3/25 – 3/29 Week 10: Something got done
- April 5, 2019
- Development Blogs
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Week 10 has a lot of story to tell. We started our 3rd sprint, which is also the second last one, and aim for the playtest day, April 6th. The goal for this sprint is to finish the system building, implement the first half of the story and develop two mini games. As for the progress in Week 10, we are a little bit crunching.
The user stories for sprint 3 is about “progression system” and Story. Those are two crucial elements in our experience. It was a lesson that after implementing more parts of the game, more feedback came and we need more time to refine the previous part of the game. And it was longer than our expectation. So we need to rearrange the priority of tasks, so that we can still finish the sprint with most important things.
Testing our game is a challenging task. First, our target audience is very specific, and hard to find. So we don’t really have the right people to test for us. Second, we have to keep the competition problems secret, so we can only test with other problems. And last, our project is connected to our client’s server, which creates some blocks for outside testers. In a word, we hope to make the best use of the playtest day and we appreciate ETC offers us this chance.
For the past few weeks we have been struggling on coming up with minigame prototypes. Some concerns are as follows:
- We needed to make sure that the minigames make sense to the story and fits in the world. We didn’t want them to feel disconnected to the world, like a patch to the game that would seem awkward.
- We needed to ensure that these games have replayability. Since minigames are the players’ only way to earn token, we needed to make sure that the games are always accessible in a way but different every time.
- We needed to make sure that the games are fun to play, as every game should be.
Besides that, as we gradually shift into the later half of the semester, this also means that it’s crunch time. We’ve been busy coming up with art assets for each room as well as actually laying out theses spaces.
For this week, we’ve finally began working on prototype / implementation of one of our minigames – typing test. We tested it within our team and we think that, although it has been commonly mocked as “hollywood hacking”, the act of typing gibberish on computers really makes one feel like they’re doing something ingenious and cool. We wanted to capture that sense of accomplishment, which is why we gave this idea a greenlight.
For the following week, we will be rolling out a few more minigames; we’ll also work on playtests. Since we wanted players to win the game ultimately, difficulty is an extremely important measure to look out for and we will certainly pay attention to it.
This week, we’ve been fleshing out the player experience. Players can now choose their own names from a list of 8, each associated with a color, which is currently used to distinguish the player’s dialogues. The intro sequence has been adjusted several times based on user feedbacks to improve player experience.
We have replaced several old placeholder art assets with new ones, including the monitor frame for the intro and problem interface, replacing the computers lying around with cables, and the addition of a new room. Additionally, the terminal now shows a flashing caret to inform the player that it’s waiting for player input.
This week we continued to write the script for our story up to Section 5, staying ahead of the tech team’s implementation. We also discussed with the design team the details of how the mini-games will be incorporated into the script.
We’re considering using LaTex as the software to write the script so that it can be easily parsed into an asset spreadsheet version, but we will need to be able to find time in the schedule to try this out.
We completed the tileset for the plain room and the tiled portion of the ultra reality room. We added rocks, logs and tree stumps for the Forest room, which has been laid out.
We have completed several miscellaneous art tasks such as adding the tutorial wall and completing the player’s dialogue portrait. We are now starting on the volcano room tiles.
Ultra-reality room tiles:
Plain room tiles:
Volcano Room Concept
For the next week, we’re planning to:
>>> Continue Sprint 3 and finish it for playtest day.
>>> Get idea of what we will be delivering by the end of the semester.
>>> Plan our promotion video.