15-week Final major project.
Game Title: Zom Nom
Time Frame: 15 weeks, 2.5 days per week in house.
Constraints: Prototype must be presented to and approved by an industry panel before the game is allowed to continue into the Major production. 15 week production period once approved and must follow the production pipeline of Pre-Production, Alpha, Beta and Master/Gold.
Brief: Create a playable small scope game for the final major production of the Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development.
Concept: Zom Nom is a fast-paced, humorous, 2.5D side scrolling platformer with puzzle elements. Players take control of Barry, a brain munching zombie who must consume brains to keep moving forward.
Oversee and manage all aspect of the Game’s design and direction
GDD creation and iteration
Balancing Gameplay through continuous iteration
Liaise with other departments to ensure work flow and focus is maintained
Creation of testing plans and the execution of in-house testing
Creation and implementation of Mechanics
Schedule and run production meetings and scrums.
Manage documentation for the project including meeting minutes, task lists and schedule via Hack N Plan
Record voice lines for all NPCs
We successfully met our Alpha deadline. There were noted performance issues concerning lighting but we have addressed those and the game runs smoothly. Through testing and constant iteration player enjoyment continues to rise. We have now made it to the Beta stage with much more hard work ahead of us but the team remains committed.
With the addition of our character models and updated art the world feels more alive. We had to break up the level into 3 separate scenes, above ground, underground and the boss battle arena. This would ensure that level load times remained within acceptable parameters. Additionally we found that with the implementation of lighting changes and more complex (yet optimised models) some less modern/up to date machines had difficulty running our game. We had to set minimum system requirements to address this. With five and a half weeks to deliver our Beta, the team worked tirelessly to ensure that we met the deadline with a product that we could focus on polishing in Master.
With only a week to polish the game we dedicated our time and efforts to ensuring all bugs were squashed, performance remained steady and set dressing elements filled the world. Overall the game met the project requirements while maintaining the original vision and experience we aimed to create.
As 2nd and final year students the game we produced exceeded expectations. The project’s greatest strength came not from skill, though there was much shown, but from our ability to remain focused, motivated and dedicated to the success of the project. However the project wasn’t without its challenges;
The performance issues between machines cost us a large amount of time to ascertain that our game had certain system requirements that some testers weren’t meeting.
Volumetric fog created double the amount of polygons in the camera view space. This was caught almost immediately after implementation and was addressed
Baking lights took upwards of 3 hours per scene during early Beta. We made the decision to switch to real time lighting and noted no visible difference.
We overcame these issues and many minor ones efficiently to ensure that they did not adversely affect the rest of the project.
Even though the assignment is complete we plan to continue building on this game, implementing systems that didn’t make it in to the initial master, adding controller support and much more. The aim is to release this onto a web platform.
Zom Nom received the AIE Head of School Award for the Most Impressive Advanced Diploma Game Project (2018)
Producer/Lead Designer/Sounds/Voice Over NPCs: Jess Sealey
Designer/Sound: James Fleming
Lead Programmer: Ashley Flynn http://ajflynn.io/
Programmer: Zackary Direen
Lead Artist: Jamie Jenssen http://jamiejenssen.com/
Artists: Ned Keys and Daniel Jones
Barry Voice Over: Rik Lagarto
Additional Sounds: Kaleb Macdonald, Sam ‘Yeeto’ James and Jim Henshaw