By David Rosario III
Escape Velocity is a vertical, endless scrolling mobile game made for Android tablets using the Unity engine. The player controls a spaceship trying to avoid obstacles in order to evade capture from an alien ship. The player wins the level by achieving Escape Velocity, the speed at which allows the player to warp to the next level. The player achieves Escape Velocity by filling an energy meter by collecting energy cores, depicted as floating canisters that appear on the screen as the player flies by.
The project was created as a part of the curriculum at The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University (SMU Guildhall) in the first of three Team Game Projects. Development on Escape Velocity lasted from August-December 2016 for the student team, Crimson Lance Studios. I was a part of the project from the very beginning, serving as both an Assistant Team Lead and an Artist/Animator from pre-production onwards. For myself and the majority of the team, this was the first game we had ever worked on. This project served as a valuable learning experience for all members of the team.
What Went Well:
Remaining True to Our Vision
The greatest success of this project was our ability to remain true to the original vision of the project. Production began with a single concept, create a simple, arcade-style endless runner. The team was able to remain consistent with this vision through several iterations of gameplay and aesthetics.
For example, there were early milestones in which the team made changes to a setting based on an expert Kleenex Tester's critique. A particularly great moment was when we realized that this game was ultimately our vision and that we did not have to follow every single stakeholder suggestion. As long as the implementation fit our game pillars and worked for our general development milestones, then our original design was the right direction.
This served as a turning point for us as it allowed us to stop trying to add features that we didn't believe in and put us on the right track for returning to our original vision.