Christmas Crawl (Week 4)

DEC 23 – DEC 30

Communication Complications

The Week following Christmas was – expectedly – accompanied with little progress on the game. We had agreed not to meet that week, as we were all going to be busy celebrating Christmas with our families. We did however decide to hold our skype call on the 29th. We had planned to revise the GDD Matthias had written to finally nail down a lot of the rules to the card game and to get ahead on the mixed reality aspect as well. However some of us didn’t make it to the call, partly without any excuse or prior notice so we couldn’t get as far as we had planned. We discussed the topics at hand among those of us who were present, and decided that we would absolutely have to decide on the rules on Monday, the next meeting. We would build a Pen&Paper Prototype, and start playing the game, and get a feel of it and see if it works at all like we thought, and to test around numbers and limitations.

Changes and Programming (Week 3)

DEC 16 – DEC 23

Meta Game Changes

During our Thursday SkypeCall, we realized that we had differing views on how the mixed-reality aspect of the game would work, and what kind of scale it would have. We discussed it a lot, and came out with something everybody seemed to like. I still wasn’t sure whether we were all on the same page now, but Andreas would flesh out his different approaches of the mixed-reality game, and we would see how it worked out then.

Preparation and Programming

I had started the week before already, but that week I focused even more on preparing for programming the app. I wrote down a list of what the app needs and in more detail, what the actual game would need to work.
I wrote down a lot of thoughts and approaches, ideas on how I would code the game. Mainly that I would use a single class “Card” which would exist from the beginning of the game until its end. Looking back, this was quite an obvious choice, but I had thought of making different objects for the card depending on their state; in the deck, in your hand, on the field, or destroyed.

I also decided on using XML again, to store the standard values for every card we had (“template”). When the game started, the program would read through the xml file and instantiate the cards in each players’ decks. I took the XML code I had written for The Toddler Connection, and modified it to fit our current needs. I wasn’t entirely sure what values every card would need yet, but I could adjust that later.

My main challenge were the special effects, and how the game would handle them. Since we still hadn’t finalized the game mechanics, and we had no finished cards, I couldn’t really start working on it yet, but I thought I could start with the most simple effects like drawing a new card, or modifying current values on a card.

Foundations (Week 2)

Dec 6 – Dec 15

Organisation

After the pitches on St Nicholas Day we decided to give everyone a role in order to facilitate the decision-making progress and general workflow. We had named Owen as project leader before the pitch, and he was now also in charge of the narrative. Matthias was put in charge of the card game mechanics, and Andreas would be most concerned with the meta-game and the mixed-reality aspect. Sarah was appointed Lead artist and in charge of logos, and I took the position of lead programmer.
We decided that the one in charge will have the final say on a decision concerning their field, but everyone could always make suggestions and give criticism to anyone.

We decided to meet in person every monday, and over skype every thursday.

We had been using Google docs already and they had proven effective, so we decided to keep any written text on those, so we had some nice and dynamic documents. We used whatsapp as main communication channel, and dropbox as space for larger files. We also decided to use Slack as a sort of hub to connect everything, but at the time, it hadn’t been used much. We used skype for the Thursday calls, but not otherwise.

Core Features

Developing the core mechanics for the card game had proven challenging. Given that we needed to nail those down ASAP, we had spent most of our efforts that week coming up with ideas, and then revising and revising those. We hadn’t quite finalized them, but we had a strong bunch of foundations, and just needed to shave off some of the rough edges.

The narrative had been developed alongside the mechanics. We’ve had the 8 factions from the start, and wanted to stick with them. We had decided that we could not possibly finish all the necessary cards for the 8 factions until February, so we chose three factions that were different enough to show the possibilities the game would offer.

The meta-game had changed as well. We had found some flaws and found ways to make them into mechanics, but we still needed more work on that.

Origin of the idea and group finding (Week 1)

November 30 – December 7

Idea Formation

On the day of the Kickoff meeting I had a few ideas about what I would like to do and wouldn’t like to do. I knew I didn’t want to do VR like in the previous semester, and I was interested in creating a board game, perhaps with QR codes.

After the kick-off meeting I went to the open space and started bouncing ideas around with the others who were there. Owen and I started talking about posting masses of recognizable QR codes around the city, so many that people would become interested and just scan them out of curiosity. The idea was that there would be this corporation whose only product is its logo which they post everywhere.

We met again on Friday, along with Andreas and a few other people, to bounce ideas around some more. We had the idea of making a card game out of it, where you need to go outside and scan QR codes in order to earn new cards. The card game would feature a corporate theme, to cover the ideas we had before.
After the brainstorm meeting at CGL Owen and I spent the weekend thinking about different aspects of the game, I was mostly concerned with game mechanics and the meta-game of collecting QR codes, as well as legal consequences of posting stickers on public places. I also spent a lot of time researching the stock market, to see what kind of game mechanics we could make out of it.

Adding Team Members

During the weekend Andreas decided to join us. I was very happy to get Andreas on the team, as I had wanted to work with him before, and he seemed very interested in the Mixed Reality aspect, which I didn’t want to concern myself with too much.
We met on Monday to polish the ideas we had and start working on the pitch.

During our pitch Sarah joined, and afterwards Matthias joined as well, which made us a pretty strong team. Owen and I had thought about asking Sarah to join anyways, as we were both impressed with her previous work, so it was great that she joined out of her own motivation. Matthias has a lot of experience with Card games and was excited to create one from scratch, so he also was a much needed addition to the team!

Later that day Caterina, who wasn’t there for the pitches, asked to join the team. After some discussion we invited her on the next day, as we realised how much artwork will need to be done for the cards, and the app, and the corporate logos etcetera. From what I could tell, Caterina’s artstyle was quite similar to Sarah’s, so they should be able to work together well!