To Cap a Stone

Hello again! In the past week or two since I’ve posted, much progress has been made in the form of senior games! To start off, we’ve had two more meetings in total, both of which took around an hour to complete. In these two meetings, we discussed a few important things. First off, we went from using the Knight on a Bridge VR game as our first prototype to using the Satan Tower game as our first prototype instead. This was done for a few reasons. We as a group find that the Knight on a Bridge VR idea is definitely our strongest idea and the most unique out of the 3 main game concepts. It is for this reason (mainly) that we’ve chosen to instead embark on that VR journey second instead of at the forefront of our prototyping stage.

On that note, we can lead into the biggest thing that our team accomplished since last time. After choosing to instead focus on the Satan Tower idea first, we decided to lay some ground rules for the development of the prototype, as I mentioned in the last post. They are as follows:

  • Don’t focus heavily on the level design aspect of the prototype. Doing so will take too much time to complete the MVP or minimum viable product for the game.
  • Don’t create 3D enemies. Instead, use 2D sprites for the enemies to save time and make animations for the prototype much quicker and simpler to do.
  • Don’t include the blood weapon power up in the prototype. Instead, cover it in a presentation and/or document regarding this specific prototype itself. At least create the blood shader if we choose to go forward with this idea.
  • On the topic of enemies, only create 3 of them to streamline development and make the process easier.

With these principles in mind, we set out o make a fairly simple prototype of the Satan Tower game. To be completely honest, progress was a little slow in creating this prototype while balancing other class work, but yesterday (Sunday) that all changed. On Sunday, we all met in the game labs for a work session with one goal in mind: finish the prototype so we can move on to the next one. After meeting at 1pm and working for 6 and a half hours together, we left the labs at 7:30pm with a simple, but complete prototype for our Satan Tower game. We followed the principles and rules we had set for ourselves before fairly closely, but not to the letter, as there were a few changes that we saw we needed to make as we worked on the game yesterday. If anything, we decided to switch from making 3 ground-based enemies to 1 ground-based enemy and one flying enemy with different healths, damages and behaviors. The level design aspect of the project is one thing that we decided to stick with the rules on. In fact, we have just one modular asset that we used to create the map for the game. This made it incredibly easy to piece together a simple circular, dome-shaped level for the player to fight enemies on and it made it much easier for use to focus on scripting and enemies.

Now, as I’ve mentioned already, we’ve chosen to embark on our VR adventure second following the completion of the Satan Tower game. Well, now that we’ve finished with that, we actually start production on the VR title today. Just as with the previous prototype, though, we’ve set a few ground rules for ourselves again.

  • First off, start working today (Monday) and follow the same 1-week long sprint schedule that we did with the Satan Tower game.
  • Meet on either Thursday or Friday to take a look at what we have and to test haptic and visual feedback.
  • Have another work session next Sunday at the end of the 1-week sprint, mirroring what was done for the previous prototype.
  • As with the Satan Tower game, we won’t be going too heavy on the level design aspect for the first prototype of the game. This will change if we decide to move forward with this game idea.
  • Don’t create or intricately animate any complex enemies. Instead, use a capsule with a stick as an enemy for the prototype in order to get the idea across to the audience just what the game is about.
  • Abandon the preliminary Viking theme of the game. We will not be using George’s pre made Viking assets and instead opt for more knightly, simple assets to use for testing purposes.

Now, with this VR journey comes a little bit of a problem. Only one person on our team actually owns the VR platform that we plan to design the game for, the VIVE. The school does have 3 of them that different teams can ask to take out and use for development and testing, but until we choose which prototype to move forward with, much work will have to be done without the VIVE or at our lead programmer, Stefan’s, apartment in order to test mechanics. With that, stay tuned for more updates as well as screenshots in the next upcoming blog chronicling our foray into senior game development here at Champlain College! Thanks for reading!


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