The Almost Heroes production team has continued to work as a cohesive unit this semester. All four of us have a strong work ethic, and we are all accountable for getting our respective tasks done. We all bring different skills to the table, and we all work as a group to make sure all of these skills shine through in our production. We rarely get into arguments over content and planning, as we are all fairly easy going people. However, this causes an issue as we don’t want to hurt each other’s feelings. Moving forward, this is something we can remedy by simply speaking our minds if we don’t agree with an idea, and knowing that the person won’t be offended over simple confrontations as we all want the game to improve.
Throughout this semester, our biggest improvement at the moment is organization. Whether in the Trello board or Github, we can tend to get a little unorganized. This can be easily remedied by assigning a single person the task of watching the Trello board closely as well as making a burndown chart for our sprints as they are reaching their conclusion. This cohesion is also important as we look to focus our game even more. Moving past the IGF it is clear that we need to focus more on what makes our game fun and coming up with a plan to achieve this by enhancing the gameplay as well as simple story elements.
To fix these problems, we plan on really focusing on improving our ideas through good design. We tend to get wrapped up in new ideas and features, when the best path to take is just focusing on the design itself. We also plan on nominating a single person to keep track of file organization and trello boards. This way, they are accountable for making sure everything is where it needs to be and completely up to date.
Playtesting has played a huge part in the development of our game. When James Portnow looked at our game, this gave us a lot of solid ideas on how to polish up for IGF and focus on what made our game funny and enjoyable. This also happened when talking with Will and Kees about trimming the fat from our game. We shied away from power ups for Jack in favor of keeping the core of our game the focus, and polishing this aspect as much as possible before IGF.
As mentioned above, we need to focus on finding a cohesive core for our game that is both fun and provides a set of meaningful choices for the player. We want to do this through a blend of comedy and drama, told through the gameplay and story elements of our game. Comedy comes from Jack and his sneezing ability. We want to elaborate on this sense of comedy as much as possible, and really make sure people are laughing throughout the experience. For the drama, we want to maximize the impact of the meteors. This adds meaningful choices to the game, as many people may die if you are not able to stop a meteor. This contrast is unique and provides a reasoning for our game to do well and marketed as such.
By December 9th we hope to flush out the comedy and drama more through meaningful choices. We want to focus less on new features and more on polishing up Jack, buildings, and the meteors. Some preliminary ideas we have for this is adding a slingshot ability to Jack, adding in more complex buildings that add different elements to the game, adding different types of meteors, telling a story behind the meteors, a possible cooldown on the sneeze ability, and enhancing the moment by moment gameplay by changing up the camera angles and movement styles.
To achieve all of this by December 9th, we want to really find our spark again for our game. This means “Wowing” our team members and other people who may playtest our game. We want to truly be proud of the tasks we are accomplishing and being proud of the final product that is a result of our hard work. This means less trivial work and more passionate work involving our tasks and getting individual things done. We by no means have given up on our game and plan to forge ahead with all of the improvements and ideas mentioned above.