Sunday, April 7, 2013

Crunch Time

Next week I start filming the demo reel for real, and as a result a lot of the art we were missing has finally been implemented into the game.

And as a result of that, I've had to do a lot of polishing. But the final product we're going to have to show for Tuesday, I feel, is leagues better than the Goldblitz we showed last week. Let's take a look at some of the levels.

The new Footstep has the new fences and ramps added, making the colors really pop out. As an added bonus, the background has been changed from a plain wasteland to a canyon crevice. Erickson's artwork really shines on this level.

Donut now also has the same background treatment that Footstep had, only because of how flat the level is, you can actually admire it while playing the game. This screenshot doesn't do it justice, as the fences all light up due to a camera effect.

Mugen is the level that still needs the most work. We're waiting on Margaret's assets of cliff rocks so that it makes the walls more interesting to look at. I'd like to update the blimp art as well.

The next step for me is to film everything this week! Looking forward to it.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Rendering Billboards/ Cleaning Up Maps

Since the demo reel cannot be filmed until all the final is in (or most of it) I devoted this week to polishing up the levels somewhat, adding new assets and cleaning areas where people get stuck.

One huge assets I looked into was the ability to have the map be filmed in real-time then displayed on the billboards around the map, as opposed to having a bunch of static logos that aren't interesting to look at for a large amount of time.

Right now, there are 2-3 camera placed in each level which offer specific views of each area of the map. Players can take a look at it and even use it to their advantage. Maybe they can see that there is a trap of mines on the other side of the map, or another player is there gathering up all the power ups.

Ultimately, what I would like to do is have the screens zoom in on the players for a more visual effect.

In addition to the rendered billboards, I'd like to polish up some of the menus, specifically the level select, so that they can show off the art of each level. Maybe they can even entertain the players, I was toying with the idea of having the space cannon chasing a car in the background.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Proto-Demo Reel

Trying saying that title five times fast. What I've been working on this week is, quite simply, is the prototype demo reel which combines the script we've been writing so far and the clips we would like to see in the final presentation.

This is the result:

Goldblitz Prototype Demoreel from Michael Bujtas on Vimeo.

The idea was to combine humor and advertisement to quickly and simply explain the basic gameplay and goal of Goldblitz.

It may seem corny, but it's supposed to. That kind of corniness is endearing and accurately fits with the two hosts of the game, Bill and Doug. I really tried to portray Doug's crazy personality and the fact that Bill needs to keep Doug in line with lines like the "animal preserve" one.

All in all, I feel this is a good example of the direction we wish to go in for the demo reel. With better voice acting and when the final art in, the reel should be perfect.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


This week, I've taken a little break from level making (seeing as we've picked the three we wanted) and taken up scriptwriting for the Demo reel in addition to fixing up bugs discovered within the levels through QA.

So far, here's what we have:

Champlain College Logo

Stephen and Dream Boats Logo

Doug: “What do you get when you combine a car with a gold mining gun?” 1.)
Doug: “Goldblitz!” 2.)
Bill: (bored) “Goldblitz...”

Doug: “That’s right folks, it’s Goldblitz! Drive the cars 3.) (pause) and mine the gold from the nodes! 4.)  It’s so easy, a goldfish can do it!” 5.)

Bill: “I’d watch what you say about goldfish, Doug, one of our contestants is one after all. Goldblitz has attracted all sorts of colorful characters to compete for the gold.  6.) We’re going to have a real battle on our hands.” 7.)

Doug: “Right you are, Bill. Thanks to the Gold Standard power ups scattered around the map, 8.) our racers can attack each other with all sorts of amazing weapons.”

Bill: “Players can use everything from spatulas to space cannons to slow down the other racers and get as much gold as possible.” 9.)

Doug: “After five minutes, whoever has the most gold wins!” 10.)

Doug: ”And just look at all those levels they get to play on, don’t they look so much better than the rustic badlands we started with?” 11.)

Bill: “He’s just kidding folks. Goldblitz raceways are safe and friendly environments.” 12.)

After long gameplay video 13.)

Doug: “Goldblitz, go for the gold!”

Bill: “That’s the wrong game, Doug...” 14.)

Video Reference
1.) Black Screen
2.) Goldblitz Logo on Black Screen, bouncing in and out
3.) One car driving right (goldfish car) zoomed out so viewers can’t fully make it out
4.) Same car is mining from a gold node
5.) Zoom in on the car to reveal it as the goldfish (bubbling noise in the background), car still driving around.
6.) Character select screen of players going through the different racers.
7.) Character select screen says “Ready” with characters shouting in the background
8.) Close up on a powerup on the map, camera floating around it
9.) Margaret’s weapon thing
10.) A car with the crown on top of it drives into a group of 3 cars around the gold node and knocks them away with Sonic Boom
11.) Level select screen going through all 4 of the different levels
12.) A car drives through a field of mines and smoke and explodes violently into the air
13.) Video of testers actually playing Goldblitz for a few seconds
14.) Same Goldblitz Logo as 2.)


I'll be working close with our narrative designer, Rob, to make the demo reel perfect. The goal is to describe the game as best as possible so that anyone watching the clip will know exactly what Goldblitz is about.

I'll probably be showing it to people and getting as much feedback as possible. The plan is to start practice filming next week. I look forward to it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Three Levels

We've finally decided as a group which three levels we want to appear in the game. The three are, as I predicted, Footstep, Mugen, Donut.

To celebrate, I've completely remade Footstep to fix many of the spots where players got stuck in the map. Many of the ramps actually go to reachable places now and the new art assets, such as the rock structures, make an appearance.

My goal for the next few weeks is to start polishing these levels, adding the new assets and features to make sure they work. I need to make sure the levels are completely functional and playable so when the artists come in with the assets, they can make them look perfect.

I'll also be looking up level music, with the plan to have 4 different songs for each level.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Doughnuts and Mugens

This week I attended QA several times to get a better feel of which levels testers enjoyed playing the most. Thanks to their reactions and feedback, I designed a new level based on an earlier level I had created this week, Donut.

Donut is a relatively simple map, it goes in a circle around a center point and doesn't offer much in the way of exceeding creativity. Yet, for some reason, all the players love it. Perhaps it's because it's so simple that they know where to go and what to do that makes it a favorite for them.

Donut is nice and flat, and offers a chance to really get creative with the backdrops. This is definately going to be one of the final levels in the game, based on all it's positive feedback. I just need to tweak it some more.

As I said, the testing inspired another simple level I decided to call Mugen. The track is a simple infinity symbol, but it works really well for the purposes of the game.

The thing that makes Mugen really unique is the setting. Instead of placing the track in the middle of a wasteland, I decided on making it set in a cliffside with as beautiful sunset in the background and a blimp hovering just overhead. The level has already received some compliments for it's aesthetic.

I believe with these two levels and Footstep, we'll have our 3 final levels to include in the Gold Version of Goldblitz. My next task is to polish these levels so they play better (players keep getting stuck in cracks).

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two New Levels

This week I worked on two new levels and more are on their way. This is really a push to see what people are really enjoying about the levels and which they prefer to play. I'm awaiting feedback today from the testing this week.

The first level I designed was one of my original concepts, playing the 4 cars in an enclosed arena environment to ensure maximum combat engagement.

The map included plenty of powerups scattered in close quarters that followed the pathways of the map. This encourages players to stick to the two main roads between the center ramps and the side turner, where the main 3 gold nodes are.

The problem with this map is that it doesn't give room for many art assets to show off the design of our artists. Though, that could be beneficial considering we may be having trouble getting all the environment art in time.

The other map I worked on is my personal favorite so far, Footstep. It is named as such for the shape of the general map, it looks like a footprint in the desert.

The entire level is asymmetrical, making it completely different from my other maps thus far. I guess that's why I like it so much more, it makes the design feel more natural as opposed to the whiteboxed perfect symmetrical levels.

This was also a test for the environmental art, as I placed all the assets thus far into the map somewhere. Whether they noticed them or not remains to be seen. I also added a lot of little secrets to the level, like ramps that allow players to reach the top of the hills if they're lucky.

I think this week I will be going to QA so I can nail down which levels the players really like and what they like about them. By doing this I hope to start fleshing out our final level design ideas.