In the Fall of 2019, our group was tasked with designing a video game as our Capstone Project. When brainstorming our game, we wanted a round based strategy game that would have depth but be easy to pick up and play. We found that Rampart had a lot of the basic gameplay ideas which we found appealing and decided to use it as the backbone of our design. First, we recreated Rampart in GameMaker Studio 2. This proof-of-concept allowed us to gain perspective on the potential scope of the project and to develop resources that would transition to Four Keeps development. This process of learning GameMaker Studio 2 and rebuilding Rampart in it’s engine took us most of this Fall semester, but in the end we were successful.
Not only had we made a simple version of the game, but this development cycle allowed us to confirm that our scope for our game was within our abilities. However, we didn’t immediately start advancing to those ideas. While our prototype would serve as a good framework, our push to meet the goals of our deadline had caused a lot of issues in the game behind the scenes. There was a lot of fractured code, unused assets, and other obstacles that if not addressed, would eventually undermine the foundation we were hoping to create. So over the winter break and during the start of the Spring 2020 semester, we focused on strengthening the core of our game’s framework.
From here, we began to incorporate our new gameplay additions. The most notable of which were providing a variety of capturable points, like a volcano or catapult, instead of just castles. By capturing one such point, it grants the player a special offensive attack instead of the normal cannonball. For example, if the player captures a volcano, they can fire a fireball that leaves a flaming crater as an obstacle on the opponent’s field. During this time, we also slowly transitioned from the original graphics to new visuals.
At this point, COVID started wrapping around the world. Because of the impacted it caused, we had to severely cut back on the scope of our game, and we couldn’t invest the time we desired into the project. However, we still pushed on, and completed the visual updates to the game along with adding polish to miscellaneous areas.