I have completed my senior project course, and am soon moving on to my final semester at Wilmington University. I’ve put together a Trailer of the game for you to check out. I wish I could say I plan on putting more polish on this game for a release, but I just got a job in Baltimore, Maryland. Full time classes and a work schedule won’t leave much time for a side project.
I’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still more to do. Every time I came to make a new post, I was thinking to myself that “I just need to finish [this] up” or “This doesn’t look quite right yet.” I finally realize, that’s the point of this, to show the process.
Some of the big changes here are graphical. It’s finally starting to look like a game. The models and animations were taken from opengameart.org. I just don’t have the time to do the art I need. Also, they were hurriedly inserted. One of the many things I need to do is change up some code so I take advantage of Unity’s animation event system. It shouldn’t be difficulty, but I have more important things to work on right now.
Something finished after the video was made is the saving and loading feature, and the level select map. They work completely. Saving and loading is something that won’t make it into any web player builds for obvious reasons, but the game was never intended to be made for the web player.
I’ve begun to adopt Unity’s Navmesh and Pathfinder features. The big white blocks in the test level are there to show that off. Right now, the controls of both the player and the enemies use a combination of the two. The result is an effect that makes it look like characters enemies have little control over their own momentum. Additionally, some of the AI isn’t quite as polished as it needs to be. The rangers can get briefly stuck in little loops of ActCowardly() and ActAggresively() if the player is hiding around a corner.
I’m currently getting prepared to start making greybox level designs. Two features I want to add before that are enemy spawn points and friendly NPC interaction.
One question on my mind is, of the 13 acts of the game, how many individual levels do I want? One, two, or three. I need to work on my boss mechanics…
I didn’t have much to report in week four, but before I knew it I was all wrapped up in getting ready for the Philly Game Jam and recovering from the cold I got while I was there. A few weeks later, and here I am again. I’ll now report the progress I made before and since the game jam.
This weekend, I participated in the Philly Game Jam with two classmates (Jason Morano and Yanni Hajioannou), alongside nine other teams. It was run by the Philladelphia chapter of the IGDA. Three was the minimum number of team members to participate, so we were among the smallest of the groups.
I started working on the ability to attack targets and enemies. I quickly realized that a fundamental aspect of my game revolves around two key features, the ability to swap the active player character with characters on the bench, and the ability to equip items that define the character’s attacks.
I’m in the process of adding XML serialization, something I’ve done with many past projects, and an large inventory system, something I’ve never done in a game. Pretty soon, I should have any number of pre-defined characters and items. It should be pretty simple to create a random item generator. With all this serializable data, save and load is just around the corner. This game is practically making itself.
Over this past week, I accomplished two main goals. The first is that I just about “finished” the design documents. I’ll be posting them here soon. The second goal was in taking the first steps in a basic prototype. It’s just unfinished character and camera movement, but I’m liking what I see.
I fished around the unity store and found an excellent medieval village for free. It consisted of only two different houses, but that can go a long way with variation in rotation. It figured it would be an excellent source of prototype graphics, but I will probably end up using these houses later on. Originally, I had intended to create all my assets myself. After viewing what was available on the asset store, I may end up buying a few assets. I was pleasantly surprised.
I’m starting my third week now. I should have basic game-play, and more polished controls and camera work, by next week. Maybe even my inventory system. I’m right on schedule!
Apparently, I forgot to actually post this.
On my first day, I participated in the Scrum Essentials tutorial. I learned a lot about managing our game development process. It’s a bit difficult to apply the fundamentals of scrum/agile development to our trio, but the lessons learned will definitely help our process. I learned a lot that I can take with me past this stage of my career.
I spent the second day at the Level Design in a Day tutorial. It was thrilling to be in the room with so many honored game industry vets. I learned a lot about concept and structure of level design. My ears have never been as perked up as they were when I was at the Interesting Decisions talk by Sid Meier.
With all that education behind me, I realized how under-prepared I was for the real reason to be at GDC. Despite not having a portfolio, going around to the developers at the booths in the career pavilion was eye opening. I asked around about what they were looking for in a game designer. I heard so many different answers. Here are some paraphrased quotes.
We want to see that you can add value to existing games, or be a genius. Improve or mod an existing game to get our attention.
We want to see your game documentation.
We want to see game concept summaries and documentation samples. Full documentation is too much for us to want to look at in a portfolio.
Our designers are also story writers, so we want to see writing samples.
We don’t actually have a separate designer role. Everyone has a hand in the design of the games.
The solution is clear. I will do all these things, and more.
Some friends and I at school put have been working hard on a game. That game is now “done,” and has been submitted to the 2012 IGF Student Showcase. Check out this short gameplay promo. Play the game at GammaGods.com.
In the land of D’enbee, the noble Prince Djon sets off on a quest to curtail forces of the Death Metal army. He is watched over by the patron diety of the land of rave, the great Sky DJ, whom lays down phat beats of inspiration. Armed with the power of magical glowrods, the prince seeks the power of the Prismatic Glowrod in hopes of finally defeating Death himself.
Neon Prince is a side-scroller on rails in a world where medieval fantasy meets the modern rave scene. The player most collect glowsticks scattered throughout the level to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies. When the player finally finds the prismatic glowstick, he gains the power he needs to defeat Death and win the game.