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Pop Pixie

Event: Young Games Designer AwardsDate: Saturday 29 June 2019  Venue: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, LondonHosts: TBC-Area: Game StillsBAFTA/Michael Bell/Joe Anderson/Miles Kneeshaw

Pop Pixie (Unity) – Joe Anderson (18), Michael Bell (18) & Miles Kneeshaw (18) Northampton

“You can't judge a can by its label.”

In the game, you play as the Pop Pixie, who seems to have a gut feeling that something nefarious is going on in Mentoes Corp. He knows it is his responsibility to take down the Mentoes operation by infiltrating their headquarters, discovering its secrets and fighting through floor after floor of gremlins to get to the top and take down the evil Mentoes' Man.

However, if the player decides to read the in-game lore items, they should be able to deduce that the Mentoes' Man isn't actually the bad guy and that the Pixie's actions have actually been a result of contaminated Pop clouding his ability to tell right from wrong.

Working as part of a larger team and collaborating with a large group of asset creators has helped us to understand some of the difficulties involved in organising a team. We have explored various productivity techniques, including setting ourselves deadlines that we encourage each other to stick to, as well as holding regular meetings where we showcase what each of us has been working on.

Joe, our coder, had never used Unity or C# properly before starting work on Pop Pixie. Although even now, they claim not to know C#, this has been an excellent opportunity for them to experience a game engine that is slightly more reminiscent of those used by professional game studios.

There were many conflicting ideas on what the player sprite should look like, which delayed the inclusion of this sprite until just a few weeks before the deadline. Before we came to a decision on which idea to go with, we talked about what role the characters plays in the story: an archetypal vigilante with an unorthodox approach to justice, and how we could use their appearance to convey this. 

A few of the voice actors had difficulty reading the dialogue lines with confidence. We found that it helped to discuss real-world people who we could take inspiration for the voices from, so that the actors didn't feel that they had to invent a character from scratch. In the end, we recorded each line of dialogue three times and chose the one that everyone was happiest with.

We want to add some quality of life updates in the form of an options screen in the main menu, allowing the player to alter difficulty and adjust the audio balancing, and add a shop so that the player can buy and upgrade weapons.