Week 4

Idea: Every so often, I'll go on a flight simulator kick and try to learn (or re-learn) how to fly planes. DCS A-10, with it's fully clickable and functional cockpit, is a beast to figure out at first, but there's satisfaction in learning and becoming competent with complex systems. I wanted to see if I could create something that would evoke those same feelings. This idea has stuck with me ever since I worked with some friends on  a game inspired by Artemis. Role playing as a space ship's engineering officer and having ship systems modeled with high complexity is something I would love to be able to create and play with one day.

I realized pretty early on that this is a pretty big task. There are two games here: managing the subsystems that fit into the larger game, and managing the input for one of those subsystems. I decided that I would try to get the physical controls feeling "right" mainly because I didn't have a good idea for the larger game that could be completed within a week. 

What went right: Lot's of juice and polish. I was able to integrate feedback from friends and co-workers throughout the week, and I came up with a decent system for adding in new effects for each stage of the machine. 

What went wrong: Same story as previous weeks: too light on gameplay. I ended up with a poor version of Mastermind. The decision to have the order of the buttons randomize themselves at startup for each game for replayability's sake makes it difficult to give the player a feeling of mastery over a system. Instead, you wind up with players randomly pushing buttons and hoping to get some sort of feedback. I think I also got hung up on modeling systems too much and forgot about how those systems should interact with the larger game.

This week and last week could probably be parts to the same game, so I should probably try to break out of that pattern for the next few weeks.

What I learned: Lots of technical learning this week, especially for sound, particle systems, and lighting/rendering.