So, brushing aside past failures, I embarked on a new project. I announced to my diploma class (consisting of all of four students) at BSP that we would be making a game.
The scope of the project:
1. A small, simple game that we would release for free on iOS and maybe Android as well.
2. The environment would be 3D and be art-light. I had realized from past experience that making a game with 2D art (sprites) was quite difficult with the resources I had.
3. We were looking at a production cycle of approximately three-four months, apart from pre-production and marketing.
4. We would be using Unity 3D.
After this, we spent a week or so pitching various game ideas, and we narrowed it down to three that we liked best. I promised to make concept documents for all three and we dispersed for the weekend.
On Monday Satish, one of my students, came up with this prototype.
It was the concept that we had liked best, and Satish had prototyped it over the weekend….! It was tentatively called ShapeShifter, and was based on collecting objects of different shapes and colors in sequence. I called it the UNO mechanic, after the popular card game. The player would move left and right across the tracks(trails?) colliding with, and avoiding objects. It would be possible to ‘levitate’ above the trails, but this would be an ability limited by time and usage.
It was essentially a high-scoring ‘Free-runner’ where the game got faster and faster till you died; the environment (pickups/objects) would be dynamically created. There would be a lack of depth in gameplay but as my wife says, “That’s what’s we have for dinner.” If we could pull this much off, it would be a miracle.
The important thing was that we had a prototype with a fun core mechanic. Now we needed to add a universe, some fiction and as much depth as possible.