PDF Download: Newsletter: Week 2
The theme of week 2 was: build! With only 2 weeks until our September 13th delivery deadline, it was important that we begin building and testing our ideas as soon as possible. In order to facilitate this, we deemed it necessary to pick and idea and run with it rather than spend any more time brainstorming new ideas.
As a team, we decided to move forward on our Octopus Escape idea as it was the most fleshed out of all of them. Our little octopus friend is curious, naïve, and cute; we thought he would provide good opportunities to create emotions in our players.
The basic idea was this: All his life, our little octopus buddy lived in a small tank in the San Diego Aquarium. But one day, an absent minded staffer accidentally knocks his little tank over and he ends up in the popular “Dangerous Sea Creatures” exhibit! Now he must learn to use his octopus skills (tentacles, ink, etc) to escape to safety.
As what often happens during the iteration process, plans changed over the course of the week. Originally, we planned for the controls to help support our character: the player would need to manipulate tentacles independently, using left and right sticks, to move and interact with the world.
During our prototyping, we determined that our unusual control scheme would not be effective for moving our character around. Since we don’t have a lot of time, we decided to continue with more standard controls so programmers can focus on other tasks.
Our story also changed as we fleshed out our character. We wanted to instill a sense of wonder and beauty in the player, so we decided that instead of starting in an aquarium, we would tackle the open sea. The story evolved into this:
Our octopus buddy has been plucked from his tank and brought out to sea for research purposes. After a tracking tag is attached, he’s plopped into the water. The player helps our little friend navigate this new world, see amazing new sights, and hopefully find a friend in this new world.
With this new direction chosen, we’ve spent the week creating assets, building scenes, and testing mechanics. On Friday we delivered a demo build to the Sony team, and next Friday we have to deliver our final version! The team is hard at work and we’re feeling good about our upcoming deadline.
By this time next week, we’ll be putting this one to rest! Stay tuned!