Student developer Roger Hicks takes a look back at the process of creating
Student IGF entrant Wings of Apocalypse
-- taking in lessons learned from playtesting, development, promotion, and team building.
Says Hicks, "The WoA development team started in Virginia but, after the addition of Brian [Terwilliger], from Florida, and Naomi [Baker]'s relocation to California, we found ourselves thousands of miles apart and less obligated to continue development. We'd often let other engagements halt and effectively threaten to kill the project indefinitely."
That wasn't the only problem the team had to surmount, says Hicks: "Being the only programmer on the team meant that both Naomi and Brian relied heavily on me to make sure that every feature in the game worked as we planned. This was a tough task because many of our original ideas were just too much for one programmer to handle all on his/her own in a limited amount of time.
It wasn't long before I was completely overwhelmed with ideas and concepts that were planned for implementation even though I was still in the process of wrapping my head around OpenGL and the basics of a game engine.
Gameplay issues also affected the team's design. "Unfortunately, after a public release of the IGF 2009 build, we began to receive negative feedback directed towards our deflection mechanic. Many complained that the learning curve was too large or that the mechanic felt gimmicky and useless
," Hicks says.
To find out how Hicks and team tackled these trials and were able to release the game successfully, visit the full feature, Developing Wings of Apocalypse
, which is live today on Gamasutra's education-focused sister site, GameCareerGuide.