So, the following will be a comprehensive guide to what went down this week, the good, the bad, the ugly!
Production times were fairly fast. Within a day we had a prototype in place and the level was detailed to its most basic form. We wanted a simple puzzle game where you used light to kill zombies who were attacking you. You could not kill the zombies directly, but rather you had to use the environment to make these things happen. I felt this was a solid concept and went running with it within the first day or so. Luckily I had this week off so I had plenty of time to just sit back and gamedev. However, I did have to remove two days of game dev time to assist with some social life stuff. So here is the list o things that went well:
- UE4 engine was simple and smooth to use
- Established gamedev team really helped since we knew what each of us was strong at, and what our weaknesses were
- Communication through DISCORD and Google Hangouts was crucial
- Industry tools helped us to produce content super fast (UE4, 3Dcoat, Maya LT)
- P4 allowed us to share content and push updates within a repo system
- Sound design was 100% custom and quality (credit to iCompose)
- Concept met all the themes!! (not something I have done before in one of these comps)
- We had fun while doing this, and we honestly were proud of the game we ended up producing.
As with anything, there is good and bad with all things that happen. Most of the bad was related to time frames, schedules, and distance based communication. Several times we tried to use a tracking system to keep ourselves on target, but these types of systems require somebody to force everybody to use them, and if you dont have that person in place than its just randomized stuff being placed on a website (which was our case). It also didnt help that we had a great concept, but no real thought as to how it would play out in the big picture. Day 4 we figured out that we had a much more complex and robust system that we could use with such a simple concept of "triggers". If we would have thought of this in day 1.... seriously we would have had a product that might be 5x better. We were adding game logic right up until the last hour of the competition. So here is a broken down list:
- Distance based communication can be difficult if the points are not conveyed properly
- Schedules of the team members had to be coordinated
- A project of our size required ALOT of time. We could have gone with a simple concept and saved days worth of work. Perhaps even had it more fleshed out so it was smooth.
- Bugs were prevalent since we were adding code at crazy rates. Content driven dev teams need to stop and focus on bug fix, however I still feel we did well given the time we had.
- Fully realize the concept before you make any choices. We could have spent a full day on this and saved more time. The original Idea was so solid that we just ran with it not knowing what potential we had until we tried to figure out methods of making the zombie chase fun. Again, knowing this on day 1 could have meant an entirly polished game.
In-game commentary on how the levels were designed:
Look at the two primary characters art assets/animations: