Progress Report (Week 8)

Updates for the week…

  • We had a meeting on Sunday, October 16th, 2016 where we mainly looked at QA feedback from the night before. The feedback was as follows…
    • We asked testers once again for what setting/art style they liked best between the desert, vikings, and swamp. This time 12 said desert, 8 for vikings, and 2 for swamp.
    • When asked about the combination of merchant and boss gameplay styles, most testers liked it with some mentioning that it gives the player a nice break if they are tired of being a merchant. Someone suggested making it to where the player can’t abuse the boss system by having a cooldown period after a boss fight where you can’t fight the boss again for a certain amount of time. Someone else suggested having to use items in your inventory to equip yourself for the battle and if you lose the boss battle, you lose those items. A third person suggested having a risk when leaving the shop to do battle (i.e. possibility of store getting robbed).
    • When asked about the boss worm’s behavior, a lot of people said they thought it was good but maybe a little too unpredictable. They understood why it behaved the way it did once they found out it would be a worm in the final build. Some testers thought the boss was too easy and some suggested adding more attacks.
    • Next, the testers were informed that in the final build, there would be a heavy attack and a counter attack/critical strike and were then asked what other combat mechanics they would like to see. Most testers said having a shield and the ability to block would be nice, but keeping the combat simple has worked well already and should stay that way. The small handful that thought otherwise wanted to see ranged attacks.
    • When asked if there was anything on the merchant screen that was confusing, most testers said no and that was very easy to follow and understand. The ones that did have some confusion mentioned the button layout and organization needs to be changed, as well as adding in the prices of the items that you want to buy for your inventory.
    • We then asked testers about in-game time and whether they would prefer real-time or a turn-based calendar system. 7 said real-time, 13 said turn-based, and the rest said either a combination of the two, or that it should vary depending on the task.
    • We mentioned that in the future, players can send out adventurers to retrieve new items for the inventory and that in doing so, each adventurer will have a percentage which tells the player the likelihood of their quest being successful (which will vary based on what they’re equipped with). When asking what testers thoughts were on this, the majority liked the idea and thinks it adds more depth to the merchant side of the game. Some people suggested being able to upgrade adventurers to increase their success percentage, while others suggested penalties if the adventurer fails (such as having to pay their medical bills).
    • Lastly, when asked about the concept itself, most people liked the idea once again, with some suggestions including adding sword racks/armor stands in the shop, and/or being able to upgrade the Grandmaster to where he can take down tougher bosses.
  • After this, we spent the rest of the meeting working, primarily on the presentation for our stage challenge the next day, as the team is challenging into the Proof of Concept stage.
  • Once we challenged, we met with the professor who successfully passed us into the Proof of Concept Stage! 😀 …but it was noted that we didn’t touch on art or audio direction, so he required us to do another formal presentation next class to just touch on these two things, as well as how our secondary mechanics will support the main mechanic.
  • Our next meeting took place on Thursday, October 20th, 2016. In this meeting…
    • Aaron showed us three different mockups he made of our Grandmaster character, which the differences being the clothing in the torso area being slightly different.
    • We then looked at the Proof of Concept checklist, going through each requirement and making sure we got a plan to meet each one of them so we can successfully challenge into Vertical Slice. In my Project Plan, the soft deadline to challenge on is October 31st.
    • On the topic of art direction, we’re not necessarily combining Vikings and a Gobi-desert esque environment. Instead, we’re taking influences from both cultures/areas and using these influences to make our own universe.
    • On the narrative side, we couldn’t talk about it too much, as Tony is our narrative designer (and he wasn’t present at the meeting due to a prior commitment), but we discussed how there will be a dialogue script made for interaction between characters.
    • For the audio direction, we are using music from the shows Vikings and Marco Polo as inspiration for the audio style that we’re wanting to go for. We can only do so much with free sounds, but we’re going to try to use many of the free sounds available and try to combine them and see if any of the combinations sound like something we would want to implement.
  • After this, we had our usual Saturday work meeting on October 22nd, 2016. Just about everyone couldn’t make it due to prior commitments so it was mainly just Tony and I.
  • For this meeting I worked on the Market Analysis, while Tony worked on a dialogue tree. Aaron worked from home as he got to campus without his tablet (which he needed). He worked on character portraits. John was at the meeting for a short while before something came up, but he worked on customer interaction while he was here. Stay tuned for more updates!
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