Thursday, September 6, 2012

Project Unknown Post #3: On to Prototyping

So the votes were counted and Project Unknown has been chosen to move on to the prototyping phase!  Our original team, (which consisted of Scott Torgeson, Robert Jungert, and myself), now has two more programmers added on to it, (Mavin Martin and Tyson Anderson).
Unfortunately, Scott was pulled from our group to help another team for the prototyping phase, so we are trying to get the other programmers up to speed on what Scott has accomplished so far.  If our game gets chosen to move on as one of the few games to be put into the development phase after prototyping, hopefully, Scott will be able to rejoin our team.

Our class assignment from Tuesday was to play 5 games that were similar to the game we are trying to create.  I have chosen to play a variety of games, each matching a certain aspect/mechanic we would like to see in our game.

Game #1:  Dishwasher Samurai: Vampire Smile
      Dishwasher Samurai is a great arcade game that contains many of the features we are trying to implement into our game.  First and foremost is its teleportation mechanic.  By flicking the right analog stick the main character is able to move a small distance across the screen.  This worked very effectively to get closer to the enemies quickly and to platform through levels in a fun manner.  We want to build on this mechanic so that we are also able to dodge enemy fire while teleporting, possibly passing through enemy lasers/missiles via teleportation.  This game also utilizes a sword wielding protagonist, and our game's animation loops will definitely benefit by observing the combat animation from Dishwasher Samurai.

Game #2:  Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
      I chose to play this game not for any of the gameplay features, but because Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker uses a graphic novel style artform for its cutscenes.  In Project Unknown, we want our gritty, main story to be told through graphic novel cutscenes, and Peace Walker conveys that exact level of grittiness throughout game's beautifully drawn animated pictures.

Game #3:  Splosion Man
      Splosion Man has two things that I'd like to see in our game: the quality of the art/models and the linear, yet fun, level design.  As far as how our game will look polygon wise, I want our models to be similar to that of Splosion Man's, (geometrically simple 3D models yet yield a higher polygonal count than most indie games).  However, Project Unknown's art style will consist of a darker tone not seen anywhere in Splosion Man.  Secondly, the level design in Project Unknown will be very similar to that of Splosion Man's.  Much of the time I spent playing Splosion Man, I was traversing levels not only horizontally, but vertically as well.  This game will be a much needed reference as to what our level design will be like.  Because our character is essentially able to teleport anywhere around the map, we want to vary the level design from being strictly horizontal to both vertical and horizontal.

Game #4:  Warp
      Warp provides the player with the ability to teleport anywhere at anytime.  You are able to move through objects, into objects, and even into the enemy opponents.  This is all done from a top down camera angle similar to that of Mario 64.  I believe that our third person portions of Project Unknown will act very similar to this style.  In Warp, you can move the analog stick anywhere and at the press of a button you will teleport to that location on a horizontal plane, (there is no teleporting on the y-axis).  Project Unknown will use this mechanic almost exactly like Warp used it, with the exception of instead of pressing "a" to warp, we will just allow the player to flick the analog stick to the location he/she wants to teleport to.

Game #5:  Limbo
      Limbo's level design is something I would like to replicate in Project Unknown as well.  Limbo has you jumping up trees to find a key and looking for switches to solve puzzles and, I believe, Project Unknown can really learn from the puzzles you are required to solve within Limbo.

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