One of the critical parts of making a Prototype, it’s implementing everything we have thought off, defined and written in our Game Design Document or G.D.D for short.
The things is that even with the G.D.D defined some questions still arise, like Where do we start? or What do we have to program first??; Well with this post we want to clear some of this questions.
The most important thing in the prototype, is not that it looks good, it’s the fact thats got to be FUN!! XD, after all it’s a game what we are making and for that we need to find is the Minimum Product Value for the game (nor Most Valuable Player XD), that in this case its like saying “The most important game Mechanics or the things that are essential to the prototype” to get a feel of how the prototype will be like when finished. Just to mention some examples, the Minecraft MVP would be the ability to traverse the world and remove and add cubes around to make anything you want, the Mario Kart MVP would be the ability to drive around the circuit and use the Items or Power Ups scattered about. Everything else, it’s to balance the game, add more options, modeling the scenario and designing the level are basically secondary, at the start working with cubes or planes is enough at the start, after all we only want something that works to test if it’s FUN or not.
The idea is that the smaller the MVP, the more profit we can obtain from the game, since all the work we do after the MVP is done, is to upgrade everything and just make it better since the main and most important things are finished. So you can imagine how there are games witch MVP can take a long time to complete or just be short enough that just can concentrate in adding more and more stuff to make something awesome.
In the case of Vault Bandits and after some months working at spurs (with half the people in UNITY), we can say that we have completed the MVP. Mostly since you can already move the Player Characters, shoot, use some abilitys and interact with the world and even though we don’t have AI (yet, we are working on it ;)), we can still use the enemies to make an idea of how the prototype will end like.
To implement everything we have talked about we went approximately with this order:
- Movement: Since we started working on a D&D based movement and have a grid map, we needed the system working as soon as possible since there was a need to verify that all the buildings, enemies, items, etc where reachable by the Main Characters in the map and to make sure how to model everything to work together with this system.
- Combat: Secondly there was the need to implement the combat mechanics, mainly the ability to shoot at the enemies and the ability to be struck back by them (after all whats a game without some challenges), an gearing system so the characters could always choose there weapons and items, and of course making all of this available both to the enemies and main characters.
- Skills: This one is maybe the one job that took the most time since every characters have their unique skills plus the ones that are common to all the characters in the world, but the good thing is that once they are coded we will have the base game to wich we will be dedicating time upgrading it and fine tunning. But there still is a lot of ground to cover, but at least we can be glad that we made a sturdy base in witch take a lot less time to do things for the game.
Well folks this about covers up the fundamental, obviously there is still a lot we didn’t talk about, mostly the correction of the code and bugs that spring up like rabbits and if you don’t take some time here and there to correct them, well you’ll end up with a prototype thats shakier than flan in a earthquake.
Hope this helps and if you have an idea, don’t just start coding, like crazy, take your time to plan the code and how it will evolve, otherwise it will fall apart sooner or later.
Goodbye and see you next post.