Week 13: Crunch time, GDD, Playtesting

This week was one of the busiest for the team so far, but as the team was prioritising major mechanics (relating to the player) to go into the final build of our prototype over the simpler ones that I normally take care of relating to the boss and the environment, my tasks mainly related to the following:

  • Continuing on mechanics and background themes for the other levels in the game design document.
  • Assisting Bob with playtesting in the games lab and recording feedback.
  • Looking into setting up a Bitbucket repository for our project.

The work I undertook on the GDD was quite similar to this week as last week, although there had to be some revisions to the ideas I had last week in coordinating with the team.


You can see more of Lexi’s work at https://lexitownsend.wordpress.com/

For example, this week our animator Lexi came out with her concept sketches of the levels which were different to my original vision of the way the level worked with the mechanics. Shown below on the left is Lexi’s concept for the Treachery level map:





Created by Bob Cuthbert for the Grim Trials GDD

My original vision of this level was to have Lucifer trapped under the ice that the player is standing on top of, but I conceded to the fact that it was a better experience for the player to have him rising above the player in his prison of a massive block of ice in the middle of the arena. Bob also helped me transition the slight changes in the way we had to think about mechanics by providing a level map:

Naturally, everybody had clear expectations on the mechanics of the Heresy level which has already been mostly implemented as our prototype; and the Greed level’s environment is more easily described without a diagram so they did not have to be changed as much.


I also assisted Bob this week with playtesting in the games lab. Bob had already conducted playtesting prior to this several times over the course of the semester with very valuable feedback and it was satisfying to see players enjoying the culmination of that this time around, with a more well rounded gaming experience.

The main issues players had relating to playtesting this time around were generally problems relating to symbolism; as models for some of the gameplay and environmental objects were not in the game yet players had trouble figuring out what some were meant to represent and what they were meant to do. These are problems that will hopefully be solved naturally when the models get placed in the level.


The final task I undertook this week was setting up a Git/Bitbucket repository for the latest version of our Unreal project, onward.

I started by using Bitbucket and SourceTree to set up a repository. I committed all the files in the project so far and attempted to push them when I realised through research whilst waiting that Bitbucket repository sizes max out at 2GB. This was a big problem as our Unreal Project, uncompressed, sat at approximate 2.5GB.

I have looked into alternatives and have ultimately settled with GitLab, a service which allows a 10GB max hosted repository size; this means it shall do for the time being. I am currently in the process of making the first push committed through the TortoiseGit utility.


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