Progress Report – Week 3

Here it is! The last week of Sprint 5 (1st sprint for this semester) on the most electrifying game in entertainment today…if ya smelllllllllll what The Grand Master is cookin’! Updates for the week…

  • Monday, January 30th, 2017 had both an Artist and Designer Meeting. For the art meeting…
    • They met in Foster with the intention of working on 3 characters to develop a cohesive workflow and style for the game.
    • Do to unfortunate scheduling conflicts the meeting was cut short.
    • During the time they had, they worked on characters for about an hour
    • They also decided to each work on characters on their own before the meeting on Wednesday and to use that time to discuss the style and workflow that they believe is most successful.
  • For the Designer Meeting (of which I was present for this week)…
    • It only included 3 of the 5 Designers as Jed and Dennis could not make it.
    • We checked in with everyone. John finished the UI layout but needs to reformat it so it can be on the Wiki. He also added objects into the shop to make it look full and less empty. He is planning to research more in the UI so he can fully take it over.
    • Tony focused on Adventurer Quests, coming up with rewards and noticed there was no failure text, in which he was planning on changing it to match the new quests.
    • Riley worked on the boss doc, figuring out attack types for each boss, and wanted to discuss it.
    • We then discussed boss types. The Quadruped and Canine classes were combined into one. Riley is planning on adding more attack types to each boss and variations of it.
    • John wanted to do a paper prototype of the adventuring system, but due to him being busy with UI, he suggested passing it on to Dennis.
    • We then discussed attack types for each boss. John believes each boss should have 2 main attacks. One based on movement and one based on being stationary. For the Tundra Worm shooting out Ice Spikes and Jabbing at the player were the 2 suggested. For a lava worm shooting out a Lava Plume and/or a Fireball were suggested. As for the trolls, the Mountain troll’s attack suggestions were sweeping a club and stomping. The Ice Giant’s attack suggestions were a semi-circle of ice shards that shoot forward as well as stomps.
    • An Armored troll was pitched, where it would be slow and sweep the club, then once the player attacks it enough, the armor will fall off and cause the troll to be faster and more berserk.
    • Svartalfar would be fought in a forested foggy area. Tony suggested that he can disappear into the fog and reappear somewhere else. We then thought of other variants for this, such as instead of fog, he hides up in trees and things fall from the trees while he’s up there.
    • For adventurer quests, it was pitched by Programmers beforehand that it would be the adventurers fighting the bosses instead of The Grand Master. John suggested an idea where (if we go down this route) the adventurer would go out and if it gets injured or dies, The Grand Master has to go out and complete the quest.
    • We then talked about a loading screen. Moving down an empty hallway was suggested.
    • For our Wednesday meeting’s agenda, the Designers want to bring up to Aaron about walking animations, in addition to other mechanic ideas for Svartalfar and input on misc. mechanic ideas.
  • Fast forward to Wednesday, February 1st, 2017. It’s a new month already! Anyway, there was a Programmer meeting followed by our Full Group discussion-based meeting. As for the Programmer meeting…
    • They talked about what has been done and what is planning to be done.
    • Gabby had made a plan to code the customer classes, but had to be scrapped due to the new design from the Designers. Also, after dealing with school computer problems, she worked on making the character customer class, and will work on the customer reading from a file. When finished, she plans to mess around with the inventory system.
    • Dan worked on reading on bullet damage, fixed bugs in regards to player health, tried to build a debugging class but scrapped it after the attempt was deemed unsuccessful. He also worked on values that can now be edited by Designers. He is now going to rework some of the Tundra Worm, and work on the basic decision tree. When finished, he plans to go back to working on text and add more variables to the boss.
  • Short and sweet is what that meeting was…and now for the Full Group discussion…
    • I started the meeting by showing what still needed to be logged as well as today’s agenda.
    • We then did a quick scrum to see how everyone was doing. The Artists have been working on villager models, bosses, and environments. The Designers worked on a multitude of things such as the Narrative Bible, signing us up for QA to test the new UI, and Boss Mechanic ideas. A paper prototype of the adventuring system is also being created. The Programmers have been working on customer logic, bullet damage and # of bullets for the Tundra Worm. Cheat codes were added so we can skip to the boss when needed.
    • John had questions to Aaron about The Grand Master’s animations. It would involve building another level but there are three Designers who can do levels.
    • John also brought up the loading screen suggestion of walking down the hallway. Jed was confused on what that would look like. It would be in the isometric view of The Grand Master walking down the hallway, which the player can control to pass the time. Gabby then brought up that we currently don’t need loading screens so this could be an idea in the future.
    • The Designers then asked for ideas for the mechanics for Svartalfar. John mentioned the ideas they had so far such as disappearing into the fog, etc.
    • A question was asked whether the player is knocked back when hit. Gabby suggested the player staggers for a second. Another suggestion was that he slides back.
    • We then asked about other misc. ideas related to mechanics. John went through the mechanics for each boss. Aaron suggested adding a poison attack.
    • There was some confusion on how Svartalfar is an elf, but doesn’t look like one. It would more resemble Gollum.
    • The Programmers had questions on Boss priority. The Tundra Worm would be first since it was created last semester. Riley suggested having a Troll next, but Dan felt iffy on that since he is still learning Unreal. John suggested going through all of the worm variants.
    • The Artists wanted feedback on the villager model that was made. Suggestions were made to how to swap parts to make many character variants quickly. Aaron noted that he can swap legs, others suggested torso. It’s eye sockets were brought up that the way they look now makes it seem as if he is wearing glasses, by accident.
    • I then talked to the leads about the Sprint Review and that their respective reports need to be done before Friday so I can make the team report.
  • I got the reports from each lead on time and compiled them to make the team report. Overall everything is still going pretty smooth, but as with every game being developed there are a few concerns. The big one was time, as the Programmers felt like they wouldn’t have enough time to complete everything and suggested that we shouldn’t plan to add anything else to the game aside from what is already planned. The Designers were concerned about natural design things, such as making sure the narrative is cohesive and the UI is functional and clear. The Artists were concerned with that art style that I mentioned previously, in which we made the solution to use 3D low-poly models and vertex painting.
  • We then pushed out a new build and brought it to QA on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 to test the new camera view in the shop. A paper prototype showcasing the adventuring system and the new (planned) UI was also brought in and tested. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Testers loved the new camera view and stated how the UI made thing a lot clearer than before. A great test session all around!
  • Our class was then held on Friday, February 3rd, 2017, which marked the official last day of Sprint 5!
  • Our work-based Full Group meeting was then held on Saturday, February 4th, 2017. The official first day of Sprint 6!
    • I was going to conduct the Sprint Review, but not every member was present. Despite this, the sprint reports are all on the Wiki for everyone to look at.
    • I instead worked on organizing the tasks and moving the ones still in progress to the next sprint.
    • The Design department worked on various things, such as creating the arena for the Lava worm, blog posts, UI tweaks, and adventurer quests. The Designers planned to have a “quest-lock” today. They also changed Svartalfar’s name to just Alfar since many teammates were having trouble with his pronunciation.
    • The Art department worked on coloring and rigging The Grand Master, adding spikes to the Tundra Worm, blog posts, and concepts for environments.
    • The Programming department worked on merging branches together and switching to mercurial.
  • All in all, a great Sprint all around and the next Sprint is continuing that momentum so far! Lots of progress being made. Now time to get some characters in-game as well as the new UI. Stay tuned for more updates!
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