In the first semester we broke into 3 teams of 5 and produced three prototypes each. During this time we tried to develop games that would effectively teach players how smart grid technologies work.
This single player game was developed to teach players to create an electrical grid and use mechanics related to smart grid technologies. I programmed a majority of the games functions, implemented UI, and added in art assets created by my team's artist. This was my first time working in unity and I was getting used to C#. I designed and implemented an algorithm for passing power values between the various objects. In this initial build the algorithm was functional but had several potential faults.
After playtesting, we decided to focus on player communication. Providing text tips and status symbols for players to better understand how to interact with the system. We created events which can impact the electrical grid, offering some challenge to the player. Additionally, I overhauled the algorithm that calculates and distributes power to the various objects.
This was the end of my work on this prototype but in the second semester, this prototype was one of two that was refined and developed into a full experience for our client. I watched it get a visual overhaul and change to become a more educationally focused experience rather than a mock city builder game. Prior to being selected, I created documents which explained how the systems operated for use by programmers and designers on the other team.
My teams second prototype was a cooperative game where a small team of players would instruct a single player how to operate a smart grid system. I designed and programmed a lot of the mini games and supporting systems such as the phone, keys, and display repair games.
Below is some examples of the manual that players would use to assist the player.
In Cold Circuits
In Cold Circuits was my team's third and final prototype. It's a cooperative mystery game in which players take on the role of detectives in order to solve who killed a personification of smart grid technology. I handled the design and programming of nearly every system in this game including the dialogue system, character reactions, and a lot of backend programming which determines who committed the crime.
The final build features a complete dialogue system which allows the player to "call out" lies or misinformation. This system was by far the most difficult thing I'd programmed up to this point. It required several custom data structures that could handle multiple branching dialogue trees for each character, as well as a toolkit to allow other developers to input all the lines of dialogue. We also expanded the amount of suspects to five and added a second round of questioning.
Additionally, there's a system that I designed, programmed, and implemented which decides who the guilty suspect is based on which dialogue options the player picks and calls out. Meaning that regardless of what conversations the player has, they will always have the advantage when it comes to determining the murderer.
Below are a couple examples of supplementary information that would be provided to players assisting the main player.