About this project
Tumbleweed Simulator 2014 does what it sets out to do, simulate a piece of grass being blown about by wind. I started this project taking a challenge and running with it. The game has since evolved into something altogether it’s own. I plan to have you play as the humble tumbleweed as you venture deeper into the complex story line and disrupt it in only the way a tumbleweed can. With gameplay similar to octodad where puzzles are as simple as hitting something or getting somewhere, however difficult that can be as piece of grass at the mercy of the wind.
The demo is merely a technical proof of concept and should in no way reflect the final game however it is oddly soothing to play and hilarious fun, and I have some big plans for the final game. These include some basic features as well as maybe mod and/or steam workshop support if we can get it. Then you could have all kinds of tumbleweeds to play around with. For now we'll focus on completing the game.
-full menu support
-stronger assets and consistent scale -full control support and bind able keys
Main game play features planned(so far) -puzzle features that open up new areas of the map -large streaming maps(the first will be a desert :P) -boost(double tap for a quick dash in that direction) -destructible tumbleweed
My ruff proposed budget;
By far the most expensive part aside from the assets I’ll need more than a high end gaming computer and a tablet to complete the task. I’ll require at least two workstations that have serious power under the hood. One for game development and one for rendering and modeling. Each of these will no doubt cost around 5 - 7 grand without peripherals and I’ll likely need to complement these stations with serious hardware. The peripherals would be around 2 - 3 grand, giving us a total for the workstations to be 10 grand.
I won’t need much in the way of sound equipment but I will need some speakers headphones and an effective external sound card and board. 2 grand is more than adequate for the project.
Storage is a constant battle and I’ll need to be prepared, I don’t know how much I’ll need but some commercial grade systems can cost upwards around 5 grand. I don’t want to compromise on storage but I don’t feel I’ll need more than a regular NAS as well as an off site backup so I’ll keep the budget at 5 grand.
This is almost a complete unknown as models and materials can range from a collection for less than a hundred to thousands for one. I’ll have to be very carful since I’m making this 8 grand.
books, tutorials, and contracted features may mostly be free, however there is a lot of information that is invaluable behind a paywall and It would be foolish not to have a budget for this. 1 grand.
At this point this only covers the T-shirts and since I don’t know how many I’ll need I’m putting 2 grand to that.
UE4 for a year, maya, adobe, landscape software, texture software, and any other software I’ll have to purchase to create assets for unreal. I’m gonna put a high budget for this at 4 grand just in case cause some of the licences for commercial use can be comically large.
That all comes to 32 grand, that’s still a lot but doesn’t cover the cost of shipping the game and what kickstarter takes. that’s why the final budget is now 42 grand total. The extra 10k is there for those extra expenses. I don’t think I can make the budget any smaller than this, it’d be tight but it also means if by some miracle we get more money we’ll be that much more comfortable during development.
Risks and challenges
One huge issue is to try and project how much a production of this type is going to cost because it’s hard to project this early in the engines life how difficult some of the challenges are going to be to develop. I’ve worked with UDK and unity before and their limited physics systems and I’ve worked with 2D engines as well, these development pipelines all have a basic structure to production; plan, prototype, test, implementation, production, and then distribution. As long as we have a clear plan for each feature we should be able to predict how long a feature should take to implement.
manpower - That leads to the second issue, manpower right now I’m the only one developing this game, and for the most part that should be fine. However there are some major development pipelines such as 3D modeling, rigging, animation, and level design are all things I am fully capable of doing but would mean that this game would take far longer to create. I have a level designer, and I’ll need to find a 3D artist who knows how to rig and animate. With that we should be able to produce the game in a timely manner.
the wonderful thing about UE4 is the power of the engine code as well as the access epic gives even indie devs like myself, at the moment I’m getting to know the blueprint system that replaced kismet from UDK, I plan to prototype features in blueprint and translate most of it to code for release. The engine is still very young so the prototype phase will probably include a lot of engine code tweaking. Luckily it’s C++ so it’s easy to read and edit, epics documentation is usually pretty comprehensive as well.
I've decided to adopt a spartan design for the physics objects in order to keep the required testing and tweaking to its minimum. That does mean that there are going to be a ton of bugs associated with this and it’s going to require some major physics programing. This is another huge time eater and will need to be carefully planned during development.
mod support - mod support is something I’ve never done before I feel like this is going to be a late game option that if we get onto steam and can use the workshop will probably be much easier but I want to stress this is going to be the biggest challenge for this project. I also want to point out this is a big maybe as well and I cannot promise it with this budget and timetable, but would still very much like to get to that point.
That and optimization, I want to make sure this game runs well and can be tweaked to perfection for any desirable graphic level maintaining a smooth 60 FPS even on mediocre hardware, that means a lot of testing so I’ll have to add that feature to the alpha for performance reporting to help with that.
Finally distributing the game is is going to follow epics publishing system, and I hope I can get on as many outlets as possible. It’s a logistics issue that will be a challenge itself but something we’ll have to tackle in order to get this game out to the demanding public
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