Initial Planning of Antractic Ranger – Antarctic Ranger Development Log #1

Welcome to the first blog in a new series that documents the design and development of my ongoing project (at the time of writing), Antarctic Ranger.

Today, I’m discussing the very beginning of the project, the initial brainstorming, early documentation and planning for a minimum viable product.

Brainstorming Ideas from December 2019

The initial idea was a wave-based shooter with a twist that added an element of searching for precious items and escaping with them once the player had reached a certain point in the game.

While the brainstorming was VERY vague, it allowed me to start researching the ideas that I had placed into the brainstorming document. Since this project was my first major one since completing independant training for Unreal Engine Blueprint Scripting, I needed to break down the gameplay elements listed, starting with the essential gameplay mechanics.

This led to a list of requirements being drawn up for the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) which gave myselt a plan for the first things that I should implement, no matter how ugly it looked, to ensure that the very basic gameplay was technically feasible and the gameplay is functional without any errors while still being fun to play.

MVP Requirements as they appear in the Game Design Document (GDD)

Since some of the MVP requirements appeared quite complex to implement, I needed to break down some of the elements using flow diagrams to better understand them. More specifically I looked at the main game loop and artificial intelligence behaviour because some of the other behaviours listed, such as death states and play area volumes were simpler to work with following the tasks that I carried out while learning Blueprint scripting.

Main Game Loop Flow Diagram

While this is only scratching the surface of the game’s design and development, this was my initial plan. In the next blog, I will discuss the design and implementation of the MVP.