Two Kids in a Trench Coat

Cooperative Dating Game Prototype
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Two Kids in a Trench Coat is a game prototype that involves two players working together to have a successful date with a girl. The setting involves two kids that are too young to date, so they try to date a girl by trying to act as a single person. Thus, both kids are in a trench coat to appear tall enough and must work together. In this game prototype, several concepts for a greater game are displayed, such as finishing each other's sentences and trying to eat with separate hands. The prototype was produced on a small team of three people and has ambitions for a future VR game.

Design

Making a goofy game where two players must act as one

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Concept

I joined a team to create a game prototype in a short amount of time. We were thinking about cooperative games and how they can provide both intense teamwork but also silly experiences. We had an idea for a VR game involving two players acting as two kids in a trench coat, where one can see and the other can move around (but not see). Since we couldn't use VR equipment at the time, we decided to take that concept and use that as a concept for a smaller prototype. We went with a small minigame approach that involved interactions between both players in order to be successful. We also want to introduce a dating element, in order to keep the players on their toes keeping their actions quick and "convincing."

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Game Design

We began with a game design document. We sketched out several scenarios that could be translated to a game format, such as signing a check, eating food, and having a conversation. We picked from those a few that we would include in the prototype and developed them. The overarching mechanic is a suspicion meter, which would increase with every action that wasn't performed in typical "adult" behavior. Every action in a minigame could potentially increase the meter, where if filled would result in a game over. For instance, the eating minigame would arouse suspicion if the players bump their silverware together or eat a chunk of meat that's too big. If the players completed all the minigames, the date would be a success. The game prototype was constructed using the Unity game engine.

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Programming

All programming was done in C# for Unity scripting. To keep every team member's code up to date, we used Perforce for version control. The eating minigame took the most programming to implement the movement, cutting, and eating mechanics. Other actions like selecting a phrase during the speaking minigames and UI menus also required some programming. The suspicion meter also moves based on a variable of suspicion. I did most of the programming in this project among other tasks.

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Project Management

As a team project, it was important to make sure every member knew what needed to be done and who was doing it. We created an ever-growing checklist of all the tasks that needed to be done, from asset creation to programming a specific interaction. As team members would take on tasks, we would mark that person as that task's owner to avoid multiple people from working on the same task (unless specified). The task list helped keep us organized and ensure every part of the project would be completed. For all programming and asset development, we used Perforce to keep our code up to date and to update the assets within the game.

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Prototyping

The project went through several prototype stages during development. Originally, the eating minigame was simply two rectangles cutting up a larger rectangle. All art assets were created later since they weren't a necessity during development. We'd bring in other people to try the game to make sure the game was clear and controlled well. As a result, we'd fine tune the controls and instructions to help make the game easier to play. Although I don't believe we did enough prototype testing as a team, the overall project is just a stylized prototype so more development could be made in the future.

Sample Screenshots

Game Design Document