Yesterday I had the chance to hear from a student whose passion is game testing and game analytics. I realized that I should be much more focused on playtesting features. One thing she told us was that “If you aren’t embarassed to show a game, you aren’t showing it early enough”.
Most of the playtests I’ve been to around campus I often feel like the designers are using me to resolve an argument (often with people shouting across the room “He didn’t like the controller! I told you it was bad!)
Tomorrow we are showing the game at the union building during an indie game festival. Because we are doing some pretty crazy stuff with the camera I always expect some negative feedback (usually a passerby making vomiting noises). Reload360 is definitely not a ‘for everyone’ type of game so knowing what games people like to play would be very helpful for the playtest. She also suggested picking a few elements of the game to focus the questions on. She was so excited about playtesting she got me a bit excited about it too.
In looking at art styles I think a chibi animal mech would give us a good excuse to use bright colors. Many of the games we have been looking at are in the Sci-Fi Genre which usually has a lot of cool grey tones. The problem with that direction is that with the strange camera we really want to make objects pop out to the player. Bright colors seemed more appropriate with silly animal robots than with hardcore scifi battle armor. Hopefully it works out.
The talks I am most excited to see are anything I can see about ‘No Man’s Sky’ and then technical art details on Guilty Gear XRD. I read through the Guilty Gear tech pages on polycount by Daisuke Ishiwatari. I was amazed at how they solved the 3d looking like 2d issues so well. I have seen duplicated geometry extruded and then flipped (like in Okami) but when I read about the depth culling to keep details sharp and how they UV’d their models that got pretty crazy. Definitely looking forward to hearing more about their magic.
For the thesus games (the ones we are working on for the remainder of this program) we are doing an open pitch where everyone in the cohort can put their ideas forward. I made a video for my 5 minute game pitch.
For our Game Design class final we made a fake money casino with newly designed casino games. I decided I wanted to work with people I haven’t had a chance to work with yet. So I joined up with Lawrence, Cameron, and Hardit which turned out to be an excellent decision because Cameron really knows his statistics.
We put together a lazy susan roulette table and people actually got a bit addicted to it. The real catch was that they could gamble and try to slap the dealer. This was also the name of the game ‘slap the dealer’. When people found out Lawrence was the dealer they got really excited for the chance to slap Lawrence, most likely due to his ideas during prototyping. But after all of attempts he only got slapped once. It was a good slap.
The strongest part of the game (aside from the 12% to 17% margin in our favor) was how quickly the game played and then that multiple people could play simultaneously and motivate each other. It was incredibly easy to play and took less than 10 seconds to explain. Finally one brilliant thing Cameron added was maximum bets so the staff with lots of extra money couldn’t bust the game by getting lucky. Cameron nailed it. I helped by bringing a lazy susan, some scissors and a few pens to color, but he designed a very successful gambling game.
And in the end we were the most profitable team, more than doubling our initial money. The next game was beer pong for money (without beer). They had an excellent marketing team and since no one really could win they had nothing but profit.
And the final build for our Eternal Dragon. We didn’t get the young morphs working but it is relaxing and calming none the less. People played at EAE day for quite a while, and the head tracking was surprisingly soothing.
And Team EyeSoSerious (From left to right Eric, Me (Dan), Nick, Ahmad, Blake). I really enjoyed working on a small team this prototyping round as we all stayed pretty much in constant communication.
For the end of the game design class we learned a bit about one page design documents from looking through resources provided by Stone Librande. http://stonetronix.com/
I learned a lot from this google hangout that Stone recorded on how he used the one page concept of game design. It seems like developing a map with a game mechanic based legend.
I wish we had more time to work on and disucuss these one page documents. I also wish we had learned about them earlier because I think it would really help the rapid prototyping class as well.
Here’s a few of mine I put together as rough game pitches for the assignment. Not sure how well I adhered to the one page concept or if I am actually getting all the relevant information onto the page, though I really want to playtest respawn and see if quicksaves used as a multiplayer strategic mechanic could be viable. I’m guessing it would require quite a bit of balancing.
The team thinks it would look really cool if the dragon aged as you collect spirits, so here are the morphs that change it from a baby dragon to an adult dragon. In the game it should change size pretty dramatically as well. The morphs are rarely ever seen from the front but I definitely think that is where the most dragon personality is.
Ahmad spent last night working on getting the particles working. Who doesn’t love particles? They make everything better. In our early talks we discussed games that were nothing but particles and how relaxing they could be (like a firework show in slow motion). We are definitely headed in the right direction for our original goal.