Hello! We are a group of Students from the University of Huddersfield and this is the Development Log for our project – Save Our Bacon.The Team: Dino, Matt, Alex, Tom, Chris, Keiran and Adam
This first post in the Devlog will briefly summarize the different elements of the game, our plans with the project and a selection of media. We hope to keep this Devlog updated as frequently as possible since we’re producing piles of assets per week that we might as well be letting you all feast your eyes on. SCREENSHOTS AND MEDIA
For the project, to make the most of the time that the programmers are building the game, the use of the software Stencylworks has been used by the design team to create gameplay mockups to refine the mechanics as the programmers are constructing the game, preventing us from reaching the end of the project and realizing that the gameplay is broken or not fun. Here are some screenshots and videos of prototypes, giving you an insight into what to expect at this early stage.
The first prototype was created to get a physical understanding of the game mechanic whilst we were initially assembling the game idea. This had low visual quality with simple pixel art, but allowed us to test the original idea.
The second prototype was visually focused to test the aesthetic in a gaming environment. From running this test we realized that we had to apply the threshold filter to the assets to prevent lower opacity sections of images appearing as white or grey lines. The prototype features the character animations split between the torso and the legs.
Features basic gameplay mechanics fleshed out with incoming enemies and ability to shoot down bombers. Enemies drop bombs and ground collapses upon bomb impact, resulting in death. Managed to get the mechanics of three pigs jumping simultaneously.
Early build of final boss battle mechanics and additional levels fleshed out.
PROTOTYPE 5 (NARRATIVE
Machine gun and bazooka functionality added, parallax scrolling added.
The basic structure of the narrative is the story of the 3 Little Pigs twisted into the theme of World War 2 during the London Blitz. Having checked online, the copyright for the story of the 3 Little Pigs has long expired so use of the story for our adaption is legal.
The basic plot structure consists of the pigs being the occupants of the City of London and the wolves being the incoming German air force, arriving with the intention of “Blowing the houses down”. You as the 1st pig must run between the different factories in the city and band together with other survivors to turn the battle.AESTHETIC
We researched the posters from around the time; many featured anthropomorphic beings to depict important messages. This was also reflected in the comic book Maus, which featured human bodies with the heads of animals to represent the different cultures and countries of the time.
The visual technique for creating the game style is digitally painting in black, and then layered in between coloured screens to give a sense of depth and scale to the game environment. Rich reds and oranges are used to create a city illuminated by fire and destruction. Here is an example of how the artwork for the project is layered up, click the image to follow a link to a video to the same piece being drawn.
Aurally, we wanted to create an orchestral piece to accompany the project, compositions such as Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” or Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” to give the experience of running from an approaching storm. For this aspect of the project, we have acquired the assistance of several sound designers and music production students to assist us. TECHNOLOGY
For the project, to ensure the programmers were working at their most efficient levels, we chose the Clanlib engine to allow them to work comfortably with an engine they understood, allowing us to get started building rather than learning a new language, along with the technical constraints of building for specific platforms. The final product will be built to run on PC, if enough interest is drawn to the project we will look to expanding this to further platforms. GAMEPLAY
Saving Our Bacon combines the single button platforming with a shooting gallery environment. The player controls their pigs in the foreground whilst shooting into the background at incoming enemies on multiple layers. These enemies will attempt to impede your progress by dropping bombs, obscuring your vision of just by plainly blowing you up. By focusing on shooting down incoming bombers, the player is able to decrease the difficulty of jumping since less of the terrain is being destroyed beneath the feet of the player.
As they unlock more pigs, the ability to cycle the weapons they each hold allows for the player to mix and match their destruction based on availability and enemy facing. The pigs run in single file, resulting in staggered jump when they clear gaps, which is especially amusing to watch upon all 3 falling into a hole one after the other.
Controls are mouse and keyboard based – space for jump, left mouse for shoot, mouse movement to move the crosshair and right click for weapon cycle.
For the project, we have pitched the project to be completed by the end of the academic year, around the end of April. For this, sticking to the standard 3 Little Pigs structure, the story will be split into 7 levels; 3 interior based, 3 exterior based and a boss battle. We wanted to keep the project finite so that we could build it to a quality finish – something to be proud of building. The date of release will become clearer as the months proceed. The devlog progress marker is based on time - we have reached 50% since we have reached week 12 out of 24.CONCEPT ART
Below we have a selection of different pieces of artwork for the different characters, environments and enemies to be featured in Saving Our Bacon. Enjoy!YOUR INPUT
On behalf of the team, thank you for looking through the Devlog and that feedback on all areas is greatly appreciated, as this will drive the team forward to a final product for all of you to enjoy. We will be releasing demos in the coming weeks (we have an alpha presentation approaching) so we will try as best as we can to get this demo online for you to sample!
Thanks again and stay tuned!