Undruidic Championship


Summary

Concept Third person multiplayer arena combat game
Platform PC
Tools Unreal Engine (version 4.17.2), Blender
Duration October to December 2017 (3 months)
Team Maxime Brodat, Esia Belbachir, Aurélien Durance
Context UQAC video game conception course
Undruidic Championship screenshots

Project goal

The idea behind this project was to acquire a first experience in video game development. We were asked to apply an Agile method, document the project, and develop a video game prototype. The documentation part consisted in the conception of a Game Concept Document, a Game Design Document, and weekly sprint reports.

Since we only had four weeks to develop the game, we decided to develop a simple prototype with one main mechanic.


Game concept

Undruidic Championship is a fast-paced third person arena combat game. Up to 8 players fight in an arena with melee weapons, but with a special mechanic: when a character stops moving (including the camera), it quickly becomes invisible, but starts losing HP.

The game takes place in a small map with lots of places to hide, so this can be a great advantage for who knows how to use it. Players can also find multiple weapons (sword, dagger, axe, staff) scattered all over the map.


Visuals

We wanted this project to have a unique visual atmosphere. We worked from the beginning on a visual chart to define the style of the assets and the colors used. Since we decided to create our own assets for this project, we had a lot of work ahead of us.

Esia started by creating a mood board, to formalize the visuals wanted. Then, we designed together a diorama with the first assets created to document our thinking process.

Finally, I conceived on Blender all 3D assets. Since I was a beginner in 3D design, we opted for low-poly assets and plain color textures.

Mood board
Mood board

Agile methodology and organization

For this course, we were taught the basics of Agile methods, in order to apply one. We chose to use the Scrum method because it is rather simple and easy to implement. We were looking for a method the allowed us to focus on the development, without spending too much time on the organization.

After a time of trial and error, we finally managed to properly apply these methods. Since this was our first project following a proper work methodology, we had trouble at the beginning to create functionnal builds. But after some time, we planned our user stories correctly, and everything went smoothly.

We were tasked to work on this project on five one-week iterations. The first four were dedicated to developing new features, whereas the fifth one was to debugging and polishing the game up. In such a short time, we had to split the work efficiently: while Esia and Aurélien were developing the core mechanics, I designed all graphical assets and some other mechanics. Then, we worked together on the remaining features and all the reports.

Diorama
Diorama
HUD concept
HUD concept

Game engine

We wanted to take this course as an opportunity to discover new technologies. That is why, since we never used this engine and it suited our needs, we decided to use Unreal Engine in its 4th version.

Even though it has been quite hard to learn how to use a new engine on a 6-weeks project, I am now able to develop quite quickly a game prototype with it. For the sake of prototyping, and since we had no complex feature to develop, we chose to use UE4 blueprints only.

I still have a lot to learn about Unreal Engine, especially about C++ programming within the engine, but using blueprints made me understand the global functioning of game development with UE4.

Disappearing character
Disappearing character
Player's character and scoreboard
Player's character and scoreboard

My job and feedback

This project was a good first experience with video game development. First, having no experience following a proper methodology prior to this project, it has been a great way to discover the implementation of the Scrum methodology:

  • conception of documentation throughout the project: documentation of the game concept, game design, sprint reports, project report;
  • setup of work methodology: planification of each sprint, definition of the feature backlog.

I also learned a lot about graphical assets conception and game development itself on the tools used:

  • understanding of the development environment: Blender and Unreal Engine;
  • discovery of the behavior of the game engine and UE blueprints.

Finally, this project allowed me to learn from my mistakes:

  • no daily/weekly sprint meetings;
  • lack of communication between team members;
  • imprecise project planification leading to timing issues;
  • no working build at the end of each sprint.

In conclusion, I am really proud of the result, a game prototype that is both pretty and functional, and proud of the way we achieved this result.


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