Project 2 Pixel Art – Game Maker – Evaluation
General Project Based Questions
Description of the Project:
The project’s aim is to create a 2D platforming game in the pixel art style as an indie developer while also having random pre-requisites such as a set character and time period.
Explanation of the Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production techniques and processes I used to create my product:
During the Pre-Production phase we started off by planning what our game is going to be about, we did this by selecting a character at random as well as a time period at random. We received Marie Curie and World War 1, we then researched each of these subjects. We then planned and came up with a possible game scenario for our future game. We created a mind map detailing some things that I thought I could potentially have in my game, I followed this by creating 3 mood boards with images to give a rough visual idea of what I wish to have, each mood board was categorised as characters [this detailed the protagonist and antagonist as well as other NPC’S I wished to have], Objects [Details different types of objects I want in my game such as collectibles and other interactive objects as well as things like platforms and crates] and finally Location [details the setting of the game and what themes I could have in my game as well as the colour pallet] Other Pre-Production tasks we did was creating a prototype game of mechanics that we could have in the final game, we did this with the newly found skills we had learnt in game-maker. We also created concept art of our characters and backgrounds.
For the Production phase this is where we simply started and finished the creation of our product such as creating assets, adding them into the game and applying events to them.
For Post Production even though we actually created them before the game we designed top trump card style posters about our main character, we also Quality assurance tested our games and then discussed and evaluated the results afterwards.
What were my goals and expectations?
My Goal was to reach the projects task of creating a 2D platforming game in the pixel art style about Marie Curie during World War 1, I needed to accurately portray those guidelines, I wanted and expected my game to be functional although I expected the quality of the game to be low due to this being my first attempt at creating a game and using the Game Maker application. I expected bugs to occur during the creation and I expected things to be a bit complicated.
What is challenging, different and interesting about my media product?
I think the most challenging and interesting part about the media product is that I used a famous scientist as the main character and a setting that I haven’t used before when creating my personal projects which was different and an interesting experience to work with something new, Creating a game was also something interesting and different because I have never done so. Coming up with ideas for our game was challenging seeing what mechanics that we could implement into our games.
Who is my ideal target audience?
I didn’t have any real target audience when I started however from the feedback after I had created my game from the QA testing I found the testers thought that the game was aimed at around 10-14 year old demographic, Likely majority would be boys due to the world war 1 setting which appeals to males more, and both subjects found in the game entice those who are interested in the time period as well as or the character.
Does the finished project present and promote my idea to your chosen target audience?
Frankly, No I think I missed the mark on how the game presents the setting and character, you can only tell that the game is about Marie curie and world war one due to the title screen detailing such, I did present the project requirements though which where a 2D platformer in the pixel art style developed as an indie project. Also to me the target audience is a bit strange, It’s war time which is generally an adult subject however theirs no extreme violence or anything of the sort.
Why should the audience consume my media product?
If they wish to just play a super easy quick game, go for it however I’m not happy with the quality I put out due to my bad time management and effort put into creating the game. However if I was to say why they defiantly should is because I made the game, it gives me an Idea of my current skill level in other peoples point of views and drives me to push myself in the future.
What is the message of my media product?
The message in my game Is to explain on what Marie curie Achieved during the first world war, she delivered her x-ray equipment to the front lines via ambulance, however having a vehicle you can drive such as this ambulance in our game was an issue due to the process of implementing such things is quite advanced in terms of programming and animation. Another message in the game is how horrible war times where.
How did my creative decisions help communicate my message?
The decision to research the subjects beforehand was very helpful because we actually found out that our two subjects actually co-existed during the same time frame, which prompted us to make a historically accurate game [as much as possible anyway] based on what she did during world war one. When I originally had the city in the background there wasn’t any sign of any war time effects, so I just added fire on top of them, this was a lazy decision however at least it portrayed a difficult time, it just contrasted with everything else and made the message unclear. So no, my decisions did not help. I also used very bright colours, I did try the sepia colours however when my clouds looked like mounds of sand in the desert I deterred myself from that because it was not working for me.
Specific Skills Based Questions
What audio/visual/interactive problems did I encounter during the production and post -production process?
I encountered nearly 0 bugs and glitches during creation of the product apart from a few, the 1st was getting my elevator platforms to move functionally and not have the player sprite just clip through then while the platform moved upwards was an issue. Another issue I had was the sprite change during using attack, sometimes when facing left and attacking left my sprite will flip and face right yet still do the animation, the fix for this possibly caused a later problem of when I tried to move left and jump while on a platform I instead moved a single pixel down and got stuck in the platform cancelling my jump.
What did I do to solve audio/visual/interactive problems I encountered?
For the Elevator platforms I looked at various tutorials in an attempt to fix the issue however I could not find an answer that was straightforward so I ended up dropping having elevator platforms in my game.
For the character attack left animation issue I did some experimentation using a trial and error method and finally reached a solution after a short while.
I did not find a fix for the issue of not jumping left while on the platform, I fixed the issue of not reaching a collectible because of this by adjusting the layout of the level so that I only needed to jump right while on platforms, this did however reduce the difficulty of my game.
How effective was my finished project in solving audio/visual/interactive based problems at the end of my creative media project?
I find that it was indeed effective at teaching me how to overcome some of the various issues I encountered during this project even when I did not solve the problems overall. The final product itself I think did not reach the visual problem of giving the impression of the character and setting of the game, the controls of the game where straightforward and simple and the sounds where fitting to the game [the music is the least fitting in my own opinion due to having a sort of rap theme to it, which is unfitting to the world war one setting or Marie Curie herself.
How could I make it better?
I think if I managed my time better and put more effort into the work I think I could have vastly improved the game, such as improving my pixel art and developing the style of the game, I also could have added various mechanics such as fully implementing moving platforms and different types of enemies.
What audio/visual/interactive skills have I learned during this project and how can I develop them further for my Final Major Project?
For what I have planned for my final major project there are only some parts that I could incorporate into my final project, mostly from the artistic side to the current project such as concept art and different elements of that such as lights/shadows and colour pallet as well as positioning of elements. I could develop these further by doing various studies of different aspects of concept art creation, including environmental designs.