So, today I’ve been working on a bit of a project plan for my prototype. I know that giving myself some set goals enhances my chances of actually getting to the result.
I thought up a little scenario for what the final prototype should be and I dubbed it “The Cabin”. The backstory is that Kingpin – some gangster overlord – is hiding out in a cabin in the woods somewhere. He’s protected by numerous heavily armed henchmen and he’s waiting for a new security detail to arrive to take him out of the country.
A two-man-team of special forces – Saint and Needle – is sent to capture Kingpin before he can escape.
The player controls the special forces and their mission is pretty straightforward: find Kingpin, take him into custody and move him to an extraction point, eliminating armed opposition where necessary. At the extraction point a helo will chopper to bring the team to safety.
This mission scenario should force me to tackle a lot of the things along the way:
- setting up a turn based management system
- character movement, animations, audio
- simple level design, height differences etc
- weapons, gunfire, armor, damage, cover
- line of sight, range of hearing, fog of war, stealth
- basic AI so the enemy shoots at you
- cutscenes, mission briefing, dialogue
I’d really like to get the game on consoles so I’ll build in gamepad support from the get-go, as well as see if I can get the prototype running on Xbox using the Xbox Live Creators Program.
I created a basic planning for myself, cutting everything up in 6 different milestones, where each milestone is aimed to be the end result of a single sprint of 2 to 3 weeks.
As I’m just doing it by myself and it’s a bit unclear how my available time will evolve of the next couple of months, I’m considering the content of the milestone much more relevant than the timing. Still, I hope to make enough time so I can have the prototype done by the end of August.
The first milestone: walking…
The first milestone is all about the basic mission, player turns and simple character movement. The player should be able to start the game, get a basic mission briefing, walk his soldiers up to the Kingpin, bring the Kingpin to the extraction zone and then get the mission success.
That’s it. That’s the minimum I’m going for.
No weapons, no shooting, nothing fancy at all… just a bit of end-to-end flow, where walking is about the only thing the characters can do 🙂 Still, I’ll be quite satisfied if I can cook that up over the next couple of weeks!