Mental Block. Post Mortem. The Team. Kepera Amun Programmer Responsible for the original game concept Really brought together the gameplay and did most of the assembly that took place in Torque. The Team. Aaron Berton Designer and Sound
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Mental Block Post Mortem
The Team • Kepera Amun • Programmer • Responsible for the original game concept • Really brought together the gameplay and did most of the assembly that took place in Torque
The Team • Aaron Berton • Designer and Sound • Designed and implemented the graphical user interface • Created sounds and songs for the game
The Team • Stephanie Brandl • Art • Created textures, including skybox and level textures • Designed, skinned, and rigged original character based off of Torque’s blue-guy
The Team • Jason Conley • Level Design • Created the levels and advanced the original puzzle concepts into their current form • Created initial level textures
The Team • Holly Hunt • Producer • Responsible for creating the task list, organizing meetings, keeping the team up to date, and writing the post mortem • Helped with program debugging and content creation
Original Concept • A puzzle game with three characters, possibly cooperative • Able to move and stack blocks and open doors to solve puzzles • The goal was to get all of the characters to the end of the level • There was also a possibility of a competitive aspect where players would have to solve multiple levels of puzzles and the first to the top would win
The Current Game • Three characters • No multi-player aspect • Able to move blocks and open doors by triggers • Not able to stack blocks • No competitive aspects • Several levels of puzzles
What Went Wrong • Unfamiliarity with TorqueScript • Scheduling constraints • Lack of back-story • Character rigging and animation woes • Poor motivation
TorqueScript We were not given many in-depth resources for TorqueScript in class and the resources we could find online and in the books were often incomplete and hard to find. Such things as inheritance of classes and function precedence, while direly needed, were especially hard to find.
Scheduling Constraints We had six weeks to finish our project and we also had other classes in which we had obligations. Unfortunately, this was a very short period in which to get a working game.
Lack of Back-Story While we had come up with a back-story to say why we were trying to escape bizarre-looking rooms with three characters that were very different in looks, we were not able to implement any suitable way to convey it.
Character Rigging While we were able to finally get our character skinned over top of the blue-guy’s bones, this took entirely too long and we could have used the time better.
Poor Motivation The team as a whole was poorly motivated and organized at the beginning of the project. Expectations were low and threatened to go lower as time went on. Frustrations with lack of knowledge delayed quite a bit of work. Tendencies to work alone on our individual parts delayed game development because we didn’t have as many opportunities to collaborate.
What Went Right • Block movement • Engine enhancements • Multiple levels • Camera switching • Excellent textures and design
Block Movement One problem we ran into was that, while items can be moved and static shapes are collidable, there was no class that could do both. However, our programmer was able to create a new class in Torque that inherited from ShapeBase that was both collidable and could be moved. This was key to our being able to use blocks in our puzzles.
Engine Enhancements While the Torque game engine does not let players control their characters while playing, we were able to implement it, along with blocks and several other improvements.
Multiple Levels Our level designer was able to get several levels designed and created so that we could show off a more fleshed-out game at the end of six weeks.
Camera Switching Showing a bird’s-eye view when a level loads and a door opens was baffling at first. Due to inconsistent angles, the top-down views would change from being spot-on to gazing off into the distance. A work-around was found to get the correct angles.
Excellent Textures and Design We used the brain and thoughts as our main theme, and as such we wished to convey a dream-like quality with our textures and graphic design. Our artist delivered excellent textures and characters along this theme and our designer provided an excellent interface.
Conclusion While we ran into quite a few stumbling blocks, we were able to overcome them and we ended up with a good start to a good game.