Monday, August 20, 2018

Project Erica

Project Erica

Project Erica is a new venture for me.  It is a 2D Platformer game built with the Unity Engine. At present the game has entered into the end stages of prototyping.  With that in mind I will track my progress, or lack thereof, here. 

Erica (The proposed Player Object)

Organization of this type of project is important.  Mainly due to the many parts involved.  For instance, I must consider the flow of the game, the rules, art, and code to make the game function.  In latter stages, there is the feedback from technical and non-technical users.  This will improve the overall usefulness of the program.  To that end this post will deal with the organization of the work flow.

Step 1

Create some fundamental rule sets.  These include those that affect coding and game play. For instance, Naming Conventions are important to know the difference between an Object called "PlayerIdle" and a variable called "playerIdle".  It may seem silly, but as your code becomes more complex this difference matters.  Knowing at a glance that your code is referencing "PlayerIdle" lets you know that this is an object. It saves time and heartache.

Step 2

Create on paper the actual flow of the game.  Before you write a single line of code, or draw a single character you must define the game environment.  Storyboards, or just plain text can help you define what you will need further down the line. It allows you the opportunity to work out the major flaws in the overall logic of the game.

Step 3

Do you start with the art, or start with the code?  Since this is a game, the art is what a user sees.  From the games perspective, the art is important, but so is the code that allows the user to interact with the art. I personally begin with the pseudo code.  Placeholder art, the stage I am in now, will allow you to work out the overall mechanics of the game. Of course you will be tweaking it all throughout the process.

Step 4

This is where the rubber hits the road.  As your game mechanics are being tweaked you can start to add finished (or mostly finished) artwork.  There is a lot of testing, editing, and retesting during this part of the process.  This will include creating forms of the game that can be tested by others.  Choose wisely who you allow to help with testing.  Accept all ideas you receive. 

Step 5
Finalizing the project can be the hardest part.  If, like me, you have come up with new ideas you will need to decide, can those new ideas wait until later?  Upgrades and modifications to a game are to be expected, but too many become a pain for the user.  Continual testing is a requirement.


That's it for now....more to follow.

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