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Aboard their space station, four little alien astronauts are having a tiny bit of a crisis. The board computer has been infected by a malicious virus,
causing it to go haywire and send out a multitude of robots to destroy the control panels. The astronauts must defend these control panels while they
perform an anti-virus scan to identify and eliminate the source of the board computer’s malfunction.

"A Tiny Crisis in Space" is a third person coop shooter for four players featuring network-based multiplayer, a merge-mechanic and waves of AI enemies.


Team "Spekulatius" Development Diary  (Game Proposal Chapter, Physical Prototype Chapter, Interim Report Chapter, Alpha Release Chapter, Playtesting Chapter)

Presentations(Game Proposal, Physical Prototype, Alpha Release)

Physical Prototype Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PQ9Jwx_8RNE38AId_R3QmVvTwYb1ljCy/view

Playtesting Questionnaire:


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18 Kommentare

  1. Defending their bases, does that mean the players will set up traps, defenses? i.e. pseudo-tower-defense or purely controlling the individual player? 

    Is there a specific end-goal? Like tied to the story, or is it going to be a series of independent matches? 

    About the style of the game, it looks very accessible to every age group, but what I didn't quite get yet: is the graphical style going to be hand-drawn (i.e. Borderlands-ish) or will the models look more traditionally 3D?



    1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    The idea is simple to understand and to the point. No unnecessary frills. The merge form and different combat approaches have great potential for dynamic gameplay. 

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    Tbh, the art style. I feel like it's been kind of overdone, at least in the Games Engineering projects...then again I am not a fan of the round squishy cuddly style in general. Plus, the to-the-point nature of the gameplay might be its downfall if the waves and objectives quickly feel repetitive and dull.

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    A variation in objectives.

    1. Defending the control panels is done purely by defeating the enemies through direct player action (i.e. shooting as an individual player and throwing bombs in fused form).

      The end-goal of each round is to complete the anti-virus scan to eliminate the computer virus. There is no overarching goal over multiple rounds (yet), the alien astronauts just cannot resist opening those dodgy but ever so tempting email attachments.

      Stylistically we're going for a comic vibe. However, that does not mean this is going to be cel-shaded. Instead we're going to use techniques like rim-lighting to evoke a look somewhat reminiscent of e.g. Super Mario Galaxy.

  2. Your game idea seems to be a lot of fun for some casual gameplay for four players. Unfortunately, this contrasts with the fact that the required set-up of four PCs inevitably takes some time. To counteract this, I suggest, you add an achievement-like or level progression system to keep players involved for more than a few minutes at a time.

    The amount of planned work actually seems reasonable for the given time frame.

    I also like the steampunk-like art style. Just make sure this fits in with the environment.

    So far, your game does not seem overly complex, having only one objective: shooting all enemies. The merging procedure helps mixing this up a little, but I feel that adding another occupation, e.g. a short minigame which needs to be completed within a certain time at a terminal, would help in this regard.

  3. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    I'd like to mention two things. First of all, i really, really like the mock-ups and hope you can implement them similarly. Secondly, the idea of controlling one combined character sounds like fun.  


    What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    The game might lack some sort of progression during one level.


    Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    My proposal is adding kind of defense system that can be improved over the time. (e.g. picking up parts that can be added to a turret)


    (Overall i'd like to mention that i like your idea as is.)

  4. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    I like how original your gameplay idea is and how clear your vision seems to be, especially in regards to the merging aspect.

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    As a big part of the game is going to be the third person shooter aspect, it might lack some depth in combat and variation.

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    I would suggest that the primary focus should really be on the merging part, maybe by adding different types of merges for example, so that the third person shooter part will be comparatively small.

  5. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    My favorite aspect is that you want to create all the assets yourself and make the game look very good and polished. Most games that are created in such a small amount of time are obviously not "finished" and many issues become apparent at first sight. If you keep the gameplay simple and focus on the looks you might achieve a more "finished game".

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    I don't really dislike the idea of merging with other players, but I think that such a merging mechanic would make much more sense and be much more interesting if you made different merging possibilities a higher priority. From a gameplay perspective, the merging mechanic you proposed where to players merge into a grenade throwing thingy, is, in my opinion, basically equivalent to two players simply getting a vehicle or something similar.

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    More merging possibilities, if possible, merged "Mechs" should have traits from their "parts".


    Additional Note: (I'm possibly going to write this beneath every (online) multiplayer game)

    Assuming you want to create your game with Unity:

    We made an online Multiplayer game last semester using Unity Networking. Back then the documentation was horrible. Therefore I would suggest you look at different networking libraries (such as Photon) before you start implementing.

    If you decide to use Unity Networking, the source code on Bitbucket might help.

  6. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    My favorite part is merging and splitting the characters. Would create some chaos as to who controls what, but I think that only adds to the fun aspect.

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    Defending the control panels. It sounds a little bit boring and repetitive

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    Maybe instead of defending the panels, the players could capture the points by clearing it from enemies for a minimum amount of time, then proceed to the next control panel.

  7. Otto, Robin sagt:

    1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    I like the idea of how you want to integrate the concept of "Together" into your game. The merging mechanic will probably make the gameplay unpredictable and dependent on another player. This often promises a lot of fun and hectic gameplay. I can see myself enjoying such a situation with a friend.

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    In your game description, I only found one specific scenario of how a level could look like and, only generally speaking, what you are doing in the level. I couldn't find specifc abilities or skills of the particular characters or the enemies. My "least favorite aspect" here is that it seems you have not quite thought through any details of 4 players or the levels. This is something that is crucial for a successful prototype and for ensuring to be on the same page with the whole team. 

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    My suggestion would be the following:
    Try to figure out more specifications together with the whole team before prototyping and implementing, so none of you has too much room for interpretation. This will prevent that you stray around with 4 different interpretations of the game idea in your mind and therefore it could lead to higher efficiency.

    Also, IMO, your Big Idea Bullseye basically consists of 3 different technical achievements: 3rd person coop-shooter, self-designed artstyle, Online Multiplayer.
    As our group implemented an online multiplayer game last semester, I already experienced how much time little things can cost.
    Maybe it would be advantageous to deliberate about whether you should put either the artstyle or the online multiplayer component into the high/extra target section.



    Best Regards,

    Robin.

  8. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    Interesting concept with the combining, could be fun with friends if done well.

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    i fear that the combining for special enemies is more mandatory than fun. The main objective (defend something) is (at least for me) the most boring one.

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    I would personally prefer to have a survival mode with way more enemies but no objective to defend.

  9. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    I think the combining to gain new/different abilities is really cool and interesting.

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    I fear their might be some issues with replayability. While, as mentioned, I think the combining is really cool, I can see it have some potential to become either annoying or boring after a certain amount of playtime. Maybe this depends on the player and maybe it doesn't happen, but I think this is something you should keep your eyes on.

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    Having more variety in the combining. Either different combinations (which could be expensive due to graphics) or maybe different "configurations" (so you only switch out some graphic parts) that grant different abilities.

    You could also think about an enemy that is less "binary", so that you can defeat him in either state, but one state is easier/better to use.

  10. Hook, Daniel sagt:

    1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    Coop shooter with cute artstyle.


    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    Kinda afraid that the basic fighting mechanic will be "aim vaguely and hold", and it will become a grind fest


    like the defending missions in Warframe.


    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    Battle Royale modus.




    Jk.

    I'd like it, if the enemies are so slow, that the player can create a mental map, where enemies are approaching and which flanks she has to defend. (Not like Warframe, where enemies are kind of everywhere, and you just shoot at the first thing you see...)

  11. 1.What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    The gameplay seems to be a lot of fun. Especially the team play factor sounds very promising. I am looking forward to see the game in action.

    2.What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    The only thing i didn't get by now is if there will be multiple possibilities to kill a boss enemy or just one strikt solution. This would in my eyes reduce the replayability of the game.

    3.Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    A survival mode with a huge amount of enemy would be challenging and restore the replayability factor.

  12. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    I like your combat idear, how the players need to work together to defense their control panels.

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    Don't focus too much on animating the characters, it's more important to have a nice game play.

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    You should focus on getting a good balance between cooperate to defend the enemies and splitting up to defends the two control panels.


    Also what happens if a player dies in the combat? Did he respawn? Or is he out of the game for the rest of the battle.

  13. Jonas Mayer sagt:

    What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?
    Players having to merge and both control the same character seems like an unconventional and therefore fun game play element. 

    What is your least favorite aspect? Why?
    Simply defending control panels against multiple waves of three different enemies doesn't seems a bit simple in the long run, certainly if you're not a fan of the setting.

    Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?
    Maybe add in the possibility to merge three and four players to something even more complex and powerful, add in a bigger variety of enemies that requires those merges. Maybe give every of the four players a unique skillset and have enemies that require different combinations of those skillsets (both merged and unmerged).

  14. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    The merging ability and the setting. These might appear to be separate aspects but I think the aesthetics of the game goes really well with the ability to merge with your teammate. The idea itself promotes cooperation and there aren't really that many games out there that promote character power-ups this way. Merging to create more powerful version of yourselves, power rangers style, is something I find really fun about this game.

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    The defense aspect of the game. From a game design point-of-view, players aren't playing to win; they're playing to not lose. This might make the game lose its fun over the course of a play session.

    Perhaps changing to a "Control Point Capture" mode might counteract that without the need to change a lot about the game. Similar to TF2, players need to capture Point A, then B, then C. Enemies keep spawning from the next point (in the initial case B) until the current point (C) is captured. Also, as more and more points are captured, tougher enemies show up.

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    In the presentation it was said that it would be impossible to defeat certain enemies without merging. I think that should be changed so that it's possible to defeat them with great skill or so much effort that merging seems appealing. As the game idea currently is, players are not given a choice to merge. They are forced to do so. Perhaps letting separated players lightly damage the bucket enemy or the Orbot allow for players to feel like they could do something individually while still making the need for merging apparent as they would not be able to hand waves of enemies by lightly damaging them.


    All in all, the game idea is awesome and I'd still play the game as is. These are just my 2 cents (Lächeln)

  15. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    I like that the concept of this game is very concise yet solid. You defined the shape of your future game so that its minimal version has not much technical work, but really involves impressive cooperative gameplay.

    In particular, I really love how you designed the enemies, both from the gameplay perspective (very different approach needed to defeat them) and from the artistic perspective ("glass" design for one monster, "two-eyed" for another, concept arts look awesome, their appearance in game would be also memorable). You have just three enemies for now, but they really rock.

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    When you designed your enemies and players in a very clear way, making the cooperation element in a single round perfect, you might forget that in order to be interesting, the game should bring something new across different levels and runs. What happens when the players defeat their first 10 enemies? Will the game still be interesting?

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    I would try to put a few more assets to make the gameplay more "evolving" throughout the time. I suppose it is really important for the defense-based game to let players know that they haven't just defended their point, but also get some bonuses or some new abilities for that.

    Maybe, it is not wise to make the enemies so restrictive towards the play style. I wish I could see a few more interesting items or funny interaction possibilities that might help to avoid sticking to one predetermined tactics for each type of the enemies.


  16. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    Your like your idea and the setting, especially the merge mechanic, that could be really fun.


    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    I would say you need to be aware of the balancing between the two forms, because it would be bad if one form is better than the other.


    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    Some kind of boss battle in the end would be nice, with different phases so the players have to switch between the two forms. And if you only have one enemy as a boss you could have a third form where all players merge into one, because then you have all players in one place anyway, but it would be a lot of more work.

  17. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?


    The wave-based gameplay together with having to merge together for the "boss" enemy makes the game a bit more diversified and counters the monotonous play style.


    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?


    Difficulty has to be balanced well to make the game interesting. Also the "bucket-shot" should be well marked when hit or not hit. ( e.g. Why isn't this guy down ?! I could swear I hit him.. ")


    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?


    Items / Upgrades for the players → Influences the single and merged form ( e.g. stronger / multiple grenades / sticky grenades .. chargeable laser shot / multiple laser shot → different items for different "kind" of weapon that overrides update picked before → like bomberman )