Monday, January 27, 2014

Planning Mach-Arena


     I am the designated project manager for my college group project. I was put in charge of making a development schedule and coming up with a unified system for us to work as a group to finish the game. As far as feasibility goes I already minimized features down to something my group of four can handle. The professor was pleased with the feasibility and has faith in our team being able to finish this project by the end of the semester.

     We're using Microsoft Project in class to maintain a schedule. Up to this point I've been using a checklist in Word and I've been experimenting with Smartsheet (a free online version of Microsoft Project). We have to decide who will be working on what and when they'll do it. Right now, we confirmed Ben and I handling most of the programming and I volunteered to make all the GUI assets and game placeholders. I set up a blank Unity project full of temporary game pieces for us to start with. I'm working with Ben to establish a coding standard so neither of us gets confused on how to script the game.

     The race is officially on! Our project is due in about 14 weeks. Development goes fast with four of us instead of just me so I'll post if anything noteworthy happens. Take a look at our pre-production checklist after the break!




(note: The bulleted list of scripts is missing since I made those in advance already.)

Mach-Arena Task List


Pre-Production:


  • Empty Prefabs -
    • Shot (regular bullet)
    • Blast (big homing bullet)
    • Frenzy (small speedy shots)
    • Trap (Dense Electric Cloud)
    • Shield (Bubble Around Ship in Shape of Collision Box)
    • Dust Particles
    • Fire Particles
  • Empty Objects -
    • P1 (you),  P2 -P8 (AI)
    • Stalagmites
    • Tunnel Entrances
    • 5 Power-Ups in Each Tunnel
    • 0GameController, 0Camera, 0BGM, 0SFX


  • Assets To Consider -
    • Explosion Animation
    • Blackening Textures as HP Depletes
    • Particle Effects for Ship Exhaust
    • Screen Blur and Speed Lines for Boosting
    • Crumbling Stalagmites (tunnels full, must clear path, not respawning)
    • Red Screen Borders When Taking Damage (Blue with Shield)



  • Sound Effects -
    • Moving (Engine Hum)
    • Speed Up (Raise hum pitch)
    • Slow Down (Lower Hum Pitch)
    • Boosting
    • Shot, Blast, and Frenzy (fire and impact)
    • Subtle Whizzing (shots flying through air)
    • Trap Activate, Trap Impact
    • Shield Activate, Shield Damaged, Shield Destroyed
    • Ship Explosion
    • GrindingW (against walls), GrindingS (against ships)
    • Speeding Through Tunnel (echo boost hum)
    • Boosting in Tunnel (louder and with echo)
    • Tunnel Echo for Shots, GrindingS, Shield, Trap, and Explosions
    • Stalagmite Crumble (echo, only found in tunnels)
    • Making Turns in Tunnel (down alt path)


  • Environment Textures and Models -
    • 5 Pillars, Ceiling, Floor, Tunnel Walls
    • Tunnel Entrance Portal
    • Stalagmites
    • 5 Power-Ups
    • Shot, Trap, Blast, Frenzy, Shield


  • GUI -
    • Scenes: MainMenu, Gameplay
    • Main Menu Cockpit Background, Monitor Screen Animations
    • Main has Closed Version of Gameplay Arena and 6 roaming AI
    • Menu is inside Cockpit of Ship, So the Outside Action is Blurred.
           (clear for now)
    • Mach-Arena Title Card
    • Deathmatch Button (Bigger)
    • Options 7 Tutorial Button
    • Exit Button (smaller)
    • Text: “Developed By”, List our names


  • Options Header, FEDS list, WASD list, 4 ‘checkboxes’
  • Back Button, Next Button, Menu Button
  • Tutorial Header, Images, and Text
  • Model Select Buttons (one for each Model & Texture Pattern)
  • Right Arrow, Left Arrow, Skills Text, Dot Buttons, Skills Counter
  • Preview Ship Model, Body & Paint Text
  • DeathMatch Header, Launch Button (animate)
  • Combatants Text, Difficulty Text, Up/Down Arrows
  • Empty Lower Right HUD, HP Fill, Boost Fill, Item Icons
  • Minimap, Map Dots, Your Dot (everyone has own color)
  • Controls Background, Leaderboard Background, Pause Background
  • Continue & Exit Buttons
  • Text: Leaderboard, List 8 Positions.
  • Text: Controls, FEDS or WASD image, K/D ratio


  • GUI Placeholders


  • Test Texture Resolutions and Polycounts
  • Decide General Graphic Quality
  • Determine Initial Size
  • Use Graphing Paper to Chart out Exact Map Size
  • Define Exact Basic Ship Shape
  • Make Basic Ship Collision Mesh
  • Placeholder Ship Models
  • Placeholder World (map shape and size)


  • Everyone Think Up 3 Ship Designs (models), and 3 Textures for Each




Game Production:


  • Test pop-in Textures (Experiment with long draw distance)




Game Polish (after game works):


  • Have shot colors different for each ship texture
  • Controller Support (Joy-to-Key)

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