How-To White-Box a Game (Making of XnO Part II)


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Jun 1, 2013
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No story is complete without its origins. We love to share with you the very first white-box environment of XnO!

XnO began its humble origins from the name "Ice Breakers", the way the cylindrical blocks were breaking. We had 3 walls couple of boxes from unity asset packages. And began the journey. We wanted to take a simple idea and implement in it all the possible depths.

When we began majority of the games were 2D or side scrollers, that never game the player full satisfaction of real life interaction with physics of the objects. So we chose a 3D engine as to why, "unity" - the amount of tutorials, community support and ease of start was a key factor in choosing that engine.

To be a team you would need atleast 3 components to begin with - programmer, 2D/3D artist and level designer. Not to say one person can handle more than one aspect. As a team we were all on the same page, we want to make a physics based game with focus on gameplay first.

We followed the following steps:
i) Create first level - We used very basic components - rectangle, sphere, cylinder to create a game play scenario.
ii) Create a flow through of the game - Main Menu, Options and Level Select Screens. Once this was done adding new levels was very easy.
iii) In Game HUD - To enter and exit from any level
iv) Uploaded a web version for our friends/family to play.

Once we had all the pieces then we focussed on exploring all the possible depths and variations in the gameplay that can be achieved to make the game engaging and fun. In our case - target variations, introducing obstacles, power-ups, use of accelerometer to enhance gameplay. Once we had built the key features in, we explored on how to increase difficulty of the levels as the game progressed. At this stage we made some of our models, used some from unity and still used royalty free music.

Once we had good 20 levels working with all the above, we started showing it to people who either played a lot of games or were in gaming. This gave us a good insight on how improve.

As an indie developer it was so much easier for us to do the white-box the way we did because we focused on Gameplay and Game Design, not so much on the art in the beginning. So when we got the feedback to change, it was so much easier to do it. We were never set in stone.

XnO is our humble effort to make a 3D game for mobile devices with as close as possible to real physics without sacrificing the gameplay and memory footprint of the game. XnO is now available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon App Store.