Genre: Action, Survival RTS
Players: Single Player
Dev Cycle: 5 Weeks
Release Date: January 2013
Engine/Dev Tools: Unity, Photoshop, Illustrator
Players: Single Player
Role: Producer, Game Designer
Question: Would violent games still be seen as violent with different art styles? Or would a new target audience possibly become interested in the genre after an art style change?
Story: In 1957, The Russians sent the first animals to the Cosmos in the midst of the space race… Today, NASA takes the next leap for mankind by sending lovable, innocent dogs to space! But these adorable pooches aren’t just going to space, they’re going to Mars!
Razor: Age of Empires meets Littlest Pet Shop all in the survival setting of Tokyo Jungle.
Slogan: “In space, no one can hear your adorable bark for help.”
Unique Selling Points:
- A Survival RTS game where sacrifice is the ultimate test
- Experience the intimidating, scary, and unknown Mars environment and see if you can survive its
- Play as cute space dogs who need your help to stay alive
- Producer – Zeph Fagergren
- Artist – Alice Owens
- Engineer – Chongze Yang
- Engineer – Chunrun Wang
- Engineer – Yuntao Ou
Picture 1: The Rover Rescue Logo
Picture 2: Poster for Rover Rescue
Picture 3: Infographic for Rover Rescue
Picture 4: Screenshot of the development of Rover Rescue in Unity
Picture 5: Early gameplay of Rover Rescue
Picture 6: Me presenting Rover Rescue to an industry panel
Rover – The Beginning of an IGF Game
It has started! Team Dawgz has gone through quite a bit of brainstorming, designing and plenty of time spent at the whiteboard to come up with the basic idea for our game we are going to develop and enter into IGF.
We have come up with a Survival/Real-Time-Strategy game called Rover Rescue.
Razor – Age of Empires meets Littlest Pet Shop all in a survival setting like Tokyo Jungle.
Slogan – In 1960, The Russians Sent Dogs To Space for research… In 2017, NASA sends Penguins to Mars!
Elevator – Survival RTS Game
What we have so far is something that we think is unique and has a lot of potential to be both fun and interesting. Our idea has changing quite a bit in just a week and I know it will change quite a bit more in the future. But with the ideas we currently have and are putting together, I really think our game is going to take off.
Rover takes place on Mars around the year 2017. The idea is that in 1960 the Russians sent dogs to space for research so now humans have decided to send more animals to Mars to pretty much do the same thing. The gameplay starts after the player learns that the Rover sent to mars has crash landed and scattered it’s pieces and resources everywhere. The animals, not being from Mars, need to collect all of the Rovers pieces and bring them back to the ship to be able to get home. Along with all these ship pieces will be food, oxygen, and water resources laying around the map that will need to be collected in order to survive Mars’ scary environment. The player will be playing cute animals that will be coming out of the crashed Rover ship. These animals will collect the food, water, and oxygen which will increase there HP and allow the character to stay alive longer. Since these resources will automatically start being used up the second the animal leaves the Rover, it will be necessary for the animals to collect as much resources as they can find before their HP runs out. If an animal can collect a rover part while getting enough resources to keep his HP above zero, he/she will survive. If not, well, so long cute little animal!
We have had many meetings and have spent a lot of time on our whiteboard fleshing out our ideas for this game. With keeping our thoughts organized on a whiteboard, on a Wiki, and while were brainstorming, we have come up with a game that is ready to start becoming prototyped out.
Our last step we took before sitting down on the computers and getting to work on our game was building a physical prototype! It was awesome putting our game on a table using an old Tech-Deck half-pipe and board game pieces! After laying it all out and running through the basic design, mechanics, and gameplay, everyone was on board and ready to start getting to work!
The Dev Process and The Pitch for Rover Rescue
It was quite an experience for Team Rover who developed Rover Rescue over a course of six weeks. We not only spent many hours outside of class meeting to work together on the design of the game, we all lost a lot of sleep making sure our prototype was perfect and on time for our first industry panel pitch on February 25th.
The process of developing Rover Rescue was very smooth. We met up in class two times a week to discuss everyone’s current progress during our stand up meetings and then we would work together to discuss design or any other prevalent topics around the whiteboard. We would spend a lot of time making sure that everyone had a say in design on this game. As a producer, I decided it was best to give everyone say in the design since we were already combining a lot of different ideas from our individual game docs we pitched for our previous project. This way would make it so we could all work together to come up with something we would all like. Because we choose this method of team designing, we spent a lot of time fleshing out ideas and crossing out features we knew we wouldn’t have time to build. Overall, this process turned out to be the best because we came up with some solid features that we thought would make our game both unique and very fun to play.
When it was came down to the week of the practice presentations, we had a working prototype and a video that showed off all of our current features and how the game will work as well as a Powerpoint presentation that I would show to our classmates and faculty.
Although the first presentation went reasonably well and people seemed to understand the game, I got a lot of feedback about my Powerpoint presentation being both too long in time and quantity of slides. Looking back on it now, it’s easy to see why I got that feedback.
After the first presentation, I worked very hard to condense our presentation down to less slides with better content. I ended up staying up for over 40 hours strait fixing up the presentation, making another big presentation for another class, doing other homework and taking care of life all within a two day period. My lack of sleep definitely got to me during the second presentation. Although people told me the presentation went well, I felt myself mentally stumbling during my presentation and I felt like I wasn’t anywhere near awake enough to present. But it did go well overall and I did get some great feedback to prepare me for the Industry Panel pitch the following Monday.
After a long nights sleep, I decided to make a Prezi for our presentation and completely revamp the way I was going to present. I sat down with Alice (our team artist) to come up with some new artwork for our final presentation. We decided to make our pitch very story like so that our audience would be engaged in the pitch the whole time. After many, many hours of reorganizing, doing more art, preparing and practicing the pitch, I was finally ready to present Rover Rescue to not only my cohort and our faculty for the third time, but to a video game industry panel that would determine if our game would get past gate one or not and continue to get made.
The pitch went very well to the Industry Panel. We all received great feedback on our game and almost everyone agreed that the game was unique. I personally received a lot of good feedback about my presentation saying that I presented very well and it was solid. That gave me a lot of confidence because I felt great after I presented. Out of all the presentations I had done so far for the program, this one was by far the one I was the most proud of. I felt that our entire team gave it our all and I represented them, as well as our game, the best I could.
Although Rover Rescue didn’t get picked to continue on to be made for our projects class, we decided that we would continue Rover Rescue as a side project outside of class since our whole team still wants to build this great game and we all still have a lot of passion to continue on with it! So who knows what the future will bring for this game!
Rover Rescue One Page