Category Archives: Semester 1 Prototypes

First Prototype Team – Crazy Crash

( Team Crazy Crash – From left to Right –
Ozum,  Hardit(me),  Drew,  Vishwanath,  Wuchen,  Laurie,  Nick )

Producers – Drew Pariser , Laurie Banks
Engineers – Hardit Singh , Nick Wu , Vishwanath Reddy
Artists – Ozum Yuksel , Wuchen Li

Rapid Prototype is a class where we have to assemble a game prototype in 4 weeks. The game does not need to be fully polished but the idea and workings of the game must be concrete. In other words, the game must be playable. Each prototype team consists of producers, engineers and artists.

Our class is called Cohort 5 and we consist of a great diversity of students from different parts of the globe.

During our first prototype class we were given a number token and arranged in 10 different teams. To everyone’s surprise, each team had to randomly pick a toy from a bag and make a game out of it! My team got curious wondering what the toy could be; we got a Foam Plane! (If you are wondering what a foam plane looks like, check out my team picture).

We were told to strictly use the Monogame Engine, which makes use of XNA Pipeline and coding is done in C#.

WEEK 1 – GAME IDEA

Our first week was spent simply brainstorming ideas of what the game would be like. Initially, we thought of making a 2D game to control the plane movements, mainly going upwards or downwards. This idea felt a little cliché and generic.

So, we decided to have a little fun and throw planes at each other 😛
In this act of random frantic craziness we had an epiphany. We discovered a particular mechanic for the game; the wind basically propelled the plane to move upwards and downwards, so we decided to make the wind source a protagonist. At point in time this was just an idea and no development had yet started.

WEEK 2 – TAKE OFF !

In week 2 we started with some serious coding. On the engineering side I was implementing the Parallax Background, which was a little tricky at first. I was working alongside Wuchen (Artist) who created the background art assets in 6 layers.

My job was to make the layers created by Wuchen move smoothly by creating individual controllable objects. We tweaked the speeds of different layers until they moved synchronously in perfect harmony. Every layer had a different speed. For example the layer having the sun had zero speed because is the sun is stationary.

Getting the parallax to work successfully was the first breakthrough my team and I. This was the first time I worked on a Parallax Background and we got it done on the first go. Moving the different layers at different speeds added more depth of perception and gave a 3D feel to it.

Nick (Engineer) on the other hand enhanced the plane movements adding a controllable fan under the plane so that it could ascend and descend. By week 2 we had completed the background and plane movements. Now it was time to add the enemies and power-ups!

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(
Screenshot of Crazy Crash – Click the picture to see clearly)

WEEK 3

We wanted to set a funny tone to our game so the artists decided to tweak the artwork a bit. Ozum (Artist) came up with a funny derpy looking plane. The environment layers were tweaked to make the plane stand out. The enemies were birds, which looked friendly at first. The artists decided to add a Pirate Patch later, which made the difference 😛

On the engineering side we were implementing the menu’s . I worked on the Pause Menu and worked alongside Vishwanath (Engineer) to make the Game Over Menu. After the menus we worked on Enemy Spawning and Collision Mechanism using box colliders.

We decided to juice up the gane by progressively increasing the speed and adding speedup pickups which give the player a feeling of more power! We also added the sprites of a person holding a fan on top of his head moving forward and backwards depending on the keyboard input.

derpy plane    Team Crazy Crash            
Derpy Plane                                       Pirate Patch Enemy Bird

animated man
Animated Man

WEEK 4

Week 4 was the last week. Luckily we did not have any bugs in our game and so far the development had been smooth. The only thing left to do was to add some animation to the Speedup Pickups. We decided to make the clouds look like they were blowing air. These sprites were created and incorporated into the game.

c1    c2

Finally, the day of judgement arrived, the day of our final pitch.
Our producers Laurie and Drew did a great job pitching the game idea in a concrete way. Our presentation also included some captured moments of people playing and enjoying our game, and their reactions were hilarious  They passed comments like “fun” and “addictive” which was a great joy to watch.

Our faculty gave us good feedback and ideas, which we could implement if we had more time. Our Game Design professor Jose Zagal particularly liked the Parallax Background and suggested we add more layers if we were to ever work on this further.

Overall, our first prototype was a Big Hit and it was a great experience working with this team.

This is the Game Play video of our game Crazy Crash.

 

Second Prototype – Icehole Narwal

Producers-   Blake G Harrison,  Benjamin Driggs
Engineers-   Hardit Singh,   Omey Salvi,   Yuchen Zhang
Artists-   Eric Allen,   Avinash Kalapala

This was our second prototype where we had to recreate a 1980’s arcade game and make it more modernistic with unique features. The technologies that we could use in terms of coding were HTML5 and Javascript.

Week 1: Brainstorm

In the first week we did research on all the 1980’s arcade game and we came up with a couple of game that we might want to work with and shortlisted them. It was a difficult choice between donkey kong and zaxxon but we chose zaxxon because of its isometric view and sophisticated mechanics. We were the only team who attempted to build an isometric game on HTML5.

The first week was just brainstorming ideas about how we could make zaxxon more modernistic and unique. The original zaxxon arcade game has a space theme with sophisticated fighter planes fighting in space. We decided to make our game unique that has an underwater theme in the cold icy waters having sea creatures and narwhals.

We also decided to mix the zaxxon game with a twist of tetris. So we had 3 narwhals in total. A big narwhal and a 2 small narwhals who are able to change their formations.

Since the narwhals are considered to be the unicorns underwater, we decided that all the three narwhals would shoot rainbows! 🙂

unicorn narwhal   Narwhal_Rainbow_by_RamenWarrior

Week 2:

In week 2 we started actual coding where we did research on HTML5 game engines. One of the good engines we came across was the Phaser Engine which had a lot of in-built features. We started by using the inbuilt phaser isometric plugin.

http://rotates.org/phaser/iso/examples/

I was working on the projectile shooting where initially we had bullets but later when the rainbow art asset was ready, we replaced it by rainbows.

The shooting mechanic works a little differently in this game. Here the narwhals keep shooting bullets in different formation which acts like a sonar so that you can see the position of each narwhal and where they are heading. There are ice wall blocks which randomly spawn and have holes in them. Hence the motive of the player is to move the narwhals in appropriate positions and formation so as to pass through the holes in the wall.

formation1

Week 3:

The formation idea was from the game of tetris. So our game has the following 3 formations and the holes pop from the ice block walls following these three formations.

formation1  formation3

formation2

To put more juice into the game I added the screen shake effect which occurs when the narwhal dies and then enters the Game Over Menu screen.The only thing that was remaining was to add the menu systems and sound. So I worked on the Start Screen and Game Over Screen and then ultimately added the background music which was picked by the producers.

The ending of week 3 was when we had to pitch the idea. The response from the studio audience (Cohort5) and faculty was amazing. We also made our professors play the game live on the screen which was fun.

Here is the gameplay video of our game ICEHOLE NARWHAL.

Since we had only three weeks for this prototype we were not able to incorporate all the features which we had initially planned. So we decided to work a bit more on the game. From the feedback from studio audience and the faculty we decided to add the following features. We also added colored pickups which increase the speed as well as the score.

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Hence we gave more commitment to this project in order to finish all the things we added in the scope. Now the game looks like this which is quite an improvement in terms of the mechanics and the visual appeal.

image

This project was great fun to work on !

Third Prototype – Standemonium

 

Producers – Cameron Grey, Jackie Cao

Engineers – Hardit Singh, Yash Kapani, Yuchen Zhang

Artists – Reilly Grey, Will Hunter

stad2

For the third prototype we had to make a Serious Game using the Unity Engine. We didn’t have much knowledge about serious games in the start but the fact that we had to build it in Unity was exciting because Unity is such a powerful engine which make things easier to integrate.

So Serious Game is a game that solves a problem and must also be fun to play. That mere thought sounds confusing an the start. We initially decided to make a serious game on a virus that keeps spreading and the job of the player is to contain it. But this idea was very similar to the popular game called Plague and so we decided to do a serious game on Stadium Security. There is lot of coordination, resource management and communication that goes on in Stadium Security. Hence making a game on it would be fun as there is a real time strategic element in the game. This game also solves a problem as the player would have to prevent thefts, contain violent crowds causing chaos and car robberies in stadium parking.

soccer-match-security  large_securecamsli

DIGIPIX

Week 1: Brainstorm

Week 1 was mainly brainstorming the idea for the serious game. After we decided on stadium security we roughly sketched out a stadium and made rough sketches for the layout of the security guards and parking lots. We also listed the different events that would take place. The events would be fights, hooligans and car theft. We also wanted to include a mechanics where the security guards would patrol in the stadium area.

Week 2:

I really like RTS game like Starcraft where you can have multiple units and can make the multiple units do work simultaneously. So inspired by that mechanic, I started by giving a basic click to move mechanic for a single officer and progressively we added more and more officers where each officer could be assigned a different task. Since the officer had to move up and down the stairs of the stadium we made use of the Nav Mesh Agents. I also worked on the level design where I placed the stadium and parking lots in the appropriate locations. The next thing was to add the NPC’s.

Week 3:

I was given the task to work on the NPC behaviors in the game. The NPC’s basically three normal behaviors of walking, being idle and causing chaos. The walking behavior was a little tricky because the NPC could keep walking towards an obstacle in one direction and get stuck. So I had to make sure that if the NPC would detect a collision while walking it would change its direction. Since walking in the same line looked a little monotonous, I made sure the NPC’s would keep changing their walking direction angles to give a more realistic feel.

As for the chaos events I gave three different behaviors which are NPC hooligans dancing and causing chaos and NPC’s fighting with each other. I highlighted all these events by a green particle effect ring so that the player can distinguish chaos events from the normal NPC’s.

stad

We also made sure that the events spawn randomly making it a real time strategy game. Another important mechanic in the game is the chaos meter on the top. If the player is able to smartly distribute the officers and prevent the chaos events then he wins the game. The chaos meter keeps increasing if the player is not able to stop the chaos events on time. If the chaos meter becomes full then the player will lose the game.

Week 4:

This was the final week and the day of the pitch. The game was pitched very well by the producers and the feedback from the faculty and studio audience was great. All in all this was a fun project to work in.

Here is the game play video of our game STANDEMONIUM

Fourth Prototype – Sumo-Momentum

Producer – Paul Christian Bills
Engineers-  Hardit Singh , Yang Li , Diana Wang , Sean Keanaaina
Artists-  Shahbaz Sekon, Avinash Kalapala, Robert

For the fourth and final prototype we had the opportunity to work with the Epic’s Unreal Engine. We could select any game idea which was not bound to any genre or theme.

Week 1: Brain Storm
The first week was simply brainstorming the idea of the game. We had a lot of ideas about the game. So we listed the ideas and started to list down common mechanics these ideas share. Ultimately we made a decision to make a game like a Brawler which had RPG elements. So a Brawler is like Super Mario Smash Bros where we have multiplayer controls.

So the idea of our game was to have 2 player multiplayer control where each player had to dash the other player out of the platform. The skill of the player would dynamically increase depending on the way he plays the game. Hence the last player standing would win the game.

We decided to split the engineering teams into two parts where one implemented the game with an isometric view and others implemented the game in a 2D side-scroller view. Irrespective of which one was selected in the end all the mechanics would be incorporated in the final game.

Week 2:

I was working on the Isometric View of the game and implemented several mechanics like speed-up pickups, fire projectiles and dynamic double jumps. I also worked on some particle effects where fire started emitting from the players feet, the faster he ran. I implemented all these mechanics using Unreal Engine’s blueprint system.

Week 3:

In week three we decided to go 2D side scroller view and started working on the characters animation montages. The artists came up with an amazing dash animation. As the name Sumo-Momentum the player will dash the other player off the platform using its current current momentum. The higher the speed at which the player is running the greater will be the momentum of the push.   I also started implementing the menu system.

sumo1

 

Week 4:

The fourth week was our final pitch which went really good. We had two people from the studio audience to play the game live and the response from the audience and faculty was overwhelming.

Since we were making the game for EAE Night we decided to spice up the game by adding two levels – lava arena and rooftop arena.

sumo2

 

Here are some of the game-play pictures of the lava arena where one player is dashing towards the other with the momentum bar status shown on each of the players heads.

sumo3 lava

sumo4 lava

The rooftop arena level looks as shown in the picture below. The mechanics of the game are exactly the same for both the levels but only the environmental modelling is done differently for each level.

Sumo5 rooftop

Sumo6 rooftopHere’s the gameplay video of SUMO-MOMENTUM.