I initially pitched the game in May of 2019 at our first Senior Capstone meeting at Bradley University. After several rounds of voting, the team I was on had voted to prototype it over the summer. Once we convened in the Fall for our Capstone class, we voted to put Bottom Line into full production rather than choose one of the other ideas on the table.
Over those next four months we further flushed out the design of the game and started developing core systems such as movement, basic combat, and core set pieces/objectives. The game changed a lot from what I initially pitched it as, but by the middle of December, we had our vertical slice of the game.
The spring semester brought a lot of changes to our game, more than we were comfortable with, but we had to make these changes in order for the final product to be solid and polished. A lot of these changes happened after we started play-testing more, this included a guest speaker from Gearbox being able to test our game. We got a lot of good feedback, and decided our game was too complicated for how fast paced it was. We decided to simplify our core game loop and redo the vehicle movement. This allowed us to make our game more approachable and easier to pick up, but at the same time required us to retool some parts of the game that had come quite far.
Once spring break came, the COVID 19 epidemic hit, which then switched our project to being completed entirely through online communication. I can't tell if this hurt or helped how much work was being done on the game by all team members, but we did cut/combine things as a result. This included one of the vehicles, and one of the maps. That left us with one map, and three vehicles.
Over those last couple months we focused on making a product that was polished but had little content over making a product that had a lot of content, but was broken. It is the ultimate crunch dilemma. In the end, it was the right choice, for we made a finished 3D combat racing game that casual gamers found to be an enjoyable little experience, and that is all I could have asked for.