Dev Diary - Project 3: The Initial Pitch

As mentioned in the previous dev diary, I said that we were going with the metroidvania/stealth game. Well as team we blatantly saw that it far too over scoped. The entire map would need to be planned out before we start creating levels, and the design behind these sort of games is very hard. So we went for our original idea of a top down, Thief like stealth game.

Just as a quick note. I'm writing this dev diary after Wednesday, which there will 2 more of these from that day. Things did change quite a bit, so keep that in mind.

When brainstorming the game, we came up with many ideas for cool things. Like hiding in cupboards to avoid guards, smoke bombs, fire crackers, the whole lot. Now we knew obviously that this stuff wouldn't be included in the pitch. So we stripped down the game to its "core" mechanics and started out a script from there.

It took forever to figure out a game name, with us finally coming to a decision of "Rob Em Blind" after a long time and a large list of other ideas. The team name took even longer to figure out. We wanted it to reflect both us as a team, as well as the game. Before class, we were going over a lot of potential names. It wasn't until we began the other team's pitches, that we quickly chose "Team Sneaky". Not really the most unique or thought out name, but it was what we had to go with.

From there, our pitch went over how it was set in the Victorian era and how you as a thief, played the game. Vision cones, sound waves and the objective of the game were explained and we were pretty confident that the audience could picture it in their head.

After the pitch was presented, it was feedback time. Overall, people liked the Victorian setting and thief theme. There was some criticism though and confusion among the audience. The main points were:

  • The scope is too big.
  • Levels take too long to complete.
  • It should be turn based.

We agreed with most of the points presented, except for the fact that it should be turn based. In our minds, this was a game about pre-planning and execution. You observe guard movements and then move in, dodging the vision cones and timing your moves. That was the sort of experience we were going for. Tense and risk vs reward situations.

After all the pitches were done, we were talked to as a class. In some way or another, every one of the pitched games was a dungeon crawler. This wasn't really a bad thing, just something that the lecturers wanted to steer us away from. Then, we had to strip down our games to its core mechanic. Ours was "traversal". Moving around. Not that fun or engaging on a touch device. We as a team, saw this as a problem. So we created a new game.