Dare to be Digital 2010 team Shark on a bike talks exclusively to Develop about working on their entry title Dyed World.

Dare Blogs – Shark on a bike

We are Shark on a Bike and this blog post will give you all the essential information in regards to our team, our game and current development progress.

Shark on a Bike was formed by University of Abertay students and graduates who undertook game related courses. The team is structured in a way to cover all the essential game development aspects, which are; programming (Ian Fergus and Andrew Glass), art (Alan Morris, and Colin Hamilton) and Production /Design (Maciej Czekala).

Our game idea emerged from the concept of giving life instead of taking it. The player’s mission is to paint the environment, which will transform from black, white and lifeless into a fully coloured and vibrant world. Hue (the main character) is a young Wizard apprentice who has to face the challenge of restoring life in all the surrounding lands before the evil lord Cinereous will complete his work by stealing all the colour and turn everything and everyone into lifeless background objects. Hue has to paint the environment, solve puzzles and fight with enemies to gain more paint and complete his task. Visually driven game-play combined with balanced challenges should make this game enjoyable to a wide audience.

We are trying to develop Dyed World with professional game development methods and practices which we’ve learned from our academic courses. We have prepared solid ground work for our game during the preproduction phase where we brainstormed and agreed to the vast majority of the game features. Based on that information the prototype was developed to properly test the playability of our future game. The working prototype allowed us to finalize our game design by playing the game and analyzing what’s good and what should be changed or taken away. The next step was to set the final art style and prepare the project plan. With all the information we were able to properly discuss what we need in our game and plan our work accurately. Our written risk assessment document gives us a good overview on what we can do in situations when things are going wrong and how to adapt, especially as time is of the essence in Dare. Preproduction gave us the great advantage of revealing many problems and possible misunderstandings before the main development started.

Our development technique was closely related to our initial prototyping technique. Even though the prototype was made in Scirra Construct (game creator) and none of its code or art assets could be reused, it allowed us to develop all the levels and play them before proper code was written. This technique gave us a clear overview on the art assets we needed in our game so we did not waste any time on things which were not used in the final product. To speed up building the level we decided to develop a game editor which gave us the advantage of building a whole level in a short period of time. Its intuitive interface and amount of options allowed us to build all the levels with necessary properties like physics bodies, paint statistics, transformation triggers etc. very quick and with a constant preview of its overall look.

We are approaching week seven now and everything is going as planned. All our levels are modelled and composed within the editor. The game play component is finished and level one is playable. For the next two and a half week we will be finishing and polishing our game to make it as fun and playable as possible. Additionally we have managed to implement 2player co-op mode which might be included in a short test level if we have enough time (no promises!).

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you all at ProtoPlay in Edinburgh.

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