A solitary bar in the middle of the desert, a tottering human being and his two-wheeled old friend. The player is mounting the bike as well as the drunken one. But while the player steers and pedals in place, the protagonist is guided through the everything but lifeless environment. Swarms of supersized fireflies are wandering around, boulders lying in the middle of the road and potholes are creating deadly hazards. As if it would not be difficult enough to prevent drifting off into the shrubbery or the guardrail, solar cells on the side turn into lethal lasers while the stretch of the road might just break off into nothingness. The main focus of the game is the biking and all its pitfalls.
Date: 4th semester (2015)
Duration: 3 weeks
Team Size: 3 people
Technology: Unity 3D, C#, Bike, Cords
Constraints: Create a full playable game-prototype based on the topic: Bike Game. The player has to controll the game by riding a bike.
My Part: I worked on the game concept and system, and did a big chunk of their implementation as well. Another part of mine was all the organizational work and a part of the level design.
What I've learned: Three weeks is not a long time. But thanks to this time limit I've seriously improved my ability to define and schedule different work-chunks, for myself and others. Another big part was about getting the data from the bike. We have had a lot of different ideas, but in the end one of our teammates came up with a crazy but genius cord-construction. To have this insane idea and then turning it into reality was as inspiring as enlightening. More obvious, but nonetheless important, were all the little improvements in designing game mechanics that I've gotten from having this very unusual game-controller.
I started by figuring out what is special about a bike. One of the most interesting things was, that there is a "natural" level of difficulty by choosing a gear. We came up with the concept of the player moving between different parallel running lanes by changing the gear of the bike. Orignaly planned as a stealth game, I began to abstract from this idea and conceptualized different game elements and mechanics.
As in previous Projects, we used analog prototyping to build the level for Toxic Rider. Not just turned this, regarding our little time, out to be a very fast method, but we could also already define further aspects like the collectable patterns - an idea I had to guide and encourage the movement of the player.
Not every idea could make it into the final game. The lantern-mechanic for example was canceled, although the main functionalities were already working, because of time and workload reasons. Also their behaviour was very similar to the lasers (image bottom right).
Regarding the general course of the project, this time we had our own little studio-space for the whole time. The ability to pin our results and plans, as well as a little Kanban Board, to the wall next to us was very usefull. Especially while dealing with just 3 weeks of project time.