Monthly Archives: January 2014

The results are in…..

So we spent the week making game design pages and short pitches for our games. We were to present the games to our class on Tuesday. We were not aware how we would be arriving at 2 games from the 5. I helped prepare the Technical section for two of the game design documents.

On Tuesday, we were told that the entire class would be grading the games being pitched on a scale from 0-3 on aspects like technical innovation, difficulty in production, fun to play and juicy content

The pitches went pretty well, and all that was left to do was to wait for the next class to receive our results.

The results showed a clear preference towards three games: Hostile Territory, Re-Genesis and the Senses game.

We had to select from among these and come up with two games which we would prototype. This was by no means an easy task. The votes favored all three games almost equally, and the team was split on which one to eliminate. After much debate, we decided to let the Senses game go, since there were other games that had done something similar to that.

We split up into two teams as follows:
Engineers: Shelwin, George and I were going to work on Hostile territory.

Peijun, Sty and Triston were going to develop the prototype for Re-Genesis.

Artists and Producers: The artists, Mark and Robert, would work on the art for both the games simultaneously. The producers agreed to handle both the games simultaneously as well.

Rody was elected the creative lead for Hostile Territory, and Peijun for Re-Genesis.

There was an air of uncertainty about our group. Some of us still felt that Senses game might have been a better choice, but the decision had been made.  That being said, we were eager to start working on our prototypes the following weeks and figure out the fun elements( if any) they possessed.



May the best idea win

We had to come up with a hundred game ideas and get them down to five within a week. Our team decided that each team member would pitch around eight ideas, and that would get us to the magic number.  The next Tuesday when we met in class, we voiced our ideas aloud so that everyone could riff off of those. I will repeat myself: coming up with something which you believe no one has attempted before is extremely hard.  There is a thin line between a genius game idea and a “meh” game idea, and this line is hard to visualize when you’re going for something that hasn’t been done before! ( It could be the next blockbuster game, or it could flop horribly)

Our team voted on which of the 100 ideas they felt deserved to be made into a game, and we got down to 25 ideas. The next part was even more tedious. Everyone was divided on which ideas should go forward into the top 5. Some games were obviously going to fun ( portal tower defense anyone?), but didn’t feel like IGF material. On the other hand some of the games were clearly IGF ( a game about social outcasts), but not everyone was convinced that it would make for a fun game.

We finally came down to five game ideas:

Hostile Territory: A third person shooter game which featured a dynamically changing environment, to address the issues plaguing the genre ( like camping)

Re-genesis: A game about an alien creature exploring a post apocalyptic world, regenerating waste into its glorious, former self ( Think Wall-E)

Outcast: A game which let the player step into the shoes of an outcast blob of paint. The color of the player changes as he is accepted by the NPC’s in the game ( who’re a different color than him).

The Grind: A game which drew attention to the cumbersome grinding system in present RPG’s

Senses Game: A game where you switch between senses ( you can only have one active at a time), and perceive the world in different ways  depending on the sense you have chosen

Loading Level: Semester 2

After a well deserved break, I was all set to begin the second phase of my journey towards becoming a good game developer. The thought of working on a thesis game excited me. The first projects class started off with us splitting up into teams. We were free to group with whomever we please.

I am very happy to be part of my thesis project group. It is a mixture of familiar and new faces. Our group comprises of the following:

Artists: Mark Jarmen, Rob Guest, Kyle Chittendan

Engineers: Triston Thorpe, Shelwin, Jinzhi, Sty, Peijun and myself

Produces: Allen Alverado, Topher Nadauld, Rody Rodriguez and Casey Deans

Our goal was to come up with an IGF winner. After researching past winners at the IGF, we sat down to discuss ideas which we would like to develop into games. We came up with a few good ideas ( coming up with innovative, novel ideas is unbelievably hard!).

Anyway, we have to come down to two ideas which we will prototype through this semester, at the end of which we will present to an industry panel which will give us feedback on our work. Looking forward to a busy semester 🙂