Evaluating Research

The majority of my research has been rather helpful through the course of my project. Aspects of the project that I was unsure of, such as the visual theme have been solidified through the help of my research.

Looking at specific games and their gameplay helped me make decisions on what features I should be adding to my game and how they should be added, as I could test similar features first-hand. This helped my time management a lot as I could more easily judge what features would be too hard to implement, and what features would be detrimental to the project, and cut or prioritise features accordingly. I could then focus more on the features that would be more important to the project and gameplay. This would help increase the quality of my final project, as I spent less time on useless features and feature creep didn’t become a problem.

The features I chose to keep and cut were also influenced by my research on my target audience. The results from my survey, as well as the data from the ESA told me who the largest audience for my project would be, as well as the features they would find interesting and those that would cause them to lose interest. This allowed me to tailor my game specifically towards my target audience, as well as choosing my genre and visual themes.

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Further Challenges

As my project continues and approaches its end, there are a few more difficulties that I have come across.

Project Estimation

Attempting to estimate the amount of production possible is initially rather difficult to do, as feature creep could very much blow the project out of proportion and make it much larger than initially intended.  This combined with my rather poor time management through the course of the project made my estimation of the time required for parts of my project incredibly difficult. By making sure the time I have is allocated correctly, this problem can be alleviated. I should also ask myself a few questions when attempting to add newer features; is there time to implement it? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Does much of the code or blueprints have to be changed?

Many of the initial ideas I had would have taken far too long to implement, making the scope of my project too large to be completed by the end of the given time frame. Making sure I answer these questions when attempting to add new features helped to make sure that my time was allocated properly and important tasks were prioritized, allowing what was needed to be done by the end of the project.

Preproduction

Another problem I came across is my preproduction, specifically the lack of it. In my rush to build the level demo and push it out, I skipped some crucial parts of the preproduction which left me wasting time during the production phase attempting to figure out what steps I need to be taking. Having a proper plan and concept and design documents would have helped to avoid this problem.

The impact of the problem was lessened by returning back to the preproduction phase after realising it was insufficient, and filling in the gaps in my planning, design and concepts that I needed. This prevented more time being wasted in attempting to figure out where the next steps in my production would be, as they would be outlined clearly in my plans.

Difficulty

A lot of features I planned sounded rather simple when put down on paper. The ones I had assumed to be difficult, I assumed to still be in my capability with some struggle. This turned out to not be the case, as some of the functionality I considered basic turned out to be extremely difficult and time consuming to attempt to implement. A lot of features I had originally planned had to be cut or delayed due to this, and my approach to the project as a whole had changed a couple times. After a few cut downs and the changes to my project, however, I was able to get to a point where I was able to implement what I wanted without too much difficulty.

 

Control Demo

I’ve touched up on the controls and they’re in a spot I like now, they all work in their current implementation. I’ve managed to do a few extra things with some of the controls like a wall jump, and a dash (although it is currently infinite, I have plans to change that). I can focus much more on the combat now, and hopefully have a full health and damage system by the end of the week. I can then focus on the level design and animations

Here is the link to the control demo:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/balhi8a1561yo47/FMPGame.zip?dl=0

 

The current controls:

Arrow Keys – Move

Space Bar – Jump

X – Shoot

Left Shift – Dash

Platformer

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about this, but I have made some progress on it

As I mentioned, the art style is mainly black and white with the central character and objects of significance being in some kind of color. I wanted to keep away from detail and keep the art style simplistic so the assets are mostly one or two colors.

 

Level 1

 

2D Platformer Mood Boards

My idea is to have a silhouette-based low detail art style – Where most of the background and visual assets would be black and white, but characters and anything you can interact with would be in bold colour.

Here’s the Mood Board

I took a lot of inspiration from Monaco (for bright colours), and Limbo (for layering regarding background and foreground assets). I really like the way They Bleed Pixels has outlined platforms, and the colours from Ori and the Blind Forest and Badland, and the simplicity from Electronic Super Joy.