Newsletter Week 3 (09/12 – 09/18)
This week has been a good learning process for all of us in the team. The design process has worked hard to come up with pitches ideas. At last, we have 3 define pitches ideas for the client. We also have 3 more backup ideas. The goal of our ideas is to answer the client’s problem.
These are the summary of the pitches ideas:
- A game about managing floor plan of an assembly line of a factory. The goal is to connect the path of point A to point B while increasing the product value of the raw material. There is limitation of resources of money and floor plan.
- A game about communication and team work. The goal is combine the design product between three players and make it work. There are limitations in total weight and money. In order to reach the goal, the players need to communicate with each other about the product attributes.
- A game about bureaucracy and politics effect the design process of a prototype. The goal of the game is to get approval from three different departments of designer, engineers, and marketing that have their own regulations and rules. The player needs to convince and negotiate with these 3 AI in order to reach the goal of the game.
The template of our website is done! Yay! Our website is now running. We put more information about our project in the website.
The art asset for the website is ready to be implemented. The game design concept is also rolling out smoothly. From the technical side, our programmer has more confidence in Unity.
Next week to do (09/19 – 09/25)
We are going to present these ideas to the client, hoping the client would choose one of these pitches ideas. We are going to start making the game design documents based on the ideas.
Newsletter Week 4 (09/19 – 09/25)
The team found more direction about what’s the project is going to be. We had meeting with the client and told them about our pitch ideas. The combination between managing floor plan, collaboration between players, and interaction between players will be our main focus.
The team had a client meeting on Thursday 09/23 at 10.30 AM. The team had a discussion with the client about the pitches ideas. Based on the client’s feedback, the team found more direction in what is the game about:
- The game with multiplayer mode.
- The game about collaboration between players to achieve common goal.
- The game that could teach the GM’s employees about the principal of organization.
- The game that has a social networking method.
- The game that could simulate teamwork just like in real life teamwork.
- The game that the players could interact with each other inside the game.
- The game that the supervisor or managers could see the employee’s concerns about the work environment system.
- The game which the players could make an arrangement of certain things. The other player makes arrangement of other things. By combining this method, the whole production line will be built based on the players themselves.
- The game which implement the concept of socialization between workers and team mates.
The team took notes for all of these concepts and began to put them in the game design process. The team will try to come up with more detailed ideas about the game which has those entire concept implemented.
The website banner is ready. The poster, logo, and halve sheet with the description are ready. There is a little problem with the FTP server that happened Thursday. Hope this will be fixed soon.
Next week to do (09/26 – 10/02)
The team is going to make more detailed concept for the game design. The team is also preparing for the quarter that happens on Friday 09/30. There should be some preparation need to be made for the occasion.
The production of the game will begin soon. The team is ready for it.
Newsletter Week 5 (09/26 – 10/02)
The team had a meeting with the client on Wednesday, 09/28. The client agreed with the factory level and the machine level game design. The team had quarters presentation on Friday, 09/30. The team received feedbacks from the 3 groups of faculties.
Inside the game
- Design the floor plan of assembly line based on the plant manager role.
- Operate the machine if the player chooses the technical operator role.
- The machine can produce parts to increase the product value from the raw material.
- Gather tooling resources to support the other player in their tasks.
- The player could issue production order to other players.
- The players negotiate with each other how to manage the machines on the floor plan to get best possible route.
- The resource gatherer assists other players to operate the machines.
- Operators will interact with the machine to increase the output of production.
- The players will experience a mini game that reflects the value increase of the material.
Quarter presentation’s feedback
The team received very valuable feedback from the faculties and advisors:
- The people process is more important than the product process.
- Who are the audiences. Need more specify.
- It is a big thing trying to get done, keep it simple.
- What data needed from the operators to make the databases.
- If we could get the answer about the data, we could answer the rest of the game mechanic.
- Need to talk with the client about what kind of data they want.
Next week to do (10/03 – 10/09)
The team is going to make more detailed concept for the game design. Based on the feedback from the faculty and advisors, the team is preparing more detailed questions for the client’s meeting such as:
- Priority of the deliverable
- Specific data from the operators
- Theme of the game. The game has to be related to automotive, but the theme could be future, present, or past.
The production of the game will begin soon. The team is going to make the simple floor plan based on the game design.
Newsletter Week 6 (10/3 – 10/09)
The team had a meeting with the client on Wednesday, 10/05. The client agreed with the priority of deliverables, theme, and in-game concept. The following Saturday, the team meets with Arnold. He gave us good critical feedback regarding the technical parts.
Priority of deliverables
These are the priority list from the deliverables. The team will try to accomplish all of them during the semester.
- Modular design layout of factory floor plan with multiplayers / coop.
- Trafficking of production line.
- Resource gathering to support other players.
- Job system.
- Machine level of fabrication and mini games.
- AI if the player doesn’t log in.
- Avatar customization.
The theme of the game will be futuristic with stylized art.
The team met Arnold on Saturday 10/08/2011. The team received valuables feedbacks:
- The team needs to think about what platform for the server and the database.
- The team needs to have the schematic flow for the database.
- The game needs to have a base structure of the database to record the data because the game is a real-time strategy based (like Sims).
- Instead of different people can do multiple jobs, what if the players can only do specific job? This is to make the network system from programmer stand point easier. The con is that the game’s purpose will be different since the goal of the game is to make people work with each other.
- The basic structure of the network and database needs to be as solid as possible.
Next week to do (10/10 – 10/16)
The team started to push to push to make the basic layout game working. The team needs to prepare it for the Wednesday meeting with the Client. It will be a tough week because 3 out of 4 team will be out for Cruise from Thursday until Sunday. The team is preparing the art concept, the game design document, the basic layout of the game, and the server structure.
Newsletter Week 7 (10/10 – 10/16)
The team had a meeting with the client on Wednesday, 10/12. The team talked about the frap of the layout, the concept art direction, the game design document, and the server. The team had the 5th member. The name is Terry.
These are the topics during the meeting:
- The client saw the frap of the floor plan. The basic floor plan was done, but logically not done.
- The team gave the image of the art concept to the client. The client was satisfied with the concept art. This concept art will be the direction of the art asset that the team is going to build.
- Human element is important in the game.
- The game is going to simulate the work environment.
- The operators work together and give feedback to each other about the factory layout.
- The team also talked about the game design doc. The game design doc is there as a documentation about the game. The game design document is in google doc and the team shares it to the client. The client can see the game design doc anytime while it is in progress.
- The team asked what kind of server and OS the client uses. The client said that the team can build the server using the Windows server. There is going to be 1 dedicated server with 4 PC for 4 players.
- There is no meeting next week. It is going to be just updates to the client.
The team had 1 meeting with the advisors. We were talking about the game design and the game mechanic. Based on the advisors and the client’s feedback, the game design became stronger and more solid.
The advisors asked to make the paper playtest of the game on Monday. At that time, the team is going to play the game with the mechanics.
Terry joined the team as the 2nd programmer. His main task is to set the server and the network. He is also helping with the gameplay programming if needed.
Next week to do (10/17 – 10/23)
The team is going to make mechanics of the game. It isn’t going to be just ideas anymore, but more in-depth. The mechanics will have data and variables of the path, machines, machine parts, and parts resources. The team will discuss this mechanics with the paper playtest along with the advisors.
Newsletter Week 8 (10/17 – 10/23)
The team had 3 meetings with the advisors, mostly talking about the game design and mechanics. The game design finally 95% finalized. The team made the mechanics and the play flow of the game.
The Play Flow and the mechanics
These are the game play flow:
- The beginning: This contains the tutorial and the new game. The players can either choose the tutorial or the straight play the game.
- The Design Phase. In this phase, the players are going to place the path and the machines. The players also choose the setting of the machine parts and the resource parts. There is no time limit in here.
- The Play Phase. This phase lasts for 5 minutes. The 4 players have 2 tasks:
- Play the mini game to increase the process time of the machine. This can only happen once every 30 seconds.
- Gather the parts from the resources parts and bring them to the machine. Without the parts, the machine can’t install the driveline, the body, the wheels, and the interior to the chassis.
- The metrics data. After the game ends, the metrics data shows up. This will record the time to produce, how many finished product, and what combination of machines, machines part, and parts resources the players choose. These data will be saved into the database.
After 1 cycle of the game, the players will have more understanding with the gameplay and the mechanic. The players may play the game again with the same team or different team. The players will spend more time in the design phase to figure out the new combination of the machines and their parts to achieve the efficient produce time.
The team is currently making the 4 machines layout. The networking is working great for 2 people. The team is also preparing for next week half presentation.
Next week to do (10/24 – 10/30)
The team is going to have half presentation. The team begins to make the power point and the presentation on Saturday and Sunday. The client will come to ETC campus to attend the presentation. The team is going to continue refining the game based on the game design and the mechanic.
Newsletter Week 9 (10/31 – 11/06)
The team has presentation on Wednesday 10/26 at 02.30 pm. It turned out well. The client, Ron, visited ETC at that day. The team had discussion with Ron about the game design using the paper prototype. The team received valuable feedback regarding the product and the presentation.
The team had halves presentation on Wednesday. There were 5 questions asked after the presentation:
- What do the mini games have anything to do with the machinery? (Shirley)
- Can the game be playable just by 1 player? (Mike Christel)
- How do the communication / collaboration between players affect the factory layout? (Mike Christel)
- Why does it have to be 4 players? (Jesse Schell)
- What was the result of the playtesting? (Drew)
After the presentation is done, the team and Ron came back to the project room. The team explained the game design using the paper prototype. The team received some feedbacks which are:
- The plant manager has to be separated from the operator role.
- The plant manager must know something that the operator doesn’t, and the operator must know something that the plant manager doesn’t. Both the plant manager and the operator have the same goal. Since not everybody knows everything, both of them have to communicate in order to finish the goal.
- The team thought of some design changes based on that. The team thought of some mechanic that allows 2 players exchange information.
- The operators can only work in the certain type of the machine, for specialty purpose. For example: the machine operator works on the machine station while the wheel operator works on the wheel station.
- Split branch might be awesome. This is to simulate the Flint Factory that there is a split branch of the production line.
After getting all of the feedback, the team starts to make the assets. The team starts working on the server and the network.
Next week to do (11/07 – 11/13)
The team is going to produce more 3D asset and finish them as soon as possible. The UI design is half done. The team is going to polish more with the UI and add more UI based on the design change. The team is going to establish the server and the network. The team is going to make the game playable as soon as possible.
Newsletter Week 10 (11/07 – 11/13)
The team focused their mind on working on the 3D asset, 2D asset, animation, and UI design. The programming is focused on working on the network and the pathfinding.
The 3D assets that need to be built are:
- The 4 machines including the parts inside them.
- The Avatar (the character).
- The Resources (Elevator).
- The Carrier (Trucks).
- The Material (the parts needed to complete the machine installation).
All of those 3D assets also need to be textured and animate accordingly.
The UI designs are:
- UI at the beginning including e-mail and password.
- Password recovery.
- Edit account.
- UI for the plant manager role (the role of designing the production line on the factory floor).
- UI for the 3 operators (the role of installing the parts into the chassis using the machines).
- Metric Data (After the game ends).
The programming part needs to be worked on:
- The path finding.
- The synchronization / the update between each player’s screen.
- Controlling the character inside the game.
- More polish on the network side.
- The database needs to be built. Bryan is helping with the database.
Next week to do (11/14 – 11/20)
The team is going to continue working on the 3D assets, 2D assets, UI design, sound, network, and core programming. The team has to make the game playable on Monday, Nov 14, 2011. The team is going to show the playable game to the client and possible playtest.
Newsletter Week 11 (11/07 – 11/13)
The team focused their mind on working on the 3D asset, 2D asset, animation, and UI design. The programming is focused on working with the collider and further fixing the path finding. Most of the assets have already imported into Unity.
The 3D assets:
- 95% of 3D assets of the factory floor finished.
- Robot arm and the avatar are going to be textured.
- Rigging and animation of the machines need to be done.
- Factory gates need to be built.
The UI designs are:
- Further improvement of the UI.
- Adding the money for the plant manager and the score for the operators.
- Add more information of the UI of the mini game. (There is only 1 mini game for now).
The programming part needs to be worked on:
- Importing most of the 3D assets into Unity.
- More adjustment of the 3D assets needs to be made.
- Box collider for the outer wall, inner wall, 4 machines, and the 4 carriers need to be fixed.
- The camera angle for the operators need to be fixed.
The team already built the pre-made factory in Maya. They are ready to be rendered. All of the images can be used to further explaining about the game. The tutorials are still need to be made. The team is going to presented a playable demo on Monday.
Next week to do (11/14 – 11/20)
The team is going to continue working on the 3D assets, 2D assets, UI design, and core programming. The team has to make the game playable on Monday, Nov 14, 2011. The team is going to start making the audio asset next week. The game design doc is going to be made again with version 7.0
Newsletter Week 12 (11/14 – 11/20)
The team focused on working on the character, the car, the multiplayer networking, the game design document, and the gameplay UI.
The character is finished. It has rig and animation in it. It has run animation, idle animation, walk animation. It has simple red texture for playtest. The character is already imported and can be tested in Unity.
The 3D model of the car is ready. The parts of the car are ready. The animation is keyed using the opacity map of the car texture.
Gameplay UI is done. They are ready to be imported into Unity. The mini game uses “A”, “S”, and “D” keystroke. For now, the colors are red for “A”, yellow for “S”, and blue for “D”.
The team was going to playtest on Friday, but there was an unexpected problem. There was a network issue. The team decided to postpone the playtest after the network is fixed. The first basic UI is implemented. The machines can be selected. “R” is for rotate the machine and “M” is for moving the machine. “spacebar” is for deselect item. The operator can be played. Arrow up is for moving forward, arrow left is for moving left, arrow right is for moving right. The operator can mount and dismount the carrier. There was a problem with the control of the carrier. The carrier flies way above the air. It needs to be fixed. The overall control of the UI and the avatar are horrible, but it is better than nothing.
Game Design Doc
Overall, game design doc is done 85%. The team is going to finish the game design doc into 95% before the holiday. The document still need to be proofread and checked for its grammar error.
Next week to do (11/21 – 11/27)
The team is going to have client meeting on Monday 11/21/2011 at 12.00 AM. The team is going to give updates to the client about the progress of making the game. The team is going to have a playtest on Monday, right after the client’s meeting. The team is going to discuss about tutorial of the game.