General / 03 May 2020

I would like to first apologize for the lack of updates over the past 2 months. Working remotely has been challenging for me and my team since our game is networked and has specific requirements for us to be able to play and test the game. With that being said, we have proudly finished the game and are excited to show it at the online version of the senior show this year.

And now for the postmortem. There were many things that went right and wrong for our team throughout the semester. I think in general we did a great job of improving what we were doing wrong and by the end of the semester, we were in really good shape. We had identity problems with the game early on; we couldn't land on a solid game loop using our existing mechanics, so we decided to pivot as a team. We shifted from a golfer shooter to a more golfer brawler type game. Both of these ideas are brand new concepts to video games, so we struggled initially with landing on a solid direction to take it in. We eventually were pleased with the idea that the player's golf club is both their utility tool and their weapon. By doing this, we can keep all aspects of the gameplay for focused, instead of having to choose between 2 alternating mechanics that just didn't really fit together too well. 

One of the things that I think my team really improved on was our communication. Since we were working in a 14 person team, having organized meetings was difficult. We would have too many people just bouncing the same ideas off of each other and wouldn't get anything productive done. We switched to a more focused version of our regular meetings by splitting up into smaller groups. We had a systems and animation team, and then we had a level design and environment team. These 2 teams would each have their own meetings, this made communication a lot smoother and much less siloed. 

We made multiple changes like this throughout the semester to improve communication and overall teamwork and productiveness. I think the biggest step that I have made personally over the course of this project is my ability to lead. I had not really taken any leadership positions in my life before lead artist and product owner on this project. I was nervous at first but throughout the semester I learned how to address and resolve conflict, organize and manage a team, and carry the responsibility of the final product. I'm excited to enter the industry to apply everything that I have learned throughout the process of this incredible project. For anyone who is interested in learning more about the game, my school is hosting a showcase of all our games and personal reels on Friday, May 8th in a livestream at 8:30pm EST. 

Wired Visions Capstone Development: Just Golf - Blog 4

General / 05 March 2020

This will be a relatively short update this time since the last update was only about a week ago. Since then the team has been able to get grass and stones on the map. This will help define the golden paths and lanes in the level design, as well as add a level of polish to the art of the level. 

in addition to the stones and walls, we added a bunch of smaller props that give life to the scene. These include things like a treasure chest that opens and closes, a giant clam that opens its mouth, eels that shoot out of certain rocks by the cave area, and more. We also started adding props that will give contextualization to the world. These include things like signs that point towards the holes, exit signs, the entrance sign for the "park", employee-only doors, etc... We also finally have animations in, and although they are still in their blockout phase, we have a pipeline in place to get those all cleaned up in the coming weeks. Lastly, I re-worked the UI to fit our current game direction, here is an example of that.

 **The background image is NOT mine, it is a placeholder off google images** 


Wired Visions Capstone Development: Just Golf - Blog 3

General / 25 February 2020

BIG art update incoming...

A huge amount of art has been done since the last update a few weeks ago. This update will focus on the environment, lighting and VFX work that I have mainly been contributing to and managing. First, we have our map layout and sculpt in engine, complete with landmark models and smaller props to fill up space. A major decision we made was to cut the Jurrasic map because we deemed it out of scope. With the time we have left we would like to polish the current map as much as possible, which has recently been named "Plunder Reef", for its sea and pirate themes. Here are some examples of the layout, props, and theme we are going for. Just for a reminder, we are making a day and night version of the map, with the night version featuring glow in the dark paint, which is a popular theme among mini golf courses. 




In addition to the environment work, I got a few VFX in the game. For now, we have 2 main abilities: a bomb ball that has a large explosion radius, and an ice ball that freezes targets in place for a few seconds. Sadly I cannot upload the gif to artstation because they are too large but I hope to be able to show those soon. That about sums up the major things that I contributed to over the past 2 weeks The game is really starting to come together, and I am very excited to show more as it develops! We still have a lot of work to do to meet our alpha goals in the coming weeks, but we are on the right track so I'm not too worried.