Development Blog: Week 3

Week 3 was where we began to put our research into practice. This week, we wrote out our first draft for our world and story, began to prototype gameplay elements, and began to conceptualize some art that we want to have in our game. 

Beginning with the story, we started from the idea of Light vs Dark. We were given the idea of making the plague the physical embodiment of Satan bringing hell on Earth, along with the plague giving people dark magic. We found that idea enticing, but it left us with one issue story-wise. We as a team were more interested in the idea of our theme of Good vs Evil being based on the perspective of the player. We did not want a moustache-twirling villain or saints of justice. We wanted there to be good and bad aspects of both sides (like the real world), and the player internally chooses which they believe to be the lesser evil. We believe this idea will make our world feel more believable as it mirrors most real world events and groups. We combined these two ideas by making the plague in the dark powers coming from the Devil and Hell be the perception of the people in the world. It is nothing more than another type of magic in the world, but the wielders of Light magic who are in power claim it to be evil. 

As stated above, we also delved into gameplay mechanics and some paper prototyping of mechanics that we were interested in. We knew we had a fascination with Area of Effect attacks on our grid, and we wanted to get a feel for how those would work. Area of Effect attacks are attacking moves that would hit multiple tiles on a grid, contrary to just hitting one tile or unit. We also wanted to get a feel for movement of different types of character classes, like infantry and calvary, to see how each can feel different on the map. We brought out a large grid map, and     assigned colored dice to be different types of units. 

From looking at the images above, we started to play around with how we may want our AI to be programmed, how to properly balance AI against the player, and how positioning in combat will work exactly. As of this week, we found that placing units in diagonals is optimal in order to avoid Area of Effect attacks more easily. We are still in the infancy of playtesting, but we have already learned a lot about how our gameplay should be structured. 

We also began to draw out some beginning rough concept art for both characters and architecture. Our artists have been researching and collecting inspiration and references from all over, including art from the fourteenth century and architecture from buildings at that time.

After spending a lot of time researching how buildings, people, and weapons looked like, we wanted to begin sketching right away. We want to get used to iterating on these sketches dozens of times, so we get a feel of the style we want to use as quickly as possible. In the early stages of a development on a game, getting a feel for what styles we like and dislike is crucial. We want our artists to be constantly sketching as some piece of art could be inspiration for a major component of the game. 

This week was about diving into early stages of all aspects of the project to get our feet wet essentially. We have quarter presentations in Week 4 to receive feedback from faculty to get their insight as to opinions on what we currently have, and what direction would be best to be headed next.