Capretto

The silence of the forest is disturbed by the chiming clock tower of the city. In the 2D puzzle platformer Capretto the player slips into the role of the mysterious Forest Guardian, awaiting a dangerous journey in a beautiful stage play. The Guardian has to use her magical voice to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles on her way to the city. But not everyone in the animal kingdom is pleased about her intentions…

Capretto was the very first game project of my studies at HTW. In teams of 4 we had to develop a 2D sidescroller. Theme, genre, setting and mechanics were not specified. The game should not be any bigger than 4 screens and should be realized in the Unity3D engine.
Due to the fact that it was the first project for everyone, everybody had to try to do everything. In the first half of the term, there was not a clear assignment of the tasks, so everybody had to try and create a fake screenshot, everybody had to contribute to the game mechanics.

Basic Game Concept

As a team we decided to create a puzzle platformer and agreed on the basic mechanics: with the power of her voice, the player character is able to push or pull pillars. There are 3 kinds of pillars, each corresponding to the voice in a different way.

With pen, paper and some toy blocks, we tested the mechanics and created 4 analog prototype level. We made a playthrough of our levels with our analogue prototype.

While the testing of the basic functionality of the game and bug finding was mainly done by the team, I tested the comprehensibility of mechanics and puzzles in a circle of friends of non-game designers. It turned out that most of them weren’t sure what to do. So Felix and I wrote for each level a small poem that contains some hints and tells the story of the stage play.

It would have been better if at the start of each level someone read the poems out loud but in the end there wasn’t enough time to do so.

Poems

Art Style

For our visual style we wanted to recreate the look and feel of a stage. The layers of the objects should be easily to distinguish so it is clear to the player, which platforms are interactive and which are part of the back or foreground. Everything should look somewhat flat as if it was made of cardboard or wood.

Each team member created a fake screenshot, based on one of the prototyping levels. The final Art style contains elements of each work, adapted and brought in line by Felix. While the player character was created by Lisa and enemies by Verena, each of us made a background picture for one of the screens in the final game.

Summary

Since this was our first project I started off without really knowing which task takes which amount of time. I could acquire a good sense of it since I had to do a fake screenshot and was part of the style development as well as being responsible for the programming part. The latter one got me in the position of having a good view of the overall development progress and the time certain steps took. Being able to get a taste of all areas of the game development process was something I really liked about this project.

During the puzzle development I learned a lot of thing that are not and are possible and some things, that I could not use for this game project but may be useful in the future. This was my first time working with the Unity 3D engine but I was quick to learn its possibilities, benefits and disadvantages.

Some of the things I had liked to do I had to pass on to my team members so I hope I can try something different in the future.