BATTLECUBES: CONCEPT AND CREATION

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

Welcome to the concept and creation of BattleCubes!


In BattleCubes, you will play against other players to best each other in a 1v1 matchup with Units that specialize in different aspects of the game.


We'll be discussing the production of BattleCubes, and as well what went right/ wrong and talk about the team's experience.



The initial idea of BattleCubes came from Anthony Diaz from Block one Fall Quarter of UCSC AGPM/CMPM 170 course. There, it came to light and made into a physical prototype of the game. It consisted of a Rubix Cube some stickers, and a deck of custom card that allowed us to select specific squares on the faces of the


Wanting to see it in digital, We also created a VERY rough version of the game during that same block. The game was then pitched to the class and got we managed to make a team of six for the game.


The game went really well for the second quarter of the year, we managed to get networking into the game really early in the year and kept playing with the rulesets of the game to keep the game more interesting. We even got the idea from our professor @cuircutlions to develop the game for mobile. At the end of Winter Quarter. managed to get 4 more people to join our team for a total of 10 members.


But there was an underlying problem with the game's development. This came in two flavors:


1: Our backend of the game was not reliable.

2: Shifting of Prioritization of the game


For Issue #1, this came down to our game initially being a Desktop game and as well as not being a networked game. We built upon the initial prototype build of the game because it had a lot of things that was part of the game, but because of that, it ended up causing more issues than it helped. From Random actions disappearing from the game, to random disconnecting from the game from time to time. As well as now we REALLY have to worry about performance of the game because of it being on mobile. It was so bad that we tried to do a playtest with the professor Fall Quarter and he couldn't connect with us whatsoever. So what did we do?


We completely recreate the game's backend from scratch within 2 weeks. Sounds insane? It is. We took the knowledge from the mistakes we made and took it head on. BIG thanks to the team for having to go through that process. The game is in a MUCH better place stability wise than it used to be and We have not run into any of those previous issues like we have before.


As for issue #2, our goal for the game was to create a solid experience for the game in terms of User experience, and Replayability. How do we keep the player wanting to come back and play again while making things make sense in a mobile environment. This is a hard thing that we will never 100% get right but we are learning.


We came to the issue near the end of Winter Quarter of how the game art would look like. This was a Major problem because we honestly couldn't get to a solution, we for the most part were fine with where ever the art goes, which causes the issue of having no direction. So we shifted our attention to Art and how we could make the game look. We ran test trials of our art pipeline and everything seemed to be going well going into Spring Quarter.


Let's just say, Spring Quarter now being held online is tough. I, myself, work two jobs as well as other team members being available less often, one team member not even being in the same time zone.



We ran into a pretty serious problem, Our game was solid but it never really expanded in either direction of the game. That meaning, the feeling of players getting to play with different units on the different "Cube worlds" and discover different playstyles wasn't there due to us only having one type of "Cube world". And because we shifted from creating experiences to art, we didn't have time to Playtest/create other units to provide different playstyles for different players to the game, a core aspect of the game. Something we wanted to do was have really nice animations for each unit players controlled in the game, but proves to be a lot harder than suspected. Animations such as: getting hit, attacking, idle animations, death animations, spawning animations, etc. We were stuck between two ways of going with the game.



This is what we are doing about it:

The plan is to...



In the end, I'm really proud of my team and how far we've got so far. Even through hard times like these, and litteraly starting over, I'm happy that we are able to meet up at 11:00am to discuss the next steps of our game.


And we're not done yet, Follow us here to get more insider info of the game and our development process.


Also, if you're interested. Look at the accounts we follow. There you'll find other games produced in our course and maybe you'll find some more interesting info on their process too!