|Interactive Media & Game Development
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Due date: Monday, September 17, by 10:00am
This is the third project that your team will complete in working towards creating a functioning video game. This project focuses on the content (as opposed to the code) that must be created for a game, along with the decisions and tradeoffs that go into its creation. Don't worry if no one on your team is an experienced artist - you will be graded more on your ideas and effort than on your execution.You must use GameMaker for your game.
The main objectives for this project are:
Creativity is a wonderful thing, but creativity must be constrained by sound planning and decision-making in order to produce artwork in a timely fashion. With deadlines to meet and only finite resources (time and money) to put towards creating content, tradeoffs between quality and quantity must be made. Your team will have to decide where to focus your efforts and where to streamline your aspirations. Given an array of artists with individual creative visions, rational stylistic decisions must be made in order to unify their combined effort. Your team will need to make decisions that will guide the overall visual and aural coherence of your game's content.
Planning is just as important in creating content as it is in any other aspect of game development. Changing the design of a character during the concept stage will cost a few hours of time at the drawing board, while changing the design of a character that has already been animated will cost you both the weeks that went into the first revision, as well as the weeks it will take to make the next revision. Similarly, making technical decisions that will change the nature of content needed for a game can be very costly if made later in the development cycle. Switching from MIDI- to OGG-based music, or switching from bump-mapped to normal-mapped textures can incur a significant cost in both lost old work and required new work. The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize your team with some of the decision making and trade-offs that go into creating content for a game, so that you will be able to make better decisions earlier in the content development cycle.
For this project, you should continue to work with the group that you formed for the previous project. Each group will be responsible for identifying, selecting and creating an array of content to be used in a sprite-based game (for use with GameMaker) of their design. You will also be required to make your artistic choices explicit by writing a brief document explaining your decisions.
Your first task will be to write a short statement (100 to 250 words) describing the "artistic vision" for your game. This is the "soft plan" for your game's content. Describe the motifs, styles, colors, sounds and textures in any way you see fit. Feel free to reference movies, games, places or anything else that may evoke the feel you wish to capture with your content. Rough sketches of characters or settings may also be used, but are not required. The most important thing is that your description is clear enough that, if you were to hand it to several independently contracted artists, they would all return with similar work.
Your second task will be to identify all of the assets that you would need for the full version of your game: sprites, tiles, sound effects, music, icons, etc. You will use spreadsheet software (e.g., Excel) for this. You are to document functional requirements for these assets (sprite size, number of frames and types of animations, length of sound loops, etc.) to as much detail as you can, using ranges of possible values where you are unsure. This is the "hard plan" for your game's content.
Your third task will be to select content for use in your game. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to have time for your team to generate all the content needed for your game this term. You are to briefly describe how your selections fit your artistic and functional requirements, as well as justify the use of selections that fall short of your requirements. In Resources the section below, free to use other content, so long as you accurately document where the content sources came from and how they are licensed, as appropriate.
Last, but not least, your team will be required to generate a small amount of original artwork. Your team will be responsible for creating at least 40 assets for your prototype. This could take the form of a single sprite (hint: one sprite that can face in four directions with five frames of animation per direction is 5x4=20 frames of animation), or it could be tiles, icons, sound effects or any combination of at least 40 assets that fit your functional requirements. The artistic quality of your team's artwork is less important than the fact that the assets are your team's original creation. Do not turn in any copyrighted images or third-party work for this part of the assignment. Even an original piece of art that was modified is not appropriate for this part of the project. The work should be completely original.
Your group is responsible for turning in documents containing all of the following: your statement of artistic vision, your functional content requirements, your listing of content to be used and justifications thereof. In addition to this documentation, your team must also submit the original content that has been created for your game in whatever format is appropriate. The required sections are as follows:
Your goal should be to have complete documentation for the content aspects of the game ready for use in creating the content. The level of detail should enough so that any ambiguities are removed, and that assets can easily be integrated into the game from a technical perspective.
All documents are to be submitted
electronically via turnin by 10:00am on the
day the assignment is due.
Each document should list the names of every member in your group somewhere on the first page.
When you are ready to submit, zip everything up into a single archive file. Name the file TeamName_proj3.zip.
You will use new Web-based "Turnin" facility to submit your work. Information about submitting can be found here:
Choose one of your team members to submit the document.
Your WPI user ID should be used to login, and
you should have been emailed a password.
|Remember the policy on Academic Honesty: You may discuss the project with others, but your group is to do its own work. The official WPI statement for Academic Honesty can be accessed HERE.|
All team members will receive the same grade
for this assignment.
Later assignments will ask team members to rate team member performance.
Possible sources for content assets: