For this sprint, the team focused on deciding what game mechanics we would want to work on and which ones to throw away. I made an excel document where each member rated the games on a 1 to 5 scale of how much they wanted to work on that game mechanic as our team, and the process really worked to weed out the poorly thought out game ideas and cement the ideas that had real potential. In the end we decided to pick 6, and while the opportunity for a new game mechanic to arise still exists, it’s refreshing to not have to worry about 50 game ideas and which single one is the best.
Along with working with the team members and their individual work, I was able to fit in the creation of 3 additional prototypes, making that a total of 6 prototypes in the first two weeks.
My first prototype that I worked on was a simple test of how I would create a 2 dimensional platformer game where all the elements in the game switch from passive to aggressive when the player changes dimensions. I was able to quickly create the architecture so I could rapidly make new elements that would switch between the two dimensions but I also found out quickly that the gameplay was not actually any fun. I definitely noted from this prototypes that level designing for a platformer is not what I want to get out of this project and so while the game wasn’t as much fun, the prototype gave us as a team valuable insight that a platformer game would not be our route.
My second prototype that I created was a top down (2 player) bullet hell mixed with a top down shooter game. The two interesting mechanics that came from this prototype are very valid to any gameplay mechanic that we finally decide to go with. The first being that the two player coop game type would allow for innovation through controls, gameplay mechanics and giving two drastically different gameplay experiences while the players still sharing the same goal. The second mechanic is having the bullets that the player shoots bounce around rapidly throughout the level meaning the player is mostly dodging their own bullets instead of enemies. This is visually very interesting and makes the player think about their shooting patterns and aiming in a new light than just trying to impact the enemy with the most damage.
The third prototype I made was the beginning of the largest prototype, a game where the player is the evil neighbor in a friendly society. The player will have a soft goal (something like steal a tv, scare off the neighbors dog or find something to eat) and the ability to interact with the environment and npcs in humorous ways to cause as little or as much chaos as they desire. This game idea will obviously have the challenge of staying in scope, but the very first scope decision we have made is making the gameplay not open world but have these short goals while still giving the player many different means of achieving them. For this prototype i created just a TV and Light objects that provide examples of a Static Interaction object or a Pickup Interaction object. The player has a small inventory shown through a simple HUD, and the NPCs have their base AI patterns implemented, which includes them wandering around the areas they are made to be in. I am personally very excited about continuing this prototype and seeing whether our team is up for the challenge, because I know with the talent on our team we could make this game idea work.
The platformer 2 dimensional platformer that I worked on is not going to be continuing as 1 of the 6 game mechanics that we will be iterating on. The rest of the 6 game mechanics are as follows:
- Bouncing bullet bullet hell/top down shooter game (As mentioned above)
- Causing Mischief in a friendly neighborhood (As mentioned above)
- Co-op Strategy Shooter
- Shadows/Anxiety Mechanic
- Two player local co-op pinball (Prototyped last sprint)
- Destructible Environment (Also prototyped last sprint)
So far out of the 6 game mechanics, 4 of them have been prototyped which leaves the continuation of the causing mischief’s prototype as well as the 2 others in next sprint to really decide what our team wants to work on this semester.