On a scale of “I got this” to “I’ll just stare blankly at the screen and hope no one notices,” my overall knowledge of game design sits right around “Oh shit, what do I do next.” Most of what I do know comes more from theory rather than practice. This is obviously a problem for someone who wants to go in to game design, so I’ve decided that it’s best for me to just jump in the deep end of the pool and see what happens. Worst case scenario: I drown, but at least I can say that I tried and that I learned a few things along the way. I plan on having all future posts cover in some form or another all the things I am learning along the way in addition to updates on the status of the game. As time goes on I’ll reveal more and more about the game, but for this first post I’ll cover my goals/hopes for the game and a little bit of detail into the game of itself.
What’s in a name
The name I’ve given to this game is “Lost in the Labyrinth.” In “Lost,” you play a character placed in a dungeon labyrinth trying to escape. I chose the name more for the symbolism behind it than the overall creativity of it. Since I’m going into this project damn near blind I myself am going to be lost in the labyrinth that is creating a game from the ground up. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a way out.
Timing is everything
Seeing as I’m not trying to make money off of this project, I have no real time crunches to adhere to other than what I set for myself. That being said, I do have a date in mind for the game to be finished by. For the last several years my department (Interactive Media) at Bradley University has been holding a media festival (iBradley) at the end of the year. They recently added a category dedicated solely to interactive works. My goal is to have “Lost in the Labyrinth” completed in time for submission to iBradley. As it sits iBradley is roughly 8 months away. Eight months seems like a long ways away, but for someone starting a major project with next to no knowledge, eight months will fly by.
I’m going to be treating this project as if it were an indie project and I’d be trying to make money off of it. I’ll have a bit of a cheat because I’ll be able to use some of the equipment available at my department at school. For the sake of this experiment I’ll treat the use of an school equipment as rentals rather than purchases because my school uses higher end equipment that would be very expensive (relative to someone with little/no budget). To keep down on my (theoretical) expenses I’ll be primarily using freeware. For building the characters/gameworld I’ll be using Blender and the free version of Unity. For audio I’ll be using Audacity and possibly Fmod if I decide to get ambitious.
The biggest goal I have right now is to get the game finished and in a polished state in time for iBradley. I also plan on posting something game related each time I’m due for an AltDev post. Most of all, I want a piece o work that I can point to and be proud of and say, “I did this.”