The End of Prototyping and a New Challenge


Another challenge passed, another step forward for our team.  I think we’re actually doing really well for ourselves, even if it took a good chunk of time for us to fully pass this challenge.  During the time it took us to pass this, we’ve made a really solid gameplan in order to be able to present during the Senior Show. In addition to this, we took the time to create and test 3 different prototypes in order to decide what game we would be pursuing for the rest of the semester.  These three prototypes were two digital prototypes and one physical prototype. We brought all three of the games to QA and got plenty of feedback on each concept before coming to a decision. In addition to this, we also weighed the pros, cons, and the general risks of each concept against each other.  

Horizons had the benefit of an interesting world, characters, and some unique gameplay mechanics, however, it suffered from being incredibly technically challenging for a team without a programmer.  In addition to this, the game also had trouble standing out among other games in its genre as there is an incredible amount of Action-Platformers already in existence. The second prototype, Juggernaut, had the benefit of being much simpler in terms of systems and had a lot of really solid player feedback options present in it.  Juggernaut suffered from a lack of a solid contextualization and the need for the implementation of multiple difficult systems including AI. The third prototype, Bone Golem, was the game we ended up choosing for a multitude of reasons. While our team lacks a programmer, everyone on the team has a decent grasp of programming. Our designers have also worked on building out every system that would be implemented and created simple drafts for how each of these systems would be implemented into our code.  Bone Golem was also a strong pick due to its incredibly solid narrative contextualization as well as how easily scalable the game is. For any area or sequence that the team would want to add to the game, it wouldn’t actually take much effort to fit it into the game. Content can be dripped into Bone Golem almost without a second thought.  

With the team’s decision to move forward with Bone Golem, the team also needed to take the step forward to assign a lead programmer, someone to decide the technical direction of the game.  I offered to take up this role. While I do not have the most expansive skillset, I firmly believe that I am able to take up this task and move the team in the correct direction. With help from my team and a solid direction in mind, we put together a development timeline for Bone Golem.  This timeline would bring us through every week up until the senior show.  

Speaking of the team, we have been working incredibly well together over these past weeks.  As a whole, we have been able to communicate very well with each other as well both over Mattermost and in meetings.  Our work meetings have been quite productive as well, being able to work in a close environment has made us shoot up in terms of productivity.  

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