Mayanezz: it’s a start !

26 09 2009

Our game project for our final year of university has finally begun ! Even if I’m not part of the Game Programming degree, I was still able to join the team as part of a project course.

What is Mayanezz ?

Mayaznezz is 2d game top-view action adventure game (think Zelda) set in a fictional Maya universe. We play the role of a young Mayan warrior pursuing the power of 6 Mayans Gods. The story outline is still to be determined. Although we know we’ll mix some elements from the Mysterious Cities of Gold in it.

Each main dungeon will be available from the beginning of the game. Dungeons will not require special items to be completed, although the items will make the dungeons much easier.

The items will be scattered across the land, either given by key people or found in secret places.

Note that Mayanezz is code name, it is not the final name of the game

The Team

Meet our team ! Each member is involved in every part of the process, except for the graphic side.

  • Fred Imbeault: Programmer, ScrumMaster, Game Design, Level Design
  • Jimmy Provencher: Programmer, Game Design, Level Design, Story Planner
  • Bryan Bergeron: Integration programmer, Artist, Game Design, Level Design
  • and me: Programmer, Level Design, Story Planner

First meetings

Each game development team (3 for this year) is assigned to a local where only the member of the teams has access. It took about 3 weeks to get our local. Thus, our first meeting was delayed a lot. During our first meeting, we got a crash course of SCRUM from Fred. For those who doesn’t know SCRUM, it’s a agile project management methodology used by many game and software company. SCRUM is focused on user stories, which are requirement based on the point of view of the user. For example: “As a player, I want to attack enemies”.

After the crash course on SCRUM, we started the product backlog. A Product Backlog is a collection of user stories that we want to get into the game. It is saved during the whole project and serve as basis for the sprint.

A Sprint is a iteration in the process. It’s usually last from 2 to 4 weeks (team choice). We chose user stories from the backlog based on our velocity. A velocity is the amount of user points we can do in a sprint.

In our cases, the Sprint 1 looks like this:

  • Allow the character to navigate on a map (screen size)
  • Listen to background music
  • Showing a enemy with basic movements

Our sprint time is set to 4 weeks. Our velocity is quite low because we don’t work full time on the project.

Setuping the environment

A great deal of our time was to setup our environment. Each PC is installed with Windows 7 Professional, yes the final version (gotta love MSDN-AA) with Visual Studio 2008 SP1. We’ve setup our own server, which is running on Windows Server 2008. The server is running VisualSVN server for source code management, Trac+Agilo for SCRUM, ticket management and wiki, CruiseControl.NET for continous integration. As for myself, I am using DevExpress Refactor for C++ and AnkhSVN Visual Studio plugin.

Technologies used

We are coding our own engine from scratch in C++.  Most of the backend will use SDL and related libraries. We are using UnitTest++ and Google Mock for unit testing. We are planning to use Eigen for linear algebra related code. For map editing, we will modify Tiled to suit our needs. For scripting, we are going to use Lua.

As for today

The code is started ! I started working on the user story “Listen to background music”. It should be done soon enough and move to another task.

See you next time !

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