• JosieGameDev

It's all coming together! - Weekly Update #2

This past week has been really exciting, with fun stuff to get stuck into. I've moved beyond initial idea phases for both of my modules and have begun planning and starting progress on my projects. I like both of my concepts and work is going well, looking forward to see how my projects develop over coming weeks. On to the details!

AINT 254 - Interactive Systems Workshop

I've settled on a concept for my game! Codename: Tortoise. The mechanic is a tower defense game where you can't kill enemies, only delay their approach. The aim of the game is to survive until the timer runs out. The flavour of it is really fun; you play as a lettuce farmer trying to defend their harvest from waves of slowly appraching tortoise! Initially you delay the tortoise by flipping them onto their backs, but as levels advance more actions will be available, such as slippy surfaces and catapults! It's gonna be my first 3d game, so I'm really excited to make some cutesy low-poly models for it in Blender.

Sprint planning in Trello

Once I settled on this idea, I began working on the documentation side of it. The first thing was to plan out my sprints, which I did in Trello to help visualise it better. This took a while as I had to consider all the tasks which go into making a game like this, and split them up based on priority so that I can have a working prototype by October 17th, when I will be demo-ing my mechanic at uni.

Now I had an idea of what needed to be done, I could start on development! After some research and discussions with lecturers I decided to use the built in animator sub state machine in unity to change the states of tortoise (eg paused, flipped, walking, eating etc) from other scripts. I also created a basic movement script for the tortoise which makes them walk slowly to a given transform, and combined this with the FSM. This means I now have a tortoise which will walk towards the lettuce, enter flipped state when the player clicks on it, and return to walking after 3 seconds. My next steps will be spawning tortoise in at time intevals, making the camera follow the player, and adding a timer.

And you're all caught up! On to Design Process...

AINT 253 - Design Process

I've spent a lot of time this week researching and planning content for my escape room!

I watched GDC talks and read articles on puzzle design and escape rooms, picking out key points and compiling this (massive) mindmap in Coggle!

Puzzle exploration Mindmap

It really helped develop my understanding, and meant that I was confident when it came to approaching designing my own puzzle game. First, I wrote up a planning document outlining some must-haves and must-avoids for the project, objects which would be found in my bakery environment, and possible puzzles made with these objects. This is a technique used by designers making real life escape rooms, and made it really easy to see what I was working with and keep my puzzles thematic.

From there I created a user story for my game which lists everything I need to make for each stage of development; prototype phase, MVP (minimum viable product) and MAP (minimum awesome product).

User story planning in miro

I also spent some time researching sound in games. I analysed a 1 minute clip of WindWaker to pick out the sounds used and how they affect the game experience. From this I started identifying sounds that would be needed in my game in a google sheets document, and planning how to create them for my project.

It's been a lot of planning this week, but with my user story board I feel confident in my idea and ready to start exploring this idea more! Next steps will be splitting up development into sprints and creating moodboards for the visuals of all aspects of my escape room.

Thanks for reading! Check back next week to see some prototype projects as I get ready to demo what I've been working on. :)

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