Phase One: Weeks 1 to 5.

Introduction

Within this blog post, we’ll be focusing on Phase One: Week 1 – 5. Phases have been created around the different weeks along with links to each developers individual blogs who have personally documented their progress with Luminary: Aztec. The blog itself will update you on main events and important information, along with quotes from the developers blogs. To read the process of what the developers have been doing individually, please check out their blogs below;

Jen Moodie’s Developer Blog

Samantha Bland’s Developer Blog


Phase One: Week 1 | Preparation  & Play Testing.

With the students starting off the second semester by organising how the project will be managed, a list of requirements for the project to be completed along with rough dates for the completion of such requirements, and the sole roles that both our developers will be responsible for taking control of and completing.

2019-04-01 (2)
Developer Jen Moodie has created an image of four phases around the development of Luminary Aztec.

During this time of discussion, writer and developer Jen Moodie created the above image of four phases that would allow both developers to know when each task should be completed and so forth. The idea is straightforward and basic yet does lack a few dates, however the team during this time were still debating what was required when play-testing had not even begun.

Developer Roles

When organising the different phases, both developers started to write down roles, which ones suited the best developers skill set and if the job could be possibly shared. The other developer that may not be appointed that role can step in and help the person if the job requires more aid.

Mechanics:

This role is around created the specific mechanics for the game to operate correctly and create a fun and interesting game play experience for the players. The mechanics work hand in hand with play-testing. Jen Moodie has taken on this role along with being in charge of play-testing.

UI Designs: 

With UI also going hand together with mechanics to understand what layout works best for the element of play, Jen Moodie has taken on this role having had previous experience and interest in UI design.

Illustrations (Artist):

With many illustrations and artistic skills required to create a card game, the box art, art style, banner, icon and many other art related requirements of the project will be handled by Samantha Bland.

Narrative:

Luminary: Aztec requires descriptions of roles, playing cards and small narrative for the events cards. With a major interest in writing, Jen Moodie has taken on this role by herself.

GPP/GDD: 

With developing the game throughout 18 weeks, a GPP has been created with will be edited and maintained by Jen Moodie with the additional add of Samantha Bland informing her of sections that require information from Samantha Bland.

Trailer: 

With the trailer using more artistic elements and video editing, Samantha Bland has had previous experience in creating and editing footage of recorded illustrations. She will be handling this job.

Printing:

Along with creating the illustrations, Samantha Bland has taken charge of printing the card game out. Having already gained information around a recommended printing company in the US through a friend, she’ll be handling the quotes, printing files and sending all the correct files over.

Documentary:

With this being one of the main requirements of the course, to create a documentary around the development of the game, Samantha Bland will be in charge of setting up the documentary, editing the footage and making sure everything runs smoothly.

Play-testing: 

The key things to making sure that the game mechanics work along with the enjoyment of game is to play-test! Jen Moodie will be in charge of making sure play-testing has been done, recorded by a camera or notes. If filming is required or extra support is needed, Samantha Bland can assist Jen Moodie when requested.

Social Media: 

With the requirement having a few social media accounts such as an Instagram and Twitter account to post and promote our game on, Jen Moodie wishes to take on the account of Instagram and has requested Samantha Bland handle Twitter.

Main Website: 

With the main website, both developers will be working together on creating content and making sure that the website is up-to-date!

Personal Developer Blogs: 

Both developers are in charge of their own personal developer blogs.

Required Assets

With Luminary: Aztec being produced as an end of year project for the BA degree of Games Design and Art, at the University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art; both developers must create a fully fledged working game that will be shown at two different venues, along with a game trailer and documentary. Of course, this is putting it simply and the real asset list has been created in-depth below;

  • Logo x 1
  • Banner x 1
  • Typography / Typefaces x 2/3
  • Playing cards x (amount unknown till play-testing is complete)
  • Event Cards x (amount unknown till play-testing is complete)
  • Box / Container x 1
  • Rule Booklet / Rule Cards x 1
  • Trailer x 1
  • Documentary x 1
  • Twitter Account x 1
  • Instagram Account x 1
  • Main Website x 1
  • Domain x 1
  • Possible items to sell at events x (amount is known till April/May. Discussion will be required)

This list above is just the basic requirements of what may/may not be required as the development of Luminary: Aztec continues. However, as the projects develops, an end requirement list will be located in our Phase Four: Weeks 16 – 18.

Play Test Version 1.0

For the first ever play test of Luminary: Aztec, both of the developers used square post-it-notes and a normal ballpoint pen and quickly whipped up a playable version of the game. With this being the first play test, both developers quickly created as many playable cards to test their main idea of having the card game having the ability to be played by one player as well as a group of players.

Prototype 01: Image of both card decks.
Prototype 01: Image of both card decks.

Whilst trying the first ever play test between the two developers, Samantha Bland recorded the play test with notes and the iPhone 8 Plus’s camera. By using the nearest camera available to them, the developers have continuously looked back at all the recordings to make sure improvements have been made.

” For the first hour at university, Jen and I quickly made out first prototype together around the feedback James gave us for the game. When creating the deck we used pieces of paper from a pack of post-it-notes and small pieces of paper (bought by Jen in last semester). With these pieces of paper (include measurement), we created two decks with the following items/events along with their values;

  • 6 Event cards with pass, fail, positive and negative values and states.
  • 9 Commoners with the value of 5.
  • 9 Commoners with the value of 20.
  • 3 Warriors with the value of 20.
  • 3 Warriors with the value of 50.
  • 2 Priests with the value of 50.
  • 2 Priests with the value of 100.
  • 2 Greenstones with the value of 5.
  • 2 Greenstones with the value of 10.
  • 2 Turquoise with the value of 20.
  • 3 Bird Feathers with the value of 50.
  • 2 Golds with the value of 100.
  • 5 Sea Shells with the value of 5.
  • 10 Cocoa Beans with the value of 1.
  • 5 Cocoa Beans with the value of 5.
  • 5 Cocoa Beans with the value of 10.
  • 5 Cocoa Beans with the value of 20.
  • 2 Cocoa Beans with the value of 50.
  • 4 Animal Skins with the value of 20.
  • 1 Human Heart with the value of 100.
  • 1 Ox Heart with the value of 50.
  • 1 Ox Heart with the value of 100. “

– Samantha Bland, personal development blog.

After completing the first ever play test, both developers have discovered that their next aim should be sorting out the value and volume of cards cut down and sorted out a little better, along with trying to come up with possible narratives for the event cards. With these major changes, both developers believe that they will be able to make a better game play experience. Cocoa Beans will hopefully stop popping up every five minutes as well.


Phase One: Week 2 | Branding Research & Social Media.

In week two, Samantha Bland spent the week researching into how Luminary: Aztec would be branded along with a dive into how social media can aid with gaining a following of supporters and attention for the product to spread from mouth to mouth.

OneNote: Branding Research
Screenshot of Samantha Bland’s Branding Research on OneNote.

Whilst collecting different elements of the research, Miss Bland had completely read the book “Designing Typefaces” by David Earls in order to gain an understanding of typefaces and how they can impact branding the business and product. Having read the book completely, the developer has made some interesting notes on the matter. This can be found in Miss Bland’s Week 1 Weekly Review Blog. To access this document, Miss Bland will soon be placing a downloadable document for those interesting in her work on her blog post.

Project Planning

Developing Luminary: Aztec will be a challenge with both developers travelling in from considerable distances, the project will be and has been planned to the T. Both developers know and understand their roles and that if one person is behind on work, the other can aid them if requested. However, with many of the development roles relying on the other to be completed, a time period of pauses might appear in order to give extra days of working just encase delays or events happen.

2019 January Calendar Template Example
2019 January Calendar Template Example. Downloaded from 123Calendars.Com. All rights reserved to the original owners.

With one of our two developers using the printable calendars from 123calendars.com, the OS calendar and the official semester 2 calendar / timetable, to aid with planning personal life, university life and coursework deadlines. To view this in practice, Samantha Bland’s blog always starts with two different calendars, personal everyday life and the university time table. This can be seen here, as an example.

Alongside those calendars, the same developer has created another three calendars; two different sized calendars showcase how the project is going as well as what they’ve predicted, and the third calendar covers April and May where a few personal events have effected the progress and development of Luminary: Aztec. These calendars can be seen within the up and coming blog posts around Week 10 through to Week 18 in the developers personal blogs.


Phase One: Week 3 | Logo Design & Industry Guest Speakers.

Within week 3, our developers moved onto further research with one focusing on discovering the secrets of colour schemes within Logo Designs, why certain logo’s are typeface based, others illustrations and some logo’s that are a combination of both, along with a guest lecture by Sennep Game’s Stuart Jackson that both developers attended!

OneNote: Logo Design Research
Screenshot of Samantha Bland’s Logo Research on OneNote.

Logo design is a key element to look into and research well especially within your market. It gives you an idea of how they’ve linked their illustrative and/or typography logo and product together. The theme around the logo and typography is key as it gives identity to the product before the possible customer has even had the chance to really look at the product.

By selecting a typeface and/or logo with a theme, that specific theme should flow throughout the designed aesthetics of the product. Take Underhand’s typeface for an example. Their product mixes the theme of cults and good old fashion tarot cards and puts them together; this flows through their product amazingly, especially with their illustrations.

I wanted to research into this topics as I thought it would be a wise move to try and allow our game to have a that identification. By allowing our target audience to just simply look at our typography and/or logo and decide then and there if the game was for them as judging a book by it’s cover isn’t always true.

– Samantha Bland, Artist & Developer, 2019.


Phase One: Week 4 | Typography & Art Style Research.

By this point within the development of Luminary: Aztec, the key elements were finally being researched into along with possible licenses for using certain content like typefaces. Samantha Bland again took this research upon herself and made sure that extra time was given to looking into different typefaces, making notes on what the developer as well as other students around her course thought of the different typefaces.

OneNote: Typography Design Research
Screenshot of Samantha Bland’s Typography Research on OneNote.

Gaining an understanding of what themes and identities each typeface gave off was very important to the developer after reading the book “Designing Typefaces” by David Earls, Miss Bland wanted to make sure that the correct typefaces were chosen for the different jobs each of them had. With a possible two to three different typefaces being required; the main typeface of Luminary, the Aztec themed typeface and the cards description typeface.

” All three typefaces must compliment each other and work together or else this idea of creating Luminary as a game with different themes might not work due to the style of typefaces used. I looked into typefaces that were plain and simple yet had some sort of identity to it that would allow the secondary typeface to have it’s time to shine and really give the identity to the game by it’s chosen theme. “

– Samantha Bland, Artist & Developer, 2019.

OneNote: Art Style Research
Screenshot of Samantha Bland’s Art Style Research on OneNote.

Around the same time as the typography research was coming to an end, Miss Bland then moved onto further research around the aesthetics of Aztec art! Knowing that Miss Bland will have to learn a style that does not conform to the general art foundations taught to many aspiring artists, with the lack of human anatomy being correct; Miss Bland wanted to make sure that she understood the style the Aztec created, their possible motives, colour schemes and any other element she could find, in order to help her recreate either a mix between her style and the Aztec art style or solely the Aztec art style.

” I learnt a lot by really digging into the illustrations and sculptures I found, along with how these pieces of artwork has inspired many different artists in different fields and industries and how they went about doing so. I hope I’m able to either go full Aztec illustrations, or go half and half if I believe it would be best for the aesthetics of the game. All of this will be decided soon! “

– Samantha Bland, Artist & Developer, 2019.


Phase One: Week 5 | Working on our Reflective Journal 2 Assignment & Art Style Guide.

For this week, our developers started to focus on a second submission titled Reflective Journal 2, which required both students to write an essay with roughly 2500 words and an article piece with roughly 1500 words. Both assignments are due in Week 7 so for the next few weeks, development work might be put on the back burner for both developers. With the article being the main important assignment due to it being placed into the graduation publication book for the graduating class of 2019, along with information around the different projects students have worked on, both of Luminary’s developers will be working on that assignment a little bit more.

Aside from working on the Reflective Journal 2, our artist  developer has started to work on the blog post for their developer blog and the main website. However, the art style guide will not be out until all the artwork has been completed and processes are written up. This will be mentioned more within Phase Three.


Conclusion: Phase One: Weeks 1 to 5

With this blog post being a summarise of all the work both of our developers have completed, it is was to view both developers personal blogs as they go into depth with their daily tasks, processes and life. To view both developers personal blogs, we’ve placed the links below…

Jen Moodie’s Personal Developer Blog

Samantha Bland’s Personal Developer Blog