Hello everyone! Luis “Azrael” Martinez here.
Development of Tech Tycoon is underway, and we’re very excited to share some of the challenges and solutions we’re working on. The idea behind Tech Tycoon is a simple one; a game that can be played “passively” while still finding ways to engage the player.
While the concept may seem simple enough, finding game-play mechanics that work is not a straightforward process. Rest assured: The Tech Tycoon team is hard at work making it a reality, and we’re at a point in development where we’re ready to share some of the things we’ve been working on.
Tech Tycoon: The First Prototype
As a small dev. group one of the first—and among the most important—decisions we had to make was to focus on creating, we couldn’t allow ourselves to get caught up in a single aspect of the game. As a 3D and texture artist my primary focus was designing and building a “First Level” that worked well with the mechanics that had already been programmed. Core features like the calendar system and the survey system were introduced after we already had the first office up and running in engine, we are hopping this gives us a way to easily identify game-play mechanics that work well together with the look and feel of the game.
Once we had our starting point, we began taking stock of what we had, which was a pretty bland looking office that ran the most basic mechanics of the game. Needless to say we were pretty excited! Again, we’re a small dev. group, this was big for us. After stitching various key pieces together, the thing that stood out the most was the fact that our “characters” were just “pills”.
The Path Forward: Solidifying the Prototype
We knew that finding a style of character that would fit our concept might take some time so we decided to focus on other tasks, like finishing the various assets for the level, first. However, after one of our late night dev. sessions, I decided to mess around with some basic shapes in Maya, figuring that at least having a silhouette for the characters might not be a bad idea. As luck would have it though, what started out as an experiment ended up being the concept we decided to stick with for our characters.
Any similarities in the uniform to a certain squadron are purely coincidental and not at all based on the personal experience of the developers.
Going in depth
So what are the reasons why we decided to use this model as a jumping off point?
- Simple and clean: The mesh is simple to edit which allows us to create all sorts of looks using the base mesh as a starting point.
- Universal Rigs: Because every character will be derived from the same base mesh we can stick to a universal rig, this also applies to the animations.
- Limitless possibilities: Tech Tycoon will feature a massive pool of both employees to hire and manage, and customers that will visit your shop. Because they will all be derived from this base mesh we can simply tweak variables and generate different iterations of the same character.
All the work we are doing comes from a place of passion, we are all creators and developers that have had to experience the wonder of working in retail. We want to create a fun and enjoyable way to share experiences from our time in retail and hopefully help us take our next steps into the Game Industry. We are looking forward to the challenges ahead and hope that you will continue to follow us on our journey.
I hope you all enjoyed my first developer blog! If you have any questions about the development process or have any feedback please feel free to reach out. I leave you with a little sneak peak of where we are currently at.