• Mike

Mobile Game Prototype: Challenges & Idea Development

Hello, hello and welcome to another update post for the mobile game prototype!


Continuing our quest in creating a fun mobile prototype, we received some feedback from our lecturer for our game idea, which seemed like it might not be able to hit all the marks in terms of what the project brief expects from us. My team and I continued to share ideas and discuss how we could best move forward, however it did unfortunately lead to some disagreements between our members.


 

The Challenge Of Differing Views


There were 2 views about how we should proceed, both of which I felt were perfectly valid arguments, but as things can be misinterpreted over messages I organized a team call for us so that we can speak our thoughts and clear the air. I listened to the cases each member made about what we should do and what they would like to achieve, which boil down to: submitting an artefact that meets the requirements but is less unique of an idea, or an artefact that has more uniqueness but might fail to hit all the requirements.


I could see both sides, but I knew we needed to make sure everyone was prepared to dig in their heels and work on something that they might not feel 100% about too, otherwise we would fall apart. The plan that I put forward was as follows:

  • We persevere with the current idea to get it more in-line with the assignment targets for one more week

  • If we can evolve the idea enough that it gets the green light from our lecturer, then we will keep working on it

  • If the idea still can't meet the requirements and doesn't get the green light, then we abandon the idea and move onto a different one

This way, we should be able to appeal to what everyone wants to do without making anyone feel like their voice has been ignored. We give the unique idea a chance to prove itself and allow time for adapting it to the requirements we need to meet, and if it fails then we can create a slight twist on an existing game formula that we know will be able to meet the requirements at the cost of developing an idea that uses already existing gameplay features.


 

Developing On The Maze Idea


So, with the air cleared and everyone feeling happy with our newly agreed plan, we got into the nitty gritty of trying to adapt the general concept to something that might get the go-ahead. We stripped away the game down to the bone to determine what ideas we liked & wanted to keep, of which we concluded with the following:

  • Keep the theme of navigating your way out of a maze

  • Having a limited number of moves

During our discussion on ways to polish this idea, I got some inspiration from old Pokémon games to change the aesthetics of being in a field of maize to being in an ice cave. This was well received by the team members, and so I created a quick mockup of how this might look on a phone which should also aid in conveying the idea much more clearly and concisely. If we get the all clear to pursue this new concept further from our lecturer, then I'll share these images in the next post!


 

InKUbator Talks & Mentors From The Field


Last week, I mentioned how we are receiving mentoring from a senior developer at King as well as a former QA tester from Rockstar. We get their input every couple of weeks, but we also now have restarted our inKUbator sessions too. These are the faculty's prime means of encouraging students to network by bringing in industry professionals and alumni to give talks about what they are doing, where they are working and what kinds of opportunities are being made available in the upcoming months.


This week, we had 2 alumni join us on Teams to discuss what they are doing and how their industry areas are changing due to the covid pandemic which offered interesting insights into the sort of work they are conducting, as well as some advice for us on marketing ourselves with our portfolios of work etc. Our mentors then supplemented some of this info with suggestions on how to conduct user research for our games, marketing techniques and designing levels on the mobile platform. Hopefully we can capture some of this in our current project to show our understanding of these different topic areas!


 

Closing Thoughts


So, pretty eventful week! A mix of new ideas, challenges, and pearls of wisdom to digest and work with in the upcoming months, and with Brighton Develop happening next week online there should be more to discover soon!


Until next time, stay safe & thanks for reading! :)

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