The goal of this challenge is to make a game and try to release it (or have it going through the release process) within 90 days of starting the project. The game I’m working on is titled Magigunner (for now). Below you can read about days 14–19. You can expect updates every 3–6 days until the challenge is complete!

The game currently being made is titled Magigunner. It’s an Asymmetrical VR Dungeon Shooter where a single player can explore a dungeon and find various magic casting guns or in local multiplayer, a group of friends can play against one another to see who can get the highest score.

90 Day Challenge

Start Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2019
End Date: June 17, 2019

**All fx and art are from the Unity Asset Store with slight edits to fit the environment and VR optimization

Day 14

Being able to move via teleporting was getting a little annoying (especially when it comes to picking up guns). I was finally able to add in joystick movement so the player can move without the use of guns. I also squashed a bug that caused the player to not be able to pick up weapons. After updating the player I moved on to the tutorial dungeon making it so that the player had to complete rooms in a specific order (teaching them various mechanics) and linking the end of the dungeon back to the starting room. Finally, I updated the boss AI to have him charge a bit more often at the player forcing the player to keep moving.

Coding Overview Day 14

— Joystick Movement
— Update Player’s Ability to Pickup Weapons
— Updated Boss AI
— Updated Tutorial Dungeon Sequence
— Added End Portal to Tutorial Dungeon

Day 15

It took a little longer than expected but I was able to complete the unpolished tutorial loop. I brought the game to my team and was able to get two members to playtest the game. All in all they liked it as a basic shooter that focused more on particle fx and attributes. We began brainstorming what changes could be made. We mostly focused on level and enemy design, deciding that a more linear layout would be better (less backtracking) and adding a variety of enemies would help increase player engagement (helping them move on to the “real” gameplay)

Coding Overview Day 15

No Coding but fun playtesting!

Day 16

One more member of the team was able to try the project and then all of us went into a deep brainstorming session. We determined that an asymmetrical VR game would be best so that people in the room wouldn’t have to just watch one person enjoy the VR game. We came up with a gameplay loop and core design principles so that each player would almost always have something to do. In essence, players will take turns trying to get to the end of the dungeon while other players try to kill them. Each player gets three tries. Whoever gets the most points in their run wins. After this brainstorming session, I was able to build out the new linear design for the tutorial dungeon

Coding Overview Day 16

— Update Tutorial Dungeon Layout

Day 17

I usually don’t like to dive into programming immediately after designing in order to give me time to choose how will organize and structure the code. After the brainstorming session the previous day I spent most of Day 17 testing out new particle fx and gun/element combinations. I also decided that pretty soon I want to try to make an automatic weapon. I finished the day by doing some Asset Store shopping for test enemies.

Coding Overview Day 17

— Updated particle fx for element imbued pistols

Day 18

This day was reserved for my team’s studio meeting and game night so not much got done but a lot of Mario Kart was played.

Coding Overview Day 18

No coding!

Day 19

Didn’t get into the project, but did plan out how I want to tackle the action sequencing for the new tutorial dungeon layout. I also researched how I could go about creating engaging flying enemies (think I’ll tackle ranged flying enemies first and then add in special melee variants).

Coding Overview Day 19

Pseudocoding???

Conclusion

All in all, I think I made good progress on the project. I’ve noticed it’s been getting harder to develop during the weekend (when these are the best times to develop). I’ll start making sure to knock out 2–4 hours of development in the mornings before I start getting distracted (getting the Division 2 didn’t help). I think the brainstorming sessions with the team went well and the team seems to really align with the theme and goal of the project. I’m going to have to learn to better manage client work and project work so that both receive adequate attention. It feels like the game is going in a good direction but I think the scope may have gotten a bit out of hand. I’m most likely going to cut back on the gun features and focus on the enemy and player design. For now, the guns shooting the fx have enough impact (though this does make weapon variation more important).

Goals Going forward

Over the next week, I’ll be refining the single player tutorial dungeon loop in preparation to put it on Itch the week after. By putting it on Itch I’ll be able to test core assumptions with a much wider audience (I’ll be looking for testers!!!). This means I have two weeks to clean up the loop, add 2–3 more enemies, polish the boss fight, and add in 3–4 more weapons.

— 2–3 New Enemies
— 3–4 New Weapons
— Polish Boss Fight
— Polish Tutorial Loop

Changelog

— Joystick Movement
— Update Player’s Ability to Pickup Weapons
— Updated Boss AI
— Updated Tutorial Dungeon Sequence
— Added End Portal to Tutorial Dungeon
— Update Tutorial Dungeon Layout
— Updated particle fx for element imbued pistols


90 Day Challenge: Days 14–19 was originally published in Magigunner on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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