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Game Design as of Sept. 30, 2023

Lake Minnewaska is a third-person adventure game that follows Sosa, a small-town fisherman whose life takes a turn when his daughter falls deathly ill. Sosa has one day to fish to pay for his daughter’s medicine but not everything is all that it seems.


Sosa depletes the first fishing hole during his trip and disturbs the lake’s spirit, Azure. Shapeless for centuries, the spirit uses the daughter’s voice to confront Sosa through the tatty boat’s radio. Players will venture through Lake Minnewaska, where the lines between reality and imagination blur, and fish while keeping the lake spirit at bay.


Firewatch meets Fishing Simulator, influenced by Heminghway’s fisherman protagonist in The Old Man and the Sea


1. Establish a Collaborative Team Culture

For Preproduction, we worked together to determine the project's scope and develop a First Playable product.


The product was then tested by external playtesters to figure out which features truly supported out experience goal for the players.


During this process, there was a lot of effort to effectively communicate with our growing team of students and create a close bond, while maintaining focus on narrowing down the features that supported our team's goals


2. First Playable = Get Players Fishing

Lake Minnewaska is a fishing game, so we needed players to have an easy time casting, fighting the fish, and reeling it in. 

At this point, some of the player controls were as follows: W&S to move forward and backward in boat mode; A&D to pivot in boat mode; space to switch between third and first-person modes; release the left mouse in fishing mode to cast.

From the time they started the game, players took around 15 minutes to hook a fish, which wasn't a good sign, and players mostly drove the boat in third-person due to struggling to fish in first-person.

Our concluding thoughts: features needed to be cut, and the fishing experience needed to be simplified


3. Complete the 3 C's

Part of our engineers and designers were responsible for incorporating the first-person experience while the other part were responsible for the third-person perspective of our game (both including cameras, controllers, and character feel/positioning on screen).


Our of the 6 C's we were aiming for, we only succeeded engineering and designing the first-person camera and character, as the third-person C's did not feel nearly as good.

Ultimately we knew that our limited experience as a team working on third-person projects led to difficulty in completing the third-person C's, but this taught us to fully play into our strengths as a student team instead (and that third-person C's were A LOT of work).

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