I am now in my 4th term (every term being ~2 months) in the game design course at the Vancouver Film School, which means we’ve started working on our 6 month long “final projects”. At the end of term 6, every team should have about ~15 minutes worth of game content.
Do note, this is not a jME based game. The main reason for this is that none of the instructors at VFS are anywhere near as intimately familiar with jMonkeyEngine as they are with the likes of Unity, UDK and Flash. Meaning, we wouldn’t have any experienced mentors to rely on for our many queries during production, so it is just too big of a risk. We will be developing this game in Unity, and I’m very excited to affiliate myself with what is quickly becoming the most popular 3D engine in the industry. I’m already confident jMonkeyEngine is a worthy competitor.
If you’re considering attending a game development school, our website will tell you a whole lot about what you learn and get to do at a school like VFS.
If you’re interested in game development in general, our website could teach you a lot about many individual disciplines, such as doc design, level design, concept art and programming. We are by no means experts, but we put our hearts into everything we do on this project.
If you’re a proponent of open practices, this blog should serve as a good example. Although we’re not in a position to fully open source our work, we’ll post as much of our work as possible in the open.
There’s plenty of good and bad to say about VFS, so any questions you might have I would be more than happy to answer. Bear in mind that this is just one game development school out of many. VFS is also rather unique in that it tries to focus mainly on design, i.e. the technical side of game production comes second. Once again, plenty of good and bad, he he.
Thats strange because I imagined the game would have an overhead view (looking at the design doc) rather than third person. I think overhead is better because then you can see all sides of the cube and better plan how to get through the level. Right now it feels more of a trial-and-error process because you can’t really see anything from where you are. I thought this would be more of a puzzle game.
I guess another way of solving the issue would be display a minimap or something showing the configuration of the blocks
Thats strange because I imagined the game would have an overhead view (looking at the design doc) rather than third person. I think overhead is better because then you can see all sides of the cube and better plan how to get through the level.
Heh, and I wholeheartedly agree, but the general consensus in the team was that we should go with this behind-the-player third person view instead, which is reflected in the revised doc. You're right, this detracts from the puzzle solving aspect, though we hope to mitigate that a bit by having special camera views that are triggered whilst interacting with a movement switch.
Alrighty, one month in proper development and there’s now a downloadable demo out. It’s breakable in every imaginable way
What you should really do is go to our Facebook page and Like us. Once again, as much as I wish it was, this is not a jME-based game. Our programmer comes from a Java background though, so if we ever choose to have a proper go at it once out of school… one can hope
Team Hot Sauce? haha excellent! Combines sexy and exciting in a wonderful way.
I agree with Momoko_Fan that top-down would help with the puzzle aspect. But the mechanics are there already so it would be easy to experiment with different views, and it looks great.
A few reasons for top-down/zoomed-out:
you can see more than one cube at a time, and can therefore look ahead and solve the puzzle
graphics: zooming out gives you a chance to make it look prettier: less detail on the cubes, just use a good texture and a normal map. No need to detail a large flat surface (which is really hard to do)
being as close in as you are (zoom-wise), you are only relevant to your neighbour cube; since you cannot really see cubes farther away than the one you are on, or the one you are going onto. So your active area of interest is only 1-2 cubes. Where if you were zoomed out, it could be several more.
nothing to do with top-down, but you should put a cow or something on the rotating platforms, so when you hit the button, the poor cow goes flying, yea
Gonna download the demo this weekend; can’t wait to see how this turns out!
On the other hand, being stuck at 3D eye level may lead to different types of puzzle solutions or different ways to determine the strategies for solving those solutions.
Not saying it’s better or worse but if you go with the 3D on-the-ground view you have now then try to add some tricks to make that a better way. Take advantage of the fact that you can’t see ahead and stuff.
When it comes to the camera, I would have gone with bird’s eye view in a heart beat. Pretty much a more zoomed out Bastion. But due to our design by committee and limited technical expertise to go around, we ended on the 3rd person camera. The one thing I really do like about it is how well it positions you to view those inception-like cube movements in all their might
- nothing to do with top-down, but you should put a cow or something on the rotating platforms, so when you hit the button, the poor cow goes flying, yea
We'd love to do more of that, but physics in Unity (PhysX) is quite the unpredictable little bugger.
If you cannot have birds-eye then, you can still gain a lot from the follow-cam or 1st person view. In those views you can really feel the action and it is a great chance to to instill some panic in the player: maybe they will get crushed by a rotating block if they do not hit a button combo in the correct order. Great sound effects will play well with it (grinding rocks and gears).
My shameless off-topic advertisements have almost come to an end. In roughly 3 hours I’ll be standing in front of ~100 game industry professionals in the Vancouver area, presenting my team’s game, Otherside:
What a ride… Plenty of good and bad to be said about this journey and the final product we arrived at, but it’s not exactly suited for a public forum, heh. If anyone has any questions about the Vancouver Film School in general though, I’d be happy to answer with detail and honesty.