Production Blog 2 - Card Garden

Howdy everyone! I'm Alex, and I'm back with another production blog post about the progress we've made on Card Garden in Sprint 2!  Little refresher on what Card Garden is:  Card Garden is a single-player game that takes the genre of card games and tower-defense games and mashes them together for a unique experience.  Our goal for Sprint 2 was to have all of the core features in our game put together to create our digital prototype. This production blog will walk you through the things we accomplished to achieve that goal, and any problems we encountered along the way with the steps we took/are taking to get those problems resolved. 

Without further ado, let's jump into it! 


Just like before, our Curly Bracket Crew blew us away with the quality and quantity of work they did during this sprint. They really came together to get all of the core mechanics implemented and working together to function and make a playable prototype by the end of the sprint. These core mechanics include can be broken down into three systems: Card System, AI System, and Grid System. In the Card System, the player is able to pay to play cards to build their units, discard cards, draw cards on a ten second timer, and their deck is finite. In the AI System, the towers that players build on the grid can attack enemies passing by, have a range of attack, and have a set amount of damage for their attacks. The player also has Minion units they can set on the path that can attack enemies that come to them, and can die if their health is depleted by enemies. Enemies can take damage, die, attack, and follow NavMesh paths baked into levels on Enemy Path Tiles.  They also drop gold that the player then claims so that they can use more cards. The Grid System is what gives the Card System information of what can be interacted with. It gives the Level Designers more control of how they build their levels and set up the gameplay. 

Below is a video showcasing what can be done in the digital prototype: 

For the prototype, we gave testers/players one wave of enemies with somewhat extreme stats to create an environment that shows them each of the mechanics at their most basic level, from cards to towers to enemies.  


In this sprint, our modelers once again delighted us with their models and their enthusiasm to take our feedback and make adjustments as necessary to create a product that Arjun and I are happy with. This was the Sprint where we sectioned them off into 3 different ways; Cameron is in charge of making the tiles, Jeremy is in charge of making the buildings, and Joseph is in charge of the character models. In this sprint, the first tile-set for level 1 (Forest Adventure) was completed and is ready for implementation by our Level 1 Level Designer (Ryan) in Level 1. Jeremy is hard at work creating the buildings that we want for this level as well, and Joseph is also hard at work making our character models so that they can be rigged and animated. 

Here are some of their models! 


Crumbled Steps (Cameron)


Mushroom Tile (Cameron)


Log Tile (Cameron)

Tower unit.JPG

Arrow Tower (Jeremy)


Stone Tower (Jeremy)

generator tower.JPG

Obeya Tower (Jeremy)

There were some issues with polycount for the character models that required a revamping of the both the base and the Rogue Enemy that one of our modelers needed to fix. It was an issue that I should have caught onto sooner, but we are so fortunate to have Joseph, our modeler in question, who has been so open to feedback and always willing to make the changes we ask of him. He's been quite the trooper and we appreciate the effort he and our other two modelers have been putting into their models. 

Level Design

During this sprint, we had our level designers creating blockouts of their levels, and beginning to implement waves of enemies. For the prototype, Ryan, who is in charge of level one, created a wave specifically for the playtest that would show off the mechanics of the enemies and encourage the player to use the cards at their disposal. We used his blockout of level one to set the stage. He did a really great job of building his level without the use of the level designer tool that is currently being built, and was very patient and diligent in staying on track. All three of our level designers did a great job of taking in feedback and explaining themselves and the choices they made in their designs, just like before. We also found that Marc, one of our level designers, had a hidden talent for making particle effects! We had assigned him a few cards for some particle effects we thought would be nice to have, and he blew our expectations right out of the water and has pleasantly surprised us at every turn. Here are some examples of the work everyone did, with Marc's particle effects at the bottom:


Level 1 blockout (Ryan)


Level 2 Blockout (Justin)


Building Built PE (Marc)

Low-Poly Fire (Marc)


Bees (Marc)

2D Art

As mentioned in my previous blog, we're on quite the learning curve when it comes to art assets this semester. In this Sprint, art was a little slow to come to us, but made it there nonetheless. We assigned the tasks of a template background for the cards in our game, concept art of the Minion Gardener and Paladin Enemy, an icon to represent currency in our UI, and a title/main menu screen for the game. The only issues we encountered was in the back and forth that turned a task from a 3 to a 7.  Sending back a card with feedback is part of the design process, and was nothing we weren't prepared to do; it just unexpectedly became a rather involved ordeal, moreso than expected. Nonetheless, we got a final product and were able to move on. One of the things that utterly delighted us was the title/menu screen we received from one of the artists, Atley Sakamoto. He truly surprised us with how it turned out, and we honestly couldn't be happier with the beautiful piece of art that will be the cover of our game! We were also delighted by the Paladin Concept Art that was provided to us from Gilliana Arnel. We really appreciated the variety of designs she gave us to choose from, and will definitely be taking advantage of when our modelers get to creating this enemy. Below is some of the work from the art team, title/menu screen at the bottom: 


Paladin Enemy CA (Gilliana Arnel)


Title/Menu Screen (Atley Sakamoto)

Overall in this sprint, we assigned a whopping 202 points, and completed 136 of those points, with 30 in progress and 36 left unmoved. We got so much done this sprint, it moved our average in our burndown chart dramatically. Before, we were finishing by the end of Sprint 5, and now it shows us finishing by the end of Sprint 3/beginning of Sprint 4, if we keep up the same pace. Arjun and I have a lot to talk about in order to make sure our reality is not that skewed, and that we can get this game fun and functional by the end of the semester at a decent pace that keeps our team happy and healthy. Our goals for the next Sprint is to get completed models into the first level and keep production of level 2 models going strong, as well as character models. We also want to further the mechanics we have by adding in more types of cards that we have planned for the future. Production for these cards is already underway, so I'm excited to share the update with you all in the next Production Blog! Until next time!

Take care!  

Files 23 MB
Sep 22, 2020

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