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1. Determine Art Style in the Game

After establishing what mechanics we want in our game, we wanted to start adding our original art style. For art inspiration, we used the games Firewatch and Season A Letter to the Future to create a world where the environment is a character itself. In this stage or production we needed to prioritize two art assets: the water and the boat. After the boat was implemented, some of the artists started exploring tech art by playing with the Toon Shader Unity asset.


By the end of the month, our shader was coming together and Mi gave us a working fishing rod quicker than anticipated.


This process taught us that a third-person camera would require a lot more artistic work and may not give a lot of room for polish, the unity asset store is GREAT, and we needed to focus more on the boat cabin for upcoming months. 


2. Vertical Slice = Beautiful Corner

We needed to fully integrate the art, mechanics and the other assets into, one cohesive experience. The engineering team took ownership of the fishing cast, hook and reel mechanic and they applied AI logic to the fish models.

Mechanics at this point we as follows: leave the boat with 'F', click to cast, fight the fish while hooked (press 'D' if the fish swam to the left and 'A' if to the right) to drain its stamina and reel it in.

Unfortunately, we didn't hit the vertical slice to our standard: the build crashed 10 seconds into the game, and the players didn't feel that the fishing was intuitive. However, we started integrating narrative through Yarnspinner and our journal.

Battling this goal taught us to watch out for "For Loops" that can cause the game to crash, environmental assets must bc purchased for the landscape, and the journal HAS to look polished at the end in order to get the narrative across

3. Code Base the Supports Game Design

The engineers and the designers met on a consistent basis to ensure the code base supported the game designers’ plans. We have State Manager, Audio Manager, Fishing Manager and other managers to organize the code. There were frameworks in place where designers were able to add fishing holes wherever they wanted on the lake and easily tinker with instantiated fields in the Inspector to make the fishing feel good.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.

By the end of the month our game designers worked closely with the narrative designers to make sure the systems in place supported the narrative, and we had two working fishing holes for the player. 

Our lessons learned were that communication is key, internal testing throughout this process is incredibly important, and the fishing mechanic is ready to play with.

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