This semester, I created a number of Unity Engine-based prototypes – primarily to showcase game ideas in practical code-based environments. Below is a description for each prototype, as well as the role they played in the idea generation in the semester as well as the development of the final DELTA-V game idea.
NASA Space Game Prototype
This was the first prototype created as part of Phase Three, and is essentially the very first look into what would eventually evolve into the game idea for DELTA-V. In this prototype, the player must pilot their spacecraft through two perilous asteroid fields and then successfully land on the nearby planetary Moon. This task is primarily designed to get across the “pushing through the fear of the unknown” thematic concept that I came up with in Phase Two, and is combined with gameplay of the space travel elements from the “NASA Space Game” initial idea that Josh and I came up with in early Phase Three.
Mars Simulation Game Prototype
This was the second prototype from Phase Three, and is a code-based representation of the second and subsequently abandoned game idea that Josh and I came up with; the Mars Simulation Game. In this prototype, the player has an overview of a Mars base, and their primary task is to keep the AI Human alive. They accomplish this by charging up the base during daytime using the solar panels outside, as well as monitoring the Oxygenator and cleaning off any dirt that accumulates as time goes on. Failure to monitor these two variables will eventually result in something breaking, and the Human will then die. This prototype is essentially a linear showcase of the primary mechanics of the initial game idea, and had it been taken forward instead of the NASA Space Game idea then more variables would have been added as well as an indication of the overarching narrative that would get across the “pushing through the fear of the unknown” theme.
Solar System Prototype
This prototype was created during Phase Four, and is essentially a showcase and simulation of the full Solar System environment that DELTA-V will be set in as well as a code-based demonstration of how the orbital mechanics of each of the planetary bodies could work. Unlike the previous two prototypes there is no gameplay here, as this is literally just a simulation of the movement of a Solar System (massively miniaturized of course). The prototype was created to essentially demonstrate that the always-moving-orbital-based environment that DELTA-V is set in could actually work in code.
Fun fact: the rogue planet’s odd orbital path that narrowly misses another planet in the prototype was not done deliberately, and actually served as inspiration for the rogue planet event in the narrative of DELTA-V.
DELTA-V Trailer Prototype
This prototype was created in the final days of Phase Four, and primarily served as the basis for the DELTA-V gameplay trailer that was created for the end of semester presentation. It uses some coding elements from the previous year’s game idea A Starless Sky (namely the stick-man animations and torchlight mechanics) as well as a number of placeholder assets, and is essentially a cinematic showcase of the rogue planet story event that will play a major part in DELTA-V’s overarching narrative. The prototype is fully playable, as the player can fully explore the small environment built for the trailer and also watch as the rogue planet in the sky slowly moves towards them in a fairly dramatic manner.