Progress Report (Week 6)

Updates for the week…

  • We started the week with a work meeting on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 in which I worked on iterating my Business Document. John completed two VDD’s, while Tony researched mythical creatures (to get an idea for what we want for bosses), and he made a Systems List. Dmitri continued working on the boss prototype while Aaron worked on a model for the worm.
  • On Thursday, October 6th, 2016 we had our usual big discussion meeting…
    • Dmitri started by going through his notes on programming about certain systems and how to tackle them that he took prior to the meeting. This is to help John, who made a systems list prior to the meeting as well. The main gist of these notes is that 2 other prototypes to be made on top of the boss prototype. One for adventuring and one for the merchant-style.
    • For the boss prototype, Dmitri finished it on Monday, but isn’t sure if it needs more work. He pointed out that it’s still shooting, as the melee attacking that we want is still absent. John suggested to continue working to get the melee system in, and then move on to adding the inventory system, and then adding the merchant system with a bigger focus on items instead of haggling customers. John then said he would look into haggling.
    • John was also going to research economy systems and how to have an in-game calendar in Unreal.
    • To combine the three prototypes, Dmitri had the idea that there would be a menu where the player can choose to play the merchant prototype or the boss prototype etc. and still finding a way to connect the two (i.e. what you collected from the boss transfers over to the merchant prototype).
    • We then talked about environments, as multiple are needed for this stage (eventually narrowing it down to one). We thought about Victorian London, a desert, a swamp, and a more traditional fantasy (i.e. Nordic). We also mentioned how we want a disconnect between being in the shop and outside of the shop. (i.e. the player feels warm and safe in the shop; the opposite when they leave)
    • John then mentioned how he is divided between the desert (Middle Eastern) and the cold viking environments because they are easier art-wise for the semester, and trading was a big part of both cultures. Dmitri suggested the cold viking one because then it would be easier to have a coastal town, which way down the line, could be useful as the player can expand to own a fleet.
    • We then discussed time period. We were looking at sometime between 800 to 1300 no matter what the final environment direction is.
    • Following this, we went around the room and said which environment we would prefer. The majority picked the northern, cold, viking-esque enivronment. Even though we’re leaning toward this one, we’re still going to get feedback on the different environments in QA.
    • Building the environment off of there, we had discussion on where exactly our environment is. Dmitri wanted it in the north like we originally had, but not so far north where it’s not the arctic or the tundra.
    • For the society, Dmitri suggested that they’re advanced vikings (i.e. vikings that have material from the Renaissance time period) and have a more industrial side to them. This gives it a reason on why there is so much armor and weapons, because they’re being made at the factories. Following this, we adjusted the time frame to sometime between 1100-1300.
    • The city itself was also discussed in which Dmitri suggested that it’s a city-state, although this would require small villages surrounding the exterior. There could be districts with the shop being in one of them. We also attempted to think of a city name but it was unsuccessful so we decided to call it The Fjord for now. (Since we want a fjord by the town). I then later suggested it be called Kjøpmannfjord (Norwegian) which loosely translates to “Merchant Inlet.”
    • Melee attacks were also discussed which included a slam motion, as well as your sword turning into a gun, but nothing was decided upon. One thing we did want was a light attack and heavy attack.
    • Dates for QA were brought up since we need to bring the ideas to QA. We decided on next Thursday and Saturday.
  • Another meeting was called on Saturday, October 8th, 2016 where we continued our discussion from the last meeting…
    • John mentioned that he researched how to do economy systems in Unreal, but stated that there weren’t any tutorials, and it was more of people trying to “sell” systems they had made themselves.
    • Main discussion for this meeting is audio direction as we need to get basic audio in the prototypes for this stage.
    • For music, the direction we want to take is more Nordic/Folk style as the cold Scandinavian region is where we want to go for environments. The music for the shop would have a more warm and comforting feel, while outside the shop would be more hostile.
    • For combat, we want two basic sounds at minimum for this stage. Something basic for when the player hits the boss.
    • We also want voice acting in the game, at least for the boss for right now. Aaron would do the voice for that.
    • The Grandmaster would be the ‘Strong and Silent’ type, where the only sounds needed from him would be grunting if he got hit or a scream if he dies.
    • The team then looked at the checklist for the Deep Dive stage, as it was pointed out in our recent Core Reviews that the 3rd bullet point on the list is the main thing that needs to be answered in order to move to the Proof of Concept stage. This bullet point mentioned that how do all aspects of the game (i.e. sound, design, mechanics, etc.) all interact to create the player’s experience and what is that experience physically and psychologically (something along those lines). I stressed this bullet point because of its importance.
    • Following this, we talked more about the experience. Since there are two vastly different types of gameplay (resource management and hack & slash) we talked about how the resource management aspect is the core mechanic of our gameplay, while the boss battles are more optional. The player can choose to do these battles if they want rarer items for their inventory.
    • We also want the player to feel like the world is extremely hostile, and the shop is the only safe place.
    • We then briefly discussed what weapon the player would have for the boss battles, with most of us preferring a halberd.
    • For QA, we want to get the boss prototype tested on Thursday of this coming week and get feedback on the boss, as well as artistic feedback.
    • John and Dmitri then drew a rough draft map on what the world would probably look like. Aaron didn’t want islands as he felt this detracts from the world, preferring instead to have a large landmass in the distance.
    • The meeting was then concluded after briefly laying out our tasks to do for the next week. Stay tuned for more updates!
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