Upon our first day back, we had a team meeting with Dr James who helped us to break down our game, Twilleir, into feasible chunks and to help us start making a Dev Plan for Semester Two. As we had just come back from a week off, this helped us to get concentrate and dive straight into planning the developing process.
The main focus for us as a team is that we would like to focus on the art and mechanics making the game as polished and professional as we can to showcase our skills to the public in the shows in June. We broke the game down into sections to figure out what the main aspects of Twilleir are that we need to do so as not to overcomplicate it which can be seen below in the sheets:
Once we’d outlined exactly what Twilleir consisted of, we realised that we had a lot on our hands that needed doing so it was quite worrying. After some in-depth discussion, we completely broke the game down into its main elements and stripped it back to its bare essentials. We felt that even though it would have been nice to be ambitious and do a 2.5D Isometric, this doesn’t really add anything to the game itself. It doesn’t change how the game works and it creates a whole lot more work for us to do in a short amount of time. Therefore, we have decided to do 2D illustrative scenes where, for example, in the shop, you could see your desk in the foreground and then the backdrop will be a 2D illustrative shop environment – basically like a backdrop. By reducing it and making it as simple as possible, it will allow us the time to fully refine mechanics so they work flawlessly as well as being able to spend more time designing and producing beautiful art pieces and UI to illustrate the feel of the game. We could also add in elements such as cut scenes and animations to set scenes and really give an immersive, fantasy feeling to the game for the audience.
Now we’ve had this discussion, we all feel better about the workload over the next seventeen weeks and are more excited to get Twilleir developed into a beautiful, fun game for our target audience.
One thing that was pointed out was ‘what happens if you harvest more ingredients than you need for the potion’. This was something we hadn’t considered and after discussion, we’re glad this has been highlighted as this would have made the game seem unfair to the player. Therefore an idea of a Storeroom came around where the player’s excess ingredients will live but will decrease in quality over time. This way, it’s fair to the player and it also limits the amount that the player can save from the harvest – they will need to be aware of how much room they have left etc.
We also decided, instead of having a dedicated room, the Library, for notes on ingredients, recipes etc, we will now have a bookshelf in the shop itself and possibly another one in the crafting room so that all of its information is accessible to the Player frequently.
For the Crafting mini-game, it was suggested that we continue using the Dungeon ingredients to give certain debuffs etc to the game, however, maybe it could be harsher and offer more of a challenge. For instance, if they player needs green red blue and the player locks in green red and purple, as the colours are very close to the original one wanted, it will still get some money for it but not the full whack. Whereas, if the player completely messed up by doing green red orange, then the customer won’t want to pay for it. This gives the game more of a challenge for the players and also makes the mini-games harder and could make them more fun to play.
If you were to completely botch up the game and you ruin your ingredient, we are now going to implement a Marketman. Marketman can offer you the ingredients you desperately need… but of course, for some gold. This is an expensive way to do it for the player so they will be aware that they need to perform well in the mini-games in order to not ruin their ingredient but will also have that opportunity for help if they really need it so as to make it fairer to the player.
When discussing the Helping Hand characters, we mentioned that we’d like them to be Procedurally Generated but were having doubts about whether we should do this anymore and whether we should have a staple four you can use. This was when we realised – what happens when they die? Do they die? This is why we have decided that if your Helping Hand dies, then it means that you don’t get them back. This will increase the challenge in the dungeon and it will also mean the player will need to be weary of how they play the game. Over time you will get a new Helping Hand through procedural generation yet there will be generic looks for them so that only stats will change accordingly to the generation making it easy enough to develop and not take up a huge amount of development time.
Whilst on the subject of the Helping Hand, we also began to discuss the Dungeoneering aspect of Twilleir. It was becoming clear to us that we had several large games all mashed into one and so we needed to simplify it all. Dungeoneering, Farming and even Harvesting could have been singular games so by having it all together, it creates too much to do and therefore we’re breaking it down into manageable chunks.
We have now decided to approach Dungeoneering as a battle screen such as that similar to Pokemon and the Final Fantasy series:
By simplifying this, it means that the game would be easier to pick up and play at any time rather than spending a lot of time trying to actually find the monster before getting into a battle with it. This way, you can go straight to the Dungeon setting where you will be told what monster you’re up against, information about it and then taking your Helping Hand into battle! It also means that we can have some interesting win/lose conditions. For instance, if the player defeats the monster – that’s great! You win and get to take the special ingredient you went down in the Dungeons for. However, if you lose, then ‘Shmorlack the monster’ is really pissed that you tried to kick his ass and steal from him and so he’s going to wreck your storeroom. That way, you have something important to lose and will give the player an incentive to not die!
Another thought we had was about the music. We are all certain about the sort of sound we’d like however we’re not going to be able to make it necessarily ourselves so we’re going to have to outsource. As we were talking to Dr James about this and as he is from a music background, we have decided to collaborate which is exciting.
What are we doing?
Even after breaking down Twilleir, we are roughly doing the same roles that we assigned each other last semester:
- James – Coding/Dev
- Jess – Art/Design
- Millie – Art/Design
I used the work we did today in order to make a list of what we need to do this semester. This can be found on our Trello where you will be able to navigate the labels and see exactly what each section entails. We will be using Trello as a tool to make sure we’re on top of our work. I am also planning to work out sprints after we assign jobs to each other as then we will be able to work out how long we estimate we would need on each section. (As you can see below, for now, I have assigned myself and Millie to all of the Art but we will be working out who is going to be working on what on Friday due to illness).
As this is our final year and we have two exhibits coming up in June, I felt it would be a good idea to create some buzz for the project and hopefully get more people to go to the exhibitions.
I tried to think about what avenue would be most suitable for us and, for now, I have set up an Instagram account. Here, we’ll be able to upload designs, artwork and short videos of what’s going on to show the public how it’s going. This is a more suitable social media platform as it is quickly accessible, has the ability to spread across the world and it will showcase our work the best.
This is our Instagram come and give us a follow!
Due to illness this week, we will be reconvening on Friday to dish out tasks, re-adjust the plans for the research trips as well as create Sprint Deadlines. This will be our official launch day!