The Awesome Sidescroller

The Awesome Sidescroller

The 2nd semester was really stressful. Many projects, 4ECTS more than recommended and no time for anything (that’s why we couldn’t finish Candyland). One of those projects was the main target of a course called “Game Production”. A few former DA-Students from Hagenberg founded Pro 3 Games. They named it after their 3rd semesterproject and worked since then on their game Delta Strike. Our professor in Game Production had a good connection to them, so we could have a customer-relationship with the guys from Pro 3 Games. The mission was to develop a few game ideas and finally create two games (we were about 14 people). We managed to find two different ideas, one was some kind of a tower defense game in space.

At the beginning, you just see your ship floating in space, some asteroids around you. You can place towers on them to defend your ship. Enemies appear from 360 degrees, so you have to connect some of the asteroids to build fences where the foes can’t come through. You have to find the right ratio between towers and fences to defend your ship properly. We thought about some interesting tower technologies, including physics-towers like some kind of black hole projectile where enemies get sucked in (yes, soft-scifi) or pushed around. I liked that idea but it would’ve been very much work to balance this.

The second idea was about a sidescroller like Syder. The game should be kind of round-based. You shoot yourself through a level, then get to the equipment-/shopscreen where you can buy new weaponslots or upgrade weapons. At first we thought about some weapons that would have another effect depending on what other weapons are currently attached to the ship. Again some physicsbased things, sounded very interesting though.

After showing our ideas to Pro 3 Games, they picked the sidescroller. We started by creating a Unity prototype which looked kinda awesome. But since Unity didn’t fit the requirements, we had to use the university’s COGAEN-engine and developed the game in Java.

Sadly, we simply didn’t have enough time to even nearly finish the game. Besides we had many problems with our art department. The course was a master course for Interactive Media, so very few of us really had the potential to do that part. We got a few bachelorguys who should’ve created the 3D models for us. The communication was very bad, so we waited months for any art-progress at all. And as we finally got something, it was of no use. Sad thing is, they just learned how to create 3D models, so no experience at all.

Finally, the game was playable. But not even remotely fun. Not a single of the features we thought about was implemented. All you can do now is shoot, move and die.

Nevertheless it was an interesting experience, especially the communication part. I really learned that communication is everything within a bigger project.

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