Monday, October 20, 2014

Week Eight: PLAYABLE (Updated: We passed!)

This week was quite productive from a prototyping standpoint.  We now have two prototypes, one that plays out in real time and a turn-based, two player version.  The turn-based version was a lot simpler than I thought it was going to be.  I had forgotten about my custom library's pausing functionality; by utilizing that in combination with my event system, I was able to make the game turn-based with little extra effort.

Projectile launching is now in place, though we're considering a waypoint system for navigation instead after some QA feedback.  Shield towers (in-game, we call them Shell Towers), are also working, along with Shield Launchers.  Shield Launchers are something I added myself on Saturday.  They can launch out a projectile that can later be detonated to create a shield.  This can be very useful for denying your opponent the chance to shoot through a certain path, though it blocks your shots also.

This week ended up being all about cutting out the fat in the game's design.  We had spent some weeks expanding the game, adding new buildings and unit types, but now we're in the process of reducing it all to something accessible, something easier to iterate upon.  We're focused a bit more on nukes and shields for combat, using other projectiles as support rather than direct attacks in their own right.

I'm still not happy with how slowly we've been moving, but at this point I can only really blame myself for not getting the playable digital prototype finished in time.  I suppose the designers could have made their own paper prototypes to test out the turn-based combat and try to resolve any issues that way, but ultimately I've been getting caught up in my own personal issues and insecurities too much and not working on capstone enough.  Anyways, now that we have a playable prototype, particularly a two-player version, testing and iterating should be much faster.


Despite a last-minute issue regarding discipline reviews, we managed to pass stage one.  Surprisingly, we received very little negative feedback on our actual presentation.  This, I think, speaks to how prepared we were and how much time we spent putting it together.  Then again, we also received a lot of design feedback regarding our transition to turn-based, so perhaps that feedback was just more interesting.  Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how things are working out.

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