Friday, 21 November 2014

New Release: Democracy: The Board Game

Its got climate change, human rights, the economy, civil unrest, social stability and elections.  You can control and develop your education, health, agriculture, transport, housing or military.  You can defeat the Dictator, or you can be the Dictator.

Dictatorship or Democracy … YOU DECIDE!

You are playing for Votes, and Votes mean Power.  So will you gain Votes through co-operation or domination?  Votes can be lost as well as won.  Will an economic collapse take away all your votes, or will a natural disaster wipe out all your developments?

Play DEMOCRACY... The fate of the world is in YOUR hands.

In August 2014 we were tasked with recreating the board game into an app for iOS devices with local multiplayer as a necessity and the opportunity to develop into network multiplayer. Once the project was given the all clear work began on it quickly.

The development of Democracy: The Board Game was always going to be different to any other that I had done before. This was a mobile game based off of a real board game, so a lot of the key features and core gameplay was already set up and figured out. This meant we would have to recreate the board game for mobile devices as closely as possible.

We started by actually playing the board game, this meant sitting down round a table and playing a board game the old fashioned way to give ourselves a chance to understand the game better and start to figure out the process to make the app. After a good 3 hours, and some bad luck from the dictator, the delegates had won and the game was over.

The models had been created already when the concepts for the game were made a few months ago in the pitch for development, so now we had to add models to the game and start making the game. It was important to get a good set of base code to work from and develop as we introduced more and more features. The basic code structure was in place by the end of the second week and we were able to start looking at adding in AI behaviours to make sure every game is full of players.

It was 4 weeks before we got the basic gameplay sorted and working with the menus created within NGUI, the players animating, the ability to control facilities and developments, handling receiving votes (currency) from players and selling facilities when needed. Now we had to make sure everything was animating, the sounds were in and adding in a tutorial for new players to understand the game better.

By the 5th week we were in a very strong position and the game had come along really well, we could now focus on fine tuning the game and making sure the player understands what they are doing and how to play the game.

As it came closer to the end of my work at Troll inc and the start of my final year in university. It became closer and closer to getting the game finished in time, with small bugs needing removed and polishing added. We had just a week of working later to make sure we had the project finished before we were to head back to uni.

Democracy: The Board Game Development
The game itself was fully functional with audio and all core functionality included and was beginning to look like a full game. The week of testing proved to be important for the development and great for the look and feel of the game. In the final week we were able to create a full tutorial system for the app and the board game, along with some finishing touches that add to the quality and feel of the app.

It wasn't for a further 6 weeks that the app was sent for submission to the app store, this was due to a few bugs that were being found from specific scenarios being played out. These bugs could have only been found by countless hours of testing. Therefore, the delay from app completion to app store submission has been vital in insuring the app with polished.
Democracy: The Board Game

Democracy: The Board Game is now available to download on the app store.

Download Here

Frozen Fishy out.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Autumn 2014 Update

I did a summer update recently, and as I don't have much in terms of actual news at the moment, I thought I would do a simple update. I am still at uni, working on an app, a mobile game and my final year project, all of which I will talk about in more detail in other blog posts closer to Christmas and early next year.
University of Ulster

On the side of university work, which doesn't offer much time, I work at the uni for 3 hours a week,
helping 1st year students in their first programming module. I help a group of 14 game developers every week by going through a tutorial, then by helping them with their own work and practical questions they have been given.

I have been working at Troll inc on the odd day during the last weeks, working on any games that have bugs, testing and getting help on my own projects.

I guess the biggest thing for me since my last blog post, has been the purchase of an Oculus Rift DK2 for use on my final year project, whilst development has not begun yet, I will be sure to update with full details once it has.

There are still games which I have worked on at Troll inc awaiting release, each of which will receive its own blog post from myself. There will be plenty of blog posts in the coming weeks and months as apps get released, apps are completed and my final year project starts development.

Frozen Fishy out.