Game Designer & Programmer

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Senior Project - PPJ #3

This week, production slowed down on the technical side as we refocused our efforts on the core design of our player interactions and the objective of the game. Taking feed-back that we received from Jichen and from our week 4 pitch, we decided to take a step back to the fundamentals of our game and really focus in on what could be better. I met three times with the design group this week and discussed design.

The problem: Our game, as it stands now, doesn’t have any solid reason that it needs to be 2 v 2 instead of 4 player free-for-all. The objective doesn’t require a team of two, so any team-play that exists currently is purely emergent from player positioning and communication. Play-testers expressed a desire to be able to do more with their teammates, and we want to provide a bit more depth for the kind of gameplay teammates experience with each other and with their opponents.

The solution: While we didn’t come up with any hard solution, we know what we have to do going forward into tackling this problem. We have to tweak the objective to make it so that any one player can’t win the game for their team alone. In doing this, we have to make sure that we aren’t making the gameplay between the opposing teams too stale as well as keeping in mind where we want the action to take place. We don’t want all of the action to be players piling onto the hill, so we’re going to try expanding the objective out a bit and away from purely the king-of-the-hill method of gaining points.

As I said earlier, not a lot of technical production was done since we need to finalize the design before we make it. All I worked on this week was the win state menu that allows for a playable game-loop.

I also continued experimenting with a grass shader I’ve been writing that we want to use on our walk-able tiles. Lighting isn’t going so well, but it’s getting there.

What went well: We really dove deep into the core design of our game and communicated very well as a team. We had some very long and hard conversations about our core gameplay and what kind of experience we want players to have, and I think that it will lead to a much more robust design and enjoyable experience.

What could have gone better: Communication was great, but it took a day or two of miscommunication to get there. It is a bummer that we had to halt programming for a while to work on design again, but I ultimately think our project will be better for it. Github is super problematic right now and many of my objections to its lack of a file lock system are coming to light, but this is the first major issue and I’ve actually loved Git up to this point. I think many of our issues can be solved by having a tutorial day: it’s time to get everyone on the same page about how to effectively use Git.

Hours:
Win Screen: 2 hrs
Grass Shader: 6 hrs
Design meetings: 7 hrs
Other meetings: 2 hrs
Git work: 1.5 hrs

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