It’s alive!

Hi guys!

First, I have to apologize.
It’s been awfully quiet on this site and I even missed to give you the obligatory updates on several Scrum-meetings. But we had our reasons. Also, for the lion’s share of our absence, there wasn’t much to talk about – so you hardly missed anything important.
Still, as we are actually past our deadline, i’ll try to explain what happened and let you catch up with us. There have been two major periods of time, that severely impacted the developement of Oaraph in the past months, so i’m going to tackle them one at a time. Ok, here we go …

Moving at snail’s pace – aka the great delay

Shortly after our last posts  (end of May) the whole team got involved with other university projects, that demanded their attention due to earlier deadlines.
Once we had that off our schedule, we stumbled right into exam-phase and again, didn’t have much time to work on Oaraph.
In consequence, our Scrum meetings went accordingly: Fast and smoothly.
Since we had improved our workflow significantly at the beginning of sprint II, there was no need for lengthy conferences, we had a vision (represented by userstories) to follow and the jobs at hand were neatly split into managable tasks, in short: everyone knew what he had to do and when. So we went about it.
Still, as a result of the groups shift in focus, we only advanced in babysteps (even smaller than anticipated), which got us way off our schedule.

Our race to catch up

So when we finally got through all our exams and other duties, about two weeks ago, a buttload of unfinished tasks had piled up.

Hence, we buckled down and worked several ours each day.  As a result, there has been a lot going on with our game. Many userstories are finished or somewhere near a finished state. Most elements are built into the prototype and work (almost) as intended. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Main character’s model and animations are complete
  • Enemy model and (rudimental) AI are implemented
  • All menus are up and running
  • Level 1 is completely playable

Also, we worked on our story and painted some art-assets to go with it.
We are still working on sound, FX and VO wise and haven’t gotten to implement the character animations yet. Naturally,  some minor issues and bugs occured as well, which we are still trying to fix.

Unfortunately, we did have to make some cutbacks, in comparison to what was planned initially:

  • There will be no custom, bumpmap-sensitive shader
  • Enemy AI is not quite as versatile as we would have liked
  • The Scarab is our only Enemy
  • There will be only one playable level (at least for now)

Furthermore, there have been some changes and adjustments, for example: Our Pharao will not be revived upon death (as planned), instead we will have a perma death system – turns out, even ancient Egypt Gods can’t revive you arbitrarily …

I hope I could answer any questions concerning our absence and give you a general idea of what we have been up to. (If not, feel free to ask anytime!)
In the weeks to come, we will post some more detailed stories about some of the game elements (userstories) mentioned above, as well as a first look at the actual game.
We will then release our polished prototype in late summer.
And I’m still going to write a post mortem after that.

So stick around, it’ll be worth your while!

Until then, have a good one.

Posted by: Gunnar

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