So after we pitched our game, it was pretty much all good news. Lots of work to do, but good news.
I realized that none of the groups, ours included, really let the games speak for themselves. You just have to come up with an intriguing concept and go for it and let it sell itself. Don’t analyze it, don’t give elaborate backstory, explain it and let people want to play it. Then your job’s done.
Thanks to feedback from professors and others, we’ve ditched literally having the yo-yo attached to Cam’s tongue. Instead, she catches fireflies and uses them as a source of light by holding them with her tongue. So mechanically it works exactly the same, but it makes a lot more sense and still incorporates the toy we were given.
Now, however, we have some challenges of development reality. The physics engine isn’t as easy to implement as we thought, and we need a level-editing solution. I found Tiled, which should work, but it’s another hurdle to figure out.
But we have three weeks now to figure this out, so–for now–we have time to tinker and figure it out.
Our first rapid prototyping assignment is one of the most fun things I have ever done. We were divided randomly into teams with at least one producer, two artists, and three engineers, we pulled a Dollar Store toy at random, and then we were told to make a game. That’s it. I absolutely love it.
There are ten teams total, and mine is one of only two that got an extra producer. Amazingly, neither of us has had any training in exactly what a game producer does, but we were busy for 4+ hours straight on Tuesday organizing the group, taking contact information, designing the game, writing backstory, and (what took the bulk of my time) writing our own version of a game design document outlining and prioritizing all the features we want in the game.
I say prioritizing because none of us has any idea how much work will be required to bring our idea to life, so I organized the design document such that at any point, as long as we get the first two features done, beyond that we can cut off at any point in the document and have a working prototype that has our core ideas presented. I’m not sure if that’s what a producer normally does, but it’s exactly the kind of thing I’ve been doing for 18 months in my job with Mobile Coach, LLC. It’s interesting to see how relevant skills I gained making a text-messaging robot are to making videogames.
But enough of that, what is the idea? What toy did we get? We got a light-up yo-yo and so, naturally, our game is Chameleon Assassin, a game about a chameleon named Cam who get her tongue ripped out by an evil owl named Claw and her chameleon assassin mentor Lee ties a light-up yo-yo to what’s left of her tongue and she uses it to navigate the treetops at night and seek her revenge against Claw.
But I didn’t finish this post before we actually did out pitch, so see the next post to see how this has changed thanks to feedback after our pitch!
It has begun–I am now officially living the dream of making games.
Check back regularly to see how dreamy it is. Or isn’t. I’m sure there will be plenty of both.