One of the first things I did after our game got greenlit for pre-production was make and organize our wiki. I figured that since Winter Break was now upon us the best thing we could do was keep in touch and the wiki would help with that. This ended being a good move later as our wiki was hosted by me and didn’t get deleted later down the line when it came time for us to graduate.
For our development methodology our team decided early on that pre-production would be run with a modified version of SCRUM.
When everyone got back to FIEA, each team member worked on various things but our first task as a team was to decide on a fiction and our main characters. Since our core mechanic was so strong, Rick believed that we could get away with pitching just a mechanic and nail down something later. That later was now.
While our team was in Pre-Pro, the three other teams were also in Pre-Pro. There were also a few people from each team on a Central team that was working on a game engine that ran atop Gamebryo. The engine was dubbed Earth. As you’ll see in the wallpaper above, two characters are next to what appears to be a broken Earth.
After much debate and gnashing of teeth, our team fell in love with Sophie and Melvin. (shown above)
Melvin’s the Grim Reaper’s intern. He accidentally killed Sophie, our “valley girl.” The Grim Reaper chained Melvin to Sophie so Melvin wouldn’t screw up again. He now must lead her back up to Earth from the Underworld/Limbo.
Macleod and I worked on nailing down what chain abilities would be feasible. We came up with a lot of ideas for moves. That’s always a good thing, but in order to make Chain Game feel cohesive and not weighed down by over-design, we decided on what moves would work for pre-pro vs production.
In order to help convey what certain moves would look like to the rest of the team, we drew up some diagrams in Adobe Flash. You can download them below.
Download: Chain Game Moves
During Pre-Pro we randomly shackled two team members together via our chain so they would get a feel for what life was really like chained to someone else. Luckily, I never succumbed to such a fate. …And yes to answer your question, they had to go into the bathroom together.
I also worked on organizing and fleshing out the design document. You can download our design doc here:
Download: Chain Game Design Doc
I also oversaw Super Mario 64 playtesting in which two players would man a Nintendo 64 controller and try and get the first star in Super Mario 64. The results were eye-opening.
As far as any actual game to show, unfortunately it’s not in a downloadable state.
Chain Game (or “Hellbound” as it was called during our Vertical Slice) was unfortunately cut on Monday, February 16th, 2009.
The game was cut due to technical reasons. Rick mentioned that in a real studio our team would have been scaled down instead in order for our programmers to figure out how to handle the chain adequately.
Besides Chain Game, another title called Delirium was also cut. People from both teams would be moved based on each game’s needs.
Now only two games remained: Drifters and Sultans of Scratch. (changed from Resonance) I cannot link to their website as it seems to have a new owner/content.