Monthly Archives: February 2015

One week left in the GDC count down

Hostile Territory has been progressing well.  Iteration time is quick.  The team is working well together.  The engineers have consistently delivered new features.  The team has also been working closer with faculty for thoughts on how to best improve Hostile Territory.

I have been working closely with Rody, Allen and Topher from production to find the fun in Hostile Territory.  I built bomb and light cycle mechanics when Ryan and Jose mentioned them to the team.  Bombs explode after a timer elapses and take an area around them.    I also helped finish a speed up and slow down mechanic that Triston started work on.

The team was supposed to decide on the best delivery method.  Rody, Allen, Topher and myself spent a lot of time changing the mechanic to determine which one was most fun.  Among our trials were a light cycle mode that removed tiles instead of coloring them, shooting that removed tiles instead of coloring, bombs that removed instead of coloring, turning colored tiles on and off, removing colored tiles permanently and mixing and matching delivery methods.  Showcasing the build with everything and coloring to Ryan and Jose garnered the response that we should keep everything.  We proceeded.  Last week Ryan mentioned that we should focus on one delivery method.  The team is unsure which method to keep.  I think Rody has been leaning toward keeping all the delivery methods.

I worked with Peijun on getting rounds implemented.  Rounds restart the game anytime a player dies.  On player death the other player gains a point.  If either player hits three points then the game was supposed to end.  There were issues with some of the other code, so George has been looking into fixing the issue.  Whether the issue is fixed remains unknown due to build issues.

I built a camera for making trailers.  The camera currently prevents movement of the players when active.  Rody mentioned we probably want the camera to allow player movement, so I am working on building a camera to fix the issue.

I have been bouncing around the team working to support engineers that need assistance.  I have also been responsible for the build.  If the build is broken I spend time tracking down the issue.  If I can’t solve the issue I contact the person that made the offending commit to work together to solve the issue.

Working up to GDC I am trying to get my work done for Hostile Territory in addition to game engineering and data mining class.  I have also been trying to maintain my work-life balance.  I am excited for GDC and graduation.  I am grateful for all the progress made on Hostile Territory over the last two months.

Game Projects 3 First Quarter in Review

Hostile Territory development has been going well.  I have assumed more responsibility on the team.  I am now responsible for creating builds for production to play.  That means I ensure that the build works and that the behavior of all the systems is working enough to be reviewed.  I am also an engineering voice on the design team.

The entire team has been prototyping for our final design which has been amazing.  The team will be making the cut for design Thursday.  I am unsure how the team wants to go about making the cut, but I am going to prepare some possible cohesive designs to help prevent unfounded team arguments.

There have been advancements in the engineering behind the game since the start of the semester.  Saumya and myself were able to fix camera jitters.  Saumya was able to find the source of controllers not providing input.  Shelwin and Sty have been adding interesting shaders that make the game look better and an orb that chases players, claims tiles and explodes after a duration.  Triston has been managing the group and ensuring people have work to do.  Peijun and George added bombs, which needed touching up, but are currently working well.

I have been floating on the team with regard to tasks.  Generally during the class hours when everyone is here I help others do their work.  My first major individual contribution to the project for the semester was to fix the camera backward movement jumping issue.  Afterward I added ring removal as per Rody’s request.  The feature has since been cut do to not supporting a meaningful design.  I fixed the bomb and a speed up/slow down mechanic that were added by others, but weren’t quite working.  I also added light cycle mode to the game.

The team is trimming the design on February 6th.  I have a bad feeling about how the meeting related to trimming will go.  The team lacks a common vision for the game which means the design suffers.  During the last month the team has had amazing contributions from engineers due to removing the constraints that existed design wise last semester.  Now constraints are coming back.

I am going to try to get the team excited about the return of constraints.  I want to keep the team working well together.  There are talented engineers on our team.  I would hate to see their moral broken by a design dictator.  The goal for the team design wise is to prune features that don’t fit a frenetic arcade game.