What is Jolly Ranchers
Jolly Rancher is a 3D real-time multi-player Xbox game. It can also be played on personal laptops. Spending only 10 weeks, our team designed, developed, and implemented this large, complex, fully functioning 3D video game from zero to hero. This is not a prototype. Instead, it is a real game!
Our Team (named Naughty Cat) has 7 members. They are Yumei Jin, Brandon Falk, Jacob Keifer, Douglas King, Herbert Torosyan, Jordan Yoshihara, and Ling Zhang.
I am the game artist in the team. I was responsible for all the 3D designing and modelings. I also assisted the team manager with team coordinating.
A Glance of the Game
Jolly Ranchers Video Game final Demo
Game Designing and Modelings
I started brainstorming by drawing the basic game set and concept, the annotation, and the characters with crayon on paper.
As the only game artist in the team, I am responsible for all game designing and modelings. I am very proud of all 3D models I have made. I taught myself how to use Maya and Blender along the way I am working on the modeling. Starting from the first modeling, the sheep, which took me nearly 2 hours, to the night before our final video demo when I produced multiple modelings within 2 hours, I sharpened my skills on Maya, Blender, Photoshop, OpenGL, and Xcode. Ultimately, I was able to make various 3D models upon the need of our game in a shorter time with fairly much details.
Since then, the sheep I made for the first time has become one of my favorite 3D modelings for Jolly Ranchers :)
During the process of modeling, I encountered a problem when trying to make 3D candies as power ups for our game. Initially, I was not sure how to take a UV shot and apply texture for it in Photoshop to fit the texture into the 3D model in Maya. And since no body in our team knew how to solve the problem, I took a while to figure it out by myself. It was a challenging yet very fun process. I was so glad to found myself successfully took a UV shot of the special textures and applied it to the raw candy model!
Another technical problem was that the OBJ files sometimes do not save the basic colors when I save them, resulting in next time when I open a model in .obj format, the colors I applied to it was lost and the whole model became plain white. After spending a few times debugging, I figured out a work around: Save all of my work as scenes in Maya Binary files (.mb format), and export them to OBJ files and MTL files later. By doing so, I am able to edit the models in in .mb format whenever I need without worrying about losing the color setting I applied before.
Here are some highlights from my game designing and modelings with Maya, Blender, Photoshop, OpenGL, and Xcode.
Click to view our game report
A Top-Down Isomorphic Capture-the-Flag Brawler.
- Players aim to capture an object from a point in the center of the map and bring it back to their base. The player carrying the object will be slower and unable to fight, requiring their teammates to escort and protect them.
- Players win by successfully capturing a set amount of flags.
- Players lose if they have captured fewer flags than the opposing team.
- Players can kill opponents, but this is a temporary setback for them and only intended to stall the opponents while the player with the “flag” tries to escape.
- The flag is an active Computer Controlled player, and actively tries to resist being captured in specific ways, such as fleeing the player closest to it, jumping out of their hands periodically, or damaging their carrier.
- If a player is killed, they will come back near their teammate to promote fast paced games and prevent games from getting boring when one team has grabbed the “flag”.
- Isomorphic Camera
- Player Models (Non-Animated)
- Holding “Flag”
- Keyboard Controls
- Server-Client Communication
- Active Flag Object (including AI)
- Single “Lane” Arena (with gates as clear boundaries)
- Player Controls:
- Facing a Certain Direction
- Using Weapon
- Picking up “Flag”
- Basic Background Music
- Re-Skinned Models for Different Teams
- Basic Weapons and Abilities (offence: shovel + defence: wheelbarrow)
- Wheelbarrow- defensive weapon
- Shovel – close-range weapon
- Pitchfork – close-range weapon
- Shotgun – long-range weapon
- Potato Cannon – long-range weapon
- Abilities and Power-Ups
- Infinite Ammo
- Sheep-i-fy Power (turn all opponents into sheep)
Future development plan
The overall journey of being an game artist for a 3D real-time multi-player Xbox game was so exciting and grateful! One thing I would love to keep is...
The team! These people are amazing! We got the Client/Server communication up and running so early on the stage of development. And we handed over tasks so smoothly as we automatically grouped into tentative sub-groups working on different aspects of the game and switched over so swift as needed.
For future development, we aim to incorporate these features into our game:
- Gamepad Controls
- Full-Featured soundtrack
- Multi-Level Arenas (different terrain heights)
- Several Kinds of “Flag”
- Sheep: runs away from you quickly
- Pig: constantly escapes
- Cat: scratches you
- Different Level Layouts
- Day/Night Cycle
- Mobile WebGL spectator mode