JULY 24 – JULY 28
The final presentation is on google drive HERE.
We didn’t spend quite as much time on the final presentation as on the intermediate presentation, but we had time to go over it all together after Rick made the first draft, and since everyone mostly wrote their own parts, everyone was pretty confident in what they would say.
In the intermediate presentation Omar did a great job convincing the audience that our game was somewhat experimental and related to the topic of the three wise monkeys but this time it didn’t go that well.
We received repeated questions about how our game related to the theme and genre, and we could only admit that we didn’t manage to implement them well.
All in all I think the presentation went decently. All of our group members presented their own part well without any of the typical mistakes people tend to make. We played the prototype while waiting for questions, which didn’t seem to be a good idea at first, as people were paying attention to the gameplay, but a few questions came in at the end, and some feedback as well (more on feedback later).
The Game Exhibition was two days later, on Wednesday. For the exhibition, I did some balancing and added a few more buildings to the almost empty town, fixed the mac / Linux bug which made the cursor huge and added credits to the game, which we needed to credit some assets we bought or got to use for free.
We had a few issues setting up for the play-testing. The first pc we tried had graphics issues at a high quality setting, and at low settings the camera lerp didn’t work (due to my error). We couldn’t log in on the mac we tried next because someone else forgot to log out before. But the next pc we tried worked, and it was in a pretty good spot, so we had no issues with it.
Players & Feedback
I didn’t stay with the game much because I was still not confident it was fun and anyone would play it, and also I wanted to play other games. I did routinely check on it though, whenever I could, I threw a glance to see if anyone was playing. I saw one guy playing and decided to observe him inconspicuously. He was having a hard time but after losing the second time he moved from a relaxed legs-to-the-side position to a serious all-attention-on-the-game position. Just observing this made me feel a lot better about the game.
He won the game that round. After he did, I walked up to him and acted like I wanted to play the game. I asked him how to play it, and he explained it as “basically just kill everything”. He gave me a hint on which weapon was the best (the automatic) and that I needed to kill the foxes and the fox spawners in particular. He didn’t tell me to kill the “foxes”, in fact he didn’t recognize them as such, he first thought they were rats, and later squirrels. He also didn’t really know what to do with the chicks, he thought they might be helping out, but wasn’t sure what they were doing.
He also told me not to pick up the rocket launcher, because it wasn’t as good as you would think.
I watched another player complete the game in a similar fashion and received similar feedback. When I told him I made the game, he said it was the coolest he’d played that day, the most like an actual game. Since that was exactly the goal of the project, his comment lifted my spirits.
I watched a few more people play, some of them left the game quickly because they died, but I saw the winning screen when I came back one time, meaning at least one more person must’ve beaten the game!
There was also this guy who tried four or five times, his companion getting visibly annoyed.
We made a game that was more “game-like” than any other project this semester. There were other projects that were very ludic; TAST, Gridrunners and Unlight, but I think they were less mainstream than ours. In that regard we were successful.
However our game ended up being quite bland as a consequence. The chicks were fun and kind of novel, but as they lacked proper game design, they were not the focus of the game.
Besides making a ludic game, another goal I had was to have less influence in the game design, and not be the project leader, so I could focus more on the programming aspect.
In retrospect maybe I shouldn’t have joined Rick and Cata, since they didn’t have specific game design in mind, only this vision of a Godzilla-Chicken. As I’ve seen with projects all around, our game designers work best when they work on a project they came up with in the first place.
Sadly Omar was no exception, so he struggled a lot. I didn’t make it easier on him, as I -contrary to my prior intentions- wanted to have a lot of influence on the game design. I shot down most of the ideas Omar proposed because they didn’t fit with the vision I had in mind, it seems I was unwilling to bend it in a direction Omar could work with.
Once Omar stopped giving input the development process ground to a halt on my side, because I ran out of things to implement. It was only when I started to implement whatever, and see to the game mechanics later, that things started rolling again.
I failed as a project lead here, I did not talk to Omar properly as I should have, instead I asked him about his progress with his tasks, expecting nothing out of it.
I should have talked to him one-on-one to ask him what isn’t working for him and how we could fix it, but I only posted in the group chat, thinking he would speak up about it himself.
The biggest issue I have is that I, once again, have not put enough time into the project. I simply haven’t spend as much time on it as I could have, and that definitely affects the final quality of the game.
Rick has created a page on itch.io and we had planned to publish the game there. We decided not to go through with it though, as the game is lacking appeal.
In the end, I should’ve just gone with an experimental group and made something weird. Or I should’ve at least gone with an idea that was proposed by a game designer.
Either way, I don’t regret my choice, as I could find a few things to love about the game in the end.