Camp Roanoke Devlog: Weeks 1-2 Recap

 

The time has come.

Our class (GD33) has finally moved to the 2nd floor! This means we’re back to 12-hour days of classes and work, but most of this time is now dedicated to our final project games, instead of assignments. It’ll be busy, I’m sure, but sometimes we spend so much time thinking about where we’re going that we neglect to appreciate the journey there. So: our team has decided to document our game through weekly devlogs*!

* Provided at least one team member has the energy and time remaining on each Friday to write one. As you might guess from the title, we didn’t really have time the first two weeks.

THE TEAM

  • Project Manager: Juan Carlos Perezcruz
  • Artist: Tyson Bednar
  • Lead Programmer: Anna Prein
  • Graphics Programmer: Michelangelo Pereira Huezo

Camp Roanoke - Character and Enemy Concepts

WHAT IS CAMP ROANOKE?

Four kids are on a camping trip when their parents disappear. When they enter the forest to search for them, they find themselves attacked by strange monsters… and watched by the laid-back resident Ghost Bear. It’s a one-to-four player local co-op multiplayer game, focusing on chaotic melee combat in an endless forest, where survival is key.

WORKSTATION SETUP

Part of the fun of moving downstairs is setting up your workstations and decorating the team space. We took to this with much gusto. Camp Roanoke is set in a forest, so we’ve made quite a few, using window-chalk, card paper, pipe cleaners, and several plastic Christmas trees.

ACTUAL PROGRESS

But decoration is obviously not the real goal here, so what’s theĀ  actual progress? It’s hard to estimate exactly where we are in the process, but we seem to be on track. Milestone 1 (M1) is this upcoming Friday, and we’re aiming to have two weapons implemented, and one enemy AI system complete. This doesn’t include final polish and tuning, but the implemented systems do need to be working, and somewhat close to our vision. As of this morning, the scarecrow enemy has started to come together from my end, along with smaller bits of polish, like having the cookies zoom towards the player for collection.

Last Friday, after several days of struggling through Unity’s Animation Events and my work-around system, Mike and I successfully fixed the attack combos. It was a complicated and not-very-elegant system, but it was something we thought we wanted… until it was feedback time this Tuesday, when outside eyes (a.k.a Shane Neville, our awesome mentor) came, played, and made us realize exactly how un-fun the whole thing was. It has been duly destroyed and replaced by something much simpler, but much more suitable for a hack-n-slash game. This process of create-test-change (or in this case, create-test-destroy) is common in game development, but it’s not easy. Even knowing that failure is a part of learning, it’s hard to avoid the feeling of stress when a deadline is approaching and you’re still reworking a crucial game feature.

PLAY TESTERS?

We’ll start play testing next week! All interested students and faculty members are invited to come by during our core hours (10 am to 6 pm) and try out Camp Roanoke. We’re also holding Ghost Bear Auditions on February 7th (details TBA!). Come and try out for the part of the forest’s elusive ghostly bear, demanding bribes from the children lost inside.


Anna Prein is a game design student at VFS, and a winner of the Women in Games scholarship.