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Mind the Trap

Procedural Generation, Part 1: Looking Good So Far


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Mind the Traps is designed to be a fun-filled party game that you play with your friends for a few rounds, kinda like Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. For those reasons, it needs to be action-packed, short and replayable. Originally, we had a few options, such as creating a large amount of levels and adding character classes, but given that this would be our first commercial game we decided to go with a more risk averse approach—procedural generation.

So far, it’s turning out pretty good for the basic floor plan.

proceduralgeneration

If you had a chance to play the prototype, you’ve probably noticed that the game is broken down into pathways and mini-game rooms. We’ve continued with that method of level design and created a blueprint that procedurally generates pathways and rooms at the beginning before the game starts. It follows the simple logic of: for every 2 pathways (white colored blocks), a mini-game room (black block) is created. The final room (red block) is a boss room. 

All of this is kept uniform by following a simple set of rules:

  1. All rooms and pathways follow a simple grid system, where every 1000 by 1000 UE4 units are considered one “unit” in our grid.
  2. All rooms and pathways origin position are the centerpoint of the first 1 by 1 unit. So that if we have a room that is size 3 by 3, the centerpoint is at 1 by 1, the bottom-left-most corner of the square. This is so that calculating the entrance and exit positions of each room and path is uniform and easy.
  3. Every path and room is entered from the south, meaning the players only enter each room and path from the bottom of the room/pathway.
  4. Every path and room is exited from the north, meaning the players only exit each room and path from the top of the room/pathway.

Each previously created pathway and mini-game room is randomly chosen from preset arrays. Having arrays gives us the flexibility of adding more pathways and rooms in the future. (more…)

Mind the Trap, Tips & Tricks

How to Make a Game in One Week | Epic MegaJam Learnings


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Building a playable and presentable game in one week is no joke. In October we attended Epic Game’s biggest game jam to date, the Epic MegaJam. We would like to share our experience on how we accomplished it through scheduling, prioritizing features, coming up with the minimum viable product, and incremental playtesting. You’ll find that it applies to all forms of game development and not just to game jams. To see where it took us, here’s a gameplay trailer of our submission, Mind the Traps.

In the end you’ll find the download links for the winners of the MegaJam. I highly recommend playing their games for your learning.

Half of our team had school or a day job, so scheduling was key to get us started and to ensure we would finish the game on time. We listed out the phases of development, assigned what needs to be accomplished in each phase, and allocated the number of hours to be spent in each phase.

1. Choose an awards category (30 minutes)

Choosing an award to aim for helped create the framework for our game’s design. We wanted to make a game that we would enjoy making and potentially sell, so given our quirky personalities and love for multiplayer party games it made the most sense that we target the Addiction (most fun) award. (more…)

Mind the Trap

Play “Mind the Traps” Now!


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We’re happy to announce that our game jam submission, Mind the Traps, is now available to play for free! Download the game here.

Mind the Traps is a multiplayer dungeon crawler, but unlike games of this sort it’s a light-hearted and chaotic party game. Use your friends as a tool to clear the path so that you can get ahead. Oh, and by the way, there can only be one winner…

Since we received a lot of positive feedback so far, we’re committing to finishing this game and would really appreciate your thoughts. Any criticism you guys have will make this game better and better.

The current version is a prototype that came out of the Epic MegaJam last week. It is designed for two to four players in local multiplayer on a PC using gamepad controllers. This game is playable single player, but is highly discouraged.

Have fun!

Don't Breathe

May Update: Game Jam!


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Hey guys, sorry for the lack of posts. We’ve been kinda busy with other things, and we’ve put Ruin on delay till about September to focus on some events we got going on now. Chris here, just wanted to mention that I’ve been working on a month long Game Jam with two of my friends, and I wanted to show off some of the mechanics I’ve made for the game. The theme of the Game Jam was “I can’t breathe,” so we’re going with a kind of reality bending, creepy, psychotic journey of a mad man through a haunted mansion. The basic mechanic is weird stuff happens, and you “hold your breath” to make it all go normal, and you essentially use the world swapping mechanic to solve puzzles in this odd mansion. Lemme know what you guys think of the two gifs attached!

Edit: okay… I’m still new to blogging, and the gifs don’t seem to be working. Here’s an imugr link instead.  http://imgur.com/a/NTdQI

RUIN

Unreal Engine 4 is free. What.


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Yes, you know what that means: we’re movin’ over!

I know it sounds a little crazy but we’re fortunate that we’re so early in development that we can afford to discard some of our work. UE4 has capabilities we need that Unity doesn’t have, so this will be a worthwhile move in the long run.