zulu: The Ukulele of Time

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Torque Game Engine Design Document:
The Fable of Zulu: The Ukulele of Time

By: Shane Costello, David Lawrenchuk and Lauren Stier

1. Overview
a. Appearance
The Fable of Zulu is played from a first-person shooter vantage point, and is set in a mystical land named Lorule. This game will be played mainly in Lorule, a lush island that is governed by the royal family. This island consists of varied landscape; it has a mountainous region, open fields, a small tropical Forrest and is mostly bordered by sandy beaches. At the foot of the mountains, the great Lorule Castle can be found, where the character must go to complete his quest. This large stone castle will consist of many floors and complex rooms through which the character must navigate to reach the final destination and complete the game.

Figure 1: Map of Lorule Island

b. Story Abstract
The Fable of Zulu: The Ukulele of Time is a first person shooter/adventure game, where the hero character, Liam, will travel the world in search of the Princess of Lorule, Zulu, who has been captured by the evil Gandor. Liam must face danger, solve puzzles and avoid certain doom while traveling through the lands of Lorule to reach the castle where Gandor has the princess held hostage. Liam, a simple country boy, has been sent on this journey with nothing but his Ukulele to protect and assist him in this perilous quest. Once the princess is rescued, Liam is assured that he will be greatly rewarded and will win the heart of Princess Zulu.

c. Game play
The player is in control of Liam, a young villager from the shore of Lorule. Liam can walk, jump and play his ukulele to defeat enemies. The player should complete the necessary tasks, as outlined later in this document, to continue along the adventure. Each task must be completed before the user can move on to the next, although the beginning "tutorial" part of the game may be skipped if the player chooses. Ultimately, the goal of the player is to reach the top of the castle where he/she will defeat the boss Gandor and rescue princess Zulu.

d. Development Platform
The game will be developed using the Torque game engine on a PC using Windows XP. The game is developed to be run on a system with Windows XP or Windows Vista, and should also satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • Pentium III 1000, 512 MB RAM

  • OpenGL or DirectX Compatible 3D Graphics Accelerator

  • DirectX compatible Sound card

  • 40MB Hard Drive Space

e. Production Team

The production team consists of Shane Costello, David Lawrenchuk and Lauren Stier. In general, activities will be divided among all three group members evenly, with some division of the tasks to be done by each. Although there may be some overlap, the responsibilities of each member is as described below: H

-Primary design of the terrain and interactive/scenic objects will be done by Lauren Stier

-Model design for game players will be done by Shane Costello

-Main scripting of the game will be done by David Lawrenchuk.
f. Target Audience

Due to a lack of graphic violence and the low difficulty of the game play, the game is intended for a preteen to teen audience, although an older audience would likely appreciate the game as well if an enjoyable game is desired, without much intense action.

2. Game Mechanics
a. User Interface Description
The player will move using the WASD keys and pan the camera using the mouse; space bar jumps.

The game will be in the form of a first person shooter. The player takes control of Liam, the hero of the game, with his trusty ukulele. The ukulele will serve both as a weapon and as a device to help solve puzzles (i.e., a musical instrument). As far as weaponry goes, Liam can "play" the ukulele and send musical notes at the enemies to destroy them. When confronting an enemy, use the left mouse button to "lock" onto an enemy (click again to lock off), then a series of keys will appear that the player needs to hit in sequence (Most likely different combinations of z, x, and c) which will destroy the enemy.

In the game, Liam will discover a power-up or two which will be required (or desired) to get to or beat Gandor, the final boss. These items will be scattered across the land where the player will be able to stumble upon them or follow simple clues to find hidden optional items. Such candidates for additional items are:

  • Stealth boots - Allow Liam to move across the terrain less “visible” by villains. Liam will be able to come closer to the enemies before becoming detected.

  • The Ukulele of Time - A powerful ukulele which is capable of opening the complex locking mechanisms of the Lorule castle.

  • Heart containers - Give Liam more life, makes him harder to kill.

Liam will begin with six heart pieces, the first of which merely represents full health and does not have an actual “health” value. Once Liam is hit, the first heart piece will be immediately removed. The remaining heart pieces represent 10 “health points” each. When hit by an enemy, Liam will loose 1 health points, and once 10 health points are lost, an entire heart piece will be removed from the screen. Once all heart pieces are gone, Liam will be faced with a “game over”, and must restart.

The player will have a way of going in "Ukulele Mode", and will need to play songs to open doors or unlock other puzzles aside from just using the ukulele for killing things. This will be done by clicking the left-mouse button when in range of an action object, such as a door or an enemy. Notes that need to be played will be shown on the screen in a tablature format, with the keys that need to be hit shown on the left-hand side of the graphic.

b. Use Cases

Figure 2: Use Case Diagram

c. Storytelling
There will be a brief story or hints while the game is loading, but the main story will appear once the game begins. When Liam wakes up in his farm hut, he receives his telepathic message from Princess Zulu to save her. He may go to a villager in another local hut to get some information about the task at hand, and how to defeat these evil villains that have been talked so heavily about. As he heads for the castle, Liam will receive additional telepathic messages from Zulu, and may also read sign posts which will give him hints on where to go next or in which direction to go.

d. Level Summary
There are five levels of the game, most of which corresponding to floors in the castle, once the castle is reached. Before the castle, the player may go through a tutorial level, speaking with a villager and learning to play the ukulele, and then must cross the fields of the island to reach the mountains. In the mountains, the player will look for the Ukulele of Time (hidden in the mountain village). Once the player has obtained the new ukulele, he/she may enter the castle, where the remaining levels can be played by going up the levels of the castle. The final level with be Liam dueling the evil Gandor on the roof of the castle.

3. User Interface Design
a. Key Screen Images

Figure 3: Liam in Lorule field.  Red dots indicate amount of life left.

Figure 4: 3rd person view of Liam in Lorule Field.

Figure 5: Liam receiving a telepathic message from Princess Zulu.

Figure 6: Engaged in battle against an orc.

Figure 7: 3rd person battle against two orcs.

b. Control Summary

W - Move forward
A - Move left
S - Move backwards
D - Move right

Z, X and C – play the ukulele
Space bar – Jump

Tab – Switch camera between first and third person views

Left click - Ukulele lock on to closest enemy, lock off.
Mouse movement - Look around
Esc - Goes to pause menu

c. State Transition Diagram

A simple state transition diagram showing the movement between menus, game play, and the interaction of checkpoints.
igure6: State diagram

d. Design Rules

The main design rule is to try to keep the game easy to understand; especially the controls. There is concern about the transition between the player running around the player locked onto an enemy trying to kill him. The way the Torque Engine Tutorial is set up, one of the player's hands is on the mouse, which limits the possible inputs to those of the player's left hand, which are already controlling movement. This sets up an interesting predicament as this could imply difficulty in both moving and confronting an enemy at the same time. The design of the game may have to revolve around this weakness unless we can find a better control setup.

4. Artificial Intelligence
a. Opponent AI

The orcs that will be encountered during game play will not have a complex AI algorithm as they are slow and unintelligent creatures. An orc will be in a constant state of "patrol" when the character is not near, meaning that the orc will pace a set path in the area that is being protected. The orc will be unaware of the character until he comes within a specific distance of the orc, at which point the orc will stay run at Liam directly at a pace equal to the running speed of Liam. The orc will attack Liam in hand-to-hand combat when Liam is in reach of the orc. If Liam gets far enough away from the orc once he has been "detected", the orc will go back to his "patrol" state.

Gandor will also attack Liam in a hand-to-hand fashion, with more fierce blows than Liam is used to. As long as Liam remains on the roof with the Gandor he will be attacked, and can continue to follow Liam if he tries to leave the roof, for both Gandor and general orcs, Liam will be “tracked” as he moves, so that it will be difficult, but not impossible, to run away from the villains.

b. Non-Player Characters

There will be one non-player character that is not an opponent, an opponent that Liam may speak with in the beach village. This character will be stationary in a hut where Liam may come in and speak with the player, but there will be no movement of the player outside the hut, and the character will only react to Liam's initiation of a conversation so that he may teach the player how to operate the ukulele and also explain the story of the Ukulele of Time.

c. Reactive Items

There would be some items that Liam may "pick up" from around the island to give Liam extra benefits, such as extra health or speed. Liam also will occasionally need to use his Ukulele to open doors and pass through the castle. In these cases, the objects will essentially be able to "unlock" when the correct sequence is played, but will not perform complex operations that will require the use of AI.

5. Story Overview
a. Plot Summary
Liam leaves the safety of his beach village in order to rescue Princess Zulu, the beautiful ruler of Lorule. He ventures through the dark mountain passes and defeats many enemies to find the Ukulele of Time, which will enable him to gain entry to the castle. Once inside the castle, the player will have to overcome the orcs and pass through the doors to reach the top of the castle. Once on the roof of the castle, the player will battle Gandor for the life (and heart) of the Princess.

b. Story Board

Figure 7: Story Board

c. Character Bible





Lolian (elf-human)


18 years old

Place of Birth

Lorule Village


Liam is just a simple village Lolian (race that lives in Lorule) who has always enjoyed playing his Ukulele. He has always been felt an unexplained connection with Princess Zulu.

Current Events

Liam will now have a chance to save his beloved Princess Zulu. He will venture away from his safe village into the unexplored lands of Lorule Island to find Zulu and save her from the evil Gandor.


Liam is not very big or strong, but he has the courage he needs to defeat enemies in his way and the Ukulele skills to solve puzzles....and defeat the enemies in his way too.

Princess Zulu


The object of Liam's affection





Place of Birth

Lorule Island


Zulu is the born-Princess of Lorule. She is a wise, young, and just ruler of Lorule.

Current Events

Zulu is currently trapped in a high tower of the Lorule castle, which has been taken over by Gandor, and is awaiting her savior.


Zulu has telepathic powers that she uses to communicate with Liam.



The Evil Boss




Place of Birth


Formerly a trusted advisor of the king of Lorule and Princess Zulu, but has now betrayed her in order to gain rule over the land of Lorule. He has devised a master plan in secret, and has gained many orc followers. He now wears the same armor as his orcs instead of his old, out-dated Lorule clothing.

Current Events

Keeping princess Zulu captive in the tower, and leading the orc force to control all of Lorule.


Gandor has both magical and physical strength. One part of his secret plan was that he worked out secret!



General enemies





Place of Birth

Orc Village, in the foothills of Lorule Mountains


Orcs are an oppressed race of Lorule who have be banned to live only in the most hideous and unfertile part of Lorule Island.

Current Events

The orcs have decided to follow Gandor because of his vicious seizure of power and because he has promised them freedom to roam the land and pillage what they want.


Orcs are strong physically, but have no magical powers and are extremely stupid. Orcs are also extremely vulnerable to the sweat sounds of the ukulele.

6. Game Progression
a. Flowchart

Figure 8: Flow Chart

b. Level and Scene Details


The game begins in a hut in the village, and can choose to find a friendly (and somewhat famous) villager to learn of the legend of the Ukulele of Time, how to obtain this ukulele and use it to defeat the evil Gandor and save the princess.

Level 1:
The player will cross the vast lands of Lorule Island to find the legendary Ukulele of Time. The player must defeat many orcs on the way across the land, and find the Ukulele of Time to gain entrance to the castle. The ukulele is hidden in the village found at the bottom of the mountains, where Liam will need to defeat many enemies to be able to find the ukulele and then can use it to gain entry into the castle.
Level 2:
Once the player has obtained the Ukulele of Time, a song can be played to open the main castle door. Upon entry to the castle the player will be on the first floor foyer. The player must climb the winding stairs up to the second floor, and play another simple song to open the door.
Level 3:
The player is now on the second floor. The player must defeat an orc soldier that is guarding the entrance to the third floor. Once this soldier is defeated, Liam may play another song to open the third floor door.
Level 4:

The player is now on the third floor. Liam hears the faint sounds of a familiar song that has haunted his dreams many times in the past. Yet, he cannot quite figure out how to play it. The player will need to figure out what notes compose the beginning of the song to gain entrance to the castle roof.

Level 5:
Once on the roof, the player must do final battle with Gandor. Gandor can only be hurt by a complex ukulele song, and the song must be completed three times to defeat him. Once defeated, Liam will free Zulu and the Island will once again be under control of the just royal family.

7. Bibliography & Resource List

  • Torque Game Engine and Torque Constructor provided by Garage Games

  • Adobe PhotoShop CS3 used for creation of textures.

  • 3D Studio Max used for editing and creation of 3D models.

  • Some boots, hearts, Liam, and ukulele models obtained from artists on

  • Link and Zelda models obtained from

  • Game story and characters inspired by: The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time

  • Torque Scripting Reference: The Game Programmer's Guide to Torque by Edward F. Maurina

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