Art courtesy of Mark Jarman
Turns out we only have 3 weeks for this prototype instead of 4. Woo hoo! Our artist and engineers are working full bore to finish a workable prototype by next Thursday. I may have mentioned it in the last blog post, but it’s worth repeating. Our main goal in this prototype is to find “the fun” as soon as possible and then expand that fun into a full-fledged game (or as close as we can get in the time that we have). So far we have made a game that allows you to dig (good start), drop rocks, evade radioactive tomato monsters, and fall. Sadly, I don’t think we’ve quite found the fun yet. There have been some problems with the gravity and the rotation of the game board (you know, the two features that were supposed to make the game even more amazing. Since we gave the Dig Dug character (we’ll call him Dug for now) the ability to be affected by gravity, it causes him to automatically dig down whenever he is standing still. That’s because the dirt is programmed to disappear upon a collision with Dug. If he’s falling, he’s digging, but since falling was one of the selling points, we’re not sure what to do. We tried to use a toggle button to control the times Dug is digging and the times he is not, but that wasn’t nearly as fun as just using the arrow keys to dig. We’ll have to see what we come up with.
The rotation has some troubles too. Whenever we rotate the game board, the directional controls rotate with it so if you rotate the board clockwise, up on the keyboard makes Dug go left. Left is down, down is right, and right is up. Needless to say, it replaces the fun of the game with confusion.
All in all, a lot of progress has been made, though a lot needs to be made before we will have a proper prototype. Next Thursday we present to our Executive Producers. Even though there is a lot to do, we have an excellent team and I’m sure we will be able to find the fun on time.