Kieru Update Blog June
The focus for us this past month has solely been on the character controller and what our Ninjas in Kieru are capable of doing outside combat.
While art and programming are huge parts of the end result, to reach these we need to first get through the design process.
So palm in sweaty palm, let us take you through the design process and how we go about implementing the mechanics, or in layman's terms, how we make the Ninjas do some cool shit.
In the beginning there is only talk...
Not necessarily productive or interesting talk…. We talk about our hopes, our dreams, our home life, our feelings for one another and if there is time, a bit of game design.
This is the planning stage, where we get anything and everything out of our little brains. We do like to say that no idea is a bad idea, but there are some truly horrendous ones... not that I’d ever say that.
After we sift through all of the GREAT ideas it’s time to decipher all of these crazy and abstract concepts of feeling and emotion and then mush them into mechanics that will actually work. This is done with varying levels of success…
The pencil is mightier than the mouse…
For the more complicated features of Kieru, such as the charge system, I start off with the good old pencil and paper. Nothing beats it for quickly scribbling down ideas... erasing them... starting over... scribbling down more ideas… and so on. It really helps to act as a jumping point for the next phase in our design process.
Friends in buggy, broken places...
For those of you who haven't heard of Prezi, it's a tool designed for making pretty presentations. It's especially handy if you want look impressive in front of your high school buddies and teachers. You’ll crap all over their 20th century PowerPoint presentations.
But I use it for an even greater purpose. I use it for... FLOWCHARTS AND DIAGRAMS! It has become our living design doc.
Essentially, Prezi is an excellent tool for displaying a lot of information in an easily digestible format and I would highly recommend it to any of you budding game designers out there.
Unless you can find something better that is...
People still use flash...?
Short flash animations are a great tool to get ideas across. They show how I expect certain features will work like a 'wall jump' or a 'sprint curve'.
If a picture tells a thousand words then a GIF tells a million (if the GIF was one thousand frames long.. which they aren't, so it probably tells closer to 100,000 words).
I am designer hear me rawr...
The Design Doc Prezi is then palmed off to the programmer to act as a jumping point for him. The reference lets him know how the earlier pitched features should actually work in game, but there is still a lot of back and forth, and a lot of compromising.
As clear as you THINK something might be on paper (Prezi), sometimes it is still no clearer than a mud puddle in a dark room.
Into the game...
After all this back and forth, flash animations and Prezi crashes, the mechanic of the week is finally implemented. The programmer (or ‘Jack’ as some call him) allows for a lot more variable tweaking from our end, giving us access to things like speed curves, air control and base movement values.
I like this process. It involves a lot of loud input from us all.
That's how we do it!
That is how we take ideas from paper to player...or at least how we intend to.
We have so much to show off that it is better off saved for another blog post. Until then, here's a little something something NEW that is a result of this work pipeline.
Our Ninja can do a LOT of cool shit through just the base movements alone. The addition of the double jump and wall climb has taken a lot of design tweaking, and we can now finally show you how it all works.
Enjoy, and thanks for reading.