State of the Prototype

Battle prototype, though a bit behind schedule, is well under way. I have the basic structure for combat in place, involving two randomly generated creatures throwing and evading attacks based on their genetic traits. I need to add a simple training mechanism and some (really) simple animations for each attack. I’m hoping to have this prototype published next Tuesday. After that, I’m planning to start working on the aesthetic treatment of the UI for the final game prototype.

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The Schedule

ScheduleHere’s the blocked out schedule for the rest of this project. By prototype 5 (which will technically be the finished project for the class) I plan to have a fully playable single player game, possibly with the ability to save game data.

Prototypes that I feel are successful and interesting and/or need testing I will put up on this blog for you to check out. I will try to post them on or around the due dates listed on this schedule. Prototype 1, a proof of concept where a creature is assembled from random parts, was completed last Thursday but has yet to appear on this site because I don’t think it’s ready for the public quite yet. I need to create more creature part assets which I’ll be working on this coming week, so I will likely post the prototype when I’ve created a decent parts database.

I also hope to post a design update this Tuesday, as I’ve done some more exploration into how the final game will play out, how a player goes about breeding with other creatures, etc. I made a flowchart and everything! And I know you’re excited to see flowcharts. Don’t even try to hide it.

Here-ye! Here-ye!

I’ve been to the town crier and bought a new title (sorry, Fable joke). This project shall now be referred to as Project Chimera. Fancy logo to follow.

Inspiration

creatures2Virtual Monsters is in some ways a combination of many of my favorite games as a kid: Pokemon, Harvest Moon and an obscure but amazing game called Creatures. The game was a rather sophisticated virtual life simulation where the player was tasked with raising these adorable creatures called Norns. The player could type things to the Norn and eventually teach them simple language like “eat fruit” or “push that.” The creatures would grow up, begin experiencing certain urges, mate and produce offspring. Their brains were very sophisticated and based on chemical interactions which produced emotion and behavior.

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Trying not to pull a Molyneux

I realize one reason I’ve been hesitant about posting anything on this blog so early in the project is that I want to refrain from pulling a Molyneux. I mean this in reference to one of my favorite game designers Peter Molyneux who pronounces very ambitious projects that turn out being considerably less than his original vision.  Molyneux is now followed to interviews by a PR agent to prevent him from spouting too much… But I digress.

I am, however, obligated by means of grading to post updates on what I’m doing and right now I’m coming up with all the ideas I could incorporate into the project but realistically will never get to within the course (I have until Thanksgiving).

What I will likely accomplish is a system that can cross traits from two parent creatures to an offspring and a simple battle system where two creatures can fight each other. When designing these game systems I will try to make them as open to expansion as I can so I could potentially turn it into more after the end of this course.

Where I would like to go with this is to turn it into a facebook or iPhone game where players can trade, battle and crossbreed with your friends’ creatures. My hope is that by the end of the course this thing will be rocking enough to wholly warrant continued effort. Making games for iPhone does seem like a good way to make money. And who doesn’t like money? Communists, that’s who!