Developer Diary 0: 30 Cycles to Jubilee

So I’ve noticed that a lot of people are doing these things called developer diaries.  They are usually some kind of regular posting about the state of some game that the person is working on.  Since I am going to be making a game this semester, I thought I would give it a try.  So here is diary entry zero. Why zero? Well, I haven’t got much to really show off yet, it’s all just concept so far. I’ve noticed that the developer diaries tend to have some sort of visual spoiler about what’s going on during the development, but I don’t really have that yet. I’ve actually only come up with the idea about a week ago, so there hasn’t been much in the way of development. What i do have, though, is design. And actually, I’ve already given a bit of a hint about the design. But let me get this diary started.

The game I am making this semester is going to be called (for now at least) “30 Cycles to Jubilee” and it is kindof an space adventure dealing with aliens (the Kwelos) and their society.  First, I will explain the title of the game, which will provide some game background, and then I will talk about some of the mechanics for the game.  30 Cycles to Jubilee takes place on a Kwelos cruise ship (the Vior) as it makes its way to the resort planet of Jubilee.  The ship will take 40 “cycles” to get there. A cycle is about equivalent to a day, and I don’t like using such a pseudo-futuristic buzzword, but I just don’t feel that a “day” makes sense when you’re out traveling the stars.  The voyage is already ten cycles underway when the player is discovered- a stow away. For the next thirty cycles, the player is put into service, doing whatever the captain and passengers want. In addition, the player is free to roam the ship and generally gets a free ride to Jubilee (where the authorities will likely be notified and the player charged as expected).

The mechanics are, in a way very simple.  The player can move, and is able to perform three kinds of actions: communicate, work and play. These actions take on different meanings depending on what the player is trying to interact with.  For example, communicating with a character means having a conversation, while communicating with a door means knocking on the door.  The player is also able to pick up three objects at a time (one object per hand) and can perform the three actions through those objects.

This is basically what I have right now.  The game’s events will actually be mostly randomly generated in some way. So the tasks the player has to do in a cycle are generated.  I also want to have some kind of generated series of events that play out over the days and connect, so it isn’t just the day to day. I’m hoping this isn’t too difficult. I’ll add this in only if I actually make enough headway with the system.

I’m not much of an artist, so everything will look probably pretty bad overall unless some philanthropist decides they want to help me with the art. The game will be 3D. My class is centered on the use of Unity to make the game. I’m thinking that 3d objects will be easier to deal with than 2D ones. I’ve had some success in the past, but it’s still reflective of my lack of artistic talent.

So that’s my game this semester. It will probably be “done” by April, but would likely require tweaking to get it to something nice to play.

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