Progress Report (Week 5)

Hello everyone! Here are the updates for the week…

  • We started the week by having our usual work meeting on Sunday, September 25th, 2016. We spent most of the time getting our presentation ready for our stage challenge into Deep Dive tomorrow morning.
  • The important decision of choosing between the 2 ideas also needed to be made, and after discussing it further, we still hadn’t come to an official decision, but for our presentation, we decided to go with My Prices Are More Than Fair, and leaving it open-ended for feedback.
  • The following morning we had our stage challenge where we presented our 3 ideas, mentioning that we scrapped Wizards in Training a little early. Our presentation included gifs of each prototype, the concept, market analyses, risks and how to overcome them, basically everything but the kitchen sink. After presenting, most people were excited that we chose My Prices and couldn’t wait to see how the game would turn out.
  • We then met with our Professor the following day (Tuesday), to discuss whether or not our team was ready to move into Deep Dive. He started off by immediately saying we picked the right game to go with. After discussion of our presentation, he felt like we were good to go into Deep Dive, much to the relief of the team.
  • One problem we still had was the divide in our team between My Prices and Warm Fighter, which we addressed to our Professor. He suggested we find a way to combine the two. This is a lot easier said than done, considering they are two completely different ideas.
  • We then had our usual meeting on Thursday, September 29th, 2016, to discuss how to combine the two ideas. I wasn’t able to jot everything down due to having to restart my computer twice for updates, but I did get the majority which is listed below…
    • Dmitri had a suggestion with the combination of the two ideas where you manage a guild, with the boss fights against the lava worms being the quests that your adventurers (employees) take on.
    • John met with our Core professor and suggested that instead of the player switching from the merchant, to the adventurer fighting the lava worm, a cinematic is played instead showing the adventurer defeating or failing to defeat the lava worm, since having the two different playing styles would be too jarring.
    • John also brainstormed further on the environment and leveling up. He drew a diagram where the player starts in the street as a trenchcoat merchant. After making a certain amount of money, they unlock access to a bazaar, where they can purchase a cart that they can sell from if they choose. Then when enough money is made, another neighboring area is unlocked and so on and so forth. The con with this is that it would need lots of environmental assets.
    • Aaron then mentioned we need an art direction. What time period? How “greasy” of a salesman is the character? Time periods thrown around were 1600s London, Anything Germanic, and Mongolian.
    • John then mentioned that we need make this into an actual game instead of a toy. He thought about how the player can lose the game. This included implementing expenses and what can cause them to rise. Not making a profit can make the player lose money, using the sabotage system too much, and the adventurers dying on their quest to bring you items were ideas he pitched out. When their net worth drops to a certain amount, the player loses.
    • The team also had a discussion of being able to talk to suppliers so you can buy items from them to put into your inventory.
    • We then had a lengthy talk on an economy system. Having an intricate economy system will be really difficult to implement, so we’ve discussed stuff that would be very basic such as selling items lower than what you bought it for would make you lose money, and selling them too high would lower the market price for the item, taxes coming into play when you own a shop (and guards trying to stop you from selling if you’re still at the trenchcoat level since you wouldn’t have to worry about taxes), etc.
    • We were then stuck on how to combine the two games since they were so different. We want the merchant selling to customers, but we want the boss battles with the “warms.” Then John and Dmitri came up with a great idea where we scrap the trenchcoat part and the player is an old retired adventurer (called the ‘Grandmaster’) who still wants to live the days of his youth, but can’t go out to adventure as much, so he opened up a shop where he sells the items from his collections from his adventures. The player can still go out to fight monsters to get new loot for their inventory. This can aspire new adventurers to come to you, which the player can hire to help in their shop while simultaneously mentoring them to make them better adventurers. This also takes care of the expenses since you pay the adventurers for their help. The team really likes this direction as it gets us over the wall we just ran in to.
    • We elaborated more on the combat for this new idea and we felt it go to a more hack & slash style. The boss fights wouldn’t take that long to do.
    • The loss state of the game, could be if the player brings in too many adventurers or failing to defeat the boss.
    • It was suggested that every time adventurers fight a boss and fail, the player learns something about each boss (i.e. it’s middle hump is the weakness). Then the player can teach the adventurer what the weaknesses is and attack it next time, which can increase the success rate that the adventurer will complete the quest.
    • Since this is a combination of the two ideas, we decided to change the working title from My Prices Are More Than Fair to The Grandmaster.
  • Now that we have a brand new game called The Grandmaster, a hybrid between My Prices Are More Than Fair and Warm Fighter, we had our usual work meeting on Saturday, October 1st, 2016. We started the meeting by having Dmitri run a “crash-course” of Unreal to Tony and John, as we’re planning to develop the game in this engine. A “crash-course” was needed because John and Tony aren’t too familiar with Unreal.
  • Following this, we spent the rest of the meeting as a work session, although this was way more laid back than usual since we don’t have a stage challenge to get ready for, or any type of formal presentation.
  • I mainly worked on the rough draft for a Project Plan for the rest of the semester, and answered any question the team had and helped out when necessary.
  • Aaron and Tony worked on researching mythical creatures to get some ideas for the bosses of the game.
  • John worked on the VDD of the systems (i.e. Merchant screen, boss, and adventuring)
  • Dmitri worked some more on his movement prototype.
  • And that’s it for this week! Stay tuned for updates!
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