Week 5

During this week I focused on completing my game. Jordan helped me with an aspect of the dark room of my game – this level has since been cut out, but similar to my other level, was going to include a light switch, visibility problems and moving platforms. I may still finish this level, given the extreme positive reaction I have gotten from my first level.

Other things I worked on this week were the tutorial level, signage, character select and attack sprites. While I did create full attack animations for both characters, I had problems with getting them to work with the rest of my layout, so I decided to leave them out, and simply have players avoid enemies. I had been originally planning on no enemies, just static puzzles, so the attack planning was never really part of my focus.

This is some of my tutorial level planning and attack animation planning. Also, drawing the sprites for the WallShadow enemies – named after Yin’s non-functional ability, which would cause her sprite to glitch madly instead of switch to the puddle.

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Week 4

We made a basic space shooter game, which I also figured out how to upload to and host via Google Drive. The link is here.

Space shooter
My spaceship

I also made a game to test if my the ShadowLight and ShadowCaster behaviours for my game, but I determined that it was too much hassle to get it working, when I can use sprites to do the same thing.

Shadow Light Problem
The problematic ShadowCaster
Shadow Light Problem event sheet
The event sheet for the ShadowCaster

I also continued to make progress with my main game. The blocks with ‘E’s in them are placeholders for enemy sprites that I have yet to design. I also need to redo Yang’s sprites as .png files, as I had originally done them as .jpg without realising that it didn’t support transparency.

Progress 16-06 2-53pm

During the week, we discussed sound design. I have looked at several music scores from other games for inspiration for this aspect of my game.

I like the gentle sounds and slightly oriental theme of the Sonic Colours Aquarium Park  Act 1 and 2 background music. I think they are a bit to fast paced for my game, but given a slower or less intense beat (for Act 1 and Act 2 respectively), I think that they would give a nice, mellow feeling.

I also really like the Puzzle themes from the Professor Layton series. They give a sense that time is ticking, while still remaining relatively calm and paced. The high pitch gives a sense of inquisitiveness that is perfect for a puzzle solving bgm.

I will likely be looking at finding a royalty free soundtrack for my game, as I have very little skill or experience at composing sounds on my own.

Week 3

This week we made a basic block eater game on Construct 2, and learned how to deploy it with Microsoft Azure. The link is to my game. Mouse click ‘Play’ to start, and use arrow keys to move afterwards.

I also have continued making sprites for my game, and practiced putting them into Construct 2.

 

DRAFT Game Reviews: Fireboy and Watergirl & Persona Q

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is a dungeon crawler RPG developed by Atlus for Nintendo 3DS.

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Fireboy and Watergirl in the Forest Temple is a online flash puzzle game made by Oslo Albet. I decided to review it due to several comments from people who have found similarities between my game and this one, as they are both puzzle games that involve characters working together to reach the goal.

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Week 2

This week in class, we looked at stories and character development.

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I began working on my story and my character designs and CVs.

I also began making my first digital sprites for my two characters, Yin and Yang.

Sprite strip 01

I changed the colours and styles several times before I was happy with it.

Battleship follow up

Using the rules that I had created after playing a long and unsuccessful game of battleship in class, I decided to test my hypothesis that my revised rules would speed up the game.

I played two games with my Mother, who agreed to be my beta tester. The first round was played normally, using the same rules as last time. Unlike that game, I scored my first hit only four turns in. However, the game still took 41 turns each overall, which was double the number that I had been cut off at last time. If this ratio of turn until the first hit to overall turns had been the same, it would have taken roughly 200 turns for Jordan and I to complete our game. Of course, that isn’t accurate, as there are only one hundred squares, fourteen of which are occupied by ships. The chances of us even getting to the 80s or 90s in turn numbers is highly unlikely.

In the second round, we used the special bullet rules I described in the previous post. We used Variant B, and decided to only use special bullets. This game did go much, much quicker, taking around a quarter of the turns of the first round, in both turns until first hit, and overall turns – 1 and 11/12 respectively. Since Mum went first , and also won the round, she had one more turn than I did.

I asked Mum for feedback on the game, and this is what she said:

The variant made for a quicker and more interesting and thought provoking game. The ordinary version was too long and got boring, due to the repetitive nature of the turns. The variant was trickier, since you needed to plan in advance in order to not waste shots overlapping yourself, but they were good for covering large amounts of area quickly.

I think that while the game was quicker turn-wise, it was possibly slower in terms of actual time played, due to more thought being put into each turn. The tactics required for the game were completely different, and I found some things that sounded like a good idea at first, became very obviously not as the game progressed. I made several grievous tactical errors, such as wasting several turns finding the edges of a ship instead of using a large spray shot to take it out all at once (although this did result in me finding a second ship), and using a smaller spray for my last shot, due to not thinking I would hit anything. If I had used a 5-spray instead of a 3-spray, I would have sunk Mum’s last ship in one turn.

One thing I learned from this was that my instructions were lacking in several areas, such as:

  • whether or not to include special bullets
  • whether or not we could overlap previously hit areas
  • whether or not the bullet sprays/scatters could go over the edges of the game board (neither Mum nor I had any issues with this)

I think it would be interesting to see if the appeal still holds once a player has become familiar with the tactics of my revised version, as most people are with the normal version.

Tangrams and Racing to the End

26th May

Today we worked on tangram puzzles – putting together pieces of a square that has been cut into five triangles, a smaller square and a rhomboid, in formations that resemble figures. We mostly focused on animal shapes, such as cats and various birds.

Afterwards, in groups, we worked on race-to-the-end board games based on news articles we had found online. Our group used a news article that suggested that paying more for higher-end appliances may not guarantee better quality.

Based on this, we came up with the idea of a game that punishes players who roll high numbers – similar to the article suggesting that people who spend lots of money may be losing out. Some of our ideas for how we could implement this theme were:

  • a rule that any player who rolls a six on their first turn, misses out on their second turn. Conversely, if you land on the very first square of the board – that is, if you roll a one on your first turn – you are given an extra roll. Most of the extra rules of our game – getting an extra roll, or having to go back a space – are special spaces that you land on to activate the extra rule. We chose to make the ‘first roll is a six’ rule and not a space, because if it were placed on a square it would run the risk of players landing on it after a series of low rolls, which would be contrary to our theme.
  • if you roll a number higher than the number of squares it would take you to get to the end of the board, you have to move forward those spaces, then back the number of excess digits on the dice. For example, if you roll a six, and you are two squares away from the end, you would end up two spaces further back than you were before.
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Our roughed out rules
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Our game board. Orange spots represent the special spaces, good or bad.

Initial Ideas

My initial ideas regarding this project were very vague at this point. They mostly consisted of sketches of characters and some basic story elements.

These first ideas were influenced by several game and other series. The dripping, shadowy character was based on similar designs from Epic Mickey and the Kingdom Hearts series.

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The brief idea regarding a ‘light’ antagonist was based on a similar plot element in the second Yu-Gi-Oh! series, where the Light was destructive wanted to conquer the world and the Darkness was kind, gentle and encouraged it’s people to flourish. My idea for this was based around the value of diversity – the light character was of the opinion that darkness and light should be kept separate, while the dark character tries to allow light and darkness to merge and create shades of grey.

The lowermost thumbnail was an idea for the environment – in order to move around you would have to move objects to create a path of shadows to move across. The picture depicts a character pushing a lamp post over towards the shadow of a tree. Possible complications could include the lamp turning on and breaking the shadow at certain intervals.

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After considering these ideas, I decided that a ‘meeting of two worlds’ type plot would be easier to create. In this picture, a dark and light character are touching for the first time. The dark character is coming up and out from the shadows, while the light character descends from above to meet them. From this point on, I focused on the idea of the two main characters having a friendly relationship with each other, rather than an antagonistic one.