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Creative Industry Response
April 28, 2023

Introduction

Marketing Nottingham presented me with a brief to try to convince 19-29 year-olds to visit the city. They wanted a “digital artefact” that would appeal to young people.

Concept & goals
Marketing Nottingham’s marketing materials focus on Nottingham’s modern culture, storied history, and compelling architecture. Thinking about these three areas, I started thinking about three different general game concepts:
 

  1. A virtual library, where a player could discover the history of the city.

  2. A quiz game to test a player’s knowledge of Nottingham’s culture and history.

  3. An interactive environment to show off the architecture of the city.


I settled on the third option. An interactive environment can also easily feature history and culture depending on the locations I feature. I ran a survey to gauge the appeal of these concepts, and the results reinforced my decision.

One of the unique cultural events of Nottingham is the annual Goose Fair, so I decided to make a humorous adventure game where you run around the real-life city, catching geese on the loose. Using real locations of the city digitised into the game’s environment allows players to see parts of the city as they play. To add some history into the mix, you play as Robin Hood catching the geese and you have the chance to speak to the Merry Men to get more information and local flavour on your adventure.

What exactly IS a branded game?
Doing a game on commission for a company to get their message out is what’s called a Branded Game. This is basically what Marketing Nottingham is asking for. Rather than just looking at a image or a video in “regular” advertising media, a game lets the potential audience actually interact with the brand, often in clever or unexpected ways, hopefully increasing engagement. To get a better idea of what I needed to accomplish for the client, I found some examples of branded games that achieved varying levels of success, and I took a few lessons from them when creating my project.

1: Chex Quest is a family-friendly Doom conversion themed around Chex cereal.  It was a game meant to advertise the cereal it was themed off of, and it had done quite a good job with it. Notes I took from this game were the use of “billboarding” characters – making the 2D sprites always face the camera, presenting information in the game that’s applicable in real life.  Chex Quest rewards the player with recipes featuring the cereal, and that making a game aim for being family-friendly will increase the chances of people playing it.


2: I Love You Colonel Sanders! is a dating game where you get to date the iconic figurehead of KFC. The premise is bonkers, but the format of the story-heavy dating game allows people to get heavily invested in the characters. A branded game that hits hard with comedic and story engagement is a solid force to get people interested in your brand.  Although my game isn’t a dating game, the way I Love You Colonel Sanders! moderates the zaniness with seriousness, and delivers dialogue in a way that avoids giving players massive walls of text are useful for thinking about when I write my NPC’s dialogue in my project.


3: Epic Citadel was an Unreal Engine 3 demo meant to show off how the Unreal Engine could render beautiful environments on mobile devices. Most of the things the game was trying to show off like global lighting, texture rendering, and realistic reflections, are all part of the Unreal Engine 4 that powers my project. Learning how this project made their environments helped me to do similar things when I was trying to develop my own game.

Hand-Drawn Pixel Art to Pixellated Photos

I started with a hand-drawn pixel-art aesthetic because I felt that using a unique aesthetic would make the artefact more memorable, and it was also a good personal experiment to see if I could implement 2D characters into a 3D environment. When I was looking for ways to improve upon my project, I came upon an idea to use real photos I took of the city, and apply a pixel art effect. This pixel art treatment of modern Nottingham is a nod to the Marketing Nottingham's slogan of "Looking towards the future, while being aware of the past". The "retro" pixel art aesthetic was also chosen to appeal to 16-29 year olds since this sort of look is currently popular across major gaming platforms like Steam and the Epic Game Store.

 

The Technology Rundown

Technology, or Problems I Had, and How I Solved Them
As the project progressed, most of the issues I had were with time-management. It was difficult to keep track of all the moving parts of the project. I developed a weekly to-do list to help address the time management issues.

I also experie
nced some file-management problems. The inability to use a version control system like Git on the school computers made me resort to manually copying files onto a USB drive or my OneDrive so I could work from home. I had to be very careful with my naming conventions and attention to detail copying over the correct project files.

This project pushed my technical knowledge of the Unreal Engine. As well I was trying to build concepts I had never attempted before. I had to deal with issues like constraining the camera in a third person control system and loading the levels with a hub design. I became much better at searching for tutorials and documentation online. The Unreal developer forum was particularly helpful because a number of my problems were already solved by people there, and they gladly shared their solutions.

One especially fun thing to try and fix was when my game’s level-completion checks didn’t save when a player competed a level. Through internet searching and trial-and-error, I learned that I was using the wrong kind of code to write my game condition checks. I was meant to use the software’s “Game Instance” system, and instead I was using the “Game State”.  This meant the game didn’t save state properly – an easy detail to overlook since both classes behave in a similar fashion!



What Went Right
I learned how to implement mechanics in the Unreal Engine by myself like collectables, updating UI, fancy jumping boost mechanics, and the 2D pixel-art in a 3D environment. The level hub system is extensible enough to add on extra locations if I expanded the game. The art and design came together nicely to make a fun experience romping around Nottingham.  I surveyed 8 of my colleagues and 6 said they would play it again.

What Went Wrong
My initial idea was too large in scale for the time I had so I had to condense the planned number of locations down. For instance, I was planning to feature the Nottingham Contemporary, but this is a large and complicated environment to make. I decided to focus on three outdoor areas that were easier to build. I wanted to add a tutorial level, but I wasn’t able to get it completed in time. When I started this project, I had intended to make fully 3d models for the buildings and environments. The time it took to build one model was 2 hours, and as each location had multiple unique models.  The workload would have very quickly been too much so I abandoned the idea of modelling a large mass of 3D models, opting for the current flat pixel art.

Conclusion
Overall, I feel that over the course of this project I have become more proficient in documenting my development process, managing time, getting feedback, and working towards to a client’s brief. This project of developing a game from start to finish based on an assignment brief is a good way to learn skills that would be applicable in a professional workplace. I think that if I were to expand upon this in the future that I’ve probably learned enough that I could complete all the parts I was unable to create and avoid the pitfalls I experienced over the course of the project.

One of the unused models

A view of the Castle Gate location

The information below is the original text from the CIR. The summary above is new content for the 28-4-23 submission

Creative Industry Response.

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View the Prototype showcase HERE:

View the Production starting HERE:  

View the Final Product HERE: 


I am meant to make a unique "artefact" to entice people and help with the visitation of Nottingham. This assignment is supported by the group Marketing Nottingham. Their mission is to help grow the economy of Nottingham and increase the quality of life for the city's residents. I am creating an example of media to help this cause.  The idea is to make an artefact to encourage and entice 16 to 25 year olds to visit Nottingham, and this project must have an educational bent for all who view it.

Limitations and risks for this project include:

  • Lack of time to develop and polish my idea.

  • Misunderstanding the brief.

  • Early development of concepts that end up being non-viable, eating up my limited time.

  • Lack of experience means that it will be difficult to anticipate problems and plan accordingly.


My successful top-down project leads me to believe that I am getting better at this sort of work, so I feel I can approach all my ideas quite easily, and I recognise that most of them are achievable. The likeliest faults I anticipate are misunderstanding the brief or mistakes in planning.

What do I need to do for this project?
The client needs me to follow these methods for the assignment, copied from the brief pdf. This list also doubles as links to bring you to their corresponding sections.

  1. Research the client and their many attractions to generate a number of initial ideas.

  2. Conduct focused research including the views of others, market trends and profiling of the target audience to review initial ideas.

  3. Review existing products or similar alternatives for comparing forms and styles.

  4. Develop and finalise your proposal idea from research findings including production and software considerations.

  5. Develop your workflow strategy, including target setting, project managing from concept to construction with risk discussion. See also: RISKS and WHAT TO DO AND IN WHAT ORDER,  and see Production Risks for a Risk Matrix showing possible issues.

  6. Consider legal and ethical factors alongside copyright legislation. (to be completed)

  7. Produce detailed designs for your artefact that includes visuals, concepts and plans annotated over several iterative experiments.

  8. Prototype an artefact using a variety of software applications that shows efficient processes and advanced practice.

  9. Present artefact preparation effectively on your website.



Risks and Contingencies

There are a variety of risks I can anticipate happening over the course of this project. I am including a non-comprehensive list below.

I miss an important part of the brief.

I need to get a second party to help look over my work with me so I can make sure I understand the requirements of the project.
My files malfunction or I lose a backup.

I will maintain multiple backups of my work. This way I have multiple options for restoration of my work. I am starting to get comfortable with Github as part of this contingency.
I am unable to work due to eye strain.

To prevent this, I use a pomodoro system to remind myself to take breaks and not work to the point of injury.
My game may be too large in scope.

I'm taking an incremental approach to this project where I will start with the minimum viable test case, polish it, THEN expand upon it. This allows me to plan my scope in manageable chunks so I can quickly iterate on ideas and change course when needed. If the scope grows too large despite this, I will take a step back and remove features until it becomes workable again. If I design this correctly, then adding extra levels to the project would be a matter of creating the appropriate art assets. 
I'm sick and cannot work.

Since I'm a solo dev, my health has a serious impact on the project. If I can't get to the computer for some reason, I can draft out ideas and solutions on paper and turn to getting feedback from others so I can still be productive while offline. 
I miss a lesson of class.

I leave for class an hour before it starts in order to arrive on time. If I still miss for some reason, I can access Moodle at home for the class work.
 


Client Research:
Marketing Nottingham has extensive documentation about the aspects of Nottingham they want featured in the artefact. They focus on Nottingham's rich past talking about its "thousand years of history". Things like: the Robin Hood legend, the lace market, its history of multiple riots for food and textiles, one of those riots culminating in burning down Nottingham castle, and many more historical places and events besides those. The client also discusses the city's architecture, and that brought to mind the Bromley House Library and Green's Windmill.

The client's marketing materials describes Nottingham as a city with a "vibrant future". They specifically mention the city's commitment to the 2028 green energy proclamation as well as the two local universities – Nottingham Trent and Nottingham University – to illustrate a vibrant future linked with housing, energy, and education. They also point to the Lace Market producing textiles as one of the largest industries of Nottingham tying the past and present of Nottingham together quite nicely.

Marketing Nottingham mentions the creativeness (sic) of the city multiple times, along with repetitions of community, artistic talents, compassion, and an attitude of willingness to do anything for the overall good of the people, even if it means destroying castles, factories, or societal norms.

Some words from their marketing materials that stood out to me:




The marketing material gives me so many options to work with. I can focus on history, environmentalism, education, or just the city itself with its history, architecture, and culture.

So What Can We Do With All This Information? A Rapid-Fire Brain Dump: 

Explore a space and interact with objects. Modern Graffiti Tagger? Robin Hood style adventure? Normal person doing normalcy? It's too impractical and out of scope to model ALL of Nottingham. Limit environment models to the player accessible area, and use images for everything in the distant background. I will need to decide an area to explore, which will probably  change depending on the idea I settle on.  Need to find interesting landmarks – the road leading up to Nottingham Castle from Market Square, Market Square itself, perhaps something delving into the Nottingham Caves. Most of my ideas use 3d exploration, so the main differences in the ideas rely on asset production. Do I go with a realistic aesthetic or cartoon-ish art? Probably too early to settle on aesthetic. I'll seek feedback on the art style.

Five Initial Ideas:

You're the head of the Nottingham mob trying to burn down the castle.

Guide everyone along a path to get them to the castle to burn it down. Running into each other will foil the plan somehow. Obviously, running into each other will light everyone on fire, and that's never good.

This premise was inspired by the application "Does Not Commute",

where you must guide multiple cars around a road system without crashing them.

This game concept could fit as a branded game,

as most of the work would be in developing the environment, and the basic controls system.

 

 


Get your geese to the Goose Fair

Madcap game where you have to get to Goose Fair on time while carrying all your geese. Your geese are scattered across the city at important cultural and historical sites. Catching them reveals some of the significance of the location of the level for the educational goal.

This game premise would most likely use the same system as the Assassin's Creed Nottingham premise,

or the Cave Explorer, and most of the differences would be in the game's art aesthetic.

This premise was inspired by the Untitled Goose Game, where you play as a goose that terrorises a small town. In this game, you'd be trying to capture said geese, and it also ties into the local event of the Goose Fair.

 



Assassin's Creed: Nottingham! 

Navigate around the city and do RPG-style objectives. Could easily get out of hand with scope creep. Like the goose fair idea, once you complete the objective it gives you an educational fact.

This premise has some potential, as the official Assassin's Creed franchise does feature multiple actual locations

of historical relevance in their games, like Notre Dame (Right) so having a parody of an already existing franchise

known for good educational delivery is a nice way to both engage the audience, and hit the brief's criteria.

Cave exploration game

You have to get as deep into the past as possible. You go through puzzles inspired by different historical events. You have to solve puzzles with objects you find left from different historical eras as you go deeper and deeper.

This premise was inspired by the game Times Attack, which

was a dungeon-crawler where you used mathematics to go deeper

into the dungeon, and this game would use Nottingham history to do the same.

Warhammer inspired game

A turn-based strategy game where you engage in historical Nottingham events using little minifigure characters in the style of Games Workshop

This idea could be interesting, because it can tie in the education with the game style of a known Nottingham company.

I also find this could be a fun challenge, as making a table-top historical Nottingham RPG in a video game engine is not an idea that I've thought of too often, and it'll be interesting to try to create.

 

This was inspired by Sid Meier's Civilisation, (Educational turn based game) and Games Workshop, (Nottingham game company.)
 

 


As these are quite a few premises with good potential, I now have a few choices to make: 

  1. What location(s) to use?  (It has to be Nottingham)

  2. What art/controls should be used for the game?   (You can't have incredibly violent, or childish art. The age range is 16-25.)

  3. What should the interactable things DO/BE? (It has to increase interest in Nottingham)


I want to use modular design so I can develop the project in small, easy chunks. I can work on the multiple sections in a fractured pattern and still get all the work done. Regardless of what idea I go with, I can make one really polished movement system and use it for any version of my project.   This way the only major change in all the premises is art, the unique mechanic, and maybe a few different assets. For the prototype, I can use a white box layout for testing mechanics and gameplay, then make more polished assets when the mechanics are all completed.

WHAT TO DO AND IN WHAT ORDER:
PLANNING STAGE:

  1. Analyze brief and understand the client's whims.

  2. Plan ideas, explain their origins, and get feedback on them.

  3. Do specific planning intros, like asset lists, color schemes, mind maps, and moodboards.


PRODUCTION STAGE:

  1. Do whiteboxing and plan out parts of the enviroment in reasonable chunks.

  2. Make the Player system of control and test/feedback/polish.

  3. Make the mechanic chosen from the ideation and test/feedback/polish.

  4. If my player and mechanic have no space for improvement, I could try to make some assets taken from the ideation in part 1.

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WHAT PROJECTS LINK TO MY BRIEF?   REVIEWING EXISTING PRODUCTS:
I was thinking about the following games because they increase interest in themes and topics without being explicitly educational.

Sid Meier's Civilization isn't an educational game that beats you over the head, but it CAN teach you about historical periods. I could try to replicate this kind of game by having players go through the historical periods of Nottingham, re-enacting well known battles. It links to the brief because of the client's discussions of the rich history of Nottingham being described as a "city of rebels"

 

 



Epic Citadel is educational in that it is a demo for the Unreal Engine 3. It sets the player in an environment and allows them to explore it. Free exploration can be linked to the brief with the client's mentions of the culture, buildings, and "secrets of Nottingham" – things like hidden alleys, vibrant architecture, and incredibly interesting places hidden amidst the streets, like the still functioning Green's Windmill nestled in the middle of Nottingham.

 

 

 


 


Treasures Of the Aegean is around Minoan Greece. The game isn't 100% educational, but if you're stuck in a puzzle, you can get a small hint by opening your history book for a few of the facts discussed in the game. Despite being a loose stretch with the quasi-historical information, it's still a fun game that gets people interested in Grecian subject matter, Making a quasi-historical game could be a viable route for my projects as my game would still show off interesting things about Nottingham, despite maybe not being 100% historically accurate.

 

 

 



GETTING FEEDBACK – CONDUCT FOCUSED RESEARCH
I need to get feedback on all these ideas I came up with. As the Confetti College is a very large area populated with multiple people aged 16 to 25, I could give a well-made form to the college and get my feedback from the student body. This will give me a large variety of multiple people's thoughts and opinions of Nottingham. I also have multiple siblings in other colleges, so I could make my intelligently written form and pass it off to other colleges via my familial network. These are the kinds of questions I asked:
1:  I ask the reader for their opinions on a basic premise.
2: I ask the reader how the player should get controlled, and to give their reasons why.
3: I ask the reader what the scope of the project should be and why.
4: I ask readers what they'd expect as a special mechanic for the various premises.


You can view the form using this link:  https://forms.office.com/e/fS9R00PsqC

You can view the responses using this link: First_Form_Forms_Analysis_Link

HOW PEOPLE RESPONDED:

  • All respondents like an interactive room with actual interactability, as this involves more player control.

  • 2/5 wanted realism, and 3/5 are fine with any art style.

  • All 5/5 enjoy look-around rooms – a room where there isn't anything to do except look at stuff like in Epic Citadel.

  • I used Google Maps as my example of a look around room so 2/5 advised to not use Google Maps, as it may be copyrighted.

  • 4/5 people wanted an area with multiple objectives.

  • 3/5 readers think you pick up interactive things via the E key.

  • 1 recommended a 3D object turn around when you pick up an object, like Uncharted.

  • 5/5 advise an interactive room for this project.

  • 1 advised a Robin Hood Theme.

  • 1 advised a theme about Nottingham Castle.

  • 3 had no opinion about the location

When I asked for verbal feedback from 12 other people, I was told by 8 that I should do the Goose Fair Idea. 5/8 thought the absurd premise would work, and that the topic was Nottingham-centric enough. One person thought that exploring the Market square was a good location, but believed that using a larger area of the City was a better idea as it would focus more on the city. Most people who voted for the Goose Fair idea said it sounded similar to the Untitled Goose Game and enjoyed the idea of being a "little goblin guy hunting down geese". The other 4 people chose the "Explore Nottingham like an RPG Hero" premise, citing the large locations to explore as the main reason they would enjoy playing it. I can combine the goose concept with the RPG one by having a more expanded Nottingham to explore, but use the Goose Game premise for the main adventure.   

 

While I was reading through my digital form responses, I was confused on why so little people filled out my digital form, but were happy to partake in my verbal questioning. I searched through other student's forms and old class presentations on form-making looking for common denominators to explain what was going on, and I managed to figure out what I was doing wrong: My digital form was about 14-15 questions with no visuals of what I was talking about, and every question asked you to explain the thoughts every response you gave in depth. I was overloading my readers with incredibly dull questions and never letting up on them. The verbal questioning I gave people only required them to answer five questions, and I got better answers without much fuss. To make sure I avoid having such an annoying digital form again, here's the three things I learned from my experience:

  1. Give people something to grasp at. Assume that people don't know exactly what you know and explain to them what you're trying to do.

  2. Use visuals. If you want help with how something looks, you need to show them what you're using to make the look.

  3. Limit the questions. People fill the form out to be nice. They're not interested in something long, so don't give them a form with enough questions to write a Herman Melville book. 

THE CHOSEN PREMISE:
I have been advised by the majority of people to do the Goose Fair project, so I went with this. I will use low-poly assets. This will simplify the workload of this project since I don't think I'll have time to make realistic building models. If I go with this option of making low poly models for my project, I could also collect low poly assets from the Unreal Store or the free to use asset creator, Kenney. The main area to explore in my prototype would be Market Square where you round up the geese. I want to ease the player into the game and the city. Quite a few games have a short intro where you navigate through a small tutorial location before heading along a path into the main room, and I can do the same to allow the player to explore a little bit more of Nottingham before leading into the Market Square level. I'm going to use the Robin Hood statue near the castle as the player's new starting location. This small tutorial starting location will also be small enough to be used for the prototype I need to build. 

Why is Robin Hood's statue a good idea for a starting location leading into Market Square?

  1. Robin Hood is incredibly iconic and Nottingham based. If you say Nottingham, people respond with "Oh yeah! Robin Hood's place."

  2. The Robin Hood Statue is right outside the Nottingham Castle, so we can have a bit of time for the player to test their moves outside the iconic castle of old Nottingham, before they're advised to head over to the Market Square.

  3. The Castle Gate road which the Robin Hood statue is at the end of is basically a straight shot to the Nottingham Castle. As soon as you start the game's main adventure, you can easily see your destination and head over to Market Square. Then you get to run down the Castle Gate road as fast as you want, and the game will begin in the NEW Nottingham after showing you the OLD Nottingham.

  4. The Castle Gate path is close to Market Square, and as I planned to physically photograph the place for my work, it is close enough to the Confetti College to allow me to get there easily after my classes end.



STARTING DESIGN:

MY CHOSEN FINAL IDEA:
I will make a third person perspective game where you go through sections of Nottingham featuring important cultural and historical sites like the Castle, the Caves, the Robin Hood statue, the Lace Market, etc. The player's goal is to capture geese running rampant across the city. They are rewarded with educational information about the location when they manage to capture the geese.

 

The base control system would be taken from my Unreal Experimentation Playground. The special mechanic would be that the player will be able to launch projectiles in the form of bread, run after escaped geese, use the geese to paraglide off of high places, and throw geese into their pens.

 

I plan to use a low-poly asset aesthetic for ease of 3D model construction, and I will use the Unreal Engine for the game itself. I will use a combination of Mixamo for character animations and Maya or the Unreal Engine's premade geometric shapes for models of buildings. I plan to use the Atkinson Hyperlegible font for the game, as it is a very accessible font meant to help with visually impaired people, so it will help me during my development process. I'll need to make a HUD to show the number of geese you have caught. I will use billboarding to make NPCs. I can use Procreate on my tablet to make cartoon-ish sprites, or the pixel art software Aesprite to make pixel art sprites. During the prototype, the geese would be a colored shape, or a cube with a goose texture. If I refined this goose design, I'd probably make a billboarded Goose.

PLAYER MODEL:
My player character is a 3D model of a person with a slice of bread for a head living in a pseudo-2D world. This gives a great explanation of why you have an endless supply of bread, and it can also link to some Nottingham culture, especially if we introduce Green's Windmill as a location. It may be jolting for players if they were expecting a "serious" educational game and we give them a person in a bread suit. However, with the release of The Untitled Goose Game by House House, silly games with geese are already on people's minds, which means my bread suited protagonist will most likely work in the game, as this is just an extra layer of wacky in an already wacky game. If you're in a game where you are running through Nottingham catching geese and throwing them into boxes, you're not going really going to be batting an eye at a guy in a bread outfit.

FONT:
I want to use the font I put on this page, the Atkinson Hyperlegible Font, for the project. It's a clear, readable font that is explicitly designed to help people with visual impairments and Dyslexia. Since I suffer from a visual impairment and color blindness, I am planning to use this font to help with my development process as much as possible during this project.

UI:
For simplicity, I would most likely just have a text label in the UI with the font of my choice, and it will appear in the top left, or the top middle of my player's screen. If I didn't use text, I would have an image in the location where the text would be. If the first two choices fall short, I'd have a percentage bar (cur_geese / max_geese * 100) label above the player's head that changes whenever you get another goose in your hands, and a billboarded label visible floating above the goose pen.  Otherwise, all information on the geese you are carrying and penned geese would pinned to the viewport.

COLORS: 
I will walk around Nottingham to take photos of all the places I intend to use in the game. I can make a simplified palette based on the pictures. A simplified palette will match with the low-poly model aesthetic.

EDUCATION ASPECT:
You're exploring Nottingham, and this in itself can help raise awareness of the city. Going around to different locations in the game can get the player interested in visiting these places in real life. Delivering a medley of educational facts will also help with this goal.

MAKING MECHANICS AND PROTOTYPES

FIRST: WHITEBOX THE LEVEL. The floor plan will almost DEFINITELY require me to use Google Maps in order to get the overhead perspective. Once I have the floor plan built and white-boxed, I should walk to the Castle Gate area and start taking photos of the Castle Gate Path for references, and make a few of the color draft pictures. Once I do that, I need to start making basic geometrical shapes of the buildings in Unreal, and plop my player into the enviroment for testing. If for some reason I am unable to go to Castle Gate to take pictures, I can use an overhead view provided by Google Maps in order to build the floor plan, and to get some images needed for referencing.

Basic animations like walk, run, jump, etc, will be put into Unreal using Mixamo. I'll use a 2D billboard effect for extra animations like throwing. For mechanics, I need to make a walk, sprint, throw, and an object collection system for allowing geese to be counted as caught. I also need to model the environment, draw out my color drafts, make my Goose AI, make my goose models, and create an endgoal/winstate. If I have time, I can think about creating music and sound effects for the prototype.

The prototype is essentially a tutorial location where you learn your moves and catch a few geese that are running around the area. My basic proof of concept/prototype will feature a goose and a pen you can throw it into. After you complete this tutorial in the full game, you can turn down to the path leading to other areas for the rest of the game to begin. The game is completed by catching every goose, and there is no fail state.

THE PHOTOS:
Here are some images I've taken as references.

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The top three images are photos I took of Market Square from various angles. The bottom images from left to right are the Robin Hood statue left of Castle Gate, the Castle Gate itself, and the Council Building in Market Square.

HOW THE MECHANICS WILL BE MADE:  If the player runs into an interactable object, it will queue free, thus being 'collected', and the GameMode count will increase for that type of object. In our case, that's a goose. 

The Bread Throwing is when the Player throws a projectile in the direction their head faces that can interact with the world. If the bread projectile hits the goose, the goose is stunned for a short duration, unable to move. The prototype will feature these two mechanics and require you to catch a goose and secure it in a pen. 

In the full game, the player will also be taught a Goose-Glide mechanic.


 

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IMPLEMENTING PROTOTYPE VER_01:   
The project begins with the Experimentation Playground. This video shows additions to a third person template, adding a camera boom, a run system, an interactable object, a basic NPC, and an interactable door. 

How was it all done?
The walking and jumping were taken from the Third Person Template, with the addition of a camera boom to avoid the camera clipping into walls when you rotate the camera. The running is built so that every "x" seconds, you get to run at double speed, then slow back down to the normal velocity, and start a cooldown. The Fairy's rotation, and Morko's billboarded text is built with a camera tracking system that always orients an asset facing the camera found in the Unreal developer's forum.
 

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This works by keeping endless track of the Player's camera rotation, and manoeuvres the object you've selected to always rotate with it. The collectible and Door worked fairly easily. Collecting the collectible increases a Game Mode counter, and if you walk into the Door with enough collectibles, it unlocks for you, and subtracts the amount you had to grab as "payment".








 

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I BUILT THE GOOSE AND THE BREAD:
The Goose is a character with a flat billboarded texture and a (currently) simple AI. It randomly generates an impulse to run and has a low chance to make a little jump. Morko, my basic NPC, tells you to run after it, and collecting the Goose allows you to unlock the door in the room. I added a Bread Projectile to the level that allows you to stun the goose. The prototype level has a pen to throw geese into, and a widget blueprint that shows the player the game controls and the total geese collected. 

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Ongoing Development Issues and Resolutions:
 

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WHAT I HAVE DONE AND WHAT I WILL DO NEXT (as of January 27, 2023):
I have made everything on my prototype list but the Floor Plan, Paraglider, and NPC dialogue system. The floor plan wasn't really needed for a mechanic test. The NPC's and their dialogue are not needed for this prototype. The paraglider is wacky, but currently unnecessary extra bonus. 

When production begins, I will:
Start work on the areas to explore such as Castle Gate, the Caves, and Market Square.
Build the Paraglider.
Make a Dialog System.
Allow for level changing.
Get feedback on all these previous steps, and expand or modify them if needed.

 

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THE PROTOTYPE:

This Prototype is using the Unreal Engine 4.27. The build is Modded Patch 03.7z, taken from my Microsoft Teams chat with myself.


In this prototype, I've made:
A stunning Player with a unique Bread Model
A quirky projectile of bread
Frantically running AI Geese
A Cage and Unlockable Door
and an NPC, Morko!



Download the prototype on Itch.io HERE!

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