Grup was developed over multiple weeks, with multiple revisions. Below depicts our progress throughout this quarter.
We started with a brainstorm session and a Trello Kanban board. The next step was setting up our source control repo on Github. After that, we started talking about our ideas. We came up with concepts that we wanted to explore and test in Unity to see the feasiblity of being able to complete the work in the time allotted for the quarter.
We initially attempted to do an Agile sprint style design, but honestly, it just devolved into us getting our assigned work done and picking up whatever we needed to in order to ensure we met deadlines and had a polished product. In that case, we were extremely lucky to have a very balanced team. We have someone who has spent a lot of time working with Unity, artists, an experienced coder, and someone who would keep us on track; the team balance was excellent for a short-term project.
Next up was the Alpha Test. This is where we put our prototype ideas together for the first time and got to see the beginnings of our game. It may have just been a few colored blocks and Grup, but it was playable, and we saw our concepts come to life. We created a couple levels and let our classmates try it out! We took their feedback and continued to refine the game.
These refinements, in addition to more features and art, became our Beta Test. We got over 20 people to run through the Beta version of Grup and give us their thoughts, and they held nothing back. We got lots of good feedback about the playability and feel of the game, but we'll go over that more in-depth in the "Playtesting" section. We took this information and polished the game even further and presented our pre-release version to the class. It was a hit!
And that's where we currently are...we would love to keep adding to Grup, and who knows? One day we just might. We would like to keep refining it and complete the vision we had at the start of this. In the meantime, please enjoy the current released version of Grup. We hope it provides you with entertainment and some fun. -- Team Grup
For the Alpha version of our game, we only had a few levels created, and most of the art had not been developed yet. Grup had their basic walk animation, but the idle, climb, and jump animations had not been implemented. After listening to feedback from classmates that playtested our game, these were the most common observations:
After listening to the feedback provided by our classmates and adjusting our game accordingly, we released the Beta version of Grup. The Beta version included four new levels, sound effects, and new animations and artwork. Some of the levels were redesigned to make it easier for the player to understand where to go, and we also added a prompt in order to help teach the player about how to interact with objects, such as ladders and pollutants. In addition, we added a prototype that would add color back to plants once a pollutant was cleared near it. We had 23 people playtest the Beta version of Grup, and these were some of common observations:
After listening to the Beta playtesters, we had a lot of work to do to polish up our game for the Final deliverable. We made modifications to how the character would spawn, and added additional assets to help make the game feel more finished. We also added more prompts to indicate to players how they should move, and added a visual indication of when the player can interact with an object. What you see now is the culmination of their feedback and our team’s personal preferences. Thank you to everyone who took the time to playtest our game; our game would not be the same without you.
As a team, we found that we worked really well together. Some of our biggest strengths are initiative, communication, and work balance. A prime example for initiative was when we would get together and talk. Ideas that were tossed around would suddenly be shown within a couple days, whether it was technical or artistic. Communication was an interesting challenge due to the fact that our team never got meet in person. Despite that, by leveraging tools like Discord, we were able to keep in touch very easily and talked multiple times a week to plan and discuss. Responses were always given, and you never had to guess what people wanted. Lastly, we balanced work really well: Scott was able to handle all the special effects and shaders, Erica on the art and level design work, Shannon also contributed to the art and game mechanics, and Ed handled the game state mechanics, working with the Git repo, and general bug fixes.
As a team, we worked really well together!
If there was more time available to keep working on the game, our next few things we would want to implement are:
This is our final presentation that we did over Zoom for everyone who attended our last CSS 385 class.
This presentation gives credit to the outside resources we utilized in our game. Anything outside of this presentation was created by a member of our team.
Thank you to everyone who supported the creation and development of Grup! We hope you enjoy the game.