I met the team and we discussed everyone strength and weaknesses, then wrote everyone roles in the project, I’m doing the design role.
Creative – Tai Pols
Producer – Adam
Technical – Alex Stewart
Tai pols – senior
Theo hayne – Junior
Alex Westwater – senior
Andrew Grice – Junior
Josh Walton – Junior
Adam – senior
Alex Robdale – Junior
Jacob knight – senior
Alex Robdale – Junior
Adam – senior
Alex Stewart – senior
Samuel Hayes – Junior
We spent some time talking about the game and what we need from them.
I’m working along side the junior designer Andrew Grice and I made plans on what to do design wise.
I worked on making the plan for the tutorial level
- Where would it take place
- Learning the controls
- How would the player learn the game mechanics
- What are the objectives
- How to complete those objectives
I also made control schemes for both keyboard and Xbox controller, one of our feedback was that this game would be play a lot smoother with a controller rather than a keyboard.
Me and the junior designer were discussing when to add the transformation mechanic in the tutorial, when the player reaches a certain level their plane will transform into a more modern plane and get increased stats like speed, handling and hit points. We couldn’t decide whether to add it when the player is given free range to kill everything at objective 8 or to add it when the tutorial boss comes in at the end. Their was also the idea of the plane transforming after the tutorial boss is destroyed then the player gets something to look forward to in the main game. I’ve left the section where the plane transforms on a few objectives just in case this is where we want to introduce the transforming mechanic.
When a new mechanic is introduced their will a separate box explaining what is it the player is learning and how to execute it like what keys to press.
Similar to “The Evil Within” as well as other games
As the player levels up they get new weapons, when they get to a certain level the plane transforms into a more modern plane, increasing its speed, handling, hit points. Similar to “Ratchet and Clank”, when a weapon is upgraded it gets a bit a stronger but when it reaches the final level, it becomes something different and its overall stats has increased dramatically such as, damage, rate of fire, ammo capacity, Area of effect etc.
When the player receives text on the screen telling the player what to do next, I would like it to appear on the top of the screen so it doesn’t block the UI, similar to “Ace Combat Assault Horizon”
Link to “World of Warplanes” keyboard control scheme.
“Ace Combat Assault Horizon” control scheme
I made the mistake of not preparing and I was spit balling most things so this way their will be something to complete every week and we can get through it without wasting to much time
Design plan for tutorial
How it’s going to look
What type of font we’re going for
Where it’s going to be placed on the menus and in game
Flow charts and diagrams for planning
What UI going to be on the menu and in game menu
Whats displayed on the minimap
- Teach the player how to play the game
- Use on screen instructions to tell the player what each key does
- Make a control scheme that works for this type of game
Block out of the tutorial level
Where is the player going to start
Where the tutorial messages will show up
Where the powerups go
Where the enemies spawn
Where would the objectives take place
Where does the player spawn if they fail
How many hits can they can
How fast are they
What does each enemy look like
When are they going to be introduced
How much damage do they deal
How do they attack
What makes them different to other enemies in the game
What are their strengths and weaknesses
How should the player approach each enemy
- Where do they spawn
- What does each one do
- Teach the player how to use each one
- What do the power ups look like
- How does the xp work
- How much does the player get for completing objectives and destroying alien ships
- Inform the player how much xp they get and have
- What happens when the level up
- What level does the plane transform
- Is there a level limit
- What happens on the final level and how does it affect the player
- What changes when the plane transforms and how does it affect the player
- How much damage does the player deal
- How fast can the player go
- How much health does the player have
- What do the planes look like
- What level are you rewarded with weapons
- How do the weapons work and how are they used
- How many weapons are there
- How does the player switch weapons
- Why should the player use these weapons
- What do the weapons look like
What type of font is the text going to have
Would the all the text have the same font
Make a list of assets for the tutorial level
What role will those assets play
Where do we place them in the level
What are the objectives named
What would it have the player do
How would the game know that the player has finished an objective
Checking if there are any bugs in the game, if there are then let the team know
What’s fun and what isn’t fun
Make mechanics that don’t work, work
Let others play test the game and acquire feedback
Use feedback to make the game better
Get as much criticism as possible
If something doesn’t work then change it to something that does o remove it completely
High concept documentation
The level wasn’t made so I couldn’t block out the level and the junior wasn’t in today so we couldn’t work together or share ideas on the to do list.
I made a high concept document, showing what would be in the game as well as what could be in the game if their’s time or if it would be fun or overpowered
I’m going to go through it with the junior and see if theirs anything else to add or remove, what works and what doesn’t work etc.
I’ve made a spread sheet for both weapons and enemies explaining what each weapon and enemy does, how much damage they deal, how fast each weapon fires etc.
Enemy Spread sheet
Leveling and Weapon Spread sheet
Here are the links for the tutorial plan and concept document just so they can be viewed a lot better than the screenshots.
Link to tutorial plan
Link to High concept document
I discussed how the leveling and weapons work with the concept lead just to get an opinion and we came up with an alternate way of leveling and obtaining weapons.
Alternate weapons and leveling
The player starts off with base weapons
Use NUM keys to swap
As the player levels up the base weapons get stronger
Machine gun – fires faster more accurate, more damage, dual machine guns
Missiles – More missiles, less recharge time, less lock on time, blast radius, more damage.
Bombs – bigger blast radius, less reload time, faster rate of fire, more damage
At a certain level the player transforms, which makes the plane faster and more maneuverable. When the plane transforms so does your weapons into more modern ones for example the machine gun goes from a single turret to 2 turrets with a chain gun look.
(We also discussed an alternate way of leveling the weapons similar to ratchet and clank where the more you use the weapon it levels up rather than leveling the whole plane and weapons in one. )
Ratchet and Clank 2 lancer weapon
Level 1 Level 5
How they work
- Machine gun – Fires in a straight line at an average rate of fire, overheats
Missiles – Recharges when it’s not used, hold to lock on, let go to fire
Bombs – Recharges when it’s not used, camera shifts below the player and shows a target reticle which can be moved with the mouse, target reticle shows where the bomb can be dropped and the blast radius.
This makes the weapons more useful and not just rendered useless when the player gets a new weapon, the previous idea had 10 weapons and with each level the player will get a new one, The new ones are more powerful than the old ones making them useless in the long run. So this way all weapons would have a use in all situations for the player.
I made more spread sheets to show the alternate weapon idea, power ups and xp work.
Power up spread sheet
I discussed if the power ups were fine and we decided to add in invisibility in exchange for the speed power up because theirs already a turbo power up that makes you go fast so theirs no need to have 2.
Alternate weapon spread sheet
I discussed with the team if we want the old weapon system or this alternative one, we all decided to go for this new one because of the reasons mentioned in the previous post, so I made a spread sheet detailing what each weapon does and what happens when they level up.
Xp spread sheet
The tutorial is going to have different different leveling to the main game because its to show the player what happens when you level up and how this affects the player.
I added how much xp the player gets from enemies in the enemy spread sheet
Enemy spread sheet
I made a list of music and sounds we need for each mechanic in the game
Music and sound list
Also the team doesn’t like the name space plan and we are thinking of changing the name for the game, I made a document where anyone can add in a name for the game, then we all decide on what we want to chose.
Music and Sound
I used the music and sound list to get some of audio we need for our game. I used freesound.org and youtube to find specific sounds and music.
I was looking for scifi sounds for aliens and military weaponry for the player.
- machine guns
- plane engine
- space ship engine
Sound files on drive
For the music I was looking for classical military battles similar to Independence day.
I got a got a number of music files and put them in different genres
- Trailer music
Music files on drive
- Independence day music – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrOyo1BVxBE&list=PLA35686955E8EDFB4
New Tutorial plan
I created a new tutorial plan replacing the old weapon system with the new 3 weapon system
It’s a copy of the first tutorial plan with some changes. “Changes will be highlighted in red”
New tutorial plan
I also made another tutorial plan with the ratchet and clank weapon leveling mechanic
When the player destroys an enemy, the weapon they used to destroy it gains xp, when the weapon gets enough xp the weapon will level up increasing its stats, such as damage, overheating, accuracy, rate of fire etc.
I made this because I think it would be to overpowered to level up everything at once like the mobility, speed, health and weapons when the player levels up. So instead I made it so the player has to level up each individual weapon by using it on the enemies.
It’s a copy of the new tutorial plan with some changes. “Changes will be highlighted in red”
Tutorial plan with ratchet an clank weapon leveling
I updated a few of the spread sheet to make them look nicer and add things to them.
Added a new power on the spreadsheet, “infinite ammo”
Power up spread sheet
Added a new enemy on the spread sheet “Nemesis”
Added how much xp each weapon will require to level up
Alt weapon leveling spreadsheet
Gathering more sounds
I used freesound.com to acquire some more sounds, mostly on the power ups, I also found some more sounds on UI and engine sounds for both the plane and alien ship
Blockout of tutorial level
I simplified the tutorial level by moving the objectives closer together and removing a few text boxes and assets. I also scaled the map to make it smaller because theirs a lot of room where nothing happens.
The xp system has been moved from the tutorial because the team was thinking that its to much for the tutorial level,
I moved the text boxes out the way so the player can see where they are going.
I got of rid of some of the rings since theirs no need to have so many, the player can see where the next ring will appear without having so many rings to guide them to the final ring.
The next objective is to shoot the targets, nothing has changed here, I just moved the text boxes out the way.
The next objective is to destroy an alien ship, nothing has changed
The next objectives to obtain the missile power up, I moved it closer to the player because the plane is slow and it takes a while to fly to it during play testing so for now I moved it closer until the plane is faster and a turbo has been implemented.
The next objective is to destroy 3 alien ships, I discussed with the team and some were saying its best to cut this objective out because it has the player destroying alien ships which the player has already done. I don’t think we should cut this objective because it has the player dealing with multiple enemies as well as using the new power up they just obtained.
The next objective is to obtain the bomb power up and destroy ground troops, I got rid of 2 ground troops just to have 1 because I think having 3 is to many for the player to deal with the first time they are introduced to this enemy.
The next objective is to destroy a new enemy type, some of them was thinking of cutting this objective out, it only introduces a new enemy type which isn’t necessary. I dont think we need this objecitve , if something needs to cut its this objetive.
The next objective is to deal with aliens hips and ground troops so the player has multiple things to do.
I got rid of some ship and grounds troops because I think there were to many enemies for the player to deal with.
The final objective is to destroy the alien gunship. Some of the team was also thinking of cutting this objective out because it doesn’t teach the player anything new. I would like to be in the game for the tutorial boss but its better to have a working build than a tutorial with cool stuff that doesn’t work.
Once the player destroys the gunship the tutorial will end. Their has been some talk about letting the player can play around in the level at the end to mess around in the game, the player can quit the tutorial at the main menu or head to a certain point on the map.
Their was some talk abut introducing the xp mechanic at the end of the level telling the player that they earned xp and earning a certain amount will level up the player. The reason for this is because theirs l a lot of text explaining how the xp works in the game and what it does when you level up. I think I can explain xp in the tutorial level without flooding to much text on the screen because xp is common in video games and people will know what xp is and what it does, so I can use that to briefly explain what happens when the player levels up.
Videos showing a run through the blockout
I created a video showing roughly how the game will be played in the tutorial level
The only thing the plane can do is move, shoot machine guns and die from crashing.
There’s no power ups or other weapons to use.
The enemies also don’t do anything they are static I just placed them roughly where they will be spawned in.
Just flying the through tutorial quickly takes almost 5 minutes.
I also created another video showing how the game will be played on the simplified tutorial level
Just flying through the level quickly takes a little over 2 minutes
Flowchart of UI
I made a quick flowchart showing where each button in the main menu is going to take the player once its been selected
Start button would take the player to the main game which will be created next semester but for now it wouldn’t do anything
The tutorial button takes the player to the tutorial button and its the most important button on the menu, without it, the player wouldn’t be able to play the game.
The options button isn’t necessary so I left it unavailable to the player. If theirs time, some options will be added such as a volume for each sound, window/full screen mode, different resolutions and brightness.
The quit option brings up another option saying if the player is sure they want to quit, this is here just encase the player selected the quit button by mistake.
To do list for 2nd semester
I started by making a to do list for the 2nd semester
According to the feedback theirs a lot of polishing that needs to be done, the tutorial needs a lot of work and we also have to make a main level
I’m going to discuss the list with the junior designer and figure out where to start and how to proceed from there.
Semester 2 To Do List
I made a word document showing what each option does and where it takes the player
There’s also a few ideas about having the menu in a base or in the sky and having the camera move around when an option is selected similar to sniper elite 2 and other games.
Sniper elite 2 main menu video link
UI word document
New tutorial blockout
The new map was made and were told by our supervisors to make this new level the tutorial level.
I tried to recreate the blockout on this new level the same as I did on the previous desert tutorial level.
The player starts off flying through rings
Then the player has to shoot targets
Then they collect a power up which they will use against the next wave of aliens.
I also made some quick loading screens, so when the players waiting they can read some of the controls so they know somethings before hand.
The supervisors want the game to be on a game controller so I showed what each button does on a xbox one controller.
Controller loading screen
Inspiration came from the game blazing angels which is also a flying combat game.
Blazing angels loading screen
As the game loads screens will show after every 10 seconds or so showing certain controls, for example this screen shows how missiles, theirs also places for images to help explain how the missiles work.
Missile loading screen
Similar to blazing angles how they use images to explain how certain controls work.
When the game is over either by winning or losing, a results screen will show displaying how well the player has done such as showing how many types of alien ships the player has destroyed.
(Not needed) The player is also given a rating depending on their progress in the form of medals, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. To get the 5 medals the player has to beat the game in the shortest time possible and destroy a certain amount of enemies.
Similar to blazing angels results screen where the players is rated depending on how many enemies they killed and how long it took them to finish the level.
I decided to make a new blockout for the tutorial because the previous one was too long and threw to much information at the player.
This new block out I made is shorter, smaller and doesn’t throw all the mechanics at the player in one level.
The level starts off with an introduction welcoming the player to the game.
These messages won’t be displayed like this in the main game. These messages will be displayed on the players HUD.
The first thing the player learns is maneuvering, at first I wanted the player to fly through rings but I think it’s better for the player to have some free range and play around with controls until they feel conformable with it. The controls are for an xbox controller.
Then the player learns how to accelerate and slow down, the map is small but it takes a bit of time to get from one point to another so it’s best to let the player know about this mechanic early on.
Once the player knows how to move, they learn how to shoot, the player gets a few seconds to play around the machine gun until the game tells the player there next objective.
After the player is done playing around, the next objective begins and its to destroy targets around the map.
Theirs also another message telling the player that the objectives show up on the mini map so they player knows were to go.
The player has to fly around the map and destroy the targets, one is in the air where most enemies are going to be. The cylinder behind the target is a marker just to show where certain things are in the map, its not going to be in the main game.
Another target will be way up in the air so the player has to deal with enemies on different altitudes.
Targets will also be in the water, the player will be dealing with alien boats so the player has to learn how to deal with boats.
Finally, targets will be on an island acting as ground troops, so the player has to deal with enemies that are on land, sea and air.
The player can destroy any of these targets in any order.
Once the player has done destroyed the targets they now have to deal with an actual enemy that fights back.
The alien ships spawns away from the player so the they have time to approach the enemy anyway they feel like.
If the player happens to die then they spawn back on the map where they started.
The player can die either by, crashing in the sea or land, their HP going to 0 and leaving the boundaries of the map.
When the player leaves the boundaries, a 5 second counter will show up telling the player to turn back. Once the counter reaches 0, the player dies.
Once the player has destroyed the alien ship, the mother ship will show up and dispatch 3 alien ships.
The player is told that a missile power up has spawned and they need to get it.
The mother ship is their to intimidate the player and also tease the player, its placed purposely in the out of bounds area so the player cant get to it. The won’t be able to fight it it the tutorial level but it can be fought in the main game.
For now the missile power up is a glowing yellow sphere, when the player collides with it, the game pauses and tells the player how to use it.
This is how the missile works.
The 3D artist Jacob Knight made some power ups that look much better than the glowing sphere.
I think its best to have one power up in the level because I don’t want to overwhelm the player with to many power ups and bombard the player with a bunch of information. The tutorial is short so I don’t think theirs a need for many power ups.
This what they look like in engine.
After obtaining the power up the player reaches the final objective which is to destroy 3 ships, once they done that the tutorial is over.
The ships spawn from the mother ship and split up so the player has to go around and destroy each of them.
Once the player has destroyed the 3 ships, that’s the end of the tutorial level.
I think this tutorial level is better than previous one because, it’s short and simple. The player has freedom to fly around, it teaches them how to tackle enemies on land sea and air and it doesn’t throw to much information at the player.
I made a video showing a quick run threw the level
Tutorial plan document
I made a document showing a tutorial plan for the new island level. The reason for this is to show the team so they know how I want the tutorial level to be designed. The tutorial plan can change so perhaps not everything on it is going to make it into the game.
Using the tutorial plan in combination with the blockout screenshots, the team can fully understand how I want the tutorial level to be created.
Link to tutorial plan
Control scheme document
I created a new control scheme using Blazing Angles as inspiration.
Link to control scheme:
Changes to the blockout
The supervisors took a look at our build and said that their isn’t enough time to make enemies on the ground so all the enemies are going to be in the air. I had to change the tutorial blockout to suit this change.
The only thing that’s changed is the positioning of the targets, I made it so targets aren’t going to be on the ground or in the sea, their just going to be placed at different altitudes.
The targets are scattered through out the map, this way the player gets a feel for the map when they play the main game.
Some areas have one target while others have 3
Wave system plan
I discussed with the team how they want the waves to work.
We came up with a plan as well as few new mechanics for the main game.
Mechanics such as:
- Mothership phases
- Cut scenes when introducing new enemies
- Power ups spawn in the map when a wave is completed so the player is prepared for the next wave
Link to Main game wave plan:
Wave plan Simplified
I had fun making the making plan but I think it’s a bit overboard and may take more time than necessary.
So I made another wave plan and simplified the waves and amount of enemies that spawn.
In this wave plan their are only 5 waves and fewer enemies. On the final wave the player has to destroy all pieces of the mother ship to destroy it.
Link to simplified wave plan:
One last Wave plan
I decided to make one last wave plan but this time once all enemies are destroyed in the wave the player has to destroy a piece of the mother ship to move onto the next wave. On the 5th wave the player has to destroy the last piece of the mother ship and once that happens the mother ship blows up and you win the game.
I prefer this wave plan out of all the mothers because it has waves, mother ship phases and it’s something that we can all do on time, with the first plan, it contains to many waves and too many enemies as well as a new enemy type. We may not have time to create all this so its much safer to make short and simple.
I’m going to discus with the team which plan they prefer and work off of that.
Link to Alternative wave plan:
New enemy spreadsheet
I made a new enemy spread sheet to suit the new wave based game play, since there are going to be lots of enemies in the later waves, I made it so the fighters get destroyed in a few shots, I also included the new executor enemy if theirs time to create it.
Their are 4 enemy types that are going to be in the main game:
- Fighter – these are the normal enemies
- Fighter MKII – similar to fighters but stronger in damage and health
- Destroyer – They move slow but take lots of damage like a tank, they are also guarded by 2 to 5 fighters.
Link to new enemy spreadsheet:
Power up sheet updated
I updated the power up spreadsheet to include another power up while also getting rid of ones we don’t need.
I added the chaff power up at the bottom of the spreadsheet, this acts like an EMP slowing all enemies surrounding the player for 6 seconds.
Link to power up spreadsheet:
Blockout of the main game
I made a block out showing a rough idea on where I want certain things to be placed in the main game such as enemies, power ups, spawns etc.
The player starts off on the small island and I would like the island to be a military base that the player spawns from when they start the game and spawn when they die.
When the player starts they have 6 seconds until the 1st wave begins, this way they get some time to get ready rather then starting them off guns blazing.
All the enemies spawn from the mother ship. Once all the ships are destroyed the mother ship phase begins.
In the mothers ship phase, the player must destroy one of the 5 pieces of the mother ship. Those pieces consist of:
- Communications array
Once a piece is destroyed the next wave beings.
The engines are on the wings of the mother ship so the player has to destroy each of those to destroy the engines completely.
The bridge is on the front of the ship
The communications array is on the top
I want the hangers to be on either the side of the mother ship or the bottom of the mother ship, this isn’t the final look of the mother ship so I placed it here.
I want the core to look like a generator, like something really important, once it’s destroyed, in a few secounds the ship blows up. I want the core to be the last thing the player destroys so it’s not available until all the other pieces are destroyed.
Once a piece of the mother ship is destroyed, the next wave begins but not before power ups spawn on the map and the player has 10 seconds to grab any power ups they want. Once those 10 seconds are over the next wave begins.
It goes like this:
Wave 1, destroy all enemies – mother ship phase, destroy a part – Wave 2, power up collecting for 10 sec – Wave 2 officially begins, destroy all enemies and so on
New power up
We decided to make the chaff power up something the player has form the start and put a cool down on it. So I swapped the Look back button which was originally mapped to the Y button to the Down Dpad and made the chaffs the Y button. I changed it in the control scheme.
Link to control scheme:
I also changed the chaffs power up info, it has a 10 second cool down and it can also disable missiles that are locked on to the player.
Power up spreadsheet:
Loading screen ideas
Theirs going to be loading screens added in the game containing information such as controls and tips for the game.
Similar to other games when during a loading screen some tips are shown at the bottom of the screen.
Example such as:
Fallout new vegas
World of Warcraft
I made a word document containing some tips/hints that can be used in the loading screens
Link to tips/hints word document:
Blocking out the placement of the assets for the military base
I looked at the asset list created by Ryan Duffield and created a blockout of all the assets that are going to be in the level.
The 2 islands are going to be an army base and a village.
I decided to put the army base on the small island because the big island is in the middle of the map where most of the action is going to take place so I think it’s best to put the village in the middle and the army base in the corner.
This image shows off the base from the sky so this is what the player is mostly going to be seeing. I like this blockout because its small, it shows off all the assets and it has this rectangular shape so it’s easy to view everything.
This is a side view of the base and more close up, when the player gets closer they are going to notice the graphics and assets a little more. The problem with the base is that the island has no flat surface so theirs going to be a height problem.
This is where the player is going to start, I made sure it’s within the boundaries so the player doesn’t start off outside of the boundaries.
I put the AA guns on the end of the runway for now theirs only 2 but if the game is a bit hard then more can be added.
The hangers are next to the runway, I put in 3 to represent the 3 planes the game has.
I put the control tower next to the runway because most control towers are next to or near the runway
Their was a big gap between the hangers and the control tower so I through in an equipment shed in their to fill in the gap
Containers and equipment sheds
I created 3 areas which contain general army dressing like containers, sheds, barracks and tanks. The reason for this is to make the base look more like an army base.
Tanks and containers
I made the warehouse the biggest building because I was thinking this can be more like a HQ than a warehouse or maybe the warehouse can be a big building.
I added a huge surface to so all the assets are balanced. I colored the road so it can be seen more easily. The reason for this is so it can be used as a guideline for when the island gets flattened and the actual assets get brought in, I believe that’s the best way to sort this problem out.
Here’s the view from the back, it doesn’t look great with the surface so its best to flatten the island.
For now these are all the assets on the asset list, their are mostly likely going to be more which will add changes to the map.
I wanted to use small army bases, I didn’t want it to be too big so most of my references were army bases form sim games.
Blocking out the placement of the assets for the Village
I created a blockout of all the assets that are going to be used in the village. I decided to put the village on the big island because that’s where most of the action is going to take place.
This is the sky view of the village, this is what the player is going to be mostly seeing as they are playing.
It has the same problem as the army base, the island isn’t flat so the assets are at different heights which is a problem. To fix this the island can be flattened to even the assets out.
Their aren’t that many assets for the village so most of it is covered with houses, if any thing gets added to the list then some of the houses will swapped with whatever else gets made.
The radio tower is in the middle of map and a satellite is attached to it, on the asset list the satellite is something that’s going to be placed on some houses but I also thought it would be good is if the radio tower had a big antenna coming out of it.
The telegraph polls surround the middle of the village, to be honest i’m not sure how telegraph should be placed so I just placed them around them village hoping it would look good. For now I’m going to leave them there.
Near the edge is the harbor, I added a house their which could a be a fish market or something perhaps some fishing boats could be in the water.
Because of there aren’t many assets to add in the village I decided to add in another harbor.
The grey shapes are the roads and when it gets to the harbor it’s this deep.
I tried to use a BPS and edit it so it becomes a slope to see if that would fix the road issues but it doesn’t look good so it’s best to flatten the island.
I added a huge cube to make a surface for the assets, I moved some things around. The assets aren’t clear to see so its best to add a colour to them so they are more visible.
I added colour to some assets so they are more clear to see.
I added another road and more houses to this square patch to fill in some gaps.
The problem is that some of the island is to high for the surface to cover so the island is cutting into the surface which gives it a bad look.
I used small village references so some of these are from video games
The next thing I decided to do is start working the logo, the reason for this is to show off the logo as the game boots up as well as include it in the upcoming trailer.
This is what our logo looked like in first semester.
I thought I’d make it look a bit better by making the icon and the letters pop out a bit more by adding a bevel, and gradient with some texture on the icon. I added the line because the way I had this logo appear in mind is similar to the Bethesda logo of how the words appear from the right side of the logo
Bethesda logo Reference
I also tried repositioning the logo and the words to see if the logo looks any better and I found putting the logo above the text makes it look a lot more professional and simpler. I also made the L and the E upper case while the rest are lower case to see if it looks any better, when I start adding effects to the logos i’l decide if the letters look better with upper case or lower case. I prefer this logo to the previous one for it’s professional and cleaner look however I would still use the previous logo to see if it can look any better during editing..
New logo repositioned
To edit the logo I used adobe after effects and youtube guides as well as templates to help me make these logos look awesome.
I like this logo because it looks cool, the logo is made of metal and theirs a fire reflection in the metal, it also has these particle effects that show fire dust in the foreground. I like this logo but I think it goes on for a bit too long, I want the logo to last for about 7 seconds maximum and this one takes 10 seconds.
I like this logo because it’s short and sweet it can be even shorter if it’s edited to fade out earlier so the logo is about 4 seconds long.
I don’t like this logo because the effect doesn’t work well for this type of logo.
I like how the words “Level Eleven” come out from the side of the logo similar to the Bethesda logo but I think it looks to flashy like its or a youtube channel.
I like this logo because there are aliens in the game so I thought of having an alien theme logo, the problem is that this logo takes too long, the logo should take 7 seconds maximum so as cool as this looks I don’t think it should be used.
This is a different version of the alien logo by adding the logo at the end, once again it takes too long so it wouldn’t be picked.
This old logo looks like emmys, it doesn’t fit the theme of the game or even look like a logo for a video game.
This is most peoples favorite because its short and simple, I agree because it takes about 7 seconds but it can be edited to fade out a little earlier to about 5 seconds making it even shorter.
I made a few changes by swapping the colors and adding a different effect to see if it makes a difference. I like prefer this one to the white background because the white pops out more on the black background than vise versa.
II also added a colorful one by using blue for the background and orange for the logo since blue complements orange it makes the logo pop out more. I prefer the black and white one because it’s simple flat colours and has a professional look to it.
I wanted to do a space logo because their are aliens in the game and they came from space
The 3 logos I like are:
- Burning logo
- Orange logo
- Shape shift logo with black background (I like the white background too but I prefer the black background)
I’m going to ask the rest of the team to see what they prefer and choose the best one.
Research for Trailer
I want the title “Burning Skies” to fit the UI that’s on the main menu similar to battlefield 3 how its similar in colours and font
Battlefield 3 main menu
Our UI has an orange and white colour to it so those should be the main colours used for the title.
Burning skies main menu
I want the trailer to display all the hard work we put in to making the game such as:
- Alien ships
- Power ups
- Island Map
- Particles effects
- Game play
- Mother ship
Similar to many game trailers like Fallout, Call of duty and Far cry to name a few. They mostly contain fade effects or quick shots to the next cool thing showing off everything they can within a few minutes. I want the trailer for the game to be about 2 minutes or less showing everything quick and clear.
Links to trailers:
Fallout 4 launch trailer
Call of duty Modern warfare 2 launch trailer
Far Cry 4 trailer 2
Quick logo edit
Real quick I edited one of the logos because most of the team like the shape shift logo with the black background and white text and logo however they weren’t to happy with the effect used to reveal the logo. Originally the logo had this circle effect but after seeing the diagonal lines reveal the logo the team preferred that effect so I just quickly changed it so now it looks like this.
I worked with design and concept to create a storyboard for the trailer. I decided to use unreal engine 4 show off the storyboard because i’m no artist and my drawings are hard to follow so i’m going to use unreal engine 4 instead.
The trailer starts off showing the logo of our game.
Level Eleven logo
We looked at other trailer to see how they display their logos and we saw that they also display the software they used to make the game, so we were thinking we should the same displaying logos like unreal engine 4, zbrush, 3dsmax etc. Or we can have one screen and put all the logos in it. Lastly we though of adding the Staffordshire university logo to show where the game was made.
Unreal engine 4 logo
Unreal engine 4 video logo
Staffordshire University logo
All logos on one screen
I used the asset level blockout to show how I want each shot to be planned out, this is to be used as a guideline because this isn’t where the assets are going to be placed and these aren’t the final look of the islands so in the mean time i’m going to be suing this blockout to help create the actual trailer for the game.
This storyboard focus’s on some cinematic shots to show off the environments and the alien threat, then when the jet comes in to fight the aliens it transitions to game play where the rest of the footage is going to be actual game play.
The first scene of the trailer is a zoom shot of the two main islands of the game, one island is the village and the other is the base. I want the camera to zoom in slowly for this shot because I want to keep things dynamic rather than having still shots just to show that this is an active trailer. I’m also going to display how long I want each shot to take and the total amount of time the trailer is because I don’t want the trailer to be too long, I would like it to be less than 2 minutes. (3 sec – Total 3 sec)
Scene 1 Alternative
Showing off two big islands might be too much to show in one shot so I had an idea to show off one island instead and that island would be the village because this is the place where most of the action is going to take place. (3 sec -Total 3 sec)
Next scene is close up slow panning shots of the village, the reason for this is to show off our environments and set the tone of our trailer, I want it to be peaceful so when the aliens come in the tone becomes more intense. I also don’t want the shots to be too close to the village because the assets for the village are low poly and wont look good up close so I want the camera to leave a bit of a distance from the village so it looks good enough to show off. I want these shots to last about 2 seconds because I want to show off other parts of the village as well as the base and I don’t want to take up too much time of the trailer showing off environments. (2 sec – Total 5 sec)
Slow Panning shot of one part of the village
The next shot will be another part of the village again using slow panning and lasting 2 seconds (2 sec – Total 7 sec)
Slow panning shot of another part of the village
The last panning shot of the village is the usual slow panning shot but this time I want it to last 3 seconds mainly because I want their to be a fade out because the next shots are going to be of the base where similar shots are going to happen. (3 sec – Total 10 sec)
Slow panning shot of village then fade out
In these next 3 shots they show off the base.
The screen fades in to show the base and the camera slowly pans to keep it dynamic. The base also contain low poly assets so I don’t want the camera to be too close to the assets just far enough to look good from a distance. (2 sec – Total 12 sec)
Fade in, Slow panning shot of base
The next shot is of another part of the base, the artists said that the AA guns and the tanks are high poly and good to look at up close so I would like the next 2 shots to be close ups of the AA guns and the Tanks. (2 sec – Total 14 sec)
Slow close up panning shot of the AA guns
The last shot of the base is of the tanks, since they look good close up its best to show that off to the view to see all the hard work that was put into it. After the shot comes a fade out then fades in to the next scene. (3 sec – Total 17 sec)
Close up panning shot of the tanks then fade out.
Now that the environments have been shown off, it’s time to show the aliens.
The next shot is a fade in then a top down titled view of the village. If possible I would like music to play apart in this trailer just to strengthen the tone even further. This is when the aliens arrive and then it starts to get intense.
I want a slow zoom out of the village and then 2 alien fighters to quickly fly-by, I want them to fly quick enough so you can barely make out what it is that went by.
Fade in, top down titled view of the island, alien fighters quickly fly-by
In the same shot I want the mother ship to show as well but not all of it just small part of it, we don’t want to show off the scale of the mother ship just yet.
After the fighters fly-by a couple seconds later the front of the mother ship appears for a 2 seconds (6 sec – 23 total)
Front of mother ship appearing
An idea we had to show off a bit of the mother ship is instead of showing off a part of the mother ship we show a shadow on the village slowly getting closer this way we can prolong the reveal of the mother ship for a few more seconds hanging on to that suspense until the next shot where a part of the mother ship gets revealed. I prefer this idea to the previous one but if the shadow can’t be done correctly then we may have to stick with the previous idea, showing the front of the mother ship.
The next shot is showing off the mother ship from a different angle I chose the top view and in this shot is one of the few times the camera stays static because the mother ship is going to be slowly moving towards the village and if the camera moves with the mother ship then it would be hard to tell whats moving the camera or the mother ship. (3 sec – Total 26 sec)
Top down still shot of the mother ship moving slowly towards the village
The last shot of the mother ship is another angle of the mother ship this time ts the side view, once again its a still shot of the camera because the mother ship is going to be moving towards the village. After a few seconds the screen fade out. (3 sec – 29 sec)
Side still shot of the mother ship slowly moving towards the village then fade out
Maybe one of the angles can be replaced with a under shot showing off the mother ship from the village perspective to get a sense of scale to the mother ship similar to the film Independence day.
Independence day image of mother ship
Now is time to introduce the player. The screen fades in and shows off a plane starting up.
I want a still shot of the front of the plane showing the engines starting up. This is to show that the plane is going to fight the aliens. The plane is on the run way at the base. (1.5 sec 30.5 sec)
(This isn’t the plane that’s going to be used in the trailer)
Still shot of plane starting up
Next is another still shot of the planes engines powering up from the back, this is to further increase the suspense of the action (1.5 sec – Total 32 sec)
Still shot of engines
Next is a still shot from behind the right wing of the plane, from here the plane revs up and starts moving, then it takes off from the runway with the camera still staying behind the right wing. The reason the camera is on the right wing is because the plane is going to turn right which will then show the mother ship and the fighters
Still shot of the plane from behind the wing (Not suppose to see the mother ship)
The plane takes off and the camera stays in position
Still shot of the plane in the air
The plane turns right then you see the mother ship and fighters. The reason for this is to show off the big threat that the player will be facing. In the actual trailer their wont be this many fighters on the screen and it will also show the other types alien fighters the game has. When the plane makes the turn the camera will zoom out and go behind the plane which will then transition to game play.
Still shot of aliens from behind the right wing of the plane
This is the camera angel that’s going to be used in the main game, positioned behind the plane. (From the plane taking off to the transition would take 11 sec – Total 43 sec)
Transition to in game camera angel and becoming game play
In 43 seconds we show off all the cinematic shots after that comes the game play footage.
From the transition I would like the plane to start firing at one of alien fighters to show off an explosion and all the aliens flying around. (3 sec – Total 46 sec)
Plane firing a missile at a fighter
From here on the rest of the shots are going to be about all action and game play. The shots can be about:
- Power Ups
- Destroying parts of the Mother Ship
- Destroying fighters
- Showing other types of fighters
- Showing off other planes
I would like the trailer to last about 1 minute and 30 sec so theirs 47 seconds to show off game play but I would like the last 6 seconds to display the title of the game “Burning Skies” on a different screen (so 41 seconds to show off game play).
I don’t want to show too much of the game just enough to keep the player wanting to see more of it.
One of the shots can be the plane grabbing a power up and then using it.
Shot of player grabbing a power up
Another shot could be destroying parts of the mother ship to show the huge scale between the player and the mother ship.
Another shot can be the plane chasing a alien fighter
Shot of plane giving chase to an alien fighter
The last shot of action can be the player facing a ton of fighters and then cutting off before clashing.
Plane clashing with a ton of fighters
One idea I had to end the game play footage was a having a huge explosion when the mother ship is destroyed but some of the team thinks that it would give away our big pay off so we think it’s best to leave it out.
The last section of the trailer is displaying the title of the game “Burning Skies”
Burning Skies Title (Not the final look of the title)
This most likely going to be some post processing in the trailer to make it look the best we can make it.
Using post processing on things like:
Title – Instead of having a flat colored screen maybe we can have an animated screen to make the title look more professional.
Audio – Music and sound can play a big part in this trailer like with having the peaceful moments then the intense moments and also sounds for the mother ship and fighter and plane engines etc. Getting the perfects sounds for each of these moments can strength the impact of the trailer immensely.
Special effects – Things like motion blur, slow-mo or speed up certain moments in the trailer to make it more appealing to look at.
Rendering – So the trailer can have all these effects in it and have the best quality possible so it’s sharp and pleasing to look at.
I used Photoshop to create some title for the game which will be displayed at the end of the trailer. These can either be used in the trailer or used as a guideline to make the final title. I will ask the team which title they think fits the game.
Battlefield inspired title
The UI reminded me of the battlefield games and I thought I would make a battlefield themed title.
i made a few fire themed titles since the name is “Burning Skies” an idea I had was set the title on fire, the fire effects could be better.
Burning title 2nd version
Here’s another burning title but this time the flames are distorted and stay behind the letters instead of fire being all over the place. I prefer this fire title compared tot he previous one but theirs better titles coming up.
Burning title version 3
This ones my favorite out of all the flaming titles because the texture on the text really sells the fire a lot better than the previous ones.
I tried different things like adding a background and removing the flames to see if it will look any better. The background differently helps, one cool effect would be to animate the fire to end the trailer on a sweet looking title.
I like this one because it represents both the burning bit of the title and the metal of the alien ships. It would be nice to have the magma and particles animated to really make the title shine.
I like the metal title but that’s all there is and it looks bland.
Light burst title
This one looks more horror themed so it doesn’t fit the mood of shooting down aliens with various weapons and power ups.
XCOM inspired title
I thought of the trying the XCOM title because it has aliens and its high tech, I don’t expect this title to be chosen I just wanted to see if a high tech theme could fit the game.
Monitor effect title
Once again it looks horror themed and doesn’t fit the tone of the game, especially when the trailer is going to show off all the cool action it wouldn’t suit the game when a spooky title shows up at the end.
I used adobe after effects to create a few titles for the trailer.
This title looks like it belongs in a movie trailer rather than a game trailer but it can still be used for a cinematic game trailer with intense music and fade transitions similar to a movie trailer.
I prefer this one the most because it’s relevant to the title of the game. Burning is in the title and the text is on fire as well as having some particle effects smoke to make it stand out more.
This one is my least favorite because it doesn’t fit the theme of the game, the trailer is going to be about action and this doesn’t reflect that.
This is more horror themed but I believe in can still fit depending on the trailer that’s shown, but since the trailer is going to be more action based I don’t think this is going to look good at the end of the trailer.
Scary title orange
This is the same title but with an orange colour since orange is the main colour of the game.
Light burst Title
This is a quick one I made, this one fits the alien theme with it’s light bursting out of the titles, with the right sounds it can fit the alien theme of the game.
Light burst Title Alt
A different way of displaying the title using light bursts, I prefer the previous because the title is more easily readable than this one.
I like this one because the smoke represents the clouds like the title is in the sky hence the name “Burning Skies” and the atmosphere works with game.
Out of all of these I would say the burning title is the best because of how it’s relevant to the title and overall it just looks simple and awesome.
I used after effects to create a fast cinematic trailer with words zooming on the screen very fast.
I gathered a few background videos to blend it in with the fast words, i’m going to ask the team which background they prefer.
I wrote down some generic trailer words to make to put in the trailer things like “the last hope”, “For Humanity”, Not alone” etc. These are just placeholders until the team decides what words we want in our trailer. For now i’m going to use the words to make the fast paced trailer more epic.
Burning clouds background
I like this one the most because it looks like the sky is on fire which fits the title of the game.
This ones more about the cliche that aliens come from light years in space and now they made it to earth.
This one is similar to the previous one accept its a different perspective, I prefer the previous, it looks more cinematic.
This ones simple which is good but I prefer having some relevance to the theme of the game.
Again with the space theme but this time its more empty space with nebula’s and stars. This can work but I prefer a more relevant background.
This one shows the view of the skies but this ones given a green colour to represent the cliche of aliens having a green colour similar to the movie “ALIEN”. I don’t like this one because it’s hard to see the words, the clouds make it difficult to read some of it so this probably won’t be used.
ALIEN movie reference
Kang and Kodos reference
Toy Story green martians reference
This one has particles moving towards the camera it looks pretty but it makes the words difficult to read, I don’t think this work for the trailer.
Out of all of these I prefer the burning clouds because I like how it’s relevant to the game and it can work with the right editing.
The trailer was made with adobe premiere since I have past experience with this software so naturally it’s the logical video editing software to use.
I made part of the trailer, when I tried to open the build some error kept appearing and prevented me from using the build so what I did was use an old playable build and worked with that. I couldn’t get footage of the cinematic intro we planned to have so instead I just got footage of the action. I’m going to have to use the computers in the lab to get the rest of the footage.
I used a recording software to record some game play however the quality is bad but watchable and the frame rate is terrible but can still make out whats going on. I set up the sequence adding things like the intro for the logo, unreal 4 logo and the Staffordshire university logo with some fade in/out effects. I also added the generic trailer words and synced them up with some trailer music I found online. I ended the trailer with the burning title and the release date which is the deadline. It’s a good thing I made this because all the placements of the logos and trailer words have been placed and all that’s needed is to replace the footage with the proper footage from the current build as well as getting footage for the beginning of the trailer before it shows off the game play.
The footage also displays the HUD which I would rather not show in the trailer, sometimes the HUD isn’t shown in some game trailers because it allows more room to see whats going on and that’s why I don’t want the HUD to be displayed. Also I was using a mouse to play the game so it was hard to control.
I made another trailer but this time I took out the generic words to see if it would be any better, I think it makes the trailer better because it shows off more game play which is what people want to see instead of text.
Trailer without text
Cinematic segment of trailer
I used footage from the current build to make the first 45 sec – 1 min first segment of the trailer which involves cinematic elements such as different camera shots, cinematic music and special effects.
I used the assets available to make a quick village and military base on the middle island, this isn’t where the assets are going to be placed in the actual game.
I made a few variations because each one gives a different feel to the trailer and i was experimenting to find the right one, I will discuss with the team what direction we should take this trailer using these mock trailers as a guideline.
The problem with the trailer is that I couldn’t move assets without hovering my mouse over the transform tool on the assets and dragging them to change the position of the assets. Another problem is the unreal engine 4 UI is displayed in the trailer. It looks ridiculous and it extends the time in the trailer but I don’t think it matters because this is just a prototype trailer and in the final trailer it won’t have that.
Cinematic trailer only sounds, no music
In this variation there are only sounds the I got from free sound websites. I added a lot of alien sounds to give it that alien presence, you can’t see them but their coming. I didn’t add the music in this one just encase I decide to use one music track for the whole trailer including the action segment.
Cinematic segment of the trailer with sounds and music
The sounds are the same but when the jet gets introduced the music (EYE OF THE STORM by WattWhite) starts playing at 0:37. This was too add some motivation to the player like it’s time to take the aliens down and the music helps with the that.
Cinematic trailer with epic music all the way through
This variation just has music and no sound, this is gives the trailer a different feel. I used a some epic music and tried to sync it up with the footage, since theirs no horrifying alien sounds the mood changes drastically and it kind of works, perhaps the trailer densest need sound at all, I will discuss with the team to see what they think.
Cinematic segment, no audio
I got rid of the audio on this one so I can use it as a template encase the team doesn’t agree with either of the variations.
Next thing i’m going to do is piece together the 2 segments and sync them up with whats going on in the footage.
Core Game loop
Some members of staff looked at our game and asked what our game loop is, this made me realize that I have’t created a game loop for Burning Skies. It may not be needed at this point in development but I still want to make it not only to give the game a loop but improve my skills in designing core game loops.
The players objective is to destroy alien ships which rewards them with power ups which randomly drop from destroyed ships. The player must survive waves of enemies to then get a chance to destroy a piece of the mothership. Once the player destroys a piece of the mothership the next waves begins and the same process beings until the mothership is destroyed completely. Each wave gets more difficult spawning in more enemies and different types of ships so new strategies and approaches need to be made to overcome. If the player dies then the game is over causing them to start from the beginning, similar to Call of duty of zombies and other wave based shooters. Power ups are their to help the player survive the waves because the challenge and punishment are harsh so a little help is given to assist the player on beating the wave. When the mothership is destroyed the game ends, theirs no high score or reward at the end, just the satisfying feeling of beating a challenging game.
This was the plan for the core game loop but due to time restraints, some things have to be cut out of the game such as destroying pieces of the mothership, we may have to make it so the player destroys the mothership altogether or not even have the mothership at all and survive a number of waves to beat the game.
Core Game Loop Diagram
The team decided that the opening logos are too long, they last for about 15 sec and should be shorted.
I made a few variations on how the logos should be presented to save time on the trailer.
All logos on one screen (2 sec)
This one doesn’t have any animation its a 2 seconds display of the 3 logos.
This one has no animation just quick fades to the 3 logos (5 sec)
This displays the animation of the group logo as well as the uni and unreal logo on the corners. I prefer this one than the rest because it shows off the slick animation and displays all the logos on one screen. (7 sec)
Group logo animation with uni logo then unreal logo (9 sec)
This one shows off the group animation logo with the uni logo in the corner, then the unreal logo quickly displays then fades.
I will discuss with the team which variation they prefer or make a new one entirely because it’s going to be put in the final trailer.
Final Mock Trailer
I made a few variations on how the final trailer should be presented, each one giving a different mood.
I combined the cinematic and action segment together to form the final mock trailer, the quality is bad but as long as my team understands the idea of how the trailer is presented then it’s no big deal since these are just mock trailers and not the real thing.
I used my preferred logo intro in all the variations but that could change depending on what the team thinks is best.
Epic music trailer
This variation just has epic music all the way through which makes the trailer feel a lot bugger and grander. This means sounds aren’t present in the trailer, sounds could help for example explosions during the actions scenes to make those moments more impactful. I didn’t add sounds just to see if the music is all the trailer needed to played along with the footage perhaps it can work but sounds would help. One thing i did add was clash sounds when the text starts appearing on screen just to give it more of an impact, little things like that can help the trailer more awesome.
“Eye of storm” trailer
This trailer is similar to the previous one but just with the different music called “Eye of the storm” it brings a more military feel to it since it’s the military fighting the aliens. I tried to sync the music with he footage but the text and drums that go with it doesn’t quite fit the music. The music can work, I just need to re-position the footage to sync it with sounds of the music.
“This is my world” trailer
Similar to the eye of the storm trailer but with different music called “This is my world” which is fitting because it’s about aliens invading earth and the humans are fighting to save there world. I removed the text in this one because it doesn’t fit well with the music.
Scary beginning then “Eye of the storm”
This starts off with a scary cinematic intro to show that the aliens are coming, but when the plane shows up the “eye of the storm kicks in, this is to say that it’s time to take out these aliens with some awesome music to aid with this. The problem with this is that there’s 2 different moods and they don’t quite transition well, you go from scary music to awesome music. I think it’s best to stick with one mood, it can be a scary trailer or a more epic action trailer which I think fits this game a lot better, theirs nothing scary about this game so theirs no need to make a scary trailer for it. The reason I made a scary segment was just to see if it works for some reason, maybe it might but that’s why I made different types of variations, some might work and some won’t.
Scary beginning then rapid cinematic
This one for me is the weakest, this one contains the scary music which I don’t think is fitting to begin with and the rapid cinematic music for the action segment which fits well and works nicely when synced with the footage. But once again it’s the scary part which shouldn’t be in the trailer and most likely wouldn’t be in the final trailer.
Next thing i’m going to do is discuss with the team what they like from the trailers and then combine our ideas to make one final trailer.
Final Trailer Variations
Their were some problems with the final trailer. not everything went according to my storyboard plan, not all the assets were in the level, some assets weren’t textured, the AI for the alien fighters are screwy, the cinematic segment couldn’t be done, so instead I got all the assets I can on the trailer and over a minute of gameplay.
I did some variations with the music but I don’t think that’s important, as long as there’s some clear game play shown then it should be good.
Most of these variations contain some generic trailer music I found and put in the trailer.
Trailer with Generic trailer music 1
Trailer with Generic trailer music 2
Trailer with “My World” music
Trailer with “Eye of the Storm”
Trailer with “Starlight” music
Trailer with “Katy Perry Fireworks” music
I was messing around with the trailer and tried different things, one thing I came across was Katie Perry and I thought why not. I could try many different things but I would been doing this for a while, as long as there’s some gameplay with some fitting music going along with it, then I believe it’s all fine and dandy.
I’m going to let the whole team decide which trailer they prefer and that would be our final trailer.
Real quick I want to address a mistake I’ve been making through out most of the project. I’ve been calling the game “Burning Skies” when it’s actually called “Burning Sky”, it was an honest mistake and every time I name drop the game it has the wrong title. I realized it too late but I hope to learn from this mistake in the future and make sure I get the name of the game I’m working on correct.
Burning Sky Trailer
The team likes the trailer but because the music is obviously copyright they would rather go for a royalty free music.
I dug up a piece of music which fit what’s going on in the footage, added it to the trailer, synced it up with the footage the best I can and rendered it 1080p 30fps. I also changed the title to “Burning Sky” at the end because of the previously mentioned mistake.
This is the official trailer of Burning Sky.
The first semester had a slow start but with time, the team and I started to improve in communication and teamwork. It wasn’t great but it was an advancement from the start. I started off poorly because I didn’t plan on what had to be done design wise so I had to dwell on it and waste precious time where if I had planned earlier things would have gone a lot smoother.
I realised this quickly and I plans on what to design for the game. From there on I created design documents, spreadsheets, control schemes, tutorial plans and blockouts. It was hard work but I manage to get most of to-do list done. The junior designer wasn’t as helpful, he managed to do some work but not a whole a lot that I set out for him so I did it instead which helped me improve my skills in the long run. I learned a lot from the first semester such as the importance of communication and teamwork as well as responsibility, conflict and time management.
We didn’t manage to put everything we planned into the game mostly due to some of the team not showing up for lessons on time or not at all.
I had ideas for RPG elements such as gaining XP, leveling up and unlocking new weapons.
My original idea was that the player can face the mothership at anytime but they will be too weak, so they must destroy aliens and do small objectives on the side to gain XP. When the player gains levels, they are rewarded with new weapons, health, speed and handling. Once the player believes they are strong enough to beat the mothership they can fight it at any time, all in one life.
This idea got scrapped due to the complex leveling up system that needed to be made and the tech team didn’t have time to make it, so instead we simplified it by adding in a simple wave mechanic.
The final build for first semester wasn’t good, it got half the things we planned in it but there were many problems with the game that needed fixing which will take some time from second semester to fix. It was rough I learned a lot from mistakes and this meant the team had to develop their skills further to make the game awesome.
The second semester was much better, the team communicated more, plans were made early on and more work was being made. I made a to-do list at the start for me and the junior designer to get to work on. Once again the junior designer wasn’t doing much and barely showed up so I had to do most of it myself which has benefited me because the more work I did, the more I improve my skills such as creating design documents, prototyping, blockouts, explaining my ideas in great detail, creating logos, special effects and even video editing. I worked on the trailer for the trailer of the game and put a lot of time into it, planning things like storyboards, camera shots, what should be shown, how long should it be shown etc. It might not be necessary to go through all this for a gameplay trailer, all that needs to be shown off the gameplay and all the hard work the team put into making it. I spent so long on the trailer mainly due to not finding much else to do design wise that late into development, but I also found it fun making a trailer for the game so I decided to spend more time and put a lot of effort into it not only to make it the best trailer I can possibly make for the game but to also improve my video editing skills for future opportunities.
To summarize, the project has had its ups and downs, not everything I created made it into the game but that’s fine because I expected things to be cut from the game. Most the team was fun to work with and I wish them the best of luck. The game turned out ok in the end, there were plenty of bugs that we didn’t have time to fix but it’s somewhat playable. We also had to remove some mechanics to get a fully functional build ready. So we sacrificed fun for functionality which is important because if there’s problems with the game then it can ruin the players experience or even make the game almost unplayable, so compromises had to made.
This was a great experience for me, I learned a lot from this collaboration project and I wish to apply my knowledge into future jobs as well as expand my current knowledge on teamwork, reliability and time management.