Dungeons & Demons

In Dungeons & Demons you play as Wilbur, a young man with a great affection for ,Live action role play' (LARP), and video games. And somehow he has been sucked into this world of magic and demons, and he finds himself at the bottom of a big tower with the ability to actually cast spells. So he starts to make his way up the tower, to claim the magical tome and return to his world. On his way he finds himself confronted with switch puzzles and trap blocks, which make his way up not necessarily easier. Now it is up to you, to help Wilbur reach the top of the tower and return to his world. Can you make it?

Attention:

To play the game properly, you will need the following:
.NET Framework 4 and XNA Framework Redistributable 4.0


Credits

Mattew Walsh - Audio Lead, Composer, Player Model
Stephen Nally - Secondary Programmer, UI-Designer, Voice Director, Audio Director, Audio Editor
Andreas Lau - Lead Game Programmer, Sound Designer, Environmental Models, Audio Programmer.


Here you can Download the game


Development Insight

Dungeons & Demons is the first 3D-Game I have ever worked on, and also the first bigger Group-Project I have been involved into. This was my Group Project in my second semester that the Dundalk Institute of Technology as an exchange student in the course Games Development. We were supposed to work in a team of four people, but one of our team-members left the group right at the beginning, and we were left with three people. I filled out the roles of the lead Programmer, and the Sound Director. During the whole process i had to write a technical journal documenting what i did every week. To monitor the process of the whole project we used scrumwise, an easy to use, but very helpful process management tool. In the following I will give you an insight in the 3 steps of development we went through.

1. Concept

The first 2 weeks of the project we spent on figuring out, what kind of game we wanted to make. We came up with different ideas, drew out concepts. We knew we wanted to make a 3rd-Person jump'n'run, and when we thought about characters, we stumbled over the wizard character. Then thinking about it some more we came up with him being actually a nerd who happens to fall into the role of a wizard and who experiences the surreal adventure he always wished for.

In the beginning, we scoped our game way to big. We though about having 3 different parts in:
Climbing up a tower, not being able to cast spells, in order to reach the magical tome. With the tome you have the ability to cast spells and with those you fight your way across the bridge, which is connecting the two towers. You fight different kinds of demons and in the end one big boss demon. After you defeat the boss he starts coming after you and you have to run away from him, down the second tower, kind of like in the ,Crash Bandicoot'-games. But as we started developing the game, we soon realized we would not be able to get all that done in just the 11 weeks we had, so we had to scope down our game.

So after we had the concept figured out, we had to build a paper prototype. Which means a non-digital playable version of the game. This serves the purpose of getting an idea of how the game will play and what it will look like. I personally found this really useful, and i will consider doing it again on my next bigger project. To show off our idea we did a presentation of our paper prototype, which you can see here:

2. Proof of Concept

The second phase of development was the ,Proof of Concept', which is used to show that your concept works as a game. Up to this point we had a working camera, that is movable, but not yet collidable, so it was going through every object in the game. We had gameplay controls implemented, which allowed you to move the camera and the player around, and also to make the player jump and cast spells. There were three kinds of platforms up to that point, the solid ones, the disappearing ones and the moving ones. We had working collision detection with those platforms using JigLibX, which also allowed us to have proper physics for moving the player and jumping around. The last thing to mention are the 3 spells which we were able to cast.

As I mentioned earlier we decided on scaling down the spec of the game, to be only the first tower, without the bridge and the final tower. We wanted to focus on the first tower and make the game-play as fun as possible. To achieve that, we decided to implement switches which the spells could be used on, instead of fighting against demons. And next to the switches we planned on having trap block which would make the way up harder for the player.

3. Beta Release

The last iteration was our finished game, the game you can download. We implemented everything we aimed for in our ,Proof of Concept'. But for this iteration there were also other subject playing in, which are ,Sound Technology' which expected us to source, make and edit sounds and music for the game, and ,Games Interface Design', which graded our user-interface and menus equally on functionality and design.

So what did we do during this iteration:

  • We now have a collidable third person camera. Once the camera detects a collision, it moves closer to the player and away from the object it is colliding with
  • We made implemented the switch mechanics/block and the traps
  • Our Win mechanic revolves around collecting the book of spells at the top of the tower. Once you collect that book, you become a much more powerful wizard!
  • Our lose mechanic is simple, once you lose all your health, you die and resume at the previous checkpoint
  • Our Collision-Detection/-Response is controlled using JiglibX physics and the collision skins it provides. For example, our tower is a trianglemesh object because it doesn't move, while our player collision skin is a capsule because it's the best collision skin to wrap around a human shape
  • We have an animated player model and models for pick-ups and traps
  • We polished all textures to make the game look a lot nicer
  • Our UI is a healthbar and a sprite that shows the controls for the game
  • Our menu systems contain the options to raise and lower the volume, mute the volume, quit the game and resume from pause. In our title screen we also have the option for people to view our control scheme
  • The audio in our game consist of environmental sounds, such as switches and flamethrowers. We also have a voiceover for our player
  • Finally, we have background music playing in the title screen and during gameplay

So in the end I would say, that i learned an awful lot about the process of developing a game. But not only that, also about methods to approach big software projects, how to address issues in a team and solve them. This was an incredible experience and I am more than happy with the result. So I hope you have as much fun playing the game, as I had making it.

Contact Details

Telephone: +49 157 3579 7912
Email: contact@7bitgames.net
Website: www.7bitgames.net