I wasn’t particularly certain about my goal this week as far as tasks went. It’s no so much that I have nothing to do, I’m just not fully certain where my contributions are supposed to fit in. Last week I came up with a couple buffs to be used for the card aspect of our game, and now those are being reworked into the format of my team member Dawn’s design. I personally preferred her layout to mine and encouraged her to adopt what she finds interesting from my work into her own. After bouncing ideas, I’m actually pretty impressed with the work she’s turned out so far.
Since she is working on buffs now, and I’m more of a consultant on the topic versus active developer, I decided to work on detailing a pvp resolution mechanic for our game, as it was one of the only two cards left. Fair enough, after our group’s discussion at the end of class last week, I felt inspired to work on this topic anyway. I started off with my usual research (procrastination) habit of browsing rpg subreddits, I came across an article (linked here) about the Rule of Three Clues and how it could be used to tie narrative to mechanic. Seeing as our game is about investigation, I got the idea that maybe we could use the event cards in our game as ways to show progress for players. I came up with the idea of map specific events that would have points about them that could be used to either prove or disprove paranormal activity, with certain events having more points that lead one way versus the other.
After reviewing stand ups today, I had seen that two other group members who had been tasked with the general pve win/loss mechanic for our game had already included pvp resolutions in their posts. This is where the issue I’ve been having of where my work fits in stems from. Not to let the week be a total wash, I looked inward to what my job for our game is, more specifically, what I’m going to school for in the first place. Art. With that in mind, I looked on pluralsight for videos related to character design then whipped up a quick rough of what I felt the “Skeptic” class in our game might look like (pictured above). I figured a retired cop, Han Solo-esque look would be appropriate and now here I am. Below are the two initial sketches I did in order to get a feel for the pose and energy I felt the character should portray.
My first assignment for the game our group is developing is to create 8 unique buffs, as a way of incorporating a card system into our product. I wanted the buffs to be more than just a random boon to a random trait. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that kind of a buff, some of the buffs I created are just that, but I also wanted to see what I could do outside of stat enhancers. So I started out by brainstorming what things I find useful if I was exploring a haunted house. Not worrying about how it would work mechanically, I went more for thinking about generic items you might find laying about in the real world or a explorer’s kit.
From there I whittled the list down to the eight things that I felt were the most distinctive of the bunch. I wanted the buffs to be things that, regardless of which class you decided to play as, would be beneficial in at least some way. I also liked the idea that certain classes should have a special affinity towards certain buffs, just like a pen means a different thing to an artist versus a writer. This is where I tried to differentiate between a buff that simply adds a stat boost from a buff that gives the player their own unique mechanic.
Anyone can pick up a knife and feel braver for being armed, but the demonologist, with their knowledge of the occult, might call upon some ancient ritual to grant them safe passage into the unknown. Some special buffs demonstrate a specific classes familiarity with the item, being able to use its benefits to gain either a faster or better result.
The team has spoken and it looks like the board game that we will be building for class this semester is going to be a multiplayer paranormal investigation game. Although I wasn’t physically in class to pitch my own idea for a game, I’m fine with the result. I’m actually a little excited to be honest. One of my favorite purchases of recent years has been the tabletop game Betrayal at House on the Hill (pictured above) for the exploration and variety of gameplay scenarios that it creates. The idea of working on something similar with a group of my peers seems really interesting, so to help everyone get an idea of the mindset I’m coming into this project with, I’ll be bringing my copy of this game to show around. Who knows, if time allows, we might even play a session of it. All that said, I’m still in quite a bit of considerable pain, so I’m going to keep this blog post short and end here.
The best way to learn anything is through experience. In this course, my peers and I will be learning the ins and outs of agile management through the lens of creating a board game. Each team member will be presenting their own idea for a game next week in class. Once those ideas are presented, we’ll be setting tasks for one another, swapping out between the roles of developer, scrum lead, and product manager.
A common saying when creating content is that you should always “write what you know.” I’ve been part-time in the service industry for a little over 5 years now. Also consider that I was introduced to tabletop gaming about 2 years into that “career” choice, and ever since I’ve been gamifying every task related aspect of my life since then. With all of that in mind, the game I plan on presenting to class tomorrow will be one based on being a server in a restaurant.
I’ve written up a really short summary of what I want for the game (linked here). I don’t want to flesh it out too much, as I suspect that part of the development process for this game will involve, well.. developing. The gist of what I’ve linked to essentially goes as follows:
- 2-4 competitive players
- Players are closing servers at *insert-a-restaurant*
- Players have 3 stats
- Energy (The ability to do things during your turn)
- Management (The ability to do multiple things during your turn)
- Charisma (The abilitiy to make the things you do better)
- Turns start with drawing from the deck of reservations
- Players compete for highest Tip/Sales ratio
Beyond that, we will flesh out as a group assuming my game is chosen.
After working with the Unity Standard Assets, we finally have animation in our game. An even more exciting result of using the standard assets, as opposed to attempting to Frankenstein code from various sources and past projects is that our seconds per frame have changed back into frames per second. The bad news is that the rest of the project is no longer up to par with the character. I’m going to be retooling the stages to create a more cohesive theme going forward.
One issue I’ve had dealing with the game was getting the running animation to play in the way I wanted. Going through the Unity Asset Store, I found out about the Unity Standard Assets, a package of general items useful for any game, first person or otherwise. What I found handy was the third person character they had premade in to the set. I’ve been studying the scripts associated with the character and the control of him, seeing how I can apply it to our game.
After the first build of the game, a couple issues have risen. Namely the framerate. Normally the speed/smoothness of media is rated in frames per second, but after making an actual build of the game, seconds per frame seems more appropriate. I’m going to look back in the Lerpz tutorial section about optimization to see where I went wrong. As it stands, the game is literally unplayable right now.
Lerpz was a decent intro into what could be done in Unity, but browsing through the Unity Asset Store has shown me a much better slice of what is possible in Unity. I came into this class as a first semester animation student, the idea of creating all of the assets for the game initially. Having such a comprehensive suite of assets to sift through is definitely a major boon.
My game idea may have made it into the top 3, but it was finally beat out by Lucky Cat and the CSG Beatdown. I’m not too upset about the situation, the Lucky Cat game sounds simple enough to complete and it has an interesting spin on the bullet hell shooter motif. Even going off of CSG-110 and the game I’ve pitched for that class, scale seems to be a consistent theme as far as things I need to work on.
In class, we voted on idea pitches for video games to be made in class. I had the idea of an arcade side scrolling beat em up, a la Double Dragon or The Simpsons. The game would have a cast of two playable characters, the eponymous Punch-Boy and Kick-Chick. The player would have to choose which character is the right for the job as certain enemies or obstacles can only solved by punching, and others by kicking. In addition to my own game, Lucky Cat and the CSG Beatdown are also in the running.