What a crazy week it has been.
On Thursday we had the “final” pitch for Protocol: Transcendence. And what a great pitch it was. Rody and I talked about what had gone well in our pitches in the past and realized that a live demo was the way we wanted to go. So we started with 3 quick powerpoint slides to set the stage and then went right into gameplay. The game was received very well by the faculty.
We got some expected criticisms, the characters need more contrast and there were certain elements of gameplay that were unclear, but we anticipated these issues and we have a plan for addressing them going forward. In the screenshot below the player is the gray robot surrounded by the blue circle and the enemy is the red robot with yellow waves emanating from him.
So the game has quite a few visual issues at the moment, but we’ll be addressing them early next week because ON TUESDAY WE’RE SUBMITTING TO THE APP STORE! We’ll be publishing on Windows 8 and we hope to get the touch functionality up and running by then as well, so hopefully Windows mobile users can enjoy the game as well.
In another piece of good news, we have an .exe that works on Windows 7 machines and I JUST figured out how to get that hosted on our website (I won’t go into how long that took me… too long to say the least). So once we clean things up and make it visually more appealing I’ll host the file on protocoltranscendence.com next week and Windows 7 users can download and try it out as well, for free of course!
But at the end of every prototype we take a look back and evaluate our process, so now instead of gushing about publishing a game i’ll look into what went well and what should improve.
We made the decision to use YoYo studios’ Gamemaker engine and that had good and bad aspects. The good was that it allowed Rody and I to jump in with little technical knowledge and help with things in game, he did level layouts and I did the level backgrounds, and this took some pressures off our artist and engineers. The downside of gamemaker is that it randomly decides to not save some of your work…. but we were able to overcome that in the end.
Team unity was strong and everyone was excited and very hardworking throughout, and it shows. We have a completed game with 4 levels, and a way to add more content and improve the game easily.
I personally learned a lot in this prototype. I set up a website for us which included learning all about domain names and web hosting. I found free textures online and was able to make them work in our game, even if they need some improvement. These are skills that will supplement whatever other soft skills I use as a producer going forward.
We of course had challenges, the main one being Gamemaker having fits occasionally. We had illness, our initial pitch wasn’t well received, and the name of our game has gotten some negative responses. We actually deliberately chose a name that doesn’t immediately let a reader know what the game is about in the hope that they’ll click on it, trying to discover what it is. We think in the very small Windows 8 game market this should help us stand out from other popular titles like “Space Trivia Game” and others.
It’s been a great semester, the open house was insane and amazingly fun, and I think we’re all excited for the winter break. I’ve learned so much and I’m excited to see what the next 3 semsters hold!