When we decide to make a game about action packed shooter, Harvey being one of the project manager love the classic side scroll shooter “Rocky and Pocky” where he design a pitch about an animal and a human with special abilities to attack the monster invaders a.k.a Chuck n Buck.
The pitch was eventually pick by most of the votes that really want to work with this project. And I’m very happy to work with the game project alongside with my team members, Harvey and Julianna and another person.
What went well?
1. Game Design Planning
We want to describe as to how Chuck n Buck game would look like. A boy with an anthropomorphic deer went into a monster rampage to stop the evil wizard that conquer the world. This plot is very awesome and we have to go through a lot of planning to find out what we need for this setup of the 1st level. We have to go through the characters, enemies and environment and list down the assets that we need.
We all have a good planning decision and Harvey is the manager of the project, we decide to work with him and discuss each other about the story game that fit in the universe of both human and anthropomorphic animals world. Planning may seems to be a waste of time but it does help us a better insight on what task we should to make our jobs easy.
2. Creative Ideas
Chuck n Buck is a world full of both human and anthropomorphic animals, therefore we think it will be great that we should design the stage level into an animals based theme houses, buildings, roads and many more. However, we want to make the both characters as the heroes of the town to fight against those monsters that comes to lurk around.
Most ideas for the prop models came from me because I had a lot of idea and few real life and game environment concept on to create and imagine how this game look like. Meanwhile, Julianna and Harvey took a lot of concept for making the characters and the enemies. Few of those characters concept are related to some games and details for the monsters.
Combining with the ideas that we can create and design to make the game environment look cool.
Being a team for this project is fun and interesting, however it’s very important to work with each other to complete our fully build game. First, being working together can at least being some feedback to each other about the character, places and mechanics, whether it okay or change based on the conditions.
Next, helping to contribute a bit of the works can be a huge asset for other professional people like Harvey or Julianna to do the rest. For example, I made 3D models for the environment assets and Harvey work on the UV mapping. Then, I made the particles effects and grab some sound effects from the website for them to input the build during progress.
Each of us have it’s own benefits of doing what we can do. We all have both advantages and disadvantages during our progress. Teamwork really help us a lot during development.
4. Interesting Mechanics
The mechanics of this game is fairly simple. Like “Rocky and Pocky”, where you play your favorite characters that can shoot rapidly to attack the enemies and gain powerups that can level up the projectiles as the game continues. But each of them have it’s own special abilities to repel the enemies.
The Chuck n Buck game is nearly identical as that game. Chuck is a teenager and Buck is an anthropomorphic deer who used to be friends in their time. We change the projectiles into a baseball and give them special abilities like Chuck cool spinning bat attack and Buck awesome bull rush attack. Since Harvey love this game so much, he want to be the programmer to program the mechanics for the build.
Throughout the progress, we understand that people wanted to intend to bring back the memories by recreate the same mechanics in different concept for players to enjoy. As such, we willing to give this opportunity for that game.
5. Nice textures art and models
The art style of the game is a cel shading cartoon style like “The Wind Waker from Legend of Zelda”. To achieve this, we need to take a lot of references on how we can achieve this.
We also have to make the 3D models with low poly due to the fact that high poly models took too much size for the game. And it’s because this is a cel shading cartoon style game, it’s not necessary to use those high poly models. My task is to design the 3D environment assets since they have to focus on getting the characters and the animation done. Julianna is good at textures map for the models of characters, enemies and environment assets. She is also good at art skill and use Z brush for making the fine details of each characters.
Those 3D models are good and we plan to make it a fine and more details textures to make this game great.
What went wrong?
1. Unresponsible Teammate
There was originally 4 person in our group working on our project, but one particular person who is good at level design and 3D models named Connor had some issues involve his work and his condition.
While working on the project, we thought he done most of the thing that help us design the models, level design and shading process. But it won’t last long till the time we thought that he was so busy on working and had less time to work on his task. Initially, we understand the situation about him but over few weeks we still haven’t receive some work from him.
At that moment, we now realized all his words were lies and excuse for not doing anything about our project. In the end, we had to dispatch him from our group and hope that we won’t have to deal with the same problem again.
2. Sometimes Late
Usually, I come very early to get ready to have my work present to the producer or running the WIP meeting so that we can get to know what need to change or accepted by my team members.
Some of my team members usually take 15 minutes late during that time. Although our working progress is running very smooth, but it’s unnatural to have someone late in time while we having the WIP meeting. Sometimes, they cannot come because they have other things to do.
We understand that develop the game are out task if we want to publish the game, but it might be a bigger scale to arrive on time when we need to get feedback from other development to get the full scale on what we are doing. That is one of the lesson that we must learn during development.
3. Fixing Textures
Another issue is the textures for the environment assets. Initially, we would thought that the simple solid color textures may as well look fine in the game. Julianna being as the artist of the characters and the environment assets are working on few textures for the models.
However, the producer knew that the environment world is too bland for the game to make and he wanted us to design in full and nice details to make it more realistic in the cartoon world. This changes also cost us a lot of time to arrange the UV mapping, more coloured details and place on the scene, like houses and buildings.
This also give us a lesson on the details of the game that wanted to as the references from the other game. Sometimes, make the environment solid bland in the game doesn’t work the way they wanted to. But again, it depend on what games we are making as the producer wanted to.
4. Forgot working on fix and bugs
Our game was great since we done a lot of working progress, each of us have to test the game to see whether it’s okay or not. The main premises for the game is to make it fun and exciting based on the player reaction and experience.
I’m mostly being as the game tester try out both characters to find out the balance. Most of the details I can find out is the zombies that can walk through obstacle, can’t obtain the healing items or some UI doesn’t react the way it looks. I had to mention them several times to Harvey and somehow he haven’t fix it yet. In turn, I going to fix the issues so that I can enjoy the game as what they like to experience.
The thing is, did I made the right choice for helping them to fix the issues? And somehow, Harvey consistently update the build and keep forgot to fix those issues. I sure I’m understand their task is difficult but make sure that the problem have to be fix before we can perform other task to avoid forgetting our issues.
5. Not enough time for further plan
We recently had our game design planning before we even being our production plan. We plan to have 2 levels with 2 different boss fight in our game. The biggest concern is we may out of time and having issues during the production, even pre-production.
As we mention earlier about Connor who being one of the irresponsible person that given a lot of excuse have been quit from our group. Since we had a lot of environment assets, characters, enemies and full programming to work with. We may in turn have to remove some monsters that we should not required in level 2. Our progress are very hard already to having the issues of fixing and change a lot.
Game Design Planning can be an unpredictable time in the future, some company even having the hard time during development, thus cancelled the game when it was halfway production. In fact, it was our first time to have that situation for just level 1 game. But it’s enough understand how much work and time we need to consider before we even start to produce the game. That lesson really change a lot when we come to our future project.
Although the experience of my development may have some difficult, it won’t stop us from making this cool and interesting concept. Willing to share among those people that love the similar game are the joy that we take a lot of time and work to achieve this. I know these days sometimes goes wrong and full of distractions. However, those days of working with them can get some better insight on what works best and what doesn’t. Our thought are very different to each other and willing to work as a team are quite different. Most importantly is do what you love to do, get some help when necessary and share the idea of the game that we love to imagine. Next time, if there is any project that I love to work with, I’m willing to give some help advice they need.