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07/02/2017 – Dodge Academy Update #1

Over the past year I have been working on a game with a small team of friends. Now known as FrigidFire!
The experience has been very interesting and a big learning curve. It is our first proper game that we have spent more than a few days on, which has made it quite the challenge over a longer period of time.
This post will briefly explain the long journey and the past 11 months to get to where we are now.

Dodge Academy is an online multiplayer first-person dodge-ball game.
We started the project with a very brief idea of the game and how it should play out.
The prototype that we created over in less than a week was fun and showed the core gameplay really well.
After some small tests within the group we enjoyed it and had fun so continued the idea further.

Link to Steam Greenlight page

 

01/04/2016 – Testing one of the initial builds

 

After that stage, we pushed further to add all the additional features and mechanics that real-life dodge-ball has; as well as myself continuing on the art-side creating a nicer map to play on.

03/04/2016 – Map progress a few days later

 

Then after refining the prototype map a little further and fixing any issues (e.g. glass material and window mesh), it was now time to start on some new characters!

02/06/2016 – Final prototype map

 

Characters

We started off re-purposing a character that was made not too long before we started. Which meant the only thing that had to be made was his clothing.

 

Once he was in-game and the map was completed.
I started on new characters to be put into the game, starting with the female.

Clothing Set #1 Highpoly Sculpt

 

Clothing Set #2 Highpoly Sculpt

 

She was then retopo’d to be put into the game; However since we wanted to have facial customization in the game, we setup blend shapes before rigging was started.

ZBrush Layers – Creating Blend Shapes

 

Initial Character Customization In-game (WIP)

 

Clothing Customization In-game (WIP)

 

Team Colour Customization In-game (WIP)

 

Now the female is almost complete and animations are in-progress, so I have started on the male character!

Male Clothing Set #1 – Highpoly Sculpt (WIP)

 

So here we are 11 months later. Time has flown by and throughout the 11 months, we have been working on it on and off. Since we are now Greenlit on Steam, we are really trying to push the game to be ready for release.

 

A few key points that I would like to note so far:

Organization  –
Research and see what organizing platform would work best for you and your team.
We have switch between Trello, Hansoft and now to Hack’n’Plan which we are settling on.
If this was all set-up earlier a lot of time would be saved.

Due Dates –
Previously mentioned organizing platforms are good but not used to their full potential unless due dates are set.
Not having due dates causes you to feel like you have more time to do things.
It can cause one simple task to go on and on forever; however if there is a set due date, it will likely be done on-time if you are working as a team.

Milestones –
Milestones puts the entire game into perspective, without them it seems like there is way too much work to be done.
We setup milestones recently and I personally feel like its a closer goal to work towards and achieve.
Seeing the game in its entirety before you can be overwhelming and demotivating due to the shear amount of work.

Finished not perfect –
It’s good to remind ourselves that this is our first game.
The goal is to get it completed to a state where it’s fun and playable; but if you spend too long on a specific thing then it will never get completed.
I personally want to re-do the entire female model because I’m not overly happy with how she turned out compared to the male.
However if I did that, we wouldn’t get the game released until next year!

I think that nicely sums it up for now. We are working hard and getting it done!

Will post again soon after his our next milestone!

 

See below for additional screenshots and what not.

 

 

Over exaggerated Blend shapes

 

Over exaggerated Blend shapes

 

Randomized Blend Shapes and Skin Colour

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