Day 3: Iterative Design

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Today we had two guests come visit in order to play, critique and recommend enhancements to our paper prototype. We re-welcomed Mohannad Al-Khatib (a veteran team member from past workshops) to give us his valuable opinions and feedback. Together, we chose to focus all efforts on a vertical slice of the expansive game  to keep goals realistic, based on what Mohannad and the team deemed to be the most exciting elements.

20130530_SKINS_0159After a lengthy discussion (and a few enthusiastic debates), the team was able to settle on a list of key mechanics, puzzle styles, settings, character descriptions and a basic, plot-point storyline. We then moved on to designing our game-plan on who would be responsible for what aspects in order make this project a completed success by the end of the three weeks. Research Assistant Nancy went over the steps of the “production pipeline”; a poster listing all the jobs and what could be done simultaneously for maximum efficiency. Based on the participants’ strengths and interests, the group was divided into “Visual Artists” who would be creating the 3D art as well as finalizing the characters and environment designs (modelling, UV-Mapping, Texturing, Rigging and Animation) and a second team of “Gameplay Artists” who would focus on sound, HUD-Design as well as all the game engine mechanics & level design maps. We also selected two eager members to be the primary scriptwriters; a task that is nearly impossible to complete with 15+ people all at once. To everyone’s luck, the group divided relatively evenly and we were able to more finely tune some previously vague decisions now that the teams were smaller.

After lunch, we all moved into the computer lab for the first time, where we tested everyone’s logins as well as learned our first and basic tool of organization: GoogleDocs. There, the team had already placed and shared two documents that will become our key to keeping the project files clean and organized: the asset list (where we list every, single item and mechanic as well as their file-names so that other team members can see who is working on what and where they can find said items. In addition to those lists, we also all worked on a game design document (or GDD) which is basically the detailed plan on paper on everything the game should be about. This includes long descriptions of the story, the characters, the maps, the exact mechanics (to the point of what controller keys are used) and anything else.

20130530_SKINS_0154Thanks to GoogleDocs multi-user interface, every team member was able to write in their ideas at the same time until we had a thick and well-rounded document for all of our reference by the end of the day.

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