Tridek Pre-Production - Where We At
Enough talk about us. It’s time to get you guys informed about where we currently are in the development of Tridek. This blog post will talk about the prototype that Alex developed over the last three years; what a Pre-Production is; why it’s important to have one and what we’re planning to do in the next couple of months.
First off: The prototype. This is basically a full-blown physical Trading Card Game with Tridek’s gameplay in it. Alex has been working on the concept of Crystal Monsters idea since the early 2000s. (Crystal Monsters was the working title of Tridek - but it sadly also is the name of an already existing game.) He then turned this project it into his bachelor thesis when graduating from Mediadesign Hochschule in 2009. For this he created more than 150 unique cards (fully designed, cut out & laminated, they already look pretty awesome).
We’ve been playing this card game for nearly three years now - always taking notes and tweaking the gameplay a little bit. Alex will talk about the story of the game in-depth at a later point - for now all you need to know is that the game is fully playable and a lot of fun. We “just” have to turn it into something digital for you. (Note: Tridek is going to look completely different than the prototype. We’re re-designing and re-creating every little piece of art.)
Now on to our 2nd topic: Pre-Production. Wikipedia is of the opinion that Pre-Production in game development should be defined as “a planning phase of the project focused on idea and concept development and production of initial design documents. The goal of concept development is to produce clear and easy to understand documentation, which describes all the tasks, schedules and estimates for the development team.” Basically we have to do research on every aspect on the game so we can agree on what exactly to create in the time and budget we have set for us. This included:
- Coming up with a name and setting for the game. This was a task where the whole team (and even the guys at dreamfab) was involved in. It took us a lot of time to come up with a name fitting the game (by the way: Tridek is the Esperanto word for “thirty”). Many hours were spent brainstorming crappy names. We also took the time to write down the background story and world vision for the game - more about that in a later post.
- Creating the visual style for the world and creatures of Galena. This was Alex Widl’s main line of work for the last month. He came up with some amazing creature concepts - you can see some of them on the Tridek website already. As a bonus for you guys, here’s a yet unreleased piece of concept art for the Green Oceans of Galena:
- We have also been busy at finding out how to adapt the physical trading card game to mobile devices. We worked on changing the gameplay to best fit online multiplayer and we decided on how to set-up the game board so it both fits tablets and smartphones. We’re going to talk about this in the future and show you some mock-ups, too. Promised.
- The coders were busy finding out what tech to use to create the game we want to make. We have already used the Unity game engine for our last three games (and a couple smaller projects) but we needed to make sure that we can step up our game both visually and accoustically. So they integrated both Scaleform (for the game’s UI) and libpd (for it’s audio system) into Unity. More information about the integration of both plugins is slated for blog-posts coming up shortly.
- There was also a lot of evaluation and concepting being done of the topic of our multiplayer architecture. This is going to be the part of our technology that allows you to play games with your friends (and foes). Fortunately Sebi has been working on stuff like this for the last couple years - so it’s mostly focused on finding the best solution for this special kind of game.
So, what’s the status? Right now, we’re 95% done with pre-production. There are only a few tech-related things still to be evaluated. The preliminary plan for the production of the game (i.e. “what do we want to have running when?”) is nearly finished. After this we’re going to start working on one of my favorite parts of game development: We’re going to create the first playable digital prototype. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you updated on this as we progress.