This week was a pretty productive week for the entire team, and the design team wasn’t an exception. Last week we had tasked ourselves with all designing one stage each, but due to some time constraints that might pop up eventually, we’ve decided to reorganize our schedule. Instead, the members of the design group are all doing some smaller individual assignments while also collaboratively working on stages (for the most part). As of right now, we have one stage involving the eagle enemy and the final stage in production, since they’re both important (especially the final stage). I agree that cutting the stage count is probably our best choice, but there are some stages that I feel we might need.
My personal task this week was to kind of compact and cut down the world map that we had been planning. We had initially planned for around 8 or 9 levels, but like I said earlier the stage count is being cut down. We’re going to be cutting the stages down to having one stage per enemy, a mine cart stage, the final stage, and then one or two extra stages to really show off the cave and settlement environments, along with introducing some new mechanics such as boulder pushing.
The map above is the roughest possible idea of what our final map is going to be. We’ve cut down some levels, but it is basically the same as Julie’s map concept from last week. The player starts in the cave (brown) area with the two starting flags, and can only move forward to the one field/forest (green) area. From this point, they can move to three other field/forest areas that introduce enemies, or to a cave area larger than the starting one. From the cave area or the wolf’s stage, the player can continue on to two other stages, being the minecart “runner” stage or the settlement (tan) area respectively. The large red point in the middle will only be unlockable after you’ve completed the rest of the zones, and is where the final battle will take place. Brodie’s HUD design from last week is what we decided on, and hasn’t changed much other than being a little bit scaled to fit the new map properly.
This week, Cole also set up a group Trello that I was able to easily access. All of our tasks and due dates are assigned there, and I think that it will prove to be very valuable over the course of the next few weeks, although I’m having a tiny bit of trouble figuring out how to connect it to Slack.
The design team met up on Thursday to really hammer the final stage into place, since at the point the game is in it is probably the most important stage to have. We eventually settled on a kind of race against time stage. The idea we came up with is to have the white and black bears battling it out while Rick has to maneuver the stage as fast as possible to break the large crystal in the center. The white bear can’t hold on forever, since it’s weaker, which sets a time limit on the player to finish the stage. The way we’ve decided to have Rick break the crystal isn’t completely clear, but we’ve basically decided on some sort of method of knocking over large pillars into the crystal using a pickaxe. I think it is a very cool idea, and I hope that we can pull it off without having too many changes, although getting the crystal breaking mechanic set in stone is of utmost importance.
As for the rest of the team, they seem to have gotten quite a few models done, and some of the coding that is required for the hub world, which is great to see. Overall, I’d say that a lot got done, and we’ve moved into a position where a lot can continue to get done.