Quest Quencher

Tojam2014Tojam 2014 or Tojam 9 just wrapped up for this year. I participated at the event as I have since Tojam 5 with my team, Valiant Effort.  For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, the jam is essentially a free event that encourages people to come together and try to make some video games, or even tabletop games now.  They give us 48 hours to go from nothing to something playable. ToJam is short for “Toronto Independent Game Jam”.  More info can be found on their site here.

This year we gave a turn based grid combat RPG a shot.  The full report can be viewed here at cydel.net under the Game Jam’s section.  Or if you’re too lazy to navigate back to the top of the page, just click this convenient link!

Here’s a few pics from our development and the game itself. I worked remotely this year so don’t have any actual pictures from the event.

Quest Quencher

Tojam2014For this year’s Tojam we finally did what we said we’d never do, that is to create an RPG from scratch in two days. Somehow, we pulled it off… well mostly.

 

The Game,

Turn-based dungeon crawler influenced by traditional tabletop style gameplay. The Player controls three heroic characters, The Gladiator, The Elementalist and The Jinxer.  Each character comes with their own set of abilities and provides unique roles for the group. Original intent was to allow multiplayer co-op mode or a VS mode where one player acts as the dungeon master controlling all the monsters, while the additional player(s) control the hero characters.  This feature was out of scope for the Jam though.   Levels were built from a modular tile-set which could later be used for dynamic creation. We used Unity for the game’s engine.

 

The Team,

Programming:
Fraser Adams ( Gameplay, AI, Pathfinding)
Phillip Cosgrave (Abilities, User Interface)

Art:
Rhys Yorke (Characters, Logo Designs)
Noah Marton (Environments)
Phil Koronya (User Interface)

Game Design:
Noah Marton (Game Mechanics, Combat, Units, Level Design)
Fraser Adams (Game Concept)

Day One,

I spent most of day one finalizing any design mechanics, creating shaders in Unity, and coming up with a layout for the modular art assets. Rhys began with our teams logo design, we wanted to get some t-shirts printed this year. Though we should have probably had this done prior to the Jam as it’s not directly related to the development and took up some of his time. After the logo, Rhys delivered some concept art and portraits for the UI. Phil K. Started tackling UI graphics, the programmers started to work their magic making everything happen.

 

Day Two,

The only day where we have the full day to work on the game, this is the day where most the assets have to be done. I started work on the modules for the levels, modeling then texturing them. Once those were done, I switched into design mode and began creating the level layout. Rhys got us a lot more of the unit portraits and concept art, while his wife graced us with some audio for background music. Programmers began to get all the core mechanics working and were ready to begin art asset integration.

 

Day Three,

The most important day of the Jam, when everything comes together.  A lot of this day is spent with programmers yelling at you for being too slow delivering assets or for them not being delivered to specifications. After having worked with Fraser on many projects I triple check my work, but still he managed to find a problem with the module orientation, luckily it was solved quickly. My art creation was pretty much done for the Jam as I switched back in to design mode to create the level and set up the combat encounters. Rhys got us a few more portraits for the units, but unfortunately due to a tablet cable breaking, the Jinxer’s portrait never got finished. Phil K. having baby agro caused delays with the UI.  I had to come up with a last minute UI design so Phil C. could set it up in engine. Fraser integrated all the art assets, coached everyone through troubleshooting issues and continued work on the gameplay.

 

End Result

Day 3 came to a close, the final hours spent making sure the bare minimum was present and that hopefully everything worked. We compiled the game and hooray, it ran! It has its bugs of course, on both the programming and art side. The lighting is all over the place, as I ran out of time to fix the lightmaps.  The characters and units are just cubes with their appropriate portraits (except the ones that didn’t get done.)  This is less a bug though, as it was a choice. Creating 3d models for the characters and npc’s with our limited team size and time was just not possible. The health and action point bars weren’t reporting accurate values, only 100% or 0, that made things a bit more challenging when playing.  Some of the abilities didn’t work, or didn’t work as intended,  but for the most part it came together and was playable.  I made it through a few encounters before my gladiator was killed. I didn’t see it coming due to the health bug mentioned previously, though I knew things were probably bad when he was surrounded by a wraith and 4 skeletons!

Much fun was had through development, and we’re proud of what we accomplished in the set time window.  We’ll probably polish it up a little, then I’ll see if I can post a link to download it here…

…in case anyone needs to slake their thirst for adventure!

The future for Quest Quencher still remains to be decided. Here’s a few gameplay screens. Apologies for them being a bit blurry, I wasn’t running the game at native resolution when I took them. These are also from the morning after, so the health bars and DMG reporting was fixed.

My 3rd practice and most challenging paint yet, Ser Davos Seaworth of Game of Thrones.

Davos Seaworth

Davos’s older features proved much more difficult to tackle than Arya’s much smoother appearance. Though it was his hair that was probably the most challenging, and something I still need to work on.  White on black doesn’t seem to work out the same way as other colors. I also tried for a bit more realism in this image compared to the last two.

I kept a progress log of this paint for those that were interested. Linked below.

Davos painting progress

Davos was hard and took much longer than the others, but it paid off, I definitely learned a lot on this one.

Afterwards, 2 hour speed paint of The Hound and Arya.

The Hound and Arya

 

Ok, a little art update.  I’m getting to the point where the cards and research board are nearing completion for project KhanQuest.  This means the actual game board is up next.  In preparation, I decided to brush up a bit on my painting skills. – Sorry for the bad pun.  Picked my FFXIV bard as the subject for the painting, probably cause she’s awesome and a cat.

Et voilà!

cydelbard

Also, I need to post about Wildstar soon.