Capstone Blog #7

I didn’t post for week 6, so this will cover both weeks.

Week 6 and 7: Filling in the Foundation

The past two weeks has seen us complete a lot of the groundwork for the systems the game will have. Here are the goals we set for the past 2 weeks:

  • Groundwork for enemy AI behavior
  • Refine movement to work on moving surfaces (for the massive boss battles)
  • Nail down a first version of the spider tank model

Because of the weekend holiday, we took this as more of a 2-week sprint, compared to our usual week-by-week organization. Unfortunately, since half of the team was away over the long weekend, we didn’t start to get much done until near the end of week 6, but week 7 was busy enough to make up for it.

I continued to take charge of the movement and combat mechanics, further improving the wall-climbing system to now work properly on moving surfaces, and more smoothly overall. I think this particular system is in a good place for the rest of this semester; it’s strong enough that we can build off of it to get the rest of the game ready for the presentation in November. However, focusing on the prototype so much, as fun as it’s been for me, has meant the design documentation is not as far along as I’d like it to be. I believe we’re about ready for phase 2 once we have the documentation together, but I still have a little more to do on that.

With the addition of a moving boss structure to climb, simple enemy AI, a health/damage system, and a “scan view” system to make it easier to figure out where to go, the beginnings of most, if not all, of the core systems the game requires are in place in the prototype. We didn’t quite have it as ready for QA as we’d hoped, but the response was still quite positive overall, especially now that we have some of Sean’s art in the prototype.

Our discussion on the visual/narrative theme of the game has gone well, and we’re all pretty excited about how it’s coming together. The game will take place on a machine planet, where all these robot bugs live in different mechanical environments. The player character is getting revenge against the bee-inspired hive-bots, trying to blast their way through the fuel (honey) refinery. Having this idea of the bee-bots’ honey as fuel for most of these robot lifeforms has guided some of our plans for the visuals of enemy design, with ideas for fuel-tank weak points and other ways to tie the whole thing together. Because I haven’t felt our art style was particularly well-defined, I’ve been very glad to see these ideas coming together.

Team Dynamics

Our teamwork has continued to improve. The main area remaining for us to improve is in giving each other access to what’s been completed. I’ve been quite impressed by most of the art Sean has showed us, but I want to have access to it on our google drive folder or the repository. We’ve asked him about it and it sounds like he plans to upload his stuff more consistently, so I expect that’ll be resolved soon.

Going Forward

With the prototype in a good spot, the main thing we need are enemy and level design to start creating the demo level we have planned. With Nick R. working on enemy behaviors, this frees me up more to concentrate more on just design work, and making a more detailed plan for what we’ll try to have in the end.

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