Friday, 29 May 2015

Project 4

I present 'Project 4', a game I have been developing for the past week for the BAFTA YGM competition (which I juggled with exam revision), as well as a reintroduction to game production from a year long break. This game will be released in chapters, with the first chapter being primed for the competition and will feature the player as a reticent agent of a extremely secretive society.

-Plot Development-
The first chapter introduces the player to the basic concepts in the game such as stealth, hacking and problem solving by tasking the player to retrieve a ominous 'Project Enzine'. Upon retrieval of this secret project, he is swiftly betrayed and wakes up in a home and discovers that he is suffering from amnesia. The agent performs tedious tasks for the family who have taken him into their care, but returns to see their house in chaos and their absence. This is where things take a sharp turn as he regains some his memories and reveals to the player glances of his life - which only add to the mystery of the game. This is where chapter one ends.

The reasons behind why I decided to choose such a dark plot, is because I wanted to create a game that was not just about the mundane aspects of gameplay, but also about the story behind the setting and character that the player plays as, as well as the characters the player meets. I concluded after brain storming that the most intriguing stories were ones that were dark and those that introduced elements of thriller. But if I wanted to keep the player's interest, I needed to plots mysterious at first, because revealing very little at first means that the player will have to return to find out how the plot develops. This impacted the way I presented the main character as well as hope I developed the plot. For example, the main character wears a scarf-mask which hides his identity from the player and the characters in game, the antagonists of the game are also hidden in the first chapter and the name of the secret organisation is never revealed.

-Game Development- 
Having brainstormed and collated ideas for the game, I settled that I should design the game as a 2D sidescroller (it is also a interesting way to present such a game) as I was short of time (1 week) and so I began by creating a system for the player's movements, as well as creating sprites for the main character. This was done by using Photoshop and creating a rig for the character (each limb was created separately); thus allowing me to create different stances for the character easily. I then proceeded to create the first map of the game, which utilised simple graphics in order to work more efficiently. Next, I thought about adding puzzle of some-kind in order to open doors - which developed into the keypad hacking concept. This also allowed the game to be somewhat educational by introducing concepts of programming, more specifically C++, to the player. As ideas for the plot also developed, I implemented a crouching system for stealth, and also implemented other characters that should be avoided (acting as the enemies). The last mechanics to be added to the game were the tutorial, messages and cutscenes which actually conveyed the story to the player. With the basic mechanics and the first part of chapter 1 finished, it will be easier to finish the game in the last 3 days I have left.

To Do: 
Chapter 1:

  • add a settings menu
  • add a chapter menu
  • add a save mechanic and load menu
  • add a introduction cutscene
  • add an invisible border
  • add a hint to the second keypad
  • add a message when alarm starts: 'Damn, the alarms went off, #they've sealed the main exits, find an alternative route out and quick!'
  • add a message when exiting project enzine and in C1_P5: 'Is that a gangway up ahead? I think it leads to an air vent, it might just be our escape route! Now, all we need to do it find the door that leads there.'
  • add a message when in C1_P2 without keycard and clicking on maintenance door: 'I've found it!, but it looks like the door requires a maintenance access card, and there isn't a keypad to hack.'
  • add a message when picking up maintenance keycard: 'Aha, this is a maintenance level key card, without people being so careless, you would be in bigger trouble.'
  • fix vertices glitch
  • fix 'acces' typo on second tutorial
  • change '[shift]' to '[ctrl]' in third tutorial
  • fix last door so it doesn't open
  • fix timer on objective completed
  • finish part 2 of chapter 1

Well, wish me luck!

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