Production Blog 3 - Card Garden
Howdy everyone! It's Alex, back again with another production blog update full of our progress on Card Garden from Sprint 3! I had a total of 151 points of user stories assigned to the team, 109 of which were completed and moved over, leaving 26 in progress with 16 carrying over. Our team pulled through during this sprint, even with the added pressure of midterms and other projects looming over them, so I am very proud of the progress that they made during this sprint! Let's jump right into it!
This sprint, our Curly Bracket Crew did not fail to make us proud once again. Last sprint, their focus was on getting all of the core components into the game for a more improved prototype, taking into account the feedback we received from that playtest. This sprint, they were focused on improving and adding more to that by getting our Level Up system up and running for player units (Towers and Minions), as well as adding in more AI components for our enemies and towers. We now have several types of attacks for buildings, thanks to Alex, as well as functional behaviors for the Archer, Paladin, and Rogue enemies. We also (and I say this with excitement!) have a complete and functional Grid Building Tool for the level designers' use. This is all thanks to Jacob, who has been working hard on this tool for quite a while. They are now able to create a grid of any size, change the tile types individually, save the grid, load the grid from a file, and clear the grid completely.
We also have more cards, thanks to Sky. He spent time implementing the cards into the deck for the player to play, as well as coding their functionality in the game. He also implemented Spell Cards, which are a feature we were excited to see. He implemented our On Fire spell, which creates a lasting damage effect on enemies that walk through it, and our Deus Ex Machina spell, which clears the board of all enemies as a sort of emergency button.
There were a few issues with a last minute change in code that was not approved and broke a few of the visual systems in the game, but luckily they were issues that were fixable before we built our playable build for the deadline. We are very proud of the work our programmers put into this sprint and only have high hopes for the next one!
This sprint, our modelers were busy bees creating more models for the level designers to implement in their levels. Cameron started production on Level 2 Magical Swamp tiles that our Level 2 Designer (Justin) will be using to aesthetically decorate his level once Cameron is finished with this set. We've already been absolutely blown away with not only the quality of the work he's done, but also the lengths of effort he's gone to get the job done. He actually did some shader work to achieve a swampy water look around the basic Enemy Path tiles, and they look amazing! We're super excited to implement them. Joseph has been working on our character models, and completed the Paladin Enemy model (textured) and the Archer Enemy model in this sprint. Jeremy completed some projectiles for the towers, as well as the Level 1 Lair and its barrier! Below are the examples of their work:
This sprint, our level designers were also quite the busy bees working on their levels. Ryan especially put in the time and work to create his whole level for players to playtest in this build, from the aesthetics to the functionality of the waves. He implemented all 6 Encounters for the players to defend against, complete with pauses and different enemy types. He also began working on the lighting of the level, to really bring it to life. We are ecstatic with the way his level turned out! Our other two level designers were working on furthering their own levels for production, as well as working on some VFX elements to really put some spark into their levels. Both of them worked on creating blockouts for their levels, and Marc created a few Particle Effects for the game. Here are some examples of their work:
Now, we didn't get a whole lot of art from the art team this time, but what we got were some lovely pieces that we're eager to implement into the game! We received a portrait of our Obeya card, a visual UI icon that will be used to indicate the direction from which enemies are coming, and our level selection page! Here they are:
There was an issue with a miscommunication on some feedback for one of the card portraits being worked on by an artist on the team. We had asked for a cleanup of the card background, but when making its way to the artist, the information relayed was not what we had given, and thus we ended up with the artist working hard on variations of elements that did not need to be focused on. We are grateful nonetheless to Gilli, the artist in question, for working incredibly hard to provide those variants and iterations, and are thankful for her openness to feedback from us. We will take greater care in documenting feedback in the future so that nothing can be misconstrued or forgotten.
Sprint 3 was quite a productive sprint! We started off slow at the start, but quickly caught up towards the end of sprint, pulling through despite all the other things everyone had going on in their lives with other school work. We're glowing with pride at the amount and quality of work done in every sprint, and I am having a great time watching everyone grow together and overcome any obstacles that may come our way. Our goals for the next Sprint are to complete our Nature Set 1 cards in functionality and clarity of what they do in-game, do some damage scaling for enemies and towers, add elemental types to towers/player units, increase production on levels 2 and 3, and increase visual player feedback for health of enemies and towers. Lots of things to do, but I'm confident in the abilities of my team to do their best. I look forward to sharing out progress with you in the next Production Blog! Stay tuned!
Stay safe and take care!
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