When the producers of JDE came together to decide on a schedule for the summer, they decided that a submission to the IGF would be the ideal goal for games that we created. Now, the IGF is not the definitive end goal for JDE. In fact, if our games don’t end up as IGF submissions, it will not be the end of the world. However, the producers believed that having it as a goal would be important in ensuring members were focused and had something to look forward to. Initially, the producers wanted to have the majority of the chosen game (at least the alpha) to be completed by the IGF submission deadline, Oct. 26. However, as time went on and the schedule for the JDE changed for the summer, so did our expectations and planned deliverables. Instead of having the alpha completed by submission, a vertical slice for our games would be completed instead. The producers believed that this was way more realistic since our teams split up to work on two games instead of one large game.
For Snow Angel, we decided that our vertical slice would consist of 5 distinct levels. Typically, a vertical slice is a demo of the game and consists of one completed and polished level. However, because our levels are much lake that of Super Meat Boy, which are relatively short and focus on introducing and testing one mechanic, we decided that 5 was realistic goal to achieve. Initially, we thought 10 levels would be appropriate, but quickly realized that it would probably be unachievable given our current timeline. Thus, we wanted 5 levels that represented the typical flow of our game. They break down like so:
- Level 1: Tutorial (Breaking down the basic structure of the game and introducing players to placing platforms)
- Level 2: Introduction to ramps (In addition to adding standard ice blocks, players will learn to change their upward direction via ramps)
- Level 3: Introduction to bouncy blocks (Players are introduced to blocks that allow the player to drastically change their forward momentum)
- Level 4: Introduction to changing direction (Players are introduced to blocks that allow the player to change direction)
- level 5: Mini-Boss (Now that the player has been introduced to the core mechanics of the game, they must use them in tandem in order to conquer the level).