Tag: game design

Brother Monkey World Warrior: GAME PITCH!

I MADE A GAME!

IBrotherMonkeyteaser‘m going to take a moment or two to let that actually sink it. I made a game (well the firstish level) I have big plans, and three kids with large expectations, so it’s a good thing I have  a few week’s off school work so I can work on it!

The aim of the game is to teach 5 to 10-year-olds about biodiversity and sustainability through the use of an interactive game and narrative play.


Brother Monkey World Warrior Game Trailer

My children were excited to be the test drivers of the beta version of my game and are already nagging me for more levels and gameplay. All three of my kids have amazing imaginations, so I have to admit to borrowing from some of their ideas for upcoming levels.

Play Brother Monkey World Warrior

Below is the beta version of level one. Please feel free to play it and offer any feedback in the comments section. If you would prefer to play this in your browser you can go directly to brothermonkeyworldwarrior.azurewebsites.net. Currently you can only play this game on a computer with a keyboard, but I am working on it being mobile responsive too.

Brother Monkey World Warrior Game: Game Sound Design

I always keep my notebook in my bag.
I always keep my notebook in my bag.

I had no idea how important sound was to film and media until I started this Degree. Now I have become aware of it, it’s hard to image I never used to give it much thought. During class last week, Britta took us through the mechanics of sound design for games which have helped me have a clearer idea of what I want my sounds to be like. considering I am designing a game for 5 to 10-year-olds I don’t want the music to be too intrusive which is why I have to decide to opt for subtle jungle sounds and sound effects.

 

At this point I still need to figure out how to get the sound effects to work on Construct2, so once I have cracked this I’ll come back and add it here!

Some things to keep in mind while designing the sound are Atmosphere, Surrounding, soundscape, sound effects versus soundtrack.

For level two, I am thinking of having the background jungle sounds, but when the diggers arrive to knock down the trees that the music will stop entirely. And start back up when Brother Monkey starts his quest.

Sound!

mixcraftWell, after some very minimal sleep I set to creating the sound I wanted for my game. I have gone with a Hawaiian theme with a guitar so that it’s not too overpowering when people play the game and included some classic game sound effects for when Brother Monkey picks up fruit or recycling.

I wanted to set a different sound for when Brother Monkey picks up the 5ht bit of recycling but at this point, I haven’t worked it out.

Here is a screen shot of Mix Craft, which is the audio software I use to edit music. The advantage of using this is the fact that it’s royalty free and non-copy righted. I used www.bfxr.net for the additional sound effects as I didn’t have quite the right sounds on Mix Craft.

 

Brother Monkey World Warrior Game: Game Logic

Game Logic

planning planning2
The first step after designing my game character and story was to start putting together ideas about how my game would shape.

The main idea behind my game is to teach children aged between 5 and 10 about biodiversity and sustainability. The main mechanics of Brother Monkey World Warrior (BMWW) is for Brother Monkey to initially score points by collecting recycling.  It’s not as simple as just picking up the rubbish,  the children have to actually do something with it. So they will have to collect 5 pieces of rubbish and take it to the recycling bin to collect their points.

To start off with, in the easy levels Brother Monkey will loose health points if he bumps into toxic waste, however as the game progresses there is an opportunity for health points to be subtracted via other means. During the early levels, Brother Monkey has to deal with his home being destroyed by men on diggers who are knocking down trees to make way for their own greedy needs. Brother Monkey will need to figure out a way to stop the digger from progressing so he can go on a mission to save his home, and inevitably save the world.

 

Character Features

BrotherMonkeyJump BrotherMonkeyRest BrotherMonkeyWalk1

In game time Brother Monkey will be able to double jump and walk left and right. He is able to hold on to 5 pieces of recycling on his travels.

Brother Monkey will be able to interact with other characters to find out information that will help him on his quest.


Game Mechanics 

mechanics1 mechanics2 mechanics3
I use my notebooks a lot to work stuff out so thought I’d include this here.  The first page lays out the logic for the Start page. On this page, I’ll have a static image of Brother Monkey in his forest home. There will be a button to toggle the sound on and off, a how to play button and a start button.

I made a comprehensive list of all the assets I will ned to create the game. Making sure that I spend the time to ensure I have all the components I need will save time during development.

The mechanics: 

  • Score points = Collect recycling
    Brother Monkey can only collect *% recycling before he must find a recycling bin. On collision with Recycling bin recycling count gets reset and 1 point goes to the global score.
  • Stay alive = Brother Monkey will lose 1 life on collision with Toxic waste. In the easy levels toxic waste will be static. As levels progress toxic waste will become trickier to avoid, rolling along branches and along the ground.
    To regain lives Brother Monkey will collect bananas, to a minimum of 5 health points.
    If Brother Monkey’s health reaches 0 the game will reset and all points will be lost. (During the holidays I will work on making game progress saveable and have Facebook integration)

The above are the main componants.

Level One:

Level one will be a walk through to get the children used to handeling the game character. The children will learn how to move Brother Monkey, score points and avoid loosing health.

When the child feels they are are ready to start game they can click on a button that starts live game play.

Level Two: 

I am still working on level two, the digger will be coming and knocking down trees. I am working on coming up with a solution to how Brother Monkey can stop the digger from knocking down trees.

 

 

Platform Game: Construct2 Learning & Azure

What I learned in class.

We have had several tutorials dedicated to learning Construct2. We made a simple platform game with aliens, we made a simple AI based game, like a game of ping pong, we made a space invader type game and broke apart flappy bird.

simpleplatform2simpleplatform1 simpleai1

To be totally honest I struggled to keep up in class. Coding, even simple l coding like in construct2 Doesn’t come easily to me, and it feels like I have to repeat something 50 times before I remember it.

However, something must have stuck in my head because after a freak out I realised that I could actually do it! I spent a solid week working on the mechanics and character design before sitting down and starting to have it out with Construct. It took me an entire day to figure out how to get my recycling bin working the way I wanted it to do.

I have to give credit to Hossein for getting me started and many of my fellow classmate for giving me advice and constructive criticism, my friends and family for test driving it and my husband who also helped me figure out some of the game logic and coding. And also my kids, for all their ideas and input.

Here are a few screenshots of my Construct in the making. I’ll post more about the creation in a later blog post.

bmgame-1 bmgame-2

Microsoft Visit

constuct-learningWe were really fortunate that the team from Microsoft came in to talk to us and take us through how to create a simple Construct game and upload it to Azure. If we hadn’t had this time with them I am not sure I could have produced a game at all! They presented the information in an easy to understand way and were very patient with me when  I asked them to clarify something or go over something again with me. Having them help me set up an Azure account was really helpful, plus reminding me that we could use our One Drive account as I hadn’t even thought about using that. In fact, I hadn’t used it at all. So thank so much to them for coming in and thank you to Britta for helping arrange that.

Huge thanks to Ovishesh Oberoi and the rest of the team, you can see what they taught us by following this link.

Brother Monkey World Warrior Game: Character Development and Mood Board

Brother Monkey – Love the world

That’s a working title, I’m not exactly sure what I am going to end calling my game, so if you have any great suggestions please do let me know.

As promised, here is a post about the development of my main character and hero of my game, Brother Monkey. Anyone who knows my family, know who Brother Monkey actually is, but for those who don’t, he is my daughter’s favourite toy, some might say, her one true love. She has said in the past “I’m not going to get married Mama, I’m going to live alone with Brother Monkey!” (We believe her!)

brother monkey - stylised

I did lots of googling on anime eyes and discovered a style called Chibi, I really liked the simplistic approach so I decided to try drawing that myself.

I started by doing a lot of different sketches of Brother Monkey, trying to get a feel for the direction the artwork for my game was going to take. I’ve included a few of my initial sketches. I had an idea that I wanted my characters to have anime style eyes to use as different expressions so I had a starting point of sorts.

I imported my images into Photoshop and then used my Wacom pen to styles the miniature Brother Monkeys I had created. The next step was vectorising my monkey so I skipped over to Illustrator to start work on that. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I wasn’t quite heading in the right direction.

Moodboard

brother monkey dev snippet

After awhile I started to go around in circles, thankfully soon after this my husband sent me a link to some gif’s by Eran Mendel, an Animation director and designer and I immediately fell in love with his style.

Eran Mendal - Animation

Brother Monkey SketchWith this style in mind, I went back to the drawing board and came up with an idea for my monkey. After playing around with this style in Illustrator and keeping in mind how small my character would be I decided to stick with the chibi style eyes rather than use the plain eyes in Eran’s Style.

After this, the process sped up some, but still took the time to work out proportions and create Brother Monkey’s backpack.

After three days of working on this, I have come up with the following character concept art.

Brother Monkey Character.

Stayed tuned for the next step, I still have lots more work to do!

Race to the End Board Game: Sheep Mania

Sheep Mania
The brief: To create a Race-to-the-end board game inspired by today’s newspaper. Tips: A game is fun, it’s a form of play, invite overall rules, goals, and formats. Capture the players interest with an attractive goal. Teach the rules in a seamless way, give feedback during play. What distinguishes this game from any other game or toy? Be creative – don’t limit yourself to games you have seen. It can be carried and expressive as songs, movies, or stories. 

News Article: The first thing we did was check out the Stuff app to see what the new had to offer us in terms of inspiration. I was not disappointed when I viewed the following article, Stoned sheep ate cannabis and went on ‘psychotic rampage’ in Wales! Priceless!

Discussing the rules: I and my fellowTteam Kittikat had an in-depth conversation about what types of games we could create that involved stoned  sheep. To be fair, we decided to leave the marijuana out of it and just go with herding your sheep to market. To add an interesting dimension to our game we added a fifth character to our four players, a Wolf, to chase our sheep.


Sheep Mania - prototype one13346534_10154219362229282_7096864220981350014_nworking out the rules

We gave our shepherds two die to play for their sheep and a third die for the wolf. A player would throw three dice, two matching dice are the moves for your sheep, the third die is moved for the wolf. The Player, or Shepherd as we call the player will move their sheep in any combination in an anti-clockwise direction until their moves run out, then they can move the wolf in any direction, if the wolf lands on a sheep the wolf takes it back to it’s ‘Wolf Cave’ and then that sheep is stuck there until the shepherd rolls a six on one of their dice. If a sheep lands on a blue active square the Shepherd will pick up a card. The Activity card will have an activity that the shepherd will have to perform. If they Shepherd performs the activity they will be rewarded, if they decide not to do the active they will have to do the forfeit.The main aim of the game is to get all four sheep to market, you can strategically prevent your opponents from also getting to market if you use the Wolf in a manner that puts their sheep in the wolf cave.

The Results: Stay tuned for those, because we haven’t yet tested our offical prototype out in class yet! Once we have done that at school, I’ll bring it home and test it out on the brat Pack!

Game Research: Battleship ahoy

star-wars-gaactic-battleBattleship, or as  I have since learned the proper name, “Salvo” is the pen-and-pencil game also known as Battleships which the classic board game Battleship is based on.

The Rules. Quite honestly I have probably only played this game a handful of times, and it would have been on one of those ‘old school’ (because I really am that old) plastic board games with my cousin, because of the 50 odd games we had at home Battleship didn’t happen to be one of them. The one my cousin had wasn’t Starwars themed, but now I have seen this I really want one!

After doing a google I stumbled across a blog which listed how to play Salvo and where to download the paperboard from. So big thanks to Boardgames.about.com, in particular, Erik Arneson who posted the rules.

So to the best of my understanding, you need two players, a piece of paper with the board printed onto it (you can do that here) or some graph paper, or just be really good with a ruler and follow the image below.

The goal is super easy: sink your opponent’s ships before they sink all of yours. Easy right? Well, apparently not. Because you need to call out coordinates and hope that your ‘bomb’ will blast their ship, and depending on how big you draw you graph will depend on how long it will take.

Battleship game boardSetting up the board, if you are not downloading the gameboard and printing it out you’ll need to both draw yourself two 10×10 grids on your paper and then label with letters across the top (A to J) and numbers down the side (1 to 10). One of these grids are yours and the other one represents your opponent.

Place you ships, you have four of them. A five-space battleship, a four-space cruiser, a three-space submarine and a two space destroyer. What you can’t do is place your battleships diagonally, they must all be horizontal or vertical.

How to play. You take turns calling out a coordinate on the grid, ie, A5, or C6 until you start to hit your opponents ships. If you hit your opponents ship they will say “Hit”  and “miss” if it’s a miss, then you can mark off whether that square was a hit or a miss and eventually work out where all the ships are. Once a ship has had all its squares hit, it’s out of the game and you have to say “You sank my ship” or something along those lines.

The winner is the first person to person to sink all their opponents ships.

Our assignment

battleship2We have been asked to change the rules of Battleship, play it out and see how it affects the gameplay. We decided to modify the game based on the short amount of time we had to play. So if you got a hit on a battleship, the next turn would give you a spreading bullet that would hit the coordinates in a diagonal line to the left and right.

the effects of this speed up the gameplay but also made it slightly more confusing as we had more crosses to plot at every turn.

I think we will stick to the traditional game rules for now, but this has been quite a good exercise in helping me think more like a game designer for the preparation of making my very first platform game with Contstruct2.