Over the course of this semester, I’ve acted as Lead Designer on The Firing Squad, a team of 4 individuals determined to create an exhilarating new game for our Senior Capstone project. As our final sprint comes to a close, we are preparing to show you a vertical slice for our on-the-fly weapon building arena fps, re[Mod].
If you’ve been following our pre-production process on my blog or any of my fellow team members’ pages, then you are most likely familiar with our game. However, if this is your first time hearing about re[Mod] then let me show you what it’s all about…
Our project started with 1 mechanic in mind: weapon building. We wanted to create a game where the player could find different weapon parts throughout the world to modify their gun; therefore, giving players the opportunity to completely overhaul their weapon with a wild number of possible part combinations.
Originally, we were looking to explore a single-player game where players would fight against AI and collect the parts their enemies dropped after destroying them. To figure out if this was the route we wanted to take, we put together 3 divergent prototypes using this mechanic. One prototype was a single player game, against AI, and the other was a split-screen competitive multiplayer game (the third prototype is irrelevant at this point). It was a difficult decision to make, but ultimately we decided to move forward with the multiplayer game because we all had more fun playing against each other than against non-player enemies. This was how re[Mod] began to take shape.
As the designer on this team, my responsibilities have mostly consisted of blocking out our arena, balancing all of our different weapon parts to make every combination feel satisfying, designing the various way for players to find and recognize weapon parts, developing our game’s visual vocabulary, and testing different methods for increasing player versus player interactions.
I’ve also been acting as our team’s audio designer so I’ve spent a lot of time creating original sound effects for the player and the different weapons, as well as editing the announcer voice lines and creating an ambient noise for the arena. We’ve been using FMOD as out audio engine which has really helped make developing these sound effects and making them feel satisfying in the game a lot more efficient.
Now that we’re at week 11, we have a fully networked multiplayer demo that showcases all of our core game systems, our intended artistic direction, a full game-loop, and original audio. Seeing this game and all of the work we’ve put into it pay off is really rewarding, but that doesn’t mean we’re anywhere close to being finished. After all, this is just a vertical slice. If our team is allowed to move forward into production next semester, our goals are to create a more defined game mode (or modes), enhance all of our UI and player feedback so players who commonly play FPS games will be satisfied with their play experience, and create a lot of new weapon parts so players can continue to build entirely new weapons.
Whether or not we end up moving forward to next semester, working on re[Mod] has been an incredible experience. I’m really proud of what we’ve put together in just 1 semester; but if we could keep working on it for another semester, that would be incredible. Until next time!