Jeff Bell
With the start of the new semester comes the start of the 3D Game Development Capstone course I am taking. As I progress through the course I am going to post weekly updates on the development of our game. Here’s the first update!

The Class

Our 3D game is being developed for the CS 354T course. The class consists of a couple of specific lecture class sessions and a 3 hour lab on Wednesday nights. This lab varies from presentations to playtests to time to work with our teams.

Most of the class revolves around making the game. I am finding that most of the coursework is going to consist of working with my team to produce a high quality product. Many of the things we need to know we will need to figure out on our own. That being said it should be a great learning experience and I am excited to get to work with such a talented group of individuals.

The Team

Our team consists of 2 artists, and 4 programmers. An interesting mix to say the least. The game requires our team to create original artwork, audio, models, animations, and of course code. Fortunately, a lot of our team members have multiple areas that they can devote their time to. That being said, we are still very heavy on the programming side. This became a large factor in the decisions we made when choosing our game.

Team 2 Trainz

As a fun aside, we have (sort of) taken on the name of Team 2 Trainz. Of course, there’s a story behind it. On the first day of class we were given our teams, each identified by a number. Team 1, Team 2, Team 3 etc. When it was time for us to break into our groups, one of our artists was saying, “Team 2Chainz!” But from across the room, I thought she was saying “Team 2 Trainz!”. There you have it. Now that I read this, I guess it was one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments.

The Game

Our game is going to be a 3D adventure game designed for virtual reality and desktop. The first major task we had to complete was to make a mind map for the game. The mind map is a way to organize the ideas for a game, for everything from art style to the dynamics and mechanics of gameplay.

Our mind map looked something like this:

Mind Map

First of all, ignore the name–it’s definitely not final. Secondly, without getting into all the details, the main object of the mind map is to outline what the game should be. In our case, we decided on an adventure/puzzle game. The original idea involved 3 mechanics that the character can make use of:

  1. Telekinesis
  2. Sticking multiple objects to one another
  3. Separating those objects from one another

Now that we have been thinking about it more, we are leaning towards having a single mechanic, telekinesis. By only having one mechanic to the game, we can spend more time creating different scenarios and situations in which to use it. Hopefully, this will allow for a game that feels more complete during the time frame. Additionally, it should allow for us to spend more time on making the game polished and fun.

Next week my post will highlight the details of the game. After this weekend we should have a proof-of-concept game to play around with. Until then, happy hacking!