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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Capstone Game Post Mortem: The Crazy 8

Torrey Daniel

Game App Icon

The Crazy 8



Revenue model
In-Game Purchases
Interstitial Ads

Development tools/Language
The Engine - Unity 3D
UI - Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator
Sprites – Adobe Fireworks
Version Control – Underdog
Programming – MonoDevelop, C#

API’s & Other Resources
·       Google Play Games Services
·       Photon Unity Networking
·       Cartoon FX Packs 1 & 2
·       MOGA Controller Plugin
·       Set Builders
·       Universal Sound Effects
·       Westar Music Library

Game audience
The intended audience for this game is from teens to young adults. Based on Bartle’s Player Types (Bartle, 1996), TC8 is intended for players who would fall into the Achiever category: Players who seek a challenge and play to unlock all of the characters. With that said, once player-vs-player is added, player’s who fall into the Killer category are expected: Players who play simply to give other players a hard time.

Torrey Daniel - Designer/Developer

The Crazy 8 Copyright © 2015 Torrey Daniel

Sound Bite
The Crazy 8: Go In, Go Hard, Go Crazy.

Executive Summary
TC8 is a mobile fighting game with the goal of a classic fighting game experience to mobile devices. TC8 presents a more traditional fighting game play style than most modern mobile fighters.

TC8 was inspired the classic, console and arcade-based fighters. The overall goal of this project was to bring that nostalgic “feel” of playing a classic fighter to the mobile platform, which is a challenge due to the lack of physical buttons.

Capstone Scope
TC8 was a five-month, solo game project, which was completed within Full Sail University’s Mobile Gaming Master’s Program.

Ideally, at the end of the Capstone period, TC8 was planned to have a playable roster of 8 characters, 8 playable stages, 6 game modes (Arcade, Time Trial, Survival, Single-Player VS, Multiplayer VS, and Training), all major mechanics implemented, a fully function in-game store, Google Play Game services fully implemented (Leaderboards, Achievement, and In-App Purchases), and multiplayer connectivity.

The Critique: What went right...

Design & Aesthetics:
·       Design Documents:
o   The design documents did well in providing an overall guideline for this project as the contained information that kept this project on track. With that said, I do believe that they could have been managed better (See Below)

·       Mechanics:
o   Out of everything that was achieved in this project, I am most proud of the fighting mechanics. At the start of the project, I struggled to decide exactly how the players should fight. I wanted something that was not too complicated due to device restrictions, while at the same time not as simple as simple swiping the screen to perform actions. In the end, I decided on something that fell between the style of Marvel vs Capcom and Street Fighter. A fighting game would not be a fighting game without combos, which is why I aimed to keep it simple while still requiring a bit of practice, just like the games that inspired TC8.

·       Balancing:
o   Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses. I had to keep this in mind as I created the roster in order to keep each of them from being too overpowered. For example, Sophi and Source Code are capable of performing more elaborate combos than the rest of the roster, but they also deal the least damage. Terrah Bihte and Lance are slower than the rest of the roster, and they’re also less combo-friendly. However, they deal the most damage of them all.

·       Graphics:
o   While the characters are 2D sprites, the stages are full 3D geometry. This gives the game a bit more depth than having a layered 2D background. However, there are a few issues that arose because of this (See Below)

·       Audio:
o   TC8 uses audio that fits the game well. Since voice actors were not an option due to the scope of the project, the game uses simple voices (grunts, yells, etc.) acquired from the Unity Asset Store. The music was acquired from the Westar Music Library, which also fits the game well. There’s different music for different sections of the game. In addition to the Unity Asset store, a few of the sound effects used were also obtained from FreeSFX.com.

·       Narrative:
o   TC8 has announcers that speak a certain points in the game. They are primarily used for announcing things related to the match. There are also loading screens before a match, which tells players their next opponent, and where they will be fighting. Also, character bios are displayed to the players during character selection screen. There’s still a bit more to add when it comes to narrative. (See Below)

·       UI Screens
o   TC8 follows a more dark, less saturated color scheme to fit the serious tone of most fighting games. I designed the overall color scheme of the menus to match the colors of the logo.

·       UI Controls:
o   The UI controls are straight-forward. There are four buttons located on the right side of the screen, and there are directional input buttons on the left side for movement. Players have the option to change the opacity of these buttons.

Project Management
Given what was accomplished within the short scope of this project, I believe that it was managed well. Most of the planned features were added, and what was not added was does not impact the primary features and functionality of the game.

The code is set up well with each mechanic/feature organized in separate scripts. Unity Engine was great to work with. As it stands now, the game is set up in a way that allows additional features to be added with minimal issues. New characters and stages can easily be added with only a few lines of code. The AI has 3 changeable difficulty levels which each behave differently. With that said, there’s still some work needed for the AI.

During testing, TC8 performed well. The only causes of crashes have been memory issues caused by oversized textures, which were easy fixes by compressing them. Although the tests went well, setting them up was difficult.

Business Model/Plan
TC8 will follow the Free to Play (F2P) revenue model. The game will also use ads that will appear after completing a game mode or receiving a game over. In addition to that, TC8 will also have in-app purchases. The first of which, is the in-game currency. TC8 features it’s own currency called Fight Coins, which is used to purchase additional Sanity Attacks for each character. Players can either ear Fight Coins by playing the various game modes, or by purchasing them in coin packs.
Lastly, at release, there will be an initial playable roster of eight (8) characters. Over time, an additional eight characters will be added. These characters will be released in sets of 2 called Rival Packs. Players will be able to purchase these new characters via in-app purchases.

The Critique: What went wrong…

Design & Aesthetics
·       Design Documents:
o   During the Usability Test, some of the participants made a few suggestions about the layout of the main menu, since then, I’ve been experimenting with other layouts, but at this point in time, I have haven’t decided on a new one. Below is a snapshot of the layout that I’m considering going with for the main menu. Also, I tended to get very carried away with development, which caused me to forget to keep the project documents updated.

·       Mechanics:
o   Although the primary mechanics were added, they are not perfect. There are still a few bugs that need to be fixed, specifically when it comes to collisions.

·       Balancing:
o   The balancing could use a bit more work, but its nothing major. The characters’ strengths and weaknesses could use a bit more enforcing.

·       Graphics:
o   At this point in time, there are still a few placeholder graphics that I had planned to replace by now with other graphics that fit the UI theme better.

·       Networking:
o   One of TC8’s primary planned features was multiplayer. When I began this portion of development, I encountered numerous issues. Because of this, I decided to leave multiplayer out of the scope of the Capstone, and focus on solidifying what was already in place. I still plan to add multiplayer in the future.

·       Narrative:
o   In addition to the current narrative aspects in place, Arcade mode is missing the scenes that tell each character’s story. These scenes would be short, manga-style images that portray the events that lead up to the final boss fight.

Project Management
Although I tried my best to stay on schedule, there were situations where I had to extend the time scheduled to complete a task. This occurred most often during the sprite creation phase, which was extremely time consuming.

The code could have been organized more cleanly with comments and having related methods and variable declarations grouped together for improved readability. The repo should have also been updated more often.

Although the tests went well, some were quite difficult to set up. This is because I had not planned to test early in development. This made it difficult to isolate the blocks of code being tested because of their dependencies with other scripts.


Overall, I’m proud of what was accomplished within the scope of the Capstone. The final version of TC8 was not far off from the planned one. The primary fighting mechanics were added, there is a roster of 8 characters, there are 8 stages, and 5 out of the 6 planned game modes were added.

Besides development-related things, I learned quite a lot from this project. My main take-away is project management. Although a lot was achieved, it was difficult to stay on schedule. I also take debugging more seriously after this project. Android’s Logcat debugging tool was essential in finding the dreaded “Out of Memory” error that plagued this project for a while. Also, I learned the importance of making code testable from the start. It saves a lot of headaches when it comes to testing. That would be the only thing I would redo about this project.

For me, the high point of this project was completing the combat system. It took a bit of time to get it working, but once it did, I felt a great sense of achievement. The low point was when I decided to postpone multiplayer. Although I do plan to complete it in the future, I was disappointed that I could not get it working at the scheduled time.

     From here, I intend to continue working on TC8. There are still some bugs that need to be fixed, and features that need to be added. It won’t take much to fully set up achievements, leaderboards, and in-app billing via Google Play. Multiplayer will be added via update after release. Once the game is in a stable condition, I plan to release TC8 on Google Play.

View the Screencast HERE