Design Values -
Game Design Conference Videos -
- “A normal map is an image where the RGB components correspond to the X, Y, and Z coordinates, respectively, of the surface normal.”
- The only real way to make something look great is to experiment. Tweak little things until you're happy with what you've got.
- Important 2D visual effects include;
- Effects using normal maps
- Colour adjustments
- Blur & bloom
- Putting it all together in a way that really works for the game.
- They use flash as an art asset but not in the actual game. They use it to create the base for the artworks and animations that will feature in the final version.
- They create a large library of Character Builds to reference later. Doing this means that they can keep the character design consistent from different angles.
- These Character Build Libraries are very useful for skinning the characters, all the poses will be the same and they can be used as templates for the skins.
- By using a digital format with traditional techniques they get the benefits of -
- technical diversity
- higher quality
Paper Prototype Video
Game Design Document
P2 / M1
P3 Evidence of Game Elements
Paper Prototype Assets
Character concept designThese are the variants I made for the character's design.
I made lots of different styles of his hair and facial hair so that we could decide on the one we liked best. In the end we settled on the 4th one because it has a very Old West feel. Originally the character was wearing a bandana, which we liked as it also fit the Old West theme, but I decided to remove it so that the character would be able to express emotion.
This is the Character's Run Cycle and a GIF of the running animation. This will be constantly looping when the game is running due to the nature of our game, the character is moving along the train at all times.
These are the 3 variants of the Train Carriages. There's an end carriage for the very first one the player starts on, there's one with an opening in the roof that allows the player to access the upper level, and one that's a standard carriage that the player can only enter or exit at either end. The game is designed around being able to move between the two levels, the roof of the carriages and the inside of the carriages. The player can move between these levels using either the gaps in the roof or the gaps between carriages.
Here is the Character's Jump Frame, Damage Frame, and Fall Frame. The Damage Frame and Fall Frame didn't end up getting added to the game due to time restrictions. The Jump Frame shows that the character has small rockets on the bottom of his boots. They give him the lift he needs to leap from the inside of the train to the upper roof level.
The background is made out of layers. Each layer will move at a slightly different speed, the foreground moves fastest and the further back they go the slower they move. The sun and the sky do not move with the mountains because they are extremely far away, so far away that the effect of parallax may as well not apply to them at all from the perspective of the character. We received feedback from people who played the game that the birds didn't really fit in with the scene so we decided to remove them from the final game.
cause damage, Big Skull Crate which will cause damage to the player when they run into it and has
5 hitpoints of health, and Health Crate which restores the player’s health points back to full.
Our Programmer needed a sprite sheet of the crates with all the shattered pieces of the crates on it
so that he could create the crumble/break effect that triggers when the player destroys the Crates.
To do this I created the pattern of the broken pieces out of polygons and then created 14 PNG
copies of the actual crate, one for each piece. Then, lining the crates up against the edge of the
artboard I made the broken pieces into Clipping Masks on the Crate PNGs. This gave me a perfect
Crate made of 14 small pieces. I then made a sprite sheet of these, placing them all in their correct
position equal distance apart.
The Robots were the planned Enemy for the game. They were a fusion of the CyberPunk and Western genres of our game that I was very happy with but unfortunately they weren’t included in the final version of the game. The plan was to have the Robots fire their laser weapons at out hero as he runs towards them. The Robots didn’t need a running animation as they would be standing still and the train would move them across the screen. The Robot’s weapon is their Laser Cannon Arm. It would fire out a bright red laser shot and the player would have to either avoid them on the other level or shoot the robots and destroy them.
The Health Bar is another asset that we didn’t get to implement in the final game. There are 5 states that each correspond to a health value. There’s 4 health, 3 health, 2 health, 1 health, and 0 health. The zero health frame is for when the player has died.
When we started play testing the game and having people give us feedback we realised that the emotions our character was showing wasn't clear enough due to how small he is and how fast the game moves. To work around this issue I created these Emotes that will appear just above the character when the it interacts with certain elements of the game. The red one is what will show when the player dies, the happy one will show when the player picks up coins and health, and the unhappy one will show when the character is damaged.
The previous emotions in the character's face that was shown earlier was hardly used in the final version of the game however there was one of those emotions that was used in the game where the player would jump and the character would smile!
Music and Sound effects
The music we used for the background of our game is a song called Orion's Fantasy by the artist Violet Vibe. We found this track on youtube and thought that it really lent to the CyberPunk side of our game. As this track was posted on youtube we were able to leave a comment and ask for permission to use the music in the game;
As far as sound effects go we collected, clipped, and converted lots of sound effects. Sound effects like an Explosion noise for the TNT crates, the looping sounds of a Train running on tracks and rushing wind, sounds for the Laser shots being fired and also impact sounds for when things are hit by the lasers or when the character runs into a crate.
Unfortunately we didn't manage to get these sound effects into the game before the deadline, our programmer had too great a work load with the other game elements and bug fixing. This was very unfortunate as the sound effects would have given another layer of depth to the game and it feels a tiny bit empty or disconnected without them. I believe that this problem could have been resolved or averted entirely by managing our time more effectively towards the start of the project so that the workload would have been more manageable towards the end of the project.
M2/D1I would argue that the art of the game is to a high quality and is consistent in the style throughout the all the game assets- I would also argue that the game is to a high technical standard in the way that there are complex systems built into the game such as using ray casts to shoot a gun, making 2D crates explode into multiple pieces when the player collides with that box, health systems, scrolling backgrounds, score systems that include a high-score and also when the player dies a emote comes up in the background when the death screen is up with a red dead face.
Following the plan
Fit for purpose
I feel like Train Dash works well as a quick game to play for a short period of time. Currently the biggest bug in the game would be that when the coins have all been collected or all the boxes have been exploded they wont come back which is a big problem if a player is wanting to play for a long period of time.
We do however feel like there are things that do feel right about the game and are really good, for example there are 2 holograms at the start every time you play the game telling you what the 2 buttons are in the game- also evidence to the game being fit for purpose is the people playing the game had a desire to beat the highscore at the top of the screen each time they played, this is something most infinite runners make the player want to do and is why they're successful.
Question 1: How did the controls feel?
Most people said the jumping was very clunky and slow and that the jumping needed to be more responsive for the type of game we were going for. One person did enjoy the controls and thought they felt quite nice, but the majority said it needed improvement.
Question 2: Did you encounter any major issues with the game?
The major issues people had with the game was the fact that when people would just make the jump over to another platform of the train. You'd land on the edge and slip and fall directly down. When you jump between the carriages from the bottom layer, its a very small jump window and is really hard to make the jump between the carriages.
Question 3: What other features would you like to see implemented?
The most common thing people said was that they wanted a new health system implemented. Things were suggested like; the player has 3 health, and bigger objects deal more damage if you run into them then smaller objects. Other people said they would like to see AI enemies instead of plain boxes.
Question 4: Are the obstacles clear enough?
Pretty much everyone said the same thing when answering this question. The boxes in the carriages are quite hard to see, they kind of blend into the background with the rest of the carriage, where as the boxes on the roof of the trains were very obvious.
Question 5: What aspects of the game would you like to see changed?
An ammo system was suggested, to punish players for spamming their gun. Most people wanted to see the boxes changed into something more appropriate of their destructive power.
Question 6: Scale of 1-10 how enjoyable is the game to play?
With an average score of 7/10 people enjoyed the game, but said there was definite room for improvement with the current jumping mechanics and lack of interesting objects.
As stated in P2 the target audience for the game is young people aged 12-18, during the feedback we found that people aged 17-19 seemed to enjoy the game meaning that not only did people in our age range enjoy the game but people outside the target audience enjoyed playing the game.
The game's physics and dynamic props are the crates that explode when the player runs into them. The crates are dynamic as they explode when the player interacts with them in the form of running into them. The crates are physics props in the way that the fragments that are made when it explodes fly up into the air and then fall back onto the ground being effected by the force of gravity and of the explosion.
Examples of high technical standard:
These examples have been chosen to showcase how the game has a high technical quality behind the scenes. The programming example shows elements of good professional coding, for example, commented code so that if anyone needs to know what bit does what it is described in the comments and hardly any unnecessary code. The art example shows good use of colour together and shows how the use of gradients and layering you can make a very simple but effective backdrop for a game making for a nice atmosphere for playing the game.