Rapid Prototyping 3.2 – How to prototype

So our pitch didn’t go over well.  We had some conflicts about whether or not our game was actually a serious game.  As per the definition of having a primary purpose other than entertainment, our game is definitely a serious game.  However, it is not a good serious game and couldn’t accomplish anything.  The problem is that it is just shouting out our opinion.  There is no hard facts to back it up.

So began our long journey of ditching ideas and finding the game we are going to make.  We went back to the design box, and got stuck over, and over, and over again.  We bounced from many different topics from GamerGate to Somali Pirates to Ebola.  We eventually re-settled on a game about poaching that was basically the hunting game from Oregon Trail.  Not for long, however, as we soon re-ditched this idea.

We held another design box session, this time with one of our professors.  After much pitching within our group, we resettled on a game that is tangentially related to GamerGate.  Using an article that stated that the parity of PC gamers is about 50/50 (just barely over 50% for women – http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/), we came up with a platformer game that we could build, still using the code we wrote originally.

Now that we are basically 2 weeks into production (eek), we are going to make the following game.  A swarm platformer where you control a swarm of characters, half male and half female.  Some will die as you progress through the level since you do not have complete control over all of them.  However, you get points based on how close you are to achieving perfect parity between male and female sprites.

 

Rapid Prototyping 3.1 – Serious Game!

We had a week off due to fall break, but now we’re back!  And we’re back strong.  This is going to be a solid prototype I can already tell, because of our team.  Every member of this team, except one, I had already known, interestingly enough.

Without further ado, here are the constraints for this prototype:  We have to make a serious game.  That means a game who’s primary purpose is not entertainment.  Seems easy right?  We’ll see.  Furthermore we have to use Unity (YAY).  Additionally, we have to use a design box strategy to come up with our idea, which honestly seems like a totally awesome methodology for prototyping.

After the entirety of today of hashing out ideas and going through design box after design box, we’ve eventually settled on an idea.  We are going to tackle the gamergate issue (not the entire issue, just a small part of it – the harassment that women face in games).  The idea is a platformer where there are “trolls” and “white knights” and other NPCs that will get in your way as a girl gamer.  They will have speech bubbles and various other mechanics that will prohibit you from getting through the level.

Let’s get to it!

Rapid Prototyping 2.3 – Not proud of this one

This is the ending post for this prototype of bagman.  The title should give away how I felt about how we did overall, which is definitely not to say this prototype isn’t useful.  I definitely learned a lot.

Here’s our final game:

JailBreak

 

We iterated a bit on the original game, and reversed the roles.  Instead you are now playing the policeman and you are trying to capture the prisoners to carry them back to jail.  We essentially got rid of a lot of the environmental hazards, and combined the ‘enemies’ and the ‘gold’ bags.

This is the game, as it looks, and honestly, is a little lame.  Especially for 3 weeks worth of work.  The main problem I will attribute to our group as a whole.  None of us were excited about this project.  It was just that to us, an assignment and not a game.  Furthermore, I took the ‘role’ of lead engineer (this wasn’t formally announced, but it sure felt like it), and I don’t feel that I was ready for that role.  I could definitely do a much better job now that I’ve experienced it at least once.

One of our engineers was working on AI (a pathing algorithm) the entire time that I should have told him to dump from 2 weeks in.  We didn’t even end up using the system.  Instead, towards the end of the project we were in “oh shit” mode since we had very little to show, and ended up hacking most of the game together.

Concrete goals to work on for next time: Better communication again (more specifically among the engineers), along with better SVN usage (we had problems with using our repo this time – E.G. one of our engineers never had access to it b/c of tech difficulties.)