Here we detail the weekly progress we make while developing the game.
This page also contains the producer's report on the progress each week. For the individual reports, see the Individual Reports page.
This week was mainly spent brainstorming basic concepts.
What was decided this week was that we wanted a game focused on tile-based movement and characters, something similar to Last Night on Earth, which we had played earlier in the course.
This week’s goals were not many due to this being more of a brainstorming week. The goal was to figure out the basic concepts and what type of game we would like to make. As we had difficulty to find a time during the week when all group members could meet our meetings ended up being a bit “floaty” and we had light discussions.
Many of the group members were fans of Last Night on Earth and its systems so we decided to bring ideas and concepts from that game to the table. Things like a grid playing field and asymmetrical competitive class- and character based game play was discussed during the meetings and later brought up on Skype where we easily could discuss these ideas easily with the whole group. The group decided at this moment to wait with further discussion on the matter until Monday the upcoming week.
On monday we solidified our concept.
We decided that the game will be focused on movement and combat. All players but one play as humans trying to stave off an alien threat, which is controlled by the last non-human player.
The sanity system was suggested and added to the game. Our desired aesthetics at this point are paranoia and survival for the humans, and control and sabotage for the alien.
On tuesday we further discussed the core components of the game, focusing on movement and combat.
We discussed the layout of the game board. We drafted up a prototype map, and discussed uses of venitlation shafts that make for easier movement for the alien.
Combat was solidified. We decided that roll of dice will determine the outcome of battles.
We playtested our prototype map and solidified our core movement, combat and sanity systems.
The group was given the day off, mostly so that the 3D students could prioritize finishing their assignment that was due for hand-in this week.
Playtesting. See the Playtesting Feedback page for results.
The group’s first meeting of the week was classed as a further brainstorming meeting where the previous week’s ideas was discussed. As the goals for this week was to have a working movement and combat system before the play testing session on the Friday all focus was put on this subjects. The aesthetic goals were decided to be paranoia and stress.
The game was decided to represent a futuristic scenario where a human built space colony is being attacked by aliens. The humans must survive and rid the alien attack as they try to retain their sanity.
The movement system was the first one to be solidified and locked down. Here a lot of similarities to Last Night on Earth can be found as the movement is decided through die rolls. A distinct difference between the movement systems is the mechanic that restricts the players from moving past each other; this mechanic was added in to create a sense of paranoia and claustrophobia in order to reach our aesthetic goals. The alien’s movement is a bit different from the humans’ as it can move through ventilation shafts throughout the colony.
The combat system was the next one to be solidified. The combat has a set of rules where the result will be depended on what character the player plays as, what weapon they are using and what value their die roll displays. The alien’s attacks are depended on dice rolls and position. Whether the alien is adjacent to several players at once or not will make a difference in the results.
A sanity system was discussed and added to the game. This is set to control the players’ actions and behaviors. The sanity as a system will work in such a way that players’ will be able to turn on each other the further they get into the game. A full loss in sanity will result in the players’ turning on others completely and join forces with the alien.
A basic health system was added into the pot to give the combat a purpose. Humans were at this state set to have five health points and the alien to have ten health points.
During the second meeting the systems above was discussed with a greater depth as the game board layout was discussed. The game board was decided to have many cramped-up spaces where the players’ mobility is limited; all this to reach our aesthetic goals. Finding a way to force the players to stay mobile was discussed in order to avoid players to stay camping in a corner. An addition to the sanity system was suggested where the players’ would lose sanity if they are in the same room as the alien. This would force them to make the choice of running away to prevent sanity loss or stay and fight for the chance of victory. Another system that was discussed on the subject was a “point of interest” system where different rooms would contain different unique items such as a med bay where a player can go to be healed or a control room where ventilation shafts can be blocked off.
On the third meeting a basic game board was designed and the first play testing session commenced. This play testing session was solely put in for the team to test if all the current systems worked together as a unit and to make sure that what we had was enough for the upcoming play testing day. During our play testing session we discussed how to further develop the game and what other systems we could add in. The session gave a good result over all.
During the “official” play testing day a lot of good feedback was given and it can all be found on the feedback page. Set player classes was added in during the last session and it made the game more interesting right off the bat.
As of now the team feels rather confident that we will be able to have a good and well-polished game by the end of this course and will hopefully be able to not just make it a good game but a good-looking one too.
- Event system
- Card system
- Aesthetics Document
- Define motivation
Today player motivation was defined. We discussed that the alien would be the hunter and the humans would be the prey. The alien will be powerful and have a lot of the control whilst the humans' will be weaker and will need to depend on each other.
We added in a goal for the human players; they have to, in the current stage, visit a series of rooms before they can escape with a space shuttle and win the game.
The alien is now invincible. In attempt to keep the combat for the humans we decided to slow the alien's movement down with -1 for the following turn if shot. We balanced this out by giving the alien player two dice to roll when moving to give them a greater chance of moving far.
Today we re-designed the map and began working on the card system.
The Alien's movement through ventilation shafts was re-balanced.
Today no work was done due to most of the group wanting to work with their Knytt levels.
Thursday was a rather productive day as the team continued the work on the card system and the class system. Both of these systems gave a much greater depth to the game and made it more exciting. Both systems also created a new layer of strategic thinking; as was noticed during play tests.
The map was redesigned to rid extreme choking points and to make it more understandable with better color-coding.
The classes that was decided upon is Soldier, Medic, Engineer and Officer. More details can be found on the Rules page
This week was rather productive as the team got a great amount of artifacts done to a playable state and implemented into the game. Monday's meeting started off with a brainstorming session to define player motivation. The Humans now need to complete a series of objectives before proceeding to the Shuttle Bay. To give the Alien more power over the game we decided to make it invincible; this way the Alien player would feel more like the predator than the prey. To still keep the combat system relevant for the Humans the Alien will now lose movement points when hit with a ranged weapon; to balance this change the Alien player was given to movement dice; the highest rolled die will count towards the Alien's movement.
During the Tuesday the map went through a total overhaul and the Alien's movement through ventilation shafts was re-balanced to allow quicker movement over the map. Work on the card systems was initiated. Thursday was possibly the most productive day this week; we carried on with the work on the card- and class systems. We quickly noticed that both of the systems made game much more interesting and created a new layer of strategic thinking. The map received another overhaul to rid extreme choking points; all rooms was color-coded in order to give greater understanding of what is what during game play. The classes were decided upon and went through some further design to establish the basics of their abilities.
Friday was a class organized play test- and feedback session; we got a lot of feedback for us to work with for the upcoming to week.
No meeting was held during the day.
Today issues from previous feedback was addressed. Components were further balanced.
Workload and assignments for the upcoming week was divided between group members.
The game and its components was finalized; a new larger map was printed out alongside character cards; cards were spell-checked.
Play testing with class mates commenced; a lot of positive feedback was given.
This week was dedicated to balancing and finishing up the game. Starting the week off with addressing the feedback of the previous week we quickly resolved some of the balancing issues. Throughout the week we had a dozen, maybe more, play testing sessions with other people which gave us more direct feedback on what we needed to touch upon and what was balanced. All feedback we get we take very serious and we really listen to what people have to say about the game. We noticed that the result of the game really depended on how well the Alien player performed; if the player have great understanding of the system and how the Alien is played effectively you can pretty much count on the end game being exciting and stressful. On the other hand; if the player was new or unfamiliar to the system they often just focus down one Human player which in return gives the Humans the advantage. To balance this we re-designed and re-balanced the Human classes and their abilities (details can be found in the Changelog).
During the Wednesday a meeting was held to split up assignments and workloads in order to get documents done in a more efficient way. Thursday consisted of polishing and finalization of the game and its components; All cards were checked for spelling errors and bad wording; the map received some final polish and was printed out in a larger size; Character status boards was printed with instructions on how to play the specific class.
During Friday we had yet another class organized play testing and feedback session from which we only received positive feedback; this felt really good to the whole team as it gave us the feeling that we had accomplished something really good and made not just a good system but a good game.