Friday, April 8, 2011

Blog Moved!

Hey all. This blog has been moved in an effort to even further enhance your viewing experience. Typing in the address 

 should take you to the new site. If you are still being routed here, do try

We hope you will move over with us. See you on the other side!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Carnage under the looking glass.

It's about time that the producer steps in to write a couple of words on our development blog.
If you, dear reader, have been following this blog for a while there will be some instances of rehashed information, but there will be some new stuff in there as well.

Right, so the name of our game is Carnage that we are developing for the PC using the unreal development kit.

Carnage has been mistaken for a casual game by many people but we'd like to think that we have some sort of middle round in between casual and hardcore. We can see how it could easily appeal to players in both categories.

The game is a digitalised version of a board game our group put together last year as a part of a assignment.
It is a turn based racing game that still maintains the fast pace and excitement of a regular racing game, but takes actual driving skills out of the equation and forces the player to win the race through strategy, tricks and weaponry.
Due to the low manpower of our group however, we have decided to make a playable demo out of it rather than a complete game.

Here is our high concept: In the near future the most popular sport around is the one in which ordinary people take their ordinary cars into to an extraordinary violent arena and participate in a race so deadly that they call it Carnage.

Our group is considerably smaller than most other groups and our project is going to be difficult. We are currently working 10 hours every weekday to ensure that we will be able to finish our demo, even if something goes wrong halfway.
That is part the ability we want to develop working on this project; getting used to working under extreme time pressure.

The reward we expect to gain from this project is self-discipline, experience in both coding and making 3D-content for UDK and learn how to more productive team members than we were previously.

The biggest challenge we face are mainly the previously mentioned time constraints and the fact that we may end up with a very small budget (at this point we do not know what our budget is going to be, but I'm preparing for the worst).
Also we must try to avoid miscommunication as it is can lead to a drain on our resources.

Our strategy going into this was for everyone to take responsibility for their own work, but to keep encouraging and aiding their teammates should the need arise.

Back to the game!
Our target audience for the demo and the finished product are a bit different from each other. The demo is there to showcase our skills for the professionals that will attend the conference, whilst the TA for the finished product is young adults between 18-25 years old who enjoy action, strategy, car games as well as playing games together with their friends.

Although Carnage would work great as a Facebook game that isn't going to happen soon as Facebook doesn't support UDK at the moment. We would probably do best to try and publish it on xbox live and/or steam.

But enough about business, you're here because you're interested in the game itself.

A race in Carnage is played between 4 players. Once the match starts a timer begins a swift countdown during which the players make their inputs on their controllers and once the count reaches 0 the cars move in response. Depending on how the cars moves compared to each other a lot of things happen. There are mechanics for drifting, ramming, crashing into walls, running over traps and of course there are weapons galore!

It is this kind of gameplay that makes Carnage stand apart from other violent car games: you do not have to be good at driving to win! In fact if you would try to outrun the other players you could very easily be shot to scrap metal rather than get an early lead. Tactics, guile and dirty tricks is the way to victory in Carnage.

Finally I would like to remind everyone that there is a market for this kind of violent games. There are the classic titles like Carmageddon, Interstate 76 and just last week the old classic Death rally was rereleased for Apple iOS devices.

This producer is feeling slightly optimistic over Carnage's future.

That's all for today folks! Be sure to check by soon for even more Carnage!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Well, it has cars and stuff"

The long days at the office are producing results! Coffee goes in, models and code comes out. This is the secret to our craft.

A simple track used for testing.

Pictured above is a temporary test-track along with WIP-models etc. used for coding, mainly the navigation-nodes at this point. The tile-system used to create tracks can be seen with a darker border separating the different tiles. It's pretty rough still as neither graphics nor code is close to finalized. 

Spikes are to be kept away from balloons, bubbles and cuddly animals.

When the other racers occupy the track ahead you'll want to make them know (politely of course) that you are interested in passing them. You can always give them a friendly bump, making sure they speed forward to that closing trap or sharp corner. When on a fouler mood however, a less friendly notifier might be in order. Pick up these Front-mounted Spikes along the way and make sure the others feel it when you are closing in. Ramming another car with these at your front will cause additional damage and leave a lasting impression.

Keep checking in for further updates on the progress of the Carnage Project!

Friday, April 1, 2011

A first look on weapons

Spring has come and with that proper work-weeks! We've wrapped up our other work and are now focusing fully on Carnage.

WIP-render of two cars

In Carnage we plan on having a range of weapons being picked up by the players. These will bring death, destruction and fun to the track. The line-up is decided along with their functionality, mechanics and so on but the specific visuals are still in the concept-phase. One of these weapons is the Rocket Boost.

Not as explode-y as it looks

It's a funky missile that you shoot at a car of your choice, enemy or self, and it'll attach to it bringing the car a heavy speed-increase for one turn. This can be used to rush ahead even with a fully damaged car or force opponents to smash in to corners at far too high speed causing them to take damage.

Stay tuned as more concepts, models and in-game screens will come up as they are being done.

Monday, March 7, 2011

On the designing of levels

Todays work has been focus mainly on the design and mechanics of our levels. The 'real' course for the project will not start for another three weeks and the work being done right now is under the Level Design-banner. Thus we focus on the best way to construct our levels, to bring out the best possible experience for the players.

This is all theory at the moment but the general plan is to create small design-patterns (templates, if you will) to construct the larger levels from. These patterns will be created with specific aesthetics in mind to help build and change levels to give a certain feel. If this sounds oddly cryptic we will most likely post the system when complete along with proper examples. We are not sure it will function fully the way we imagine it so obviously it needs a lot of testing.

Basic Mockup - Work in progress

When not dreaming up systems for levels we have been busy setting up mock-ups of our game. Basic images of what the game could look like using place-holder art and stuff. These are primarily used as a tool to compose and adjust things like camera-angles, GUI, lighting and so on. Take note - this is done in haste and should not be considered even close to a finished product. 

Early WIP of the cars.

The promise of food and drink now drag us away from the office. More to come later.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Carnage Project launched!

The Carnage Project has now officially started! The project will be in development from this date to the scheduled presentation at Gotland Game Awards in late May. The team behind Carnage consists of students currently studying the second year at the department of Game Development at Gotland University (Högskolan på Gotland).

This blog will be devoted to follow our time in the office - showing work in progress, ever-changing game-builds and hopefully post some other interesting stuff as it's being created. The game will be made in Epic Games Unreal Engine 3 using the UDK-tool along with some additional software for content creation.

If you look behind the scenes you'll find that a lot of shady work has been going on for some time. The basic game-concept was crafted in early fall last year and has been shaped in to the design we have today during dark winter nights resulting in a complete board game prototype. Our goal was to have a (as good as it gets) complete design in place at project start in order to fully focus on the production-side of things come spring. No doubt a lot of features will still be subject to change during production.

From this day the deadline is close to three months away. Time to work.