Old college Developer Blog: Galactic Gunpowder Golf. Part 1 of 2 - dated December 2014

I have been super busy lately. Of course I am still working on Run or Die, but in addition to that I have been working on our final project for school. I’ve been wanting to write a devblog about our project for some time now, so let’s do it! Here’s what I’ve been doing for the past month and a half. 

Week  0: Every student in our class is asked to create a high concept pitch of a new game idea that we could possibly create in the last four months of school. I procrastinate and come up with something in the last 3 hours before the submission is due. My pitch is G3: Galactic Gunpowder Golf, a first person game about playing golf by shooting giant golf balls out of cannons in space! Lots of very interesting unique mechanics in the original pitch, not just a standard golf game with a space theme.

Everyone submitted their game pitches and the teachers would gather together and look at every singe one. Out of the 30-ish people in that months class who submitted pitches, only 8 of them where deemed acceptable game pitches. Mine was one of them. 

Here is my original unedited pitch. Errors and all. On a side note, the teachers told me that this was the best tagline of any game pitch they have ever received in their years teaching at the school.

Galactic Gunpowder Golf We had to ditch the multiplayer aspects of the game due to time constraints.

Week 1: Every student is assigned to a team of 5 or 6 people, our team has 5. Right off the bat we have a problem, one of our teammates is having PC problems and has to drop out that month. So we’re down one member immediately. But it’s not the worst thing in the world. 

Now we have to decide two things. 1. Who will be the team leader? 2. What game pitch will be decide to work on? We are allowed to choose any of the 8 selected game pitches to work on. Each team cannot select the same pitch and it’s first come first serve, with the exception being if you are the one who created the pitch, you can veto another team from making it as long as your team works on it. We decide that I will be the team leader and that we are going to work on my Pitch G3.

Weeks 2 - 4: We finally get to work. We need a fully playable game by the end of the month. Not feature complete, not art complete, not level complete. We jut need one playable level and our basic mechanics working, a prototype/proof of concept. We are told to use Unreal Engine 3. Yes 3. We found out much later that we could have used UE4 (which we would have rather done), but the wording the teachers used made it sound as though we had to use UE3. Turns out every other team thought the same. Oh well. We get jammin’ and pumped out a fun little map.

Weeks 5 - 7: Now that we’ve got our proof of concept, we are tasked to create our GDD. Why wait five weeks before we make our design doc? Because we needed to make sure that our game was worth our time. If we spent the first month making our proof of concept and it turned out to be garbage, then we’d have to come up with a new game to make. So if we spent time making a GDD for a game that we ultimately don’t work on, then we just wasted a bunch of our time for nothing.

I created our GDD in week 5, then made some revisions in week 7. You can check out our GDD as of Week 7 right here.

At this point we have our core mechanics finished. We have our shooting mechanics (seemingly) finished. We have the basic movement and world rules implemented. We’ve got multiple maps working, menus working, score tracking working, interactive objects working. Really, the only core thing we don’t have finished is an end-of-level score screen and a tutorial, and we should have that done soon-ish too. After that is done we can get into the nitty-gritty level designing for each map and then we’ll focus on sound and art afterword.

It’s not much to look at right now, but it’s coming along really well. The floating space islands motif is going to look really great once it’s finished.


The future of the G3 development blog: This initial blog was very bare bones, I just did a basic overview of what happened each week without getting into the nitty-gritty of what happened, what decisions we had to make, or what problems we ran into. I will write the second half sometimes around January or February after graduation. There I will talk about all of the changes I’m sure we will have made by then.  

Stay tuned for more updates on G3!

Ben Montoya