Monthly Archives: November 2013

Prototype 3: Get the F@#! Off My Lawn

For our third prototype, we had some specific requirements.

  1. Audience: Indie, A focus on innovation
  2. Tech: Use a game engine
  3. Aesthetics: Indie
  4. Play/Theory: Using the lens we picked. It will be our driving force for the game. We picked the lens of Endogenous Value.

The 3rd prototype will be like the 1st one where we do give a presentation but like the 2nd one where we have to have a prototype in the first week. We want to be able to iterate multiple times though out the process.

We used Dr. Altizer’s Design Box method to develop our game ideas. The Design Box Method brings together Tech, Aesthetics, Play/Theory and Audience in a four wall system. With the inside, we came up with game pitches or razors that are meet the conditions. You add more specifications on the 4 walls and continue to reassess the game pitches and if they still meet the criteria.

After a few iterations we came up with a 3D Trick or Treat type game with a halloween twist. We liked the halloween twist but Rody (My great co-producer) and I were concerned that it might be over scope for the 4 weeks that we have. The team decided to sleep on the idea and confirm it before design class. Rody and I came up with several different game ideas that we could also pitch to our team the next day. We emailed out the first to the group. We held our cards on the other ideas incase the first one was shot down. When we met together they shot down the first idea we had. We then used our other ideas we developed the day before. Everyone really like the idea for a Tower Defense style game. We decided to continue with the theme of Halloween we had before. To give our game the indie vide, a grumpy old man will be killing kids to keep them away from the house.

Here is our description.
Get the F@#* Off My Lawn! is a tower defense defense game that places the player in the role of a grumpy old man who desires to prevent children from reaching his house door on Halloween night. The player will attempt to prevent the children from disturbing his peace and quiet by any means possible through levels that will increase the challenge for the player.

The game was well received by the whole class. They though it was an interesting that you were killing kids with different lawn tools. Not many games have you kill kids to gain points. We wanted to cross some boundaries with our indie game and I think we did. That was the general trend amongst the teams. Most of them had challenging ideas that changed the traditional way we think of things.

That weekend we played a lot of different tower defense games so that we could determine what they did great and what we would like to change. I created a blog post about that.  We came into tuesday with some great information about how we wanted our game to work. We picked unity as our game engine. The engineers started to play with it and get familiarized with it.  We had our first playable by the end of the 2nd week. The playable was more of an animation of game play. The engineers had some problems with how the pathing should work. They had to code in each path the creeps were going to go. It took some time but we had creeps moving across the screen.

On the start of the third week we had some disagreements that hindered the work and we were able to resolve them. We had a 2nd playable by the end of the 3rd week. It was more of an actual playable game. There were some code merging problems in Unity it caused a slow down in the development of the game. The professors called it a tech demo rather then a toy or game. We decided that we needed to work hard for the next week to get our tower defense game ready for the final week.

On the final week we did a bit of crunching. Sty and I worked on Unity to make the game more user friendly. Rody and I created the one sheet and final presentation to give to the class this week. The game was still well received by the whole class. We did some play testing afterwards with a few of the producers and anyone that wanted to try it. We got some suggestions like add more blood and gore.

IMAG0349

Overall the project did well. We hit some road bumps along the road with engineering, communication and animation issues. The product that came out was totally a prototype though a rough one compared to other games that were published during the same time. Even though the game had it’s issues I think we stayed true to the indie vib and what our lens was.