Progress Report – Week 13, 14, 15 (Last One)

Here it is…the final blog post summing up the last 3 weeks of our development cycle. It’s been a fun ride!

  • Artist Check-In on Monday, April 10th, 2017…
    • Quick update..Aaron is working on the villagers and Amanda is finishing the UI.
  • Designer Meeting on Monday, April 10th, 2017 (in which I attended)…
    • I contacted Arany Zoltan, a musician who specializes in European Folk Music. Arany got back to me and gave the team permission to use his work, so now we just need to pick out a song or two and let him know.
    • John then brought up Riley’s maps because there was a problem with them. Dmitri thinks the problem could be that they were made in the wrong version of Unreal or something to do with the substance plugin. The worst case scenario is that Riley has to remake them in the actual project.
    • He then brought up Customer Dialogue Files
    • After that, he showed the rest of the Designers a step-by-step guide to Mercurial so everyone will know how to use it. The guide shows how to create and merge branches as well as committing and pushing.
    • Riley then showed his character database doc, which included updates to the character’s primary and secondary traits. It also includes how much money they have, and their scale of wealth.
    • Dennis then clarified the priorities, which are sound, dialogue, and particle effects and suggested dividing it up. John and Dennis will take a look at particle effects.
    • John then showed off the build as part of the new dialogue is in as well as different customers.
    • We then looked at the Sellable Items List. They’re going to start modeling the icons for each one and possibly hand off to the Artists to quickly vertex paint them.
    • I then left to do homework for other classes but the rest of the Designers worked on their respective tasks for the rest of the meeting.
  • Artist Work Meeting on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017…
    • Ben worked on environment props.
    • Amanda worked on promo art.
    • Aaron worked on The Grand Master rig and animations.
  • Programmer Meeting on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017…
    • They spent the entire time trying to solve a bug with the game involving recurring customers.
  • Full Group Discussion Meeting on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017…
    • We started with a Quick Scrum…
      • I am almost done with the Competitive Review. I am then planning on focusing completely on preparing for the Senior Show and for release.
      • Amanda has finished UI and put it in the repo, and plans to focus on the demo reel and/or tweak the UI.
      • Gabby worked on fixing a bug in the build. If it can’t be fixed in time, the Designers planned in advance in which there would only be five recurring characters.
      • Riley gathered sound effects for the shop and the Troll. He was also looking at particle effect tutorials and is confident he can work on those.
      • Dennis gathered sound effects and our tracklist.
      • John has been looking at sounds and implemented about 95% of the UI. He plans on doing the 2nd draft of the poster since it’s due Friday.
      • Dmitri worked on the Adventurer System and it includes stats, level, experience, health. You can equip adventurers with items and give them food to increase health. The quests have success/failure text for each adventurer and success chance is based on adventurer experience and what items they are equipped with. He also changed completing the quests where the adventurer shows up in your shop upon returning and explaining that they returned. He also added scrolling text. He plans on adding the map and tweaking.
      • Aaron completed Troll and villager animations and plans to finish The Grand Master and he plans to clean up the Troll and finish up any assets.
      • Jed gathered sound effects and sent some music to me. He also implemented some dialogue and plans on doing some revisions/helping others with their dialogue.
      • Tony plans to work on quests, items, and dialogue.
      • Ben talked to an Artist from another team who helped him learn particle effects. He finished boss landscapes aside from the final boss. He also did environment props like rocks. He plans on putting them on mercurial and giving them a paint job.
      • Amanda had a question about a folder that would contain clips of our game so everyone can use for their individual reels.
      • Dan was not here because he ended up staying up all night working on implementing Aaron’s animations as well as modifying hit boxes and timers.
    • Jed then had a question about name changes in the dialogue boxes. Gabby thinks just having the name change on the box when someone new talks is too subtle, so she suggested having customer dialogue higher on the screen, and then The Grand Master’s dialogue lower.
    • John then asked Gabby for a tutorial on how to add dialogue into the text files so he can help the narrative Designers.
    • Dmitri then asked Aaron if there was time if he could make a generic adventurer.
    • He then also mentioned that the Designers could change the class names for the adventurers. As an example. Tam is a Level 1 Adventurer. In addition to this, when they’re not on quests, it says they are idle, so if time, the Designers could think of things they could be doing in that time. This would be a good spot to add in easter eggs of the other senior games.
    • I then asked the team who wanted to volunteer to help set up our game at the Senior Show. Ben and Dmitri volunteered.
    • We then discussed what props we’re going to have for the Senior Show. Ben can get a mannequin. Jed can get some armor. John suggested apples and stickers.
  • Following the class time on Friday, April 14th, 2017, we had our Full Group Work Meeting on Saturday, April 15th, 2017…
    • I organized tasks and moved ones over to the next sprint that needed to be moved, in addition to getting screenshots for Steam and gathering some sound effects.
    • Tony worked on quests.
    • Dennis worked on sound implementation.
    • Ben worked on the final level and props.
    • Dan and Dmitri worked on getting the Troll animations working. Dan then also plans making hit detection better.
    • John worked on updating the main menu, revising the credit screen, the poster, and reviewed Jed’s ending for the game.
    • Riley floated around helping other Designers with various things.
    • Dmitri worked on customers, the tutorial, animation implementation.
    • Aaron worked on making designs for the stickers and gave them to John so we could order them today.
  • We then started the next week with the Artist Check-In on Monday, April 17th, 2017…
    • Aaron worked from the labs, which included working on The Grand Master animations and on adventurer models
    • Amanda worked from home on the UI sheet, concept art, and Troll turnaround
  • Designer Meeting on Monday, April 17th, 2017…
    • They had a quick scrum about what they all did and plan to do.
    • Went over QA results, for the most part things went well people had fun. Some bugs and UI issues, but nothing too bad.
    • Went over sounds and plans for implementation.
    • Talked about getting gameplay footage, Riley said he’d get it once the Troll is in the game.
    • Looked at Steam Greenlight games.
  • Artist Meeting on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017…
    • They used this time to complete assets for The Grand Master.
    • Aaron worked with Ben on finishing environment vertex painting, props, and lighting.
    • Amanda continued working on concept and promotional art.
  • Programmer Meeting on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 (in which I attended)…
    • We listed the tasks that still need to be finished and figured out the status of each one. This included fixing repo issues, troll boss/combo fight, recurring dialogue, menu polish, worm boss bugs, Progression System, tutorial, idle video, animations, Drifters, save data, Trust System, C++ structure, and options menu.
  • Our last Full Group Discussion Meeting on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017…
    • We started with a quick Scrum…
      • I did some minor sound design and I am preparing for the Steam submission.
      • Aaron completed The Grand Master’s animations, worked on extra villager props. He’s also been helping Ben re-paint environments.
      • Amanda worked on finishing concept art and her senior reel which is due tomorrow. Now she needs footage of the worm and the troll as well as UI screenshots.
      • Ben has been working on environments and still needs lighting for some of them.
      • Dennis gathered pretty much all of the sound effects.
      • Jed finished the footage for the final cutscene and just needs the voices. He had to re-input the text files as well.
      • John worked on cleaning up UI, the poster, and made items. He brought in our stickers as they arrived today. He plans on finishing the poster.
      • Riley has been implementing sounds.
      • Tony finished editing quests, and did QA and plans to do more QA.
      • Dan completed the Troll, but it needs sound and particles. He still needs to tweak the final boss fight.
      • Dmitri made the Adventurer System depend on which adventurer is being used. He still needs to polish it. He also added The Grand Master’s animations. The attack damage now needs to be re-balanced. He also plans to implement the Progression System.
      • Gabby worked on the customer dialogue and fixed bugs.
    • The Artists then mentioned cutting some environments. Ben suggested the Mountain Troll. Dmitri suggested not having bosses assigned to certain maps, and have the arenas be random. The Mountain Troll arena is officially cut.
    • Dmitri mentioned that the repo is broken and that he can’t find a way to fix it, so he informed the team that there is a new one.
    • Dan had a question on which arenas would have the trolls in them, which Ben answered.
    • Dmitri needed Designer help with tutorial, idle video, particles, and sounds. John and Riley said they could help.
    • Gabby then asked who can help with particles. Dennis volunteered.
    • Gabby then informed the Designers on how the dialogue and customer files are fragile, so one little mistake can crash the game. She then explained to them how to properly add the dialogue in.
    • Aaron mentioned that the adventurer models are done and can be implemented. He also said if anything else is needed, then let him know. He also needs a list of particles.
    • We then took a final vote on our new team name. Yhomstad Meadery was the winner.
    • I then talked about Steam stuff and how there is a submission fee.
    • John then wanted to talk about reels. He mentioned we need full gameplay to send to Dillon (our film guy).
    • Jed needed to ask Programmers about Drifters. He wanted to make a contingency plan if it couldn’t be done in time. Dmitri suggested having it to where after so many customers come through, a Drifter appears.
  • After this we had our class on Friday, April 21st, 2017. The final build was due on this day, although the final, final, FINAL build is due the following Tuesday (the days in between can only be spent on fixing anything that’s broken).
  • We then had a brief, optional meeting on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 to officially submit our game to Steam Greenlight!! It is up and you can vote on it right now! 😀 The link is: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=911146599&searchtext=the+grand+master
  • After that there were no more meetings! We submitted our Final(x3) build on Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 and needless to say, we came through! Everything we agreed that would be in in the last discussion was in and everything worked almost flawlessly! (Aside from one or two things).
  • We then had a nice cookout with all of the senior game majors on Thursday, April 27th, 2017 which was a nice break from all the stress that game development brings.
  • AND FINALLY….we presented all of our games at the Champlain College Game Studio Senior Show in front of faculty, friends, family, and recruiters! Everyone looked good and went by smooth and fast. Afterward there was an after party in the art gallery where all the games were set up, and even real life props at all the stations! For us we had a mannequin dressed in a tunic, chainmail, and armor. We also had a basket of apples and The Grand Master’s hat, as well as stickers and business cards! Everyone who attended the show (even the recruiters) played the game and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. At long last…WE DID IT!!

Progress Report – Week 12

Updates for the week…we were only required to do ten blog posts but I didn’t want to leave anybody reading this on a cliffhanger so I’m continuing until the end of the semester…

  • Designer Meeting on Monday, April 3rd, 2017…
    • Scheduled a work meeting next Wednesday at 6pm.
    • Jed worked on his companion’s dialogue to make it more linear.
    • Agreed to add all Recurring and General Customer dialogue this week.
    • Discussed an issue with True-items potentially being removed from the game.
    • Checked in on Riley’s level blockouts
    • Started talking about music and sound assets. The search for sound assets has begun, and Jed is attempting to get in contact with a European folk musician.
  • Artist Check-In on Monday, April 3rd, 2017…
    • Ben was sick and couldn’t make it.
    • Aaron worked on the troll.
    • Amanda worked on concept art for her demo reel.
  • Artist Work Meeting on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 (in which I attended this week)…
    • Ben was still sick so he missed again.
    • Aaron continued work on the Troll.
    • Amanda worked on re-skinning.
    • I worked on the Competitive Review.
    • For the Full Group Meeting, they want to get feedback/suggestions for the crystal color of the Lava Worm.
  • Programmer Meeting on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017…
    • They discussed what still needs to be implemented, which includes the troll boss, the worm variations, adventurer system/map, the dialogue system, and lots of polish.
    • For the Full Group Meeting, they wanted to bring up boss item drops and get an update on the boss maps/arenas as well as the final arena.
  • Full Group Discussion Meeting on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017…
    • We started with a quick Scrum (minus Ben since he is sick)…
      • I started the Competitive Review but is not finished yet.
      • Riley has basically finished the level blockout he was working on. He plans on gathering sounds.
      • Dan got the fighting for the Troll done and plans to work on the Troll’s attacks and should be in by Friday, and plans to work on the final boss fight as well.
      • Amanda started re-skins of the Worm and almost finished the Lava Worm. She plans to finish the other worm re-skins and then move on to the Troll re-skins.
      • Gabby took out all of the old dialogue and got the response dialogue in. Now it needs to be merged.
      • Aaron has been animating the troll and plans to finish that.
      • Dmitri worked on cleaning up the project, fixed the wheel, got rid of the tutorial since it was getting in the way. He added the worm animations and plans to work on finishing the Adventurer system and implementation of the new map, and new dialogue system.
      • Jed has been plugging the dialogue in to text files and plans for that to be done on Thursday.
      • Tony has been tweaking the dialogue for his characters.
      • Dennis has been doing the same as Tony in addition to looking into sound.
      • John couldn’t put in as much work as he wanted due to some complications, but he trimmed up the script for the trailer, he plans on moving the progression system into the build.
    • John then mentioned that he went to the senior poster meeting and said that the rough draft for the poster was well-received but does need tweaks to meet all of the restrictions. This included tweaking the logo to make it more horizontal.
    • Amanda had a question regarding the UI. She needed to know who was making the screenshots of the items. John decided that he can work with Ben on that since Ben already has a lot on his plate with the environments and props.
    • Amanda also wondered if anyone was doing particle effects. Dmitri said Aaron will be getting outside help to teach him how to do that.
    • Dmitri mentioned that the final screenshot of our game for the Senior Book is due Friday. John will put the updated UI in the shop tomorrow, and will try to implement the Progression system tomorrow in order to get a good screenshot.
    • Tony wanted to know what the true item dialogue text is and whether it was still in there. Dmitri said it was removed in favor of personality and category.
    • Amanda then showed off her re-skin of the Lava Worm for feedback. The monitors in this room are different from the art lab monitors so it made the colors look slightly different, but the team liked what she had so far, but they did suggest some things like some spikes being a different color from the rest, and ash falling off as it moves around the level, etc.
    • Dmitri then checked-in with me about Steam Greenlight. We’re still on schedule with my release timeline.
  • We then had class on Friday followed by our Work Meeting on Saturday, April 8th, 2017…
    • I worked on finding music tracks and looked over the release timeline. I also went over the Beta checklist.
    • Amanda worked on re-skinning for the Yeti troll.
    • Tony prepared for QA tonight.
    • Dennis continued putting dialogue into text files, and then moved on to sound effects.
    • Dan finished up boss AI.
    • Ben worked on taking Riley’s level blockouts and making it into a level.
    • Riley continued putting dialogue into text files.
    • Dmitri messed around with the dialogue and adventurer.
    • John created a step-by-step list on how to make a branch and how to commit stuff so he doesn’t have to keep bothering Dmitri.
    • Aaron had to re-export the villagers since some of them were messed up.
    • During all of this, Dillon Deloge came in to film us for our trailer.
  • Whew…only a week and a few days left until our games need to be complete so crunch time is officially upon us. Everyone is working hard and hopefully it will all pay off. Stay tuned for updates!

Progress Report – Week 11

A week late but here’s an update from the week of March 26th…

  • Designer Meeting on Monday, March 27th, 2017…
    • John finished the Progression system prototype, plans on working on the Poster blockout, and will be working on the main menu update.
    • Jed is working on the rewrite for the narrative, as is Tony and Dennis, the rewrite is basically cutting out all of the branching dialogue.
    • Talked about getting rid of the text already in the files.
    • Riley started the block out for the final boss fight.
    • Started thinking about sound effects or how to record them.
    • Worked on making a model flow chart for drifter customers.
  • Artist Check-In on Monday, March 27th, 2017…
    • Aaron is working on the Boar Troll Rig.
    • Amanda is working on User Interface Assets.
    • Ben showed the tree model and well model he made over the weekend.
    • Discussed plans for the reel.
  • Artist Work Meeting on Wednesday, March 29th, 2017…
    • Aaron spent this time working on the boar rig.
    • Amanda spent this time working on the user interface.
    • Ben spent this time recoloring the well and fixing the tree model.
  • Programmer Meeting on Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 (in which I attended this week)…
    • We discussed the timeline for the remainder of the week and for the semester. There are 3 weeks and 6 days left.
    • For Friday, the drafts of the poster and the trailer are due. The poster shouldn’t take the Designers too long, but the trailer is the big thing.
    • Saturday, our game will be setup for Accepted Students Day, so prospective students can play our game.
    • Gabby will be working on dialogue.
    • Dan will be working on the second boss.
    • Dmitri will be working on logic.
  • Full Group Discussion Meeting on Wednesday, March 29th, 2017…
    • We started with a quick Scrum…
      • I mentioned what I did in the work meeting, which was making the square branding image for Steam and updating the general business doc.
      • Tony rewrote a few characters and plans to finish that.
      • Riley is going to finish a level blockout
      • Amanda has been working on the UI and hopes to finish this weekend.
      • Dan is almost done setting up AI for the Troll, he plans for it to be done by next Saturday.
      • John finished the Progression System prototype but the gold counter is a little funky. He said it is ready to be given to the Programmers. He is going to work on the poster and the trailer. Riley said he wants to help with that as well.
      • Aaron rigged the Troll and will be fixing some skinning issues and plans to animate him this week.
      • Ben fixed the tree issue he was having and modeled a well. He also started working on the longhouses and plans for the level to be complete by this weekend.
      • Gabby is finishing the dialogue system and plans to be done for Friday.
      • Dmitri got customer randomization working and put in some UI stuff but it isn’t done so he plans to finish that. He wants to get the new arenas put into the game.
      • Jed has been rewriting dialogue and plans to make everything more linear as he’s going along.
      • Dennis touched up dialogue and is planning to do the draft of the reel.
    • I then brought up Accepted Students Day and asked for people to sign up who want to showcase the game to accepted students. Ben, John, and Tony agreed to go. The rest of the team will have the work meeting as usual, just with the location changed.
    • We then discussed the trailer again and how rough audio will be needed. John thinks it can be done in time.
    • The Designers then asked Dmitri about the map plane and how it can be used. They also needed a mercurial refresher on how to accurately commit stuff among other things.
    • Dmitri then wanted to remind the Designers that they can add content in.
    • He then also asked on what is being done with the suppliers. John said the plan was just to leave them as is. Dmitri suggested changing the dialogue box to match the same dialogue in the shop.
    • We then discussed audio as we need music and sound effects. Sid has been slow in responding to messages so we are considering cutting him. Dan said that he knows where to find some good free sound assets, but we will ask our professor on Friday if we can license music and how to do it.
    • We then brought up team names again since we’ve been wanting to change our name as Capstone Crusaders doesn’t fit since we’re not in Capstone anymore.
    • Since the Alpha milestone is this week, we went through the checklist of requirements, everything is either done or in the process of being done.
  • We then had our class on Friday, followed by our Full Group Meeting/Accepted Students Day on Saturday, April 1st, 2017…
    • Aaron, Ben, John, Tony, and Dmitri showcased our game at Accepted Students Day during the course of this meeting, so they missed the first hour, but showed up afterward.
    • For the ones here, it was a work meeting and Dillon Deloge also appeared to film and get footage of us for use in our team reel…
    • I spent the time organizing tasks and moving ones over to the next Sprint.
    • Amanda continued working on the UI.
    • Dennis worked on narrative and the map.
    • Dan worked on his blog and the troll.
    • Tony worked on narrative revisions.
    • Dmitri worked really late last night so he just looked good for the camera as we were being filmed.
    • John worked on cutting down the script for our team reel since the first draft of it was over the required time limit.
    • Aaron had to fix the rig to the Troll.
    • Ben continued working on the level for the final boss encounter.
    • Jed continued working on the generic customers.
  • Everything seems to be coming along…once the dialogue system is in…I feel like it is smooth sailing since that is basically the thing that everyone is waiting on. The blog for the week of April 9th will be posted shortly after this one so I can be caught up.