Keyword for week 2: think harder.
Answering last week’s question: Should we think of an idea that nobody has done it before in the industry, or should we aim for something safer and easier to grasp? Jesse and Chris presented different opinions. Jesse advised the team to go for something new, wild and unique, while Chris suggested something safer. He had nothing against Jesse’s approach per se, but creating something drastically different and new in 14 weeks, is a high bar according to Chris.
During our first pitch, we presented 2 game ideas to our faculty advisors. First an arctic survival action adventure game, second an game, genre undecided, on lucid dreaming. Chris had some serious concerns about the arctic survival pitch, asking the question “Why does it have to be in the arctic? Why did you choose these options? What is the dramatic context?” Besides the lack of rationalization and reasoning on the setting, the arctic survival pitch also presented a daunting task to the art team: how do you create eye-catching concept art if the world is covered in white snow throughout? The monochromatic color palette is not a good place for the art team to show off. Josh also reluctantly admitted that the gameplay for this pitch is nothing more than a love letter to Death Stranding that lacks originality.
On the other hand, the lucid dreaming pitch was received quite positively. It holds more potential, visually speaking. But the positive response to this idea was due primarily to the fact that the team has not figured out the verbs yet. It is safe to say that the under-developed nature of the idea lent itself well to the response. Ricardo suggested we take a look at an old puzzle game called Riven and Myst for inspirations if we want to make a puzzle game. Our faculty advisors also wanted us to come up with a third idea so that we don’t hold on to the previous two ideas too tightly. Having a broad range of ideas is beneficial at this stage.
In general, the team need to use the first 10 minutes to effectively communicate to the players what the experience and the core mechanics are. One line summary for the first pitch presentation: “These are not bad tries”
The team went back to the drawing board. The arctic survival game was not in a good state. The team decided to kill it so that more time and energy could go to ideas that showed more potential. In the meantime, two more ideas came up: one a 4-player team apocalypse survival game; the other a cozy delivery service platformer. The two new ideas were put into a second pitch deck, and received generally good feedback. According to Richardo, the second pitch had a nice range of ideas, all seemed strong, but clouded with overcomplexity and lack of clarity. Chris encouraged the team to think harder about the core verbs of each of the ideas. This would greatly help us and them see the same picture. To put it simply, the team needed to resolve the gameplay verbs in a way that the gameplay could not happen anywhere else.
On Sunday, the team landed on the final 4 ideas from which the faculty advisors will pick one next week to go into full pre-production:
Cozy Delivery Service, Dalí-Lucid Dream Puzzle-Platformer, Team Monkey Apocalypse
See you next week:)