This site showcases the thesis capstone projects for the Full Sail Mobile Gaming Master of Science program. Students completing the program post their end of program project self evaluation here examining what went right and what went wrong during production.

The site provides examples of all completed projects, without regard to the quality of work. Final faculty evaluation of your project is separate from your postmortem. It is a place to share student work and start dialogue with faculty about completed and upcoming projects.

If you are adding a postmortem for a completed project to this blog, please do your best to provide a meaningful meta-level evaluation of your project. This helps students currently in the program have a better understanding of the critical points related to independent production, game development and design and project management. The template for the blog content and instructions can be found in the first post from July 2014.

Thank You,
MGMS Faculty

Monday, December 15, 2014

Capstone Game Post Mortem: Terra Wars

Capstone Game Post Mortem: Terra Wars

Game Summary: 


Timothy Cheek 


Terra Wars





Revenue model

The game will have to versions. There is a lite version that has ads and the other version has no ads. Also the lite version will only contain 20 of the levels. The ads will be played in between the level select screen and the level and after the level before the level select screen. There will also be an in game store for players to buy items. These items will range from experience boost to new units or levels.  Buying a new character will allow players to try new strategies. Allowing the player to buy new levels will allow them to grind and gain new loot on new levels. Buying an experience boost will shorten the time needed to grind so the player can beat levels that they are stuck on.

Levels will have a framework set up so all that has to be done is set the variables for it and add the art. This would take half a day to do and half a day to test. The art for the level would take around 2 days for the artist to do. Selling new level bundles at $5.00 for 3 new levels, you would have to sell the level to 205 different users. By reusing the art assets this number would drop to break even. Characters would take around the same amount of time to create since the framework is set up and all that would need to be done is the artwork.

Development tools/Language


3rd party APIs
·       Grid Framework by HiPhish

·       Android Native Plugin v4.2.0

Game audience

My target audience are people whom like strategy games and/or prehistoric game settings. Also I am targeting people who like the themes of Terra Nova, Jurassic Park 2, and Half Past DangerI am also targeting all English speaking countries. There are 21 million Americans and 11 million Europeans who play games on the tablet and out of that 11% play strategy games. I am targeting around 1 million gamers.


Developer/Designer: Timothy Cheek


Terra Wars ©2014 Timothy M Cheek



Sound Bite

Travel through time with a squad of soldiers and strategically fight other humans and prehistoric creatures in turn based action.

Executive Summary

Terra Wars is a strategy game were you control a squad of soldiers and you must defeat the enemy. You were sent back in time to a prehistoric time where the native creatures can be used to help or harm your units.


My inspiration for making this game was wanting to have a game like XCOM or Disgaea on mobile devices. I wanted to push my self and create something that would push me. I felt this project would give me enough of a challenge.


If everything went perfectly the art design would have used more modern units. The units would have levels that could be raised by defeating enemies. Also there would be armor and weapons that could be equipped to the units to increase the different stats. The level select screen would be a map that the player would select a level by touching the spot on the map.There would be a minimum of 20 levels in the game.


The Critique: What went right…

Design & Aesthetics

The mechanics in the game were designed so that when I started coding that it was easy to know how they are suppose to work and what there are suppose to look like. This made the development easy. Also I wanted to create the background images myself and they turned out just as planned. By allowing the UI to be over the top of the level it allows the game to be easily ported to phones. If the UI was not overlapped with the level and it was a section of the screen, it would be harder to see enough of the level on the screen.

Project Management

The projects scope was set up to allow enough to get the picture of the game. There was two types of units and this allowed for players to be able to create enough strategy. I was able to keep the deadlines and was not overwhelmed with to much to do. 


I created the different pieces of the levels so that I could create new levels fast. I was able to test a level and make changes easily. Since I used Unity I didn't have to spend time on the back engine so more time was spent creating the features of the game. 


The play testing that I conducted, showed a few bugs that I did not know about. This was a good thing because the bugs would lock the game in certain states. Also I was able to conduct a few A/B test that gave me information about different names and prices for objects in the game. This allowed me to make it easier for players to know what items in the game were and they could understand it with out any help. 

Business Model/Plan

The business model that I have planned allows players to try the game and if they like it they can purchase it to have more. Also allowing them to purchase more levels would allow the player to get more out of the game. Levels are easy to create and so there is little cost in creating the levels. I have a unique theme for my game that will draw user to it.


The Critique: What went wrong…

Design & Aesthetics

I was unable to find the graphics that I wanted for units. I had to improvise with other graphics that fit the theme. I had to make sound effects that were basic and they didn't feel right in some places. The menus are plain. They don't have any dynamic art on them.

Project Management

I spent more time than I planned when doing the AI. I underestimated how hard it would be to do. I have done this in the past but never in Unity. Also I did not find the art assets before I started and this created complications later on in the development cycle. 


One of the biggest problems with the development was that I didn't follow any coding standards. Prefixes on variable names vary. There was a bug that would appear on the mobile devices but not on the computer with unity. Also there was a lot of dependancies between classes. This led to testing different components very hard. 


The biggest part of testing was that I didn't think about it at the beginning. Since I didn't plan for it creating unit test was hard. I was unable to try new things with the AI and let people see different behaviors. This lack of planning led to me not trying new stats like how far enemies can move.

Business Model/Plan

The only issue I have with my business model is the marketing aspect. I have to find creative ways to do it. I can see the game doing well or doing bad based on marketing. 



The final version of the project was very close to how I envisioned it at the beginning. The biggest difference was the art assets. I had to limit the number of unit types that I had in the project because of time and resources, but the game still feels good even with the few types of units. I plan to redo some of the framework of the project so that I can create test for it and also make it easier to fit pieces together. One example is the AI. I feel like I need to pull it out of the enemy class and make it a component so that I can have different AI for each unit. This will also make it easier to try different things with it. I still need to add unit levels and gaining experience and also different types of items. I also want to fix the menus so they look prettier. If I had the opportunity to redo or start over I would have put a test framework in at the beginning and also made the components less dependent of each other. 

The high point of this project was accomplishing all the task that I had laid out for myself. I didn't know if I could do it all but I wanted to try. I feel as though I accomplished that. The low point of this project for me is the amount of time I would spend some nights because I didn't plan or research accordingly. I do plan to release this game in the future but I need to do a little bit of work to it first. I want to add more units to the game and allow the player to choose what units they want to use in the levels  Also I want to take what I have learned and bring it to my current job to make applications better for consumers. 


Cheek, T. (2014). Terra Wars [Android game] (Unpublished thesis). Mobile Gaming Master                 of Science, Full Sail University

HiPhish. (n.d.). Grid Framework. Asset Store. Retrieved July 13, 2014, from https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/4004

Unity Technologies. (2014, January 1). Unity- Game Engine. Retrieved November 4, 2014, from http://unity3d.com/

Screencast Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21BGlZpOwKA