Thursday, November 12, 2015

Midterm - Timeline

Our estimated timeline is as follows (week 1 is this week):

week 1:

Itiel Agramonte: finish Mixamo characters and animations

Daniel Hoekman: make character attacks functional, create enemy that can take damage

Arthur Karapateas: upload basic AI

Michael Uria: get music playing in-game

week 2:

Itiel: finish basic map

Daniel: give stances unique properties, work on combo system

Arthur: work on enemies

Michael: work on music, provide sound effects

week 3:

Itiel: map detailing and troubleshooting

Daniel: refine character attacks and abilities

Arthur: work on enemies/boss

Michael: finish music

Midterm - Game Document Update

Our group's game document can be viewed at the following location:

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Class Participation 6 - Create a Puzzle

Puzzle #1

In a level with plenty of lava, a lake of lava may contain a rock formation that is so far away from any other solid ground that the player cannot jump over the lava to get to it. In order to make this island accessible, we can have a boulder that the player can jump atop and roll through the lava in order to get closer. If we wanted to make the task more difficult, we could populate the lake with obstacles that either stop the boulder from rolling or knock the player into the lava.

Puzzle #2

Alternatively, if we wanted the boulder to be immobile once it enters the lava, we can use it as a simple platform that will allow the player to cross a river of lava that is too wide to clear otherwise. In this case, we would create a puzzle aspect by requiring the player to somehow push the boulder into the lava, whether through the protagonist's brute strength or some kind of mechanical contraption.

Puzzle #3

We never have to have the player jump from the top of a boulder in order to access part of a level. Boulders could also be used to stop the flow of lava to a certain part of the level. Perhaps the door to a temple is hidden underneath a river of lava and the player must move a boulder in order to gain safe passage to this door.

Puzzle #4

In spite of the above puzzle ideas, my experiences tell me that boulders are most often used in ways that endanger players. If we wish to join this trend, we could use boulders to destroy platforms that the player needs to use. The player will start crossing a series of platforms, but some force (enemies, earthquake, volcano eruption) will cause a number of boulders to start rolling down a mountainside toward the player, turning the situation into a race against time. If the boulders hit the player or destroy the platform that the player is standing on, the player will fall (potentially into lava). In order to make this situation more interesting, the path should be given obstacles that can slow down the player's progress.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Homework 8 - Progress Report

For various reasons, this was a slow week in terms of game development. However, I'm happy to say that I'm done organizing our repository. Hopefully, this will make it easier for us to work as a team and to keep our files from becoming a mess.

Okay, for real this time--work is going to be done on our character's attacks. We need a beat-em-up character who can actually "beat-em-up."

Homework 8 - Group Game Analysis

The Tetrad


Our game will be created with Unreal Engine. We will be targeting personal computers as our only platform. The game is designed to be played with a gamepad, but players will also be able to use a keyboard.


It’s been 100 years since the Malterra gained sentience, overwhelming the earth, poisoning the air, polluting the waters, spreading disease and decimating the population of life on the planet. Mother Nature, as a last hope for saving the earth, has given the world her last child, Gaya. As Gaya you must master the four elements, traverse the lands to fight the Malterra, defeat their rulers that abuse the individual elements, and restore balance to the world before there is nothing left to save.


Since we know that our game will be a 3D beat-em-up, some mechanics will be obvious from the start. Players will control a single character who can move around in 3D space and perform basic platforming actions. The player character can attack enemies by using either basic attack combos or special moves. If an enemy attack hits the player, some of the player's health will be lost; the player loses if this health is fully depleted.

Our main "hook" is the ability of the player to switch between four different stances that are based on the four elements. These stances will give the player access to different attacks and mobility options. There will be obstacles that can only be overcome by utilizing the abilities of certain stances.

At the end of each level, the player will encounter a boss. Bosses are significantly tougher than normal enemies and they will offer puzzle-like fights that require the player to make good use of the different stances.


Visually, it is highly likely that our game will feature a semi-realistic fantasy aesthetic. None of our team members has much experience with visual art, so most of our graphical assets will come from outside sources. While this limits our control over our game's appearance, we feel that our time will be better spent working on other facets of the game.


Challenge vs. Success

Our game will become more difficult overall as the player progresses through it, each level being more difficult than the last. Additionally, each level will exhibit an upwards difficulty curve; more difficult enemies will appear as the level goes by, culminating in a boss battle.

Once a player learns how to efficiently control the protagonist, that player will be able to complete levels more quickly than before by cutting down on the time spent battling, solving puzzles, and navigating through the world. In this way, skilled players will spend less time playing easy levels than inexperienced players will, allowing the more difficult challenges to be accessed without unnecessary delays.

Skill vs. Chance

Very little will be left to chance in our game. It is possible that the most significant element of randomness will come from enemies deciding which of their attacks to use on the player. Apart from that, our game will be one that players can reliably practice and perfect; the geometry of a level will be the same every time it is played, the locations of enemies and obstacles will not change, and attacks will not deal random amounts of damage.

Head vs. Hands

As a beat-em-up, our game will suffer no shortage of "hands" activity--the player will be moving around, dodging attacks, and inputting strings of attack commands. However, we aren't looking to create an experience that encourages players to be mindless. Obstacles included in our levels will require players to think logically. In particular, bosses will be designed in such a way that they cannot be defeated by the simple strategies that work on the game's most basic enemies.

Emergent Properties

The main source of emergent properties in our game will be the existence of the four stances. From a combat perspective, each stance will have unique sets of actions and properties that can be mixed and matched through judicious use of stance switching. Even outside of combat, the abilities of the different stances can be used to navigate levels in varied ways.

Interest Curves

Each level should generate a fairly effective interest curve; fights with enemies will form the high points of the curve, the low points will come from the platforming and puzzle-solving in between fights, and the gradual increase in difficulty will cause a gradual increase in interest. On a larger scale, the overall difficulty will increase as the player completes more levels, resulting in a curve that trends upwards.

My Opinion

Our game will not be the first beat-em-up to offer players multiple fighting styles that can be switched between on the fly, but my hope is that, by making each style readily accessible and uniquely useful, we can create something novel.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Homework 7 - Progress Report

I ended up deciding that cleaning up the repository and making sure my teammates would know how to use it were my top priorities. Unfortunately, my progress was largely halted once I realized that I needed to make sure that no one was modifying any of our files while I deleted and moved things. The commit in which I perform this cleanup will have to wait until everyone else has completed homework 7, just to be safe.

Once I finish tidying up, my focus will shift to our character's attacks. As stated last time, the attacks do not currently have the capacity to interact with anything.