As this blog was begun after development on our game had already started, it's necessary to bring everybody up to speed on the state of our game as it is at this time.
The layout of this semester's class is a group project, consisting of four programmers, and one artist. The project we agreed on is a top down online PVP oriented RPG, where you control a character who has to fight against the opposing teams army, in order to conquer their team's base, Once that base is captured, it affects an overall "War Map", changing the ownership of that territory to that team. The whole game is online, and the character's will be persistent, level up, and belong to one of four character classes. It's also twitch based, meaning, among other things fireballs that won't auto-follow enemies. When you cast a spell, you have to aim it so that it will hit your target, accounting for trajectory, cast time, etc.
To put it simply, it's kind of like a WoW battleground, but all the while fighting alongside NPCs, constructing beneficial structures, and being more action based in it's gameplay.
I don't want to post art, especially without being sure our artist knows about it, but this is the basic view that our game takes place during the battles. Our art style is heading in a very cartoon-like direction
So today was a day when we had to show a presentation of our game's state (we've been working on it for a few weeks now) to not only the rest of our classmates, but also a few designers from Pi Studios.
The head of my group gave a short presentation about the gameplay mechanics, while my half of the presentation was to explain the background story / differences in the two factions of our game, as well as how it relates to the theme of our art.
It was definitely a really interesting experience. Hearing professionals commenting on our game ideas was really cool, since it was one of the first times one of my game ideas was met with more professional and insightful feedback. Most of the time, trying to explain what i thought would be "a cool game" would be met with a general "Oh hey, that sounds neat." from my friends, or a "Yea, cool!" from my family. Now, I was talking to people who knew more about the process of developing games, and what other things to think about when turning our game ideas into a working game.
The people from Pi Studios are really helpful towards our class, and definitely deserve a huge high five for helping us, as well as giving me sweet advice
After the presentations, I decided to get a few more words in with the guys from Pi. I asked them what a prospective game-maker should try and do to get their start in the industry. The advice given was basically as follows:
1) Always try to make games in your free time
They always made sure to emphasize that making games is something that you really have to have passion for, not just something that you are deciding to do for money. Higher paying computer-science jobs aren't hard to find, but working in game development is sacrificing a bit higher pay, and working long hours, in order to work on something you genuine interest for.
2) Be ready to travel
They also told me that I should be ready to travel somewhere else in order to get a good job. They did mention the West Coast as a hot location for game design, but even said that lots of their colleagues had gotten jobs overseas. Though I don't think I would be looking for a job in another continent, I guess the possibility is always there.
3) Meet lots of game developers
The last thing they mentioned was the importance of who you know in the industry. They said that it's important to get to know lots of people who make games, in order to get them to help you getting into the industry. Internships are especially useful, apparently. Hopefully this website will help me with this step. I hope to attend PAX next year, so maybe some networking can begin there :)
Hands were shaken, good-bye's were said, and I felt just a bit closer to my goal of one day being a real game developer.
Anyways, pretty soon we are going to be working on getting networking on our game working, first between two computers over LAN, then more, and finally to/from a server. As I have no prior knowledge about this subject, I can only imagine this phase is going to be even more confusing to me. Oh well, gotta start learning how to do this some time.