Kapzer's Realm

Team Project, Week Three

Out of Lesson: 14 October, 2009

We had a team meeting outside of classes to refine our ideas and decide how we were going to present and demonstrate our game, for which all groups are due to do tomorrow.  With the programmers absent, we designers worked on demonstrating the mechanics of the game, especially the areas of influence, since it was our focal point and the mechanic that a player should pay attention to in order to get their best performance in the game.  I decided that certain buildings would be required in the village, such as the stadium, accommodation, training facilities, and the such.  I made a list of possible assets and determined which would be a must-haves, and which are not so important in order to run an Olympic Village.

We kept the new ideas to a minimum, because we didn’t know what the programmers could or could not do, and with them not present they could not tell us either.  We came across a flaw with our areas of influence system that could cripple the game, since it was a flaw in the core game mechanics.  This flaw was that when an area of influence was active upon another structure, they would gain a multiplier and potentially “upgrade” to a better structure so to speak.  However, when they upgraded, their area of influence would get stronger and in turn have a higher influence, which would affect the original building giving influence, which would in turn upgrade that too.  There would end up being a chain reaction where everything just started to upgrade automatically because a building was placed near it.  Since we found this flaw, we concentrated on fixing it.  We believe we came to a couple of solutions; we could either limit the amount of max influence a structure could gain from another, or I suggested that we could set structures to upgrade manually, meaning the player would be notified that a building is upgradeable and then would have to do it themselves.  We found that the first solution worked a lot better when we demonstrated it physically.

We came to a point where we had a consistent set of ideas, rules, and mechanics which could work together and we could demonstrate for the  lesson.


In Lesson: 15 October, 2009

We came fully prepared for a demonstration, only to find out that we were infact presenting our prototypes next week instead.  However, it wasn’t as if we had nothing to get on with.  We explained the details of the meeting to the programmers only to find that they had a similar idea for areas of influence in mind.  However, they hadn’t realised about the multiplier problem with the areas of influence so we ironed out the details on that and made sure it was manageable by the coders.  They didn’t have a problem with it, so we agreed to set the concept in stone and move onto other aspects of the game.

We went on to deciding a visual style for the game, since we pretty much had game mechanics figured out.  We wanted a distinct style, yet something with a visual flare so it was good to look at.  The style of Viva Pinata was suggested, but I thought that that may be a bit too much colour.  However, I liked the idea of vivid colours, so I used that as a starting point and we discussed games that have that kind of art style.  We went from Prince of Persia, to Katamari, to Street Fighter IV.  However, I mentioned that maybe we should only have the odd bit of vivid colour mixed in with shades of another colour.  I was talking about the art style of Mirror’s Edge – muted whites with a bit of colour.  When I suggested this I was largely thinking about the buildings of a brand new Olympic park.  I wanted them to be clean, but attractive, and the first style that came into my mind happened to be Mirror’s Edge.  To my suprise, the group seemed to agree with me that it could be a nice visual style especially for the buildings.  I had already started to envision the assets in my head.

We wrapped up, clarifying the details of our presentation for the following week, and going over example set plays for structure layouts on a physical grid.

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