Progress Report – Week 10

Spring Break is over now it’s back to working endlessly for another month. Updates for the week…

  • Designer Meeting on Monday, March 20th, 2017…
    • Talked about what they did over the break.
      • John worked on progression system, expects to be done on Friday
      • Jed and Riley worked on implementing dialogue into text files
    • John told the team about talking with Dmitri over break and the dialogue system’s progress.
    • Went over the timeline for the next 6 weeks
    • John asked narrative writers how many interactions there are total, 63 total interactions need to be implemented.
    • Discussed team trailer filming for the senior show.
  • Artist Work Meeting on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017…
    • Amanda worked on the Dark Elf Model.
    • Aaron worked on the Troll Rig.
    • Ben showed up late but upon arrival, he worked on environment assets and vertex painting the tree leaves.
  • Programmer Meeting on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017…
    • They discussed what was worked on over break…
      • Dan was fixing broken animations.
      • Dmitri debugged adventurers and started adventurer UI.
      • Gabby focused on projects for other classes.
    • They then made a list of what still needed to be done which included…
      • Animation Implementation
      • Progression System
      • UI polish
      • 5-min idle screen
      • Better save data
      • 3D map
      • Hooking up new bosses/maps
      • Changes to top-down character
      • Suppliers and Drifters
      • Cutscene implementation
      • and Options Menu
  • Full Group Discussion Meeting on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017…
    • We started with a quick Scrum…
      • Tony finished writing his last character.
      • Jed finished¬†his characters today.
      • Riley started putting dialogue into text files.
      • Dmitri worked on debugging and tried getting new adventurer UI working and modified success chance. He plans to implement everything else that needs to be in and making sure it all works together.
      • Dennis is still working on dialogue for his characters and has been talking to someone for our game trailer.
      • John worked on prototyping the progression system and is having good progress with it. Now he’s making it as streamlined as he can so he can hand it off to the Programmers.
      • Ben didn’t get much done but worked on small props and trees and vertex painted. He had a big portfolio assignment due tomorrow, so after that, he is going to start chugging along with the environments.
      • Aaron completed villager models and are ready to be implemented. He plans to rig the troll and animate him soon.
      • Dan fixed a bug with the worm and should be in by Friday.
      • Gabby didn’t get a chance to work on production.
      • Amanda polished the troll and finished the mesh. She has now started on the dark elf, Alfar.
    • The Designers brought up how there are 63 character interactions in total and so they asked Gabby if she could show them how to connect text files to the dialogue system so she can work on more important tasks while they can work on this.
    • They then wanted to check-in with Dan on the worm boss and if it’s ready to implement…which Dan answered in his scrum by saying it should be in by Friday.
    • They then asked Dmitri about the map. Dmitri said that it would be time-consuming to make it 3D because you have to do that, and make sure everything works as well.
    • John then suggested the next Designer meeting be a work meeting to work on the map and get the text files into the dialogue system.
    • The team was then reminded that there are only 4 or so weeks left until the final version of our game has to be completed.
    • We then discussed the poster as it is more of an infographic and not a movie-type poster. The Designers decided to take on this task.
    • We discussed our polish stage, which is coming up. One of the main things we want to polish are the menus and the balancing of items.
    • Jed then brought up QA and that we need to go this week to test our dialogue prototype.
    • Amanda then brought up a big issue that there may not be enough time to get Alfar in because she still has to finish concepting/modeling it and then Aaron has to rig and animate it. We can’t really cut it unless the dialogue is re-written since the ending revolves around him. Ben suggested re-using The Grand Master’s model and rig to use for Alfar. Dmitri then said the AI would still need to be done for it.
    • There was then a suggestion for the final boss to be the Worm and Troll at the same time. There would then be the issue of the two bosses popping up on top of each other, in which a solution was made to have it be on the ocean shore with the Worm being a Sea Serpent that stays in the water, while the Troll stays on the land.
    • Narrative-wise, the dialogue needs to be rewritten to replace Alfar with a reason for having to fight them both at the same time.
    • Amanda who was going to work on Alfar, will now spend time working more on UI and then will move onto re-skinning.
    • Jed then asked if we still want to have a dialogue wheel. John suggested to hold off for now and if there’s enough time in polish then we can add it.
    • The player’s stamina in the boss fights were discussed. The suggestions were one dash and 2-second cooldown, 3 consecutive dashes with 6-second cooldown, etc. Right now, the player can dash infinitely and players prefer that over normal moving.
  • We then had class on Friday, March 24th, 2017 in which our professor was absent due to falling ill…we spent the class working.
  • The week was then concluded with our Full Group Work Meeting on Saturday, March 25th, 2017…
    • I updated the general Business doc, and discussed the release timeline with John since the timeline starts today. I also created the square branding image that Steam requires.
    • The Art Department worked on UI and animating customers. Ben, despite not being present, worked on environments from home.
    • The Design Department continued character interactions/dialogue.
    • Dennis brought in somebody who can help shoot the video for our game reel and discussed plans with him.
    • The Programming Department worked on hit detection and response dialogue.
  • It sucks that we had to cut some more…(specifically Alfar) but this did lift some of the weight off our shoulders since there is only 4 weeks or so left. So much to do, so little time, but now we’re not as worried after these cuts…we are still a little worried though, as everyone should be, but if we build it…they will come! Stay tuned for updates!

Progress Report – Week 9

  • Very short post this week as we were on spring break. Just about everyone worked on their respective tasks during their free time.
  • A few of us did stay on or near campus during the break so we met up on Saturday, March 18th, 2017 for a work meeting. Those in attendance were Jed, John, Riley, and myself.
    • Prior to the meeting I worked on our game’s page for the school’s Senior Recruitment Book. A part of this included a brief description of our game. At the meeting I looked this over with John to finalize it.
    • John worked on the Progression System prototype and plans to hand it off to the Programmers soon.
    • Riley worked on adding dialogue to the text files.
    • Jed updated the dialogue for his assigned characters.
  • Now that spring break is over it’s time to get back on track and see where we’re at this next week. Hopefully we’ll be in a good position or else we’re going to have to cut a lot more stuff, especially since we’re having our feature lock soon.
  • Other than this, there wasn’t much else as everyone enjoyed as much of the break as they could. Stay tuned for updates!

Progress Report – Week 8

Updates for the week…

  • Designer Meeting on Monday, March 6th, 2017…
    • Dennis finished quests and started working on Caizan dialogue
    • Tony has finished his Drifter dialogue and will be working on customer dialogue and hope to get customer dialogue done tomorrow.
    • Jed tried to put in the customer dialogue in the text files and has been finishing up his customer dialogue, he does need to work on one more however.
    • Riley finished updating Dialogue doc, will be working on 2 more level block outs, and will help with implementing dialogue.
    • John has completed Combat Mechanic doc and plans to create a time table for Progression System implementation and wants to create a Social Media campaign.
    • Asked about Sid and audio situation, Dennis mentioned talking to an audio designer at GDC might be worth sending him an email.
    • Discussed best use of time for implementing features.
    • Did narrative read through.
  • Artist Check-In on Monday, March 6th, 2017…
    • They had a brief discussion on what they all planned to accomplish this week.
      • Aaron is going to continue working on the villagers.
      • Amanda is going to continue working on the boar/troll.
      • Ben is going to continue working on boss arena environments
  • Artist Work Meeting on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 (in which I attended)…
    • Aaron continued work on the villagers.
    • Amanda continued modeling of the Troll.
    • Ben worked on UV’ing and roughing-out the level blockouts so he can build them all up at once.
    • I setup a Facebook page for our game which can be found at facebook.com/TheGrandMasterOfficial
  • Programmer Meeting on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017…
    • They created a timetable for things that need to get done which included…
      • Dialogue and Customer System Integration
      • Boss fights
      • Implementation of animations
      • Adventurer system
      • Tutorial
      • Progression System (which may be cut depending on how much is done at the end of this sprint)
  • Full Group Discussion Meeting on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017…
    • Quick scrum…
      • I started a Facebook page and might start an Instagram as well. I still hasn’t heard back from Jonna.
      • Riley finished the ice troll level blockout and is working on the armored troll. He also updated the dialogue doc.
      • Gabby has been focusing on other projects.
      • Dmitri worked on Aaron’s skeleton, so now there’s skeletal meshes for the villagers. He also worked on UI and plans to implement worm animations.
      • John has been reading through the dialogue and plans to meet with the leads to create a timetable from now until feature lock.
      • Dan worked on the obvious worm and still has to fix some bugs. He had a concern that the fight is too easy.
      • Aaron worked on the villagers and hopes to finish it this week. After that he will animate the troll.
      • Ben fixed the UV’s on the shop and still needs to get it into mercurial. He just UV’d a boss arena and did rough blockouts on the village.
      • Amanda has been working on the Troll and is almost done. It still needs vertex painting and putting on fur.
      • Tony worked on dialogue for the recurring characters and finished them.
      • Jed started transferring the dialogue into text files.
      • Dennis focused on other classes.
    • Aaron wanted to talk about the armored troll and wanted to know its intelligence. Riley said he wouldn’t be very intelligent. He also mentioned that since it’s armored he has to make new assets and then the Programmers have to add the logic to it. Aaron suggested we should cut it so time can be spent elsewhere so the team agreed to cut the armored troll.
    • Ben then asked Riley which levels he made has higher priority over others. The tutorial one is first priority, then the Mountain Troll, then the Lava Worm, then Elf, then Ice Worm.
    • The Designers wanted Gabby to show them a text file walkthrough. Gabby said it’s just making folders and naming them.
    • They then asked if there was any progress on the connection between dialogue and the UI. Dmitri was able to break it. Gabby can’t figure out why it crashes despite trying several different methods. They are getting closer to finding a solution though.
    • They then asked Dan how the worm mechanics/implementation is coming along. He mentioned how the worm broke when it touched the player so he is trying to fix that among various other little bugs.
    • John wanted to ask Aaron and Amanda if the troll should have a club. They then discussed having a tree trunk as his weapon instead of a club.
    • John then also wanted to confirm the haggling mechanic placement. He asked whether it appears before or after the dialogue options. Gabby said after because you have to pitch the item and then sell it essentially.
    • Jed was then worried if anything dialogue wise could be visually in, which again, it can’t. John said they were going to make a Twine involving the dialogue to test at QA.
    • Dmitri then asked the Designers if they can work on the Progression System because the Programmers don’t have much time to work on that or else it would most likely have to be cut. In addition to this, he also mentioned other work Designers can do if they need stuff is to work on the main menu and options menu.
  • We then had our class on Friday, March 10th, 2017. Dmitri was able to figure out why the spawning of a customer kept crashing the game. It was because the customer was being called without any instantiation. Despite this, it still couldn’t get the dialogue for that specific customer but could get it for the rest of them.
  • That was the end of our week as there was no work meeting the next day (Saturday) due to the start of spring break! Yay!! It’s not too much of a break as most of our team will still be working on our game throughout the week. We’ve determined that this break is really the “make or break” for us because if we don’t get everything in that is planned to be in this week then we’re going to have to cut even more features and we really don’t want to cut any more than we already have.
  • Most of the team is also staying up here for the break so the ones that are here are going to try and meet up sometime in the week for a work meeting. Other than that next week’s post will probably be pretty short since there won’t be any other meetings. We’re still in good shape as of now, despite being slightly behind schedule but as stated before, everything hinges on what’s done during this next week. Stay tuned for updates!

Progress Report – Week 7

Updates for the week…

  • Designer Meeting on Monday, February 27th, 2017…
    • John has been working on the progression doc, and planning on working on updating the adventurer doc.
    • Dennis has been working on UI fonts, Reel storyboarding, and dialogue.
    • Tony has been writing supplier dialogue and item dialogue and placement in shops/tiers.
    • Jed worked on generic customer dialogue, as well as Desna, Ragnar, and Ereka’s first meetings. He plans on getting more openings and interactions done.
    • Riley finished up the level blockouts and updated some to fix bugs.
    • They talked about 3D map implementation
    • Discussed Sid’s audio clip
    • Agreed on Saturday for testing
    • Planned on getting Tutorial in for next sprint.
  • Artist Check-In also on February 27th…
    • They met through Discord and discussed what they wanted to complete by Wednesday night.
    • Ben is to complete the first pass at the worm pit boss environment.
    • Aaron is going to work on more worm animations.
    • Amanda is to start the troll boss modeling.
  • Artist Work Meeting on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017…
    • Amanda worked on modeling the troll boss.
    • Aaron worked on some more villager models.
    • Ben (who showed up late) worked on the worm pit environment
  • Programmer Meeting also on March 1st (which I attended)…
    • Dmitri talked to the Designers saying that they should add more clarification to documents. It has lead to miscommunication among the Programmers.
    • Gabby expressed concern with the Designers stating that they haven’t really worked on systems, as well as they misunderstood her question about the dialogue system, which was whether or not the dialogue was specific to the item or if it was generic.
    • We then looked at Gabby’s drawing of how she interpreted the system while she explained it. She suggests that the Designers should go generic with the dialogue.
    • Gabby also started on The Grand Master’s responses.
    • We then drew a sketch for a new possible layout for the text responses, where they’re all stacked on top of each other, instead of having 4 blocks, since Jed in an earlier meeting mentioned the 4-box method might be too small to fit all of the text.
    • We then drew a diagram of the flow of the dialogue/trust system, which goes through the process of talking to the customer and selling to them. Choosing the item they’re looking for creates a positive response and vice-versa. Then if the item is right, you have the 4 dialogue options, each that can leave a positive/negative response and can increase/decrease customer trust and chance of making a sale.
    • Gabby then said that if the player chooses negative, she is not sure which route it goes after that. The 2 options are it brings the 4 choices up again, or it creates a new set of dialogue options, giving the player another chance to choose a positive option with both ways, but the 2nd way also increases the negative chance.
    • She then also suggested the possibility of increasing difficulty by having the range of trust go from -1 to 1 instead of 0 to 1.
    • We then asked Dan how the worm is coming along. Right now, it kills the player if they get close so he’s trying to fix that to where it only happens during the pop up animation.
    • For behaviors, Dan says it’s been going great and sees no problem with it being in on Friday.
  • We then had our big Full Group Discussion also on March 1st…
    • Sid, our sound guy attended as well. Dennis was absent due to being at GDC.
    • We started with a quick Scrum…
      • Tony worked on items and what tier they should belong to based on the progression system.
      • Jed worked on generic customers and plans on finishing middle interactions.
      • Gabby worked on dialogue system implementation.
      • Riley continued level design and had some bugs, but should be fixed now. He plans on making 3 more levels. He also suggested having the levels change up.
      • John finished the progression system doc and now needs the tools from the Programmers so he can go into the build. He then mentioned that Dennis has been working on introductions to his characters and is working on a sound effect list.
      • Ben worked on the first boss level and plans to have a first pass in build tonight.
      • Aaron worked on animations for the worm. He has several finished and is ready to be put in the game. He plans to either continue the villagers or animation The Grand Master.
      • Dan worked on worm damage and still needs to fix it but other than that and putting animations on it, it is almost done.
      • Dmitri added Amanda’s art to the wheel and tweaked the top-down character so it follows the mouse. He plans on doing system integration.
      • Amanda finished the textures and shading for the UI and started working on the Troll.
    • The Designers clarified with Gabby that what she made for the dialogue system is what the Designers were looking for.
    • She then mentioned to the Designers that she needs clear documentation for the dialogue, as all of them are outdated.
    • She then also explained how exactly the system works to the Designers so everyone was on the same page. She then asked the question of the 2 choices were it brings up the same dialogue or if it brings up new dialogue. John suggested keeping the same dialogue.
    • Another question Gabby had is if the customers should have the same intro dialogue, which the Designers agreed that would be easier.
    • She then asked the question about the slider bar and what the max on it should be. Right now it increases to 100% more than the base price. John suggested going up to 200%.
    • She then also asked the trust question on if it should go from -1 to 1 instead of 0 to 1 (which would increase difficulty). John thinks we should switch to the -1 to 1 scale.
    • Jed had a question if it was possible to add branches to the dialogue for recurring customers. Gabby already wrote the functions but said that he could.
    • We then talked with Sid and he made three songs that are up on Slack. He thought 1 would be good for the shop and the second one would be for the boss battle. The 3rd one is just something he had composed and thought it could be used if necessary.
    • I was then asked about a minor audio task Dennis assigned me. Dennis had showed me an ancient Swedish herding call video and I got the singer’s contact information in case we want to see if it has royalty-free use. I also found a website with royalty-free sound effects that contain those ancient Swedish sounds.
    • We made and sent Dennis GIFs so he could show our game to people he talks to at GDC.
    • The Programmers in addition to everything Gabby said earlier also wanted the system docs from the Designers to be more specific because they were getting confused on what was actually planned for the game.
    • We then talked about player experience in the boss battles. John said we could get rid of the super attack if necessary. Aaron is changing the basic attack animation. Riley suggests keeping the boss battle simple. John suggested adding an effect where the worm can dive down onto an object in the arena that is used for cover to where it is destroyed, and the player can no longer use it for cover.
    • There was some uncertainty in whether or not the lava worm is supposed to have a flame breath or fireball attack. We decided to go with Fireball.
  • We then had our class on Friday, March 3rd, 2017, which was the last day of our sprint (Sprint 7). During the producer meeting at the start of class, we were just discussing team concerns. Unfortunately I guess because of that and the way I had phrased it, it made my professor extremely worried about our game…but then after meeting with our whole team as usual afterward, he was relieved to know it wasn’t as bad as I had made it sound.
  • Sprint 8 was then started the next day on Saturday, March 4th, 2017, in which we had our Full Group Work Meeting…
    • Sid showed up to talk sounds with John.
    • I worked on moving necessary tasks over to the next sprint and closing ones that were completed. I also contacted Jonna Jinton (the person who made the Swedish herding call video Dennis had shown me earlier) for possible royalty-free use of songs she has created that uses Kulning, (the official name of said ancient Swedish herding call) to put into the game.
    • The Art Department continued modeling of the Troll and the UV’s for the shop.
    • The Design Department in addition to talking sounds with Sid, worked on tweaking the dialogue system doc and the dialogue scripts.
    • The Programming Department worked on integrating systems to get it more visual.
  • Whew, so much stuff is happening all at once and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t overwhelming trying to keep up with all of it. Being the only producer on the biggest team, my weaknesses are definitely starting to come out more and more¬†but I’m trying my best to adapt as needed. I’ve been told I never give myself much credit so maybe I’m over-exaggerating. Anyway, regardless of that, I think a lot of progress is being made and if our professor feels less worried then I feel less worried too.