Long time, no see! Due to extensive crunching at game project 2 in school, the project has to be delayed until tomorrow. Sorry about that! I’ll try to make up for it, somehow.
About game project 2. It was a five week project in school, consisting of one week of pre-production and four weeks of actual production. With me were three other designers, four 3D artists and two 2D artists. Our restrictions when making the game were:
- some sort of destruction element in it.
- no text.
- environmental story telling.
- a loading screen if there were loading times.
- probably some other stuff I forgot.
Our team began discussing what kind of game we wanted to do. Most of us had different tastes, so we ended up with a “design by committee” decision. Initially, we planned to have the game take place on a foreign planet where the mission was to save it by solving puzzles. The puzzles consisted of blocks which could be moved. You’d play as a robot doing this. But later on, we scrapped most of these ideas and went for a simpler approach. The robot was scrapped because we had no animator on our team, and the gameplay got simplified to have just rotatable blocks on different axes, which the player had to move to find the exit of the levels. Most of the narrative was scrapped too, because the team was plagued by sickness during nearly the entire time span of the project. What was left was a very subtle story told by murals, which said the inhabitants of the planet had gone dormant because of the cold winter, so you had to restore spring for them to return. The name of the game was a pun I came up with.
The team game design members had different roles; project manager, scripter, level designer and narrative designer. I was level designer together with another student, who was also narrative designer. I helped out with that too. I also handled testing.
When making levels, I started doing prototypes on paper. Then, when the scripter was done with the system, I could make block-outs in Unreal Engine. And when the graphic artists were done with their assets, those could be put into place. Initially, I planned to have nine levels, first three which had Z axis rotation, then three with Z and X axes rotation and lastly three with all three axes rotation. But due to time constraints, sickness and overscoping, I only made six levels. And three of those were cut the last week to keep the quality of the game consistent. Here you can see my progress when making the first level, and also a video with preview lighting on it.
The jury who graded the game pretty much trashed it, but had some positive things to say. My levels were “fun, but got too hard too soon”. Actually they got stuck on a simple puzzle for five minutes, which others beat on their first try. The team got very bitter about the trashing, but since the jury weren’t the only ones involved in the grading, we got the highest grade. It was a mystery to us, but apparently it was because we managed to create a full game though we had so many problems in our team. We put our priorities right and cut what was needed to be cut. So yeah, that was that project. In hindsight, it was a very stressful but fun time with a great team.
Currently, I’m having the Unity course, which I’ll probably talk about in the next blog post, and in a few weeks game project 3 begins.
About the project. I finished up that cutscene I mentioned in the last post. I’m currently working on a tileset. While commuting, I make animations of sprites. Currently, 37 sprites are done, which are less than half. I should be done with the rest by tomorrow. I have also registered my company and the name of the game at the Patent and Registration Office. I’ll talk about that in another post.