Remember how a while ago I mentioned that we’d soon have a name for our thesis game? Well today is that day! I’m super excited to formally introduce our thesis game- All is Dust!
All is Dust is the successor to the Mannequin game that we were working on last semester. It uses the same core mechanic of an enemy freezing in place when you have line of sight on it, but adds a lot more supporting material to that concept.
All is Dust is a horror game set in rural Oklahoma during the height of the Dust Bowl. Players must navigate through an otherworldy farmstead in order to find shelter from the gathering storm, all while evading the clutches of a wicked scarecrow and his minions.
We had a bit of a crazy week getting to this point. We’re a team of 16 and this was the first week we really saw it cause any hiccups in our process. We were shooting for a build review on Tuesday, and everyone was working very hard towards it, but for some reason everything felt very disjointed and we had a lot of trouble getting everything together to review the progress. Some of this is the fault of Unity not being friendly with version control (Note, I’m still very glad we’re using Unity. This issue is outweighed by many other awesome things it allows us to do). Some of it is on me as a producer for not having the process figured out just yet. Whatever the cause, Tuesday we did not get to the build review we wanted.
It was a good thing for us to go through this though, because it’s better to see issues in our process now than it would be for them to happen right before IGF submission. Tuesday was kind of a loss almost, but we course corrected and have better systems in place going forward.
Honestly, I think this is probably to be expected on what’s pretty much a new project. And it’s almost a new team too, we’ve added 2 more members since last semester and have a more concrete structure, so our dynamics have certainly changed. We saw that the approach we took to Tuesday’s build review and some things leading up to it didn’t work, so now we’ll have a different process for future builds.
So for Thursday’s class we switched gears a bit and were able to get the build review we hoped for. In it, we saw that a few of the things we added over the last sprint were big successes in fixing some of the issues we’d seen. The biggest was the addition of giving the player a way to defend themselves from crows in the field, which made time spent in the field a more active experience for them.
The game is really coming in to it’s own, and I’m super excited and proud to be working on it. We should have a deployable build very soon, and that’s when we’ll start putting it out into the wild and getting feedback. We’re about a week away from the point when we stop adding features, so we’ll have a little over a month before IGF to polish up what we’ve already got. It’s going to be so busy, but I think what we’ll have will be so worth it.