The life of a college student involves experiencing large scale group projects numerous times over 4 (or more) years. As much as these experiences help us understand a group dynamic in a professional environment, many times they leave something to be desired. For many group projects for general credits, groups are usually composed of the following: The no-shows, the quiet bystanders, the “dream-big-do-little”s, and finally the one person all the work falls onto. Now as an amateur in the professional environment, this may reflect industry; but I highly doubt that. Luckily after several weeks of working with our current team, I am proud to accept that this situation will be the one that breaks this pattern.
Not only is this class our capstone project, but every one of us is an immensely passionate gamer from all sides of the spectrum. We’ve got console-gamers, PC fanboys, FPS fanatics, role-players, and DOTA-philes. And as different as our tastes in games may be, we all have the same dream: to release a polished, award-worthy title that we won’t just look to as portfolio material, but as manifestation of where we want the games industry to go in the future.
During our initial pitching phase, it was quite an experience to read through the large breadth and variety of game mechanics, stories, and art. After we had input, critiques, and some changes, we unfortunately had to start narrowing down our ideas. However, the ideas weren’t completely forgotten, in many cases, interesting mechanics and styles were picked out and altered to enhance the ideas we decided to move forward with. Starting with nearly ten, fully fleshed out ideas, we narrowed to just two. At this point, there had been so many critiques and rewrites that the idea no longer belong just to the individual who originally pitched them, but was a concept that every member was a part of. After prototyping, styling, concepting, and pitching these last two ideas one more time, we had reached a point where we, as a group, needed to decide which pitch we would pursue. Talk about a difficult decision! This would be what we would spend the next 8 months developing.
This was almost a month ago; after making an educated decision based on every source of input we could, we started to get to work. We’ve spent the last four weeks finalizing every aspect of the mechanics, narrative, style, and tone to reflect a game that we would be eager to play even if we hadn’t developed it. We’ve asked friends, family, and colleagues questions like: “Would this be engaging?”, “Which style do you think works better?”, or “Does this script read well to you?”.
With all this work we are looking forward to announce our title to be released in 8 months time. Though it won’t be announced now, I will leave you with a small, teaser image to get everyone thinking.
I hope you join us on our trek through our development process.