Development Blog: Week 3

This week in a nutshell: Our faculty advisors picked the Cozy Delivery Service out of the three final pitches. The team then began to write the first draft for the world and story, brainstormed gameplay elements, and explored art directions. 

The Faculty advisors landed on the cozy delivery idea because it holds a lot of wonderful elements and potential for fun gameplay elements. On the other hand, the Dali – Lucid Dreaming presents a much harder design task as to how to transform Dali’s painting into puzzle platformer levels. The four-monkey survival game contains a very risky game design choice that the faculty advisors were not fully onboard with. 

Starting with the story, we started from the idea of a dodo porter. The first draft was a bittersweet story about the conflict between the dodo and the human during the 17th century. Some of us liked the direction while others didn’t as much. The team decided to ask Jesse and Chris for guidance. Jesse wanted us to take a look at the “Story Stack” and ask ourselves the the following questions:

  1. How to make each level increasingly harder?
  2. What makes delivering packages hard/harder?
  3. What constitutes increasing challenges?
  4. What does the mid-game & last level look like?

Essentially,  stories grow out of player progression. After much fumbling around, the team realized it is not in a good place for story just yet. We need to have a more detailed and finalized list of verbs for the game before fleshing out the story.

In terms of validating and testing out ideas, the team asked the question as to “What does gameplay testing look like in a pre production stage?” Answering this question is particularly important in that it determines where the team should focus on in a project that is not limited by the need to deliver playable demos. Our faculty advisor suggested that we put much of the effort into testing art and game mechanics. Chris’s reason for taking out the programmer out of the team makeup was to “lessen the expectations of what a demo would look like is to allow the team to not feel pressured to deliver something finalized and polished.”

On visual arts, we received positive feedback on the poster design. Faculty advisors loved the vibe of magic and mystery of the first iteration. They also loved the logo design, but would love to see a version with less vision clutter and noise. Here is the final version for the logo:

This week was about diving into early stages of all aspects of the project and testing out directions for each discipline. The upcoming quarter presentations in Week 4 will give us insight as to where we are and where we should be headed next.