Sunday, December 15, 2013

The final version

Hey guys!
So, the final week is here and i'm ready to present to you my final version of GeoStoric Challenge. 

It has been interesting working with game development and the different environments. Of all the environments we've been working with, I found one of them better for the kind of game that I wanted GeoStoric Challenge to be like. Stencyl made me able to create a simple 2D game with great graphics and gameplay.
Here's the video of me going through the development stage from the beginning to the end and presenting to you the final version of GeoStoric Challenge.

Link to the game:

 Thank you guys for watching and reading!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Unity Prototype (Prototype 4)

So, for this week we're supposed to create a prototype of our game in Unity3D. I've spend a LOT of time trying to get started with my game. Starting all over on the game was hard for me and especially creating a functional 2D game in Unity, a platform that takes months to really get into, made me spend many ours without getting anywhere. 
Since the kind of game GeoStoric Challenge was in Stencyl could not be converted directly to the same kind of game in Unity, I came up with a new graphical design.
Instead of having a flat 2D map screen i created a Sphere game object in Unity that contained the image of the map. 
For the player controlled UFO i created a Capsule game object and made it look a bit like a UFO. 

So my first idea was to let the main camera follow the top of the UFO and make the UFO able to be controlled all the way around the globe and at different 'altitude levels'. 
But since this required a lot of code that I had no clue on how to write, I researched moving around a sphere. I found a solution by letting the main camera sit above the UFO and instead of moving the UFO the Sphere (world) would just rotate to give the effect of a moving UFO. Again this was too hard to do since I just couldn't find out how to rotate the sphere on the button-down events. 
Unfortunately the overwhelming amount of work I had to put into a game I had already created got the best of me and i simply decided that Unity is not the platform i want to develop this game in. I published what i made, but no controls are available, but just for you to see the concept i was talking about. 

Here's a screenshot:

And here's the link:

And there's no reason for me to record a video of me playing it. Sorry.

Friday, November 15, 2013

GSC in Multiplayer Mode

Multiplayer mode is a feature i'd love to improve GeoStoric Challenge with. 
The single player mode is in itself a kind of multiplayer because every score is saved in the high scores, which means that everyone's actually playing against everyone. But i've been thinking about a multiplayer part of the game that has its own high score. In this mode, up to 2 players can play at the same time against everyone else or against another 1 or 2 players. 
This means that the game will get 1v1 and 2v2 modes. 
When two players are playing together, one of the players control the UFO while the other player answers the questions. 
Instead of having 5 random locations to guess like the normal 'singleplayer' version, this version of the game has a countdown - from, for example, 5 minutes. The team then has to score as many points as possible within the 5 minutes in the same locate-and-answer-level.
Teams can choose to challenge other teams in 5 minute duels where the objective is the same as described above, but the teams are then compared to each other after the 'match'. All scores are saved in the high scores for this game version. 

The multiplayer mode will not be the good old split-screen style which means that the teams wont be able to see each other while playing, but all scores and stats will be compared and shown to both teams after each match. 

This is a first idea of a multiplayer version of the game. I'd love to hear from you guys what you think about it or if you have great ideas for it.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Third Prototype...

I was looking very much forward to releasing my third prototype of GeoStoric Challenge, but fortune was not on my side this week. 
As i was implementing the Kongregate API to make the game more competitive by having highscores, Stencyl somehow deleted a whole event class within the most important scene of my game.
I spend hours trying to restore the game as it was before, but without luck. 
What was supposed to be implemented this week was a whole new level and the highscores.
There's not much to say about the highscore system as Kongregate has a brilliant API for it. 
The new level was something i really thought would improve the game. Taking Eric Gagnon's suggestions about marking the countries of the world into consideration i decided not to implement it to the current 'guess the location' level. Instead i wanted to create a whole new level where the player had to guess which country was shown on a figure. I still have plans of doing this, when i recreate the game, but for now i'll be focusing on restoring the game.
I've decided to give Unity a try and since starting all over in Stencyl would take almost the same time, this is a perfect chance for me to move to the Unity platform.
Unfortunately I will be going away for the rest of the week which means i wont have a prototype ready, but I'll be happy to share it with you guys next week! 

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Game Minute

The following will be an example of a minute's gameplay of GeoStoric Challenge

"Upon accepting the traveller's wish to get to Buenos Aires, the player has no more than 30 seconds to land the UFO as close to Buenos Aires as possible. Moving the UFO around on the world map towards Latin America and finally landing it 395 kilometers from Buenos Aires, after 15 seconds, gives the player 76 points. Immediately following this, the traveller asks the player which Latin American country that Buenos Aires is the capital of. With Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Venezuela as possible answers the player thinks about it for 10 seconds. Being unsure of whether the correct answer is Brazil or Argentina makes the player spend more time on thinking it through. Hearing the ticking clock in the background makes the player go with the first intuition: to land the UFO on Argentina. Argentina being the correct answer makes the traveller happy and he rewards the player with the extra fact that people from Buenos Aires are actually called 'PorteƱos' which means 'people of the port'. In addition to this extra fact, the player is also rewarded with 25 points for guessing the right answer and a time bonus of 5 because it took him 25 seconds to guess the answer. This gives the player a total score of 106. Accepting this, the player is asked to take the traveller to a new destination: New Delhi..."

Sunday, October 27, 2013

"GeoStoric Challenge" Prototype 2

Last week i received a whole lot of great feedback from you guys playing the first prototype of "GeoStoric Challenge". This week i'm releasing Prototype 2 - A huge makeover to the previous prototype. 
I've taken the things you said while playing the game into concern and i have done my best to accommodate your suggestions without changing my original plans for the game.
So... Here are the updates:

  • There is now a story behind the quiz game; you'll be helping out a traveller who happens to travel the world in a UFO, but doesn't know the locations of the cities he wants to go to. 


  • With the new storyline i had to redo the graphics to give the player the feeling that he/she is helping the traveller. I've done this by putting an image of the traveller into most of the scenes. 
  • A lot of new information is shown on the screen. 

  • The biggest update to the gameplay is that the game is no longer controlled by the mouse. I noticed many of you had difficulties finding the locations so i've made it easier by letting the player control the UFO with the Arrow keys and letting it land anywhere on the map (instead of only on the location in Prototype 1). 
  • The Space button is now both used to land the UFO, but also to switch scenes. 
  • Again, with a new storyline and a gameplay change i felt it was required to make sure the player knows what to do and how.  
  • There will now be a welcoming scene to introduce the player to the story and another screen making it clear to the player what has to be done and how to do it. (Controls).
  • Most of you guys wanted to know the correct answer after guessing wrong - this has been implemented for a nice result - Thanks guys! 
  • An extra information about each specific location is now shown (As a reward from the traveller to the player for guessing the right question). I think this is a really nice feature. 
  • Sound and Music have been implemented throughout the game. Every action made by the user has some sort of sound bound to it to make the game more interesting. 

I believe that's it for Prototype 2.
My plan is to add more levels soon!

Below is a video of me playing and explaining the new prototype.

Here's the link to the game 
I'd suggest you to resize the screen to 800x600 pixels for the best graphical result.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"GeoStoric Challenge" Prototype

Download link at the bottom of this post.

During the past week I've been spending quite some time on creating a prototype of my game idea "GeoStoric Challenge". It was hard for me to pick a game engine to develop the game in because none of them are really good engines for creating the kind of game I wanted to create. 
But I still came up with quite a nice result using Stencyl
With Stencyl, I was able to create all the different scenes I wanted as well as making the player interact with the map in my game in a cool way.
The downside when using Stencyl was that it took quite a lot of time for me to learn how to work with the program. Being a software developer used to develop in pure code, it was hard for me to get used to the small sandbox engine that Stencyl is. Dragging and dropping elements instead of coding just took way to much time compared to what i'd have spend on creating the same prototype in code. 
But it was still nice to get to learn the engine and creating a small game like this has been really awesome!
I wanted to create the part of the game that means the most: the part where the user has to spot a location on the map and answer a question regarding that specific location. 
So I created a scene that wants the user to find a random location from a (hardcoded) list and made it interactive by adding an actor that the user could move around on the screen. 
By using the mouse to click around on the screen, the actor will go to where the mouse clicks. This means that if the actor goes over the right location on the way, it will actually count as if you've found the right location. 
Screenshot of the Map Scene where the player has to find a location.
I'm thinking of letting this actor be controlled by the arrow buttons on the keyboard instead of mouse-clicks - this will make it harder to find the locations by coincidence.  
When the user finds the right location he is shown how fast it was done and the amount of points achieved. Then when clicking again a question scene is shown with a question regarding the location just found. If the user failed to find the location, there will be no question for this location. 
The answers are hardcoded in a list, but the order of them is completely random which makes the correct answer switch places.
Again using the mouse by clicking on either of the 4 possibilities will trigger the event where the user will be taken to the next scene.  
Screenshot of the Question Scene where the player is answering a question.
Guessing the right answer takes the user to another score scene where the total score is shown.
Then back to the map scene to find another random location. This continues untill the user has been through all locations in the (hardcoded) list. When the user has guessed the last question of the last location right or wrong, the level will end and the total score is shown. This is where my prototype ends.
In the real game there would be more levels.

I think this prototype shows great deal of what the final game will be like.

In the video below you will see me playing the prototype.
***Spoiler alert***

Here's the link to play the game:

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Revised Game Focus

"GeoStoric Challenge" is a geography and history knowledge, challenging, quiz game. The player will experience several levels of geography and history based questions, to complete. While the game's numerous levels take the player through questions that not everyone will be able to answer, photos to locate and history to remember, the game has a more socializing part where players can challenge other players and compare their scores to everyone else. Being a single-player as well as a multiplayer game, the player will find challenge in both playing the quiz alone and when playing it with other people. Interaction between player and game happens via mouse-clicking, whether it's to answer a question with multiple choices or if it's to point out a location on the map. Multiplayer or not, the player's main challenge is to answer the questions of the quiz as fast as possible and therefore, "GeoStoric Challenge" will have a traditional, serious quiz-like tone mixed with adventurous music and scenes throughout.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

"GeoStoric Challenge" - Game Focus.

I've decided to go with my second game concept idea. 

"GeoStoric Challenge" is a geography and history knowledge, challenging, quiz game. The player will experience several levels of geography and history based questions, to complete. While the game's numerous levels take the player through questions that not everyone will be able to answer, photos to locate and history to remember, the game has a more socializing part where players can challenge other players and compare their scores to everyone else. Being a single-player as well as a multiplayer game, the player will find challenge in both playing the quiz alone and when playing it with other people. Multiplayer or not, the player's main challenge is to answer the questions of the quiz as fast as possible and therefore "GeoStoric Challenge" will have a traditional, serious quiz-like tone mixed with adventurous music and scenes throughout.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Game idea #3

Aquarium Tycoon

My third idea comes from my personal hobby: Aquariums. This game will be sort of like the good old tycoon games where the player is in control of the whole map in the game. Examples are Rollercoaster Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon, Sim City and so on.

The Story

The storyline of this game concerns a newbie hobby aquarium enthusiast. It's up to the player to decide what he wants to achieve in the hobby. He could think big and go for the aquarium empire, opening a public aquarium for everyone to watch or he could just keep it small in a little aquarium of his own. The player is free to develop his aquarium as he wishes to. But an aquarium can only be upgraded if enough experience has been achieved.

The Gameplay

The player will start out with a medium sized aquarium. He gets to choose what kind of aquarium (fresh (easy mode) / salt (hard mode)) it should be and decides which livestock and the 'aquascape' to have in it. While the aquarium is running he has to check if the water conditions are right (PH values for freshwater and a long range of values for saltwater), while remembering to feed the fish and corals (if saltwater). Eventually problems may occur in the aquariums and he has to solve these problems.
Buying livestock and new aquariums comes with experience in the hobby. As the aquarium probably gets bigger, more rare livestock can be added and healthy aquariums gain both prestige and experience in the hobby which can be spend on new cool stuff. It is important that the game is as close to real life aquariums as possible - This is the real challenge of the game.
'Fish Tycoon' with poor graphics

The Technology

Since everything concerns aquariums, the graphics of the game plays a vital role in the user-experience. Therefore the graphics has to be impressive. This is doable in HTML5 which has shown impressive graphics before. While searching for games like this i found that there is actually several small games with somewhat the same concept, but the graphics suck and makes the games unattractive. To the right you can see an example of 'Fish Tycoon' which has very poor graphics (build up on images) and the gameplay itself is not at all like the one i wanted to develop.

Game Idea #2

With inspiration from already existing games where you have to use your knowledge of geography and history, this idea consists of a mobile app that tests and improves the users' skills in especially geography and history while letting them interact and get social with each other. I am not sure of what to call this game yet, as there are many challenging games of the same sort out there.

The Story

The game has no real story to follow. This means that the game doesn't have a starting point or an ending point. Instead it consists of a large amount of tasks for the user to solve and while solving the tasks the users get more and more points. The points are used to show how good or how active a user is in the game and lets all users compare their scores to each other.

The Gameplay

The gameplay itself is not very complicated. The user creates an account (Or logs in via Facebook) and is able to play the game. The game consists of tasks for the user to solve. First the user is asked to go to a specific location as shown on a picture. This could for instance be Mt. 'Fuji' in Japan. The user then has to navigate, on a map, to the location where he or she thinks the picture has been taken. Depending on how close the user is to the right location, points are given.
No matter if the user is close or far away from the right location, he/she will be shown where in the world it is and will be prompted with up to 5 questions about the specific location. The harder the questions are the more points are rewarded. If a player has trouble answering a question, hints can be given for a points cost OR in-game friends may be contacted, also for a smaller points cost.
The user can exit the game at any time and the points score will be saved.


This game does not require special technology for graphics or anything. In fact it could be made easily within Objective C for a nice Iphone application. The game could also be made in javascript or HTML5 as we are supposed to work with in the course.

Game Idea #1

When i signed up for the class game programming, i did not do it because i had an idea of a game i wanted to develop, but because i wanted to experience game development in case i got an idea in the future.
But anyway, i have tried to come up with an idea of a game and since we're on Hawai'i i have been very inspired by this place and its locals. A possible title for the game could be:

"Hang Loose"

I have always thought that RPG's or games where you follow the same character throughout the story and watch it develop are awesome. With this in mind i wanted to create a game where the player had to customize his/her own character in the beginning of the game. After customizing the character, the player is bound to this character for the rest of the game, unless he decides to delete it.

The Story

The storyline of the game is about a young local Hawaiian (The character) who has just been given his first Surfboard for his/her birthday. The character dreams of becoming a true Surfboard Legend by competing in the world championships at the legendary 'Pipeline' on Oahu's famous North Shore. 
But as the character has never surfed real waves before, he has to train his surfing skill and the different styles, learn important tips from the pros, make friends in the environment, customize new and better surfboards and most importantly he has to win surfing competitions for cash prizes to make it all happen. 

The Gameplay

There will be different types of gameplay in this game. When walking around in the towns and interacting with NPC's the gameplay will be like most other RPG's where you freely control the character walking around and interacting. What could be really nice would be to have the gameplay be like in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, where every single action and interaction made by the player has consequences for the story. 
The customization of surfboards and the character brings up windows where the player can customize what can be customized. 
When training and competing in the water there is a whole other gameplay where the player has to learn how to ride the waves and avoid rocks, wave-breaks and more, while surfing as smooth as possible.

The Technology

As the game story takes place in Hawaii, the full game experience will be very poor if the graphics suck, so the demands on graphics for this game is high. Using somewhat the same technology as Bethesda did for developing Skyrim is impossible because they created their own engine, but that's what i'll have to do then! 
 Each mini-game within the game (A surfing competition for instance) does not run the RPG gameplay thing and the technology is therefore a bit different, but still with high demands on graphics. This could most likely be made in HTML5 for a quite nice result. I just don't know how to do it yet :)