Tuesday, September 25, 2012


After speaking with the group all last week and meeting together several times over the course of the week I can safely say that I feel we're back on track with the project.

We got together and really planned out an idea I feel has a lot of merit and room for expansion.
What's next for now is to really focus on the core mechanic of our game idea and what makes it fun, the combat. For our system we have a unique setup where the player chooses which ability they enjoy the most, be it an ability that charges you forward or one that creates a bubble shield around you. However, they only get one ability per playthrough.

The catch is that the players can alter what that ability does through power ups found scattered around the map. This process is similar to games like Galaxia when pick ups from enemy ships would drop and change the way the player shot from their ship.

For example, if the player where to pick up a power up that changed their special ability to fire and they had the charge special ability, their charge would no longer knock any enemies back but would instead set enemies the player passed through on fire.

Obviously, this system is slightly vague and needs a bit more working out and testing, which is what this week is for. We plan on taking the game to the QA lab on Wednesday to get feedback from players.

The hope is to challenge Stage 1 next week. With a little effort I feel we can do it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Week Four: Cracking Down

If the presentation in class today has taught me anything, it's time to start focusing working as a group and more together a solid project. I feel like our group display was lacking and we really didn't have much to show this week, even though we were all working hard separately.

That might be the biggest problem with this group so far, we do things separately.

It's not that there's anything wrong with a group working on separate problems individually, but when communication becomes a lacking element things can lead to trouble. For example, I feel like the entire 11 page document I typed up last week feels somewhat like a waste of time because no one had mentioned to me it wasn't what we were looking for.

To combat this problem, I've decided this week to include myself as much as I can with other goings on in the group. When Steve starts programming stuff, I'll make it aware that I'm there to answer any questions he might have about what we're looking for in a prototype. If there's a designer issue, I'll work with AJ to tackle the problem together, much like we've already done with the System's Management paper we wrote after class.

Besides working on my communication, this week I'd like to prototype a new idea I had about an interesting FPS mechanic. Maybe it will prove interesting enough to crack down on.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Preparing for the Challenge

This week we need to knuckle down and start getting ready to challenge so we can move forward. I don't know how I can say it anymore clearly.

Prototypes are going to be the primary focus this week and polishing them so that we have something we can  show for the next class. Specifically, I'm shooting to work on the Cowboy game idea. According to my producer and artist, I need to focus more on the context. That means playing around with the story, goal, and setting somewhat into a coherent idea that makes sense to player and gives them purpose.

I was thinking about toying around with two ideas for a context. One was from an animation called Blackwater Gospel (see left picture), which focuses on a type of dark western with just a sense of black magic to it. The dark feeling and sharp animation was something that heavily appealed to the members of our team. With the sense of magic in the feeling, we can get away with confusing potholes in our twinstick shooter such as the question as why guns have unlimited ammo.

Another setting I was thinking about exploring was a futuristic cowboy feeling, similar to that in Cowboy Bebop (see right picture). A world set in the future grounded with western morals and way of life would be an interesting take and could offer unique classes for the twinstick shooter Cowboy game idea.

As stated above, my goals this week are working out the context and tweaking the prototype of the Cowboy game idea.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week Two Beginnings

The second week is beginning with a bit of cowboys and Indians, literally.

After the relative success of the rogue-like prototype, I'm planning to dedicate the week to working on a new idea our team had over Skype. The concept revolves around combining elements from the twin stick shooter idea and our rogue-like idea using the gothic cowboy setting our artist thought up (see picture above).

What I came up with was a multiplayer game where the players play as a group of outlaws who have just robbed a bank and are trying to outrun the local posse. You get cornered in a town and have to fight them off to claim the money. The game uses traditional twin stick controls with classes and a third person view similar to Gauntlet or Diablo.

The catch is that at the end of the game, only one person can claim the money. Meaning players can have a choice to work with the other players for a time but risk being backstabbed halfway through the game. Alternatively, players can simply kill the competition before they can fight the posse, but risk being overwhelmed by the angry townsfolk.

This new idea seems like a lot of fun, I'll be posting more as I come up with the design documents for it.