Now that GDW is over and our games are handed in, I thought I would talk a little bit about one of the levels in our game. In fact, It’s basically this level that makes our entire game stand out, because it’s so immensely detailed. It is the only level that we actually sat down as a group and thought about. Our game had to have 5 levels as a requirement, and not that I want to undermine the rest of them, but in all honestly none of them can really hold a candle to this one.
We designed it with many features in mind. We wanted it to encompass what our game is all about. It’s set in a dark factory setting to give it that gritty feeling that we were looking to achieve, and it houses a giant mechanical dinosaur boss that the player must defeat. There are multiple levels to the factory that can be traversed through lifts. The main room that holds the boss is very large in order to give the player the freedom to run around to try and dodge the bosses incoming attacks. Although not currently in the game, the main room is also suppose to have a claw that is following a track along the ceiling. The player would have used a controller that is found somewhere in the main room to drop the claw onto the bosses head. The player would have to try and lure the boss into a position directly under the claw and then use the controller to drop it. If it hits the boss, he falls to the ground and the player can then begin using his tools to try and ‘deconstruct’ the boss. By deconstruct I am referring to trying to cut off parts of his body. Once enough of him has been ‘deconstructed, he dies.
Of course the boss fight as described here is is not currently featured in the game, but it is something that is high on our list of priorities for the coming semester. As we stand now, our group is in a very good position to begin creating all sorts of new gameplay and content. This entire semester has largely gone to designing the engine as well as tools to help us work more efficiently. In the coming semester we hope to multiply what we have now by several times, and there’s is no reason why we shouldn’t able to achieve that goal.
This week consisted of some rather interesting Game Design lectures. They involved the class splitting up into groups in order to complete the various tasks. Day 1 was all about level design and coming up with ways of turning what would other wise be a simple objective into something fun and exciting using different level design aspects and techniques. Day 2 was different in that we were tasked to take a basic set of rules and implement our very own design twists.
Day 1 was a bit of a chaotic session. The class was split up half and half, which resulted in two massive groups of about 20-30 people. Sure enough, this resulted in a lot of confusion which I think showed in the final products. The group I a part of was in discussion for about 20 min going over basic rules and level design elements and in the end resulted in what I thought was a bland, uninteresting concept.
The basic idea revolved around two teams competing against each other to try and get a ball into a basket placed at the center of the field. Given that we were in a classroom, we decided to use the tables to our advantage and agreed that all players must stand on top of the tables while playing. Players could apparently (I’m not even sure if we discussed this part) stand wherever they liked to start the game and were not allowed to move unless they possessed the ball, in which case they could take 3 steps. Players were required to try and work together in order to score a goal. This meant having to pass to teammates. The twist here however is that the player must bounce the ball off of any surface while passing the ball. And that pretty well covers it.
The rules as they were written in class
Although this may sound somewhat interesting, it really wasn’t. It was a boring idea and lacked inspiration. It also didn’t help that the majority of the group had to sit out and watch while it was demonstrated to the class instead of having an opportunity to play. Again, I mostly blame the large group sizes. It resulted in many ideas going unspoken or misinterpreted.
Day two was a little bit different. For one thing were were in much smaller groups, which made it easier to communicate and get ideas across. This time we were given a set of rules and some poker chips. Our task was to take these rules, test them out, and then implement new ways of playing the game ourselves. The game initially was a little bland in that there wasn’t really much to it. Each person would essentially take turns flicking a chip at other chips and if your chip touched another chip you were awarded points based upon which colour chip you touched. There were also goal cards handed out to each player but the problem that I found with these goals was that many of them were too difficult to obtain/follow. For example, I had one that required me to hit my chip off of another chip which then had to hit a third chip off the table. I found this to be next to impossible to achieve.
Later on in the class we were given the opportunity to change up the rules slightly to see how we could make the game more fun and interesting. We ended up with a setup that involved every player being given a chip which they would use to try and flick onto a predetermined playing field. Depending on which chip they hit, they would receive points. We also were given the freedom to come up with our own goal cards which worked our nicely with our new set of rules. In the end I preferred our new method of playing over the original.
Overall these lectures were informative and provided us with some helpful insight into level/game design as well as group cooperation and strategy. I am hoping that as the semester goes on we will be able to develop these skills even further.