May 15, 2015
Greed Corp. is a visual novel for PC and mobile. Greed Corp. sets the player in the shoes of a new regional manager of a large corporation. You have to take decisions that will question your morality and balance company profits with your love for humanity. The game a bit silly.
We started out trying to make a mod for Skyrim. We had planned a scenario where you could find a secret dungeon inside Markath. But we stumbled into a problem with source control. Having multiple people collaborating in one project in Skyrim’s Creation kit, proved very difficult. We had a lot of trouble setting up the project, and after a few days we chose to abandon the idea.
The assignment required us to use two different platform-specific input devices, if we were to use Unity. We opted to go with the PC/Desktop and mobile platform, meaning that our game had to work with mouse and keyboard, and touch screen. One team member claimed that he was good at writing stories, so we settled on the idea of creating a visual novel. This was awesome for me, as I had worked a little on a twine parser for unity, and now I could continue to develop on it as a school project.
This was however a mistake. We betted too much on this parser to be complete and problem free, that it became part of our demise. I am probably still blamed for my enthusiasm about the twine parser. I over promised with some features, and therefore under delivered when the project turned out to be more difficult that expected. I did however deliver on what was important: Importing a story, figuring out what the next passages in the story was. And I will still claim (though to the others dismay) that it was not all my fault. The guy how promised to deliver a story, told us that he had no idea how to write. One team member was out for most of the project, the other could not properly program.
The twine parser was pushed to its limit by having a really complex story functionality wise, instead of complex story structural wise. Twine essentially is a tool to create a branching story by linking nodes together. This creates structural complexity which is simple to handle. Twine also allows for several functions to be called. Functions such as setting a variable, comparing a variable and only posting some text or a link if the variable is larger than another variable and much more. This can create functional complexity. So were the story could have been a stump that goes to another stump, which branches out 3 ways, and those branches, branches out 3 new ways. The story was instead a stump with 3 branches, each of these 3 branches will check what decisions came before and from that unlock the next 3 branches. Everything was connected to each other, but it was limited by checking variables in nested if sentences and therefore extremely functional complex. It was a lot of edge cases that created some difficult bugs, which took too long to fix.
At the end we had an actual decent product, but we were dissatisfied because it could have been even better had we just done it a little differently. The team also had an issue with accepting responsibility, which was my main take away from this. (Well that and Reverse Polish Notation, which was extremely fun to learn.)
Tags: Mobile, School, Text, Unfinished, Unity