Our big main project right now is ‘ADA – Automated Discovery Android’, the game is a third person platformer, centering mainly on adventure, and story elements. You play as a robot, and the game takes place in a solar system. You can navigate the solar system in a spaceship, and land on planets, basically anything you can see you can fly to and land on.
Each core planet is essentially a level and has a unique theme (ice, desert, forest), the player can explore to find wildlife, predators, resources, and dungeons.
The dungeons are in theme with the planet, and involve platforming, puzzle solving, and story based elements as well as basic combat. Wow, that was all direct and to the point huh?
This was a project myself and Chris Osmond thought about in earlier semesters, with the basic concept of making a game that involves the player navigating spheres or small worlds akin to Mario Galaxy.
So when asked what project we wanted to do over an eleven week period, with three other subjects to worry about in the second semester of our second year, we pitched this idea… because deep down inside we fucking hate ourselves.
The first ever prototype I put together looked like this:
Wow! Yay! The thingie moves around the moon whatsit! This is obviously going to work and be cake! We all left early and got sandwiches.
Obviously it wasn’t going to be so easy. What you see here is a very basic gravitation system and player controller, which over time, we had to change completely.
You see we didn’t like the idea of the planets floating static in space, so wanted to add rotations for real time day night cycles. We also didn’t like the idea of load screens, so the entire solar system was to be visible at all times. We didn’t want the player to just appear on the planet, we wanted the player to fly to the planet, have the ship get caught in its atmosphere, and beam down.
Did I mention we were second years with no industry experience that fucking hate ourselves?
Basically our project pitch was a combination of all these kinds of systems in a kind of alpha, and a whole tonne more, like shaders, optimisation magics, and a player controller that behaved like a regular third person platformer but on a spheroid type planet.
Through sheer determination, luck, and a bunch of moxxy, we actually got it all done.
Yay! Leave early for sandwiches!
What we didn’t have was gameplay… I mean, it WAS an Alpha, we damn well never promised gameplay, and in fact took umbrage to the fact it seems like no one knows what a damned Alpha version of a game is. Also: Did I mention we were second years at the time with eleven weeks to do this in? I MEAN GET OFF MY CASE YEEEEESH.
The team was pretty broken up over it all, and everyone was ready to ditch the project and make phone games for the rest of our lives. After a nice relaxing holiday period, we decided we still hated ourselves too much to ditch it, so here we are, back at the base of the mountain pushing that boulder.
This year we hope to get AI and gameplay popping off, and extend what started as an uni project into something special. Me and the team will be updating this space on the regular with the projects progress, and fun write ups on some of our cooler processes.