Prototyping – Week 1 Reflective Journal

During this week of the prototyping project, I completed all the tasks that I had assigned to myself for this week. These were:

  • (30/10) To create a basic level design on paper and a production plan.
  • (30/10) To create basic shapes to represent the Tyler and Mike characters that meant it was easy to identify which character was which.
  • (31/10) To implement the mechanic that allows you to switch between each character.
  • (01/11) To get Mike’s movement working as he had a smaller range of movement.
  • (02/11) As Tyler’s movement was more complex involving a jetpack-style jump motion I gave myself an extra day to do it.
  • (04/11) Write up the production diary for the week and write a reflective journal.

 

I used Asana to organise myself during this project. It is an online team organisation service, and I have used it in the past for both long and short-term projects. It has a board format that I used to create tasks, and then assign them deadlines to give myself a timeline.

 

I decided to do my initial designs for the level on paper, to allow myself to create a few iterations of the design quickly. After deciding on the final layout, I created a 10×10 grid on the page to make a tile accurate level design to be used when creating my tile and collision maps later. I created two main level ideas, labelled 1 and 2, for which I created a series of steps that the player might follow to solve the level’s puzzle. This was so that I could ensure it was fairly easy to follow how to solve the puzzle, as if it was unsolvable, the game would not be fun.

I struggled a little with the jetpack jump initially, however, I decided to implement all of my movement differently, allowing the jetpack to feel smoother and cohesive with how the player moves side to side. The switch character mechanic was surprisingly easy to implement, and gave me extra time to work on other aspects of the project on the day it was assigned. I used a string which would be checked if it read “Tyler” or “Mike” when key press checks were being performed and other character-dependent actions.

Overall, I have made good progress on the project this past week, and I am happy with what I have achieved so far in the time. I believe I could have assigned more tasks to the first week, however I did fall ill at one point and lost time there, so it worked out that I had given myself less tasks as I had less time than originally anticipated.