Dare to be Digital 2012 developers Team Faceplant talk to Develop about working on their entry title GravTech
I’m Albert, a Scottish student studying computer games technology at the University of Abertay, Dundee, and I’m one of the programmers on Team Faceplant.
We all got together after finishing our third year to bring our game idea to life in the Dare to be Digital competition.
GravTech is Portal meets Shadow Complex. It’s a physics-based platformer in which we give the player a gravity gun and let them run through the level playing with the gravity of objects along the way. The game is set on a beautiful lost planet – filled with ancient technology – on which the player has crash-landed.
Their only ticket home is to find the missing parts of their ship that are scattered across a ruined temple. Using a gravity gun players really has the power to manipulate the temple around them, and we play on this idea as the game progresses.
It's not your average summer holiday for sure. We’re almost finished and it’s been really exciting getting to work on a game of this kind of scale.
We’ve enjoyed working in an environment that’s similar to a small studio and it’s given us a great idea of what life would be like in the industry.
Just recently we started looking back at some of the early builds of our game and it’s insane the amount of progress we’ve made in such a short space of time. There’s something really satisfying about that.
We have the mentors coming in every other day and their feedback has been really useful in helping us figure out what’s fun and what’s not. It can be easy to lose sight of a project after you’ve been working on it for so long.
One of the most important things we’ve learnt throughout the competition is what we’re all capable of. We had to make a platform change after the first week which meant we lost all of our hard work, but by week three we had recovered and were back on schedule.
That’s what this competition is all about though, facing your problems, whatever they might be, and not letting them get in the way of trying to make something awesome.
We’ve also learnt a lot about managing our time due to the fact we’re working to such a tight deadline. We have to be very aware of where we’re spending our resources to make sure we get everything done within the nine week period.
The best part of making a game is seeing people play and enjoy it, so it’s going to be really cool having thousands of people coming and playing ours. The worst that can happen is we get huge amount of feedback which we can use if we decide to take the game further.
We’re also really excited to see what the other games are like when they’re finished, as the quality has been incredibly high this year. There’s some fierce competition out there.
We all have our hearts set on working in the games industry in the future and it’s almost guaranteed that most of us will work together again, on GravTech or otherwise.
We absolutely love working in a small team and there’s never been a better time to do it independently, so we really want to give it a shot. Until then, we have our last year of university to do, which means Honours projects, something I personally can’t wait get started on.
Dare ProtoPlay and Indie Fest is on 10th-12th August in Dundee, with all 15 Dare student games on show, as well as indie games, conference talks and much more.