Sunday, November 20, 2016

Q2 I2 Project Benchmark (2016-2017)

Welcome back!

So right off the bat here's a summary of what we've done so far from our plan:

 - Made a random universe generator with planet systems
 - Made a random planet generator with planet types and terrain
 - Made a player ship controlled using a virtual joystick that can navigate between planets (on a plane) and around planets (on a sphere) with somewhat consistent physics
 - Made some basic customizable missions with UI

Here's what it looks like so far:

Or you can just check out a video of it right here:

And yes, for any of you who dared turn on their volume, we do in fact have an original soundtrack. It's not that good, but it's a start.

Looks simple enough, right? But just to give a sneak peak, since last time we were unclear as to how complex the process was, here's a fraction of the code that makes it all happen:

Not so easy, right?

And don't be fooled: a lot of this code looks simpler than it actually is. Most of those blue words (but not all of them) are classes that Unity has already created (not to mention highlighted) for us, so any coders out there know that for each line of code there's a lot more going on, like rendering 3D objects and detecting collisions, etc.

But enough coding nonsense. This probably means nothing to you anyways.

So is there anything else to do? Well yes, there is. A lot, actually. In case you didn't know, our game concept hasn't been finalized, and we still don't have a name for it yet, even after three months (thanks a lot, Southard). What we do know though is that this will be a story-driven game, but with a new universe each play-through to shake things up.

Otherwise our big plan hasn't really changed, as we still plan to release the game some time in April. In fact, the game is already available for testing, but we probably won't be making that information public until the gameplay gets a bit more exciting.

A breakdown of what we still have to do:
 - Finalize the concept and story (hopefully by December)
 - Program the enemy AI (hopefully by January)
 - Implement the story in conjunction with the AI (hopefully by February)
 - Open beta testing to get user input (probably in March)
 - Publish the game

So what do we need to learn to do this? Not a whole lot, actually. We'll probably have to learn a little bit more about AI and procedural generation here and there, and at some point we'll need to figure out how to save a game, but it's not hard to find out how to do these things online. In fact, we've already used AI in games like Swipe & Shoot, and we've already learned how to save games in Replay (what's that?), so we already have a little experience in those aspects.

I guess that's all. We don't have anything new to buy (we make all our own models, artwork, and music), and we've got a pretty solid plan so far. All we need to do is do it.

And sorry about all those run-on sentences.

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