So, The Umibozu, the 2D Edo Japan inspired mystery game done and the first game production at an end, and a lot has been learned.
The game Umibozu became a mystery adventure game, where the player searches for clues about an event through fog, fending of creatures of the sea, and avoiding the pelirious terrain using their foglight – until finally finding enough clues to figure out where the Umibozu hides. The game doesn´t have a final boss battle but is overall playable and navigatable. The gameplay exists of 2 faces, 1 for finding the clues and 1 for finding the Umibozu, the game also now has a few puzzle elements when having to get past obstacles such as boulders and bits of land.
Learning to work within a group were most have different disciplines has been incredibly useful and a very valuable skill to learn, not that I have completely learned it still, since i believe there could have been more use with me communicating with the programmers, and also learning the basics of programming in order to implement the graphical artifacts into the game myself, something I think would have been invaluable to our programmers, a fault on my end.
Teamwise we had a pretty good run communication wise, and everybody tried to keep up with the scrum and their given assignments as well they could.
Something Individually struggled with a lot in this production was the animation, very new to animation I had no idea how long certain assets would take to make, wich slowed down the game progress quite a lot in the first few weeks before I got a hang on it, thankfully my group was very helping and understanding. Time keeping was a skill I very quickly had to learn
Something I am proud over is the overall graphical aesthetic of the game, and the coherencency of it, learning how to share colour schemes, fps and brushes between artists really made that job a lot easier, also the communication part helped with that.
Since I was the graphical artist in charge of the GUI and main menu I had to focus a lot on the design aspects involving clear communication and how to break the general theme when designing an so much that it will draw the players eye, but not so much so that it will look wrong – with the GUI especially this was a challenge. The kompass had to be changed between beta and gold since it was so small that players didn’t take notice of it, and since the health bar was blue to fit the theme to begin with, and not the usual red of health bars people didn’t understand what it actually was. Something I have learned from this production is the communication part of graphical design and how very vital it is.
Beta version GUI:
Gold version GUI:
Along with that and the fog mechanic of the game meant that it was quite hard to navigate around the now open world map – obscuring where to go – meaning that the graphical artefacts around the world and the GUI compass did not help that much to guide the player around the world as was needed.
As a team, i think in order to make our game, that was playable without too many bugs but unbeatable, more enjoyable to play, we should have had people that weren’t in the group playtest the game and leave feedback, since the builds crashed on both the alpha and beta meaning we didn’t get as much feedback as we should.
Overall this has been, not a perfect game, but I am satisfied with the end product, and it’s been an immense learning opportunity for both teams and individuals – both as a designer and as an artist.
(It´s been intense) (picture from the animatic in the beginning of the game)