A Shiny Shirt

I thought I did well two weeks ago, I figured out how to say friend in elven and the door to the mines opened and in I went. This past week I felt like I got stabbed by a cave troll! Luckily, my mithril shirt saved me.

(Cue the flashback music and imagine the scene has an ethereal, old-timey feel to it.) The crazy, wild-haired troll gave me this quest to build a game. I tried to interject, however, he stopped me and before he disappeared he said, “your road is perilous and filled with many dangers and wrong turns. You must protect yourself. Take this shiny shirt, you’ll need it. Go forth and quest!” Shortly after he disappeared a fellow traveler, Mike@PAUSED, gave me all his support & best wishes. I have to say those two things really helped this past week. I don’t know if you’ve ever been stabbed by a cave troll but it’s weird.

He stabbed me with a sword, Gandalf! How weird is that?

Odd Jobs – DevBlog #1

I decided on a code name for my project, Odd Jobs, it fit. I planned several tasks for the past week, however, I only worked on a few of them. Life happened, so I made the most of it.

Monster Prefabs

September last year the Humble Unity Bundle appeared, this was Unity’s first Humble Bundle and I hope they have more of them. I got several hundred dollars worth of assets for a great deal and I supported a charity. Among many other asset packs I received the Heroic Fantasy Creatures Full Pack Volume 1 by Protofactor. I finally got a chance to test drive these assets and let me tell you there are tons of them, each with their own 3d models, materials, textures, prefabs, and scripts. I included a full list of monsters after the GIFs below.

I didn’t know where to start there was so much stuff, so I started with troll butt (oh my god Becky, look at that troll butt) and went from there. I added two trolls to my dungeon, a physically based rendered (PBR) version and a legacy version. I added the PBR troll first, which was too large to fit into my dungeon so I have to move him around and scale him down, I fixed the legacy troll before I made the GIFs below. I realized I needed a new sandbox to test out my additions.

The pack contained the following monsters:

  • Chimera
  • Cyclops
  • Darkness Spider
  • Demon Lord
  • Dragonide
  • Evil Watcher
  • Fantasy Wolf
  • Ghoul
  • Giant Rat
  • Giant Viper
  • Goblin
  • Golem
  • Griffon
  • Harpy
  • Hobgoblin
  • Hydra
  • Kobold
  • Lizard Warrior
  • Manticore
  • Mountain Dragon
  • Mummy
  • Ogre
  • Orc
  • Skeleton Knight
  • Tree Ent
  • Troll
  • Undead
  • Vampire
  • Werewolf
  • Wyvern

ProBuilder

Mike@Paused wrote about ProBuilder last week in his article Day 20: ProBuilder. I had heard of ProBuilder but I never looked into it, so I watched a Brackeys video MODELING IN UNITY?! – ProBuilder Tutorial. Woah! I need this in my life, especially after scaling down that troll butt. Next week, I will build a new sandbox environment so I can test my designs without having to miniaturize my trolls and dragons and such. My Trello board got a new task created tonight!

Game Design Document Research

The last thing I worked on last week was reading over a few different game design documents (GDD). I found four GDDs I wanted to read and learn from, namely the Diablo GDD, Grand Theft Auto GDD, Play With Fire GDD, and read Level 4: You Can Design a Game, but Can You Do the Paperwork? from Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design, 2nd Ed by Scott Rogers. Scott said great things about GDDs and I suggest grabbing a copy of his book if you can. I enjoyed reading the various GDDs and learned quite a bit, in fact, did you know that the pitch for Diablo described it as a turn-based game? I sure didn’t.

Well I certainly didn’t write an entire GDD last week, however, I wrote out some bullet points for my Overall Description section.

  • I like choose your own adventures and RPGs.
  • I want to reverse the RPG stereotype.
    • You are not a hero on a daring quest to save the land or a prince/princess.
    • You need money to pay the bills and put food on the table.
  • You do a series of odd jobs around town by checking the Town Hall Job Board or the Council Members.
    • The Job Board allows town residents to post various jobs they need completed.
    • The Council Members have specific quests they need completed to help expand and grow the town.
  • The jobs reward the player with a multitude of different items, gold, food stuffs, equipment, etc.
  • The odd jobs involve a branching RPG structure where decisions made alter the player’s path while doing the job. Not all options are available along all paths (like the original Wasteland game).
  • A well-designed odd job resembles a Choose Your Own Adventure book from the 80s/90s.

I think I have the core of my game, Odd Jobs, defined here, the rest I will define in the coming weeks. What do you think of my overall design idea?

Keep on questing!

7 Comments »

  1. I never thought I would be staring at troll booty at 1am in the morning, lol. That first gif made me audibly laugh.

    There was a lot of great information for me to unpack here: learned about GDD’s, Trello, and to keep an eye out for humble bundle asset sales!

    I really like the idea of a non-hero protagonist – just a dude trying to make a living in fantastical world of big-butted trolls and other creatures. Having decisions directly affect the storyline is an awesome feeling as a player and it adds to the replayability since I want to see the outcomes of a different choice. I think your overall design idea is solid!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. *Hands a 6-pack of potions of boost toughness* Take these champ, you’re going to need them!
    Word of warning: Watch out for the delusion of grandeur. It lurks all around us beginning game developers: In the shadows of our dreams, behind the corner of the corridors we created for our dungeons. I’m sure you have heard this advice before, but start small, and keep it small. I’m sure you’ll manage to deal with staying on the right track, but don’t be surprised if you catch yourself creating something that will take years to develop. I also recommend not to create your dream/passion game as your first game, as there’s probably going to be design flaws and lots of problems in it, and it’ll be exhausting to see your “beloved one (game) being a nightmarish abomination instead of the visions you had about it. I’m exaggerating a bit here just to be safe =) Although you have a solid coding and development career, so I think you’ll be better equipped to face that.
    What I did, and still do, is work on an interesting “firstborn”, and keep designing my passion projects in the background. There’s a huge load of background work to be done for almost any story-driven game, so I just keep a notebook for all the ideas I have for the other games while I work on my first real game. I’ll learn about the process, which I will be able to utilize when I start to create my passion/dream projects. I’m hoping that approach will save time once I start creating the “more serious” games.
    Anyways, good luck on your quest! As with any long journey there’s going to be setbacks, but don’t let them stop you completely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the potions! These will come in handy.
      I’m pretty sure I mixed up a potion of strength with one for delusions. I thought I had a good plan, I will wait at least 5 years before starting my big game idea and I will work on several “smaller” games to build up my gamedev knowledge. Business coding is a tad different than game coding. I figured with my experience I could at least skip a few basic steps and go right to an RPG. Hmmm. An RPG is a big game project – my brain knows this but still here I go. So now I’m stuck at the crossroads of doubt and indecision – should I go back a few steps and do “easy” games (flappy bird, pac man, etc) or am I shying away from a challenge just because it seems hard?
      Mike@PAUSED recently wrote a blog that reminded me about MVP. Maybe I need to establish an MVP and a deadline for Odd Jobs v1 and reassess the landscape at that point.

      Thanks for the great advice!

      Like

      • Working on an RPG isn’t necessarily going to mean that you end up with a too big challenge, but it has so many more possibilities for going to a branching path. Just keep it constantly in your mind, defining the Minimum Viable Product is a great way to stay focused on the core. I don’t think you should step back now, just keep the thought in your mind. And you can always start “a tiny side project” (those words are also known as the self-deception spell) if you feel like you’re getting bored or exhausted. I concentrate on my main project on mon-friday, and on sundays allow myself to experiment on whatever project I’m interested in.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Self-deception spell, lol. Your style reminds me of Google’s old 20% rule. I always liked that idea, however, I’ve never worked at a company that accepted it. Well I now run my own company so maybe I finally found the place. 😉 Besides I think I need some small, side projects to help boost my graphics assets handling skill, it’s a brand new skill to me and I’m kinda all over the place with it.

    Thanks again!

    Like

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