Planning and Organisation
My research has developed throughout this project. At first I started researching about adventure and what it means. Then I started to delve into articles to learn about the age rating system.
I had an idea of a game at this point and started to look at other games that are similar to what I wanted like legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and Oddworld. I am still looking at similar games and am continuing to develop my ideas.
After I did some research, I started looking at 1900s Victorian and Japanese fashion. The look of the characters I’m using are a mixture of both fashions and personal looks:
I made quite a few changes to the characters look and animation template throughout this project.
Evolution of Design:
The look of the character was first just a doodle of a musician character without much research. The second character was a recolouring to make the colours look more of a japan like. The third look was a lot more research based and followed the look of the 1900s of the Victorian era and japan era. The final look was a recolouring and refining.
The initial design for the guard was based more around the look of Japanese head gear and a 1900s Victorian suit. The badge is made from silver and gold to show who the leader is and that they’re wealthy. The symbol shown is a MiBox (not the android device, but an instrument I made up). A MiBox is an instrument that can combine two of any musical instruments.
The second look includes some colour that takes more inspiration from the Victorian era and includes a bit of shading.
Running animation template:
The first design was me recreating a gif of someone running in pixel art. The second design was me copying this design: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/256634878738225430/.
The second animation took a bit more time to finish, but was so much better. My problem before was I was looping the first half of the animation and not creating another half, which was pointed out by my tutor.
I first started creating a tile-set to meet the look I had in my head. I was happy with the result at the time, but didn’t realise how much better it could be. The recreation on the right was a more simplistic one, which was created to make the characters pop out more.
My preparation for the pitch could’ve went better, but I believe I made a good effort. I wasn’t fully prepared for all questions asked and I didn’t have examples of everything.
My unique selling point of the game was using a flute mechanic for puzzles. I don’t know many games that uses a flute as a tool for puzzles, so the gameplay is very unique. The only game that comes to mind is Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time.
Even though it is similar to Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, it is very different. My game has a rat and real time combat system. It uses the camera location to pick up a guard instance and then unlocks the flute system in that instance. The real time combat is where it approaches (not always) the player and they must react in time or they lose.
The game unique selling point worked really well with my target audience chosen, which was 7+. Children love music and so do most adults, otherwise Disney wouldn’t be so popular. This makes my theme of the game (music), such a good choice, because it hits a wide audience.
After presenting my game idea and showing what was currently made to my client, I was told that I needed more visual examples of gameplay. He also said, that making a mock-up of the game physically or digitally will save time in the long run.
The take away point was, to focus on the graphics more and less on the technical side. Even though it was great I could do the technical side, it could waste a lot of time. For example: If I created a function that isn’t needed, I would have to throw most/all of it away, which could’ve taken months to make, but if I needed to do the same thing with art, I wouldn’t lose as much time.
What I’ve learnt
I learnt that I was working too much like a software engineer, than the project required. I needed to focus more like a graphic designer than a software engineer. Meaning I need to focus more on creating graphics and gameplay ideas than systems.
I didn’t realise I acted and worked like a software engineer, until someone pointed it out. Sometimes I miss the most simplistic things.
I also didn’t realise how important it was to make mock ups of a game before starting to create/design it. I typically just come up with ideas through a conversation, then funnel them down until we/I come across an idea we/I liked. From there I start coming up with characters, graphics and functionality. I might start mocking up ideas before I start work making the game.
What I could do better and improving personal development
I could’ve planned better for the presentation and produced more visual examples of gameplay and concepts. This would help my personal development, because I can present my ideas more easily.
I should have researched more in-depth about how my character will look like, before I started creating concepts. This is because, the low research based concepts used up time I could have used for researching about how the character looks. This would have given me more time to create better concepts and code.
I occasionally didn’t manage the time I had well and will aim to improve this further forward. I did notice that jumping ahead occasionally helped to meet deadlines, through inspiring ideas and being productive while thinking.
By not focusing on creating mock ups, it has affected my productivity, because I don’t have much back to look on. I do have research, tutorials and articles, but having level designs and concept art may have been more useful. I do need a lot of research to make a good design choices, but I also need a good amount of concept art and level designs to make a good environment and graphics.