Dig Doug

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We came up with the idea of using Dig Dug given the prerequisite of using pre 1983 games, out of which we unanimously agreed on Dig Dug. Being a fun, slow paced strategical game we decided to use it and mod it for our project. The game world was kept intact to keep the feel and look of the original game alive, with our own additions we thought would work to create our own variation of the game. The game was developed using HTML5 and Javascript language, with little help from the Phaser Engine. The recommended browser for the game is Google Chrome, which is currently the most popular browser for the game. The programming was done on Adobe Dreamviewer.

Wanna try the game out ?  Click here for the download link.

What went right?

  • Team collaboration and working routine

The team as a whole was very friendly, was very fun to work with in the short three week schedule. The team was always in high spirits about the game, acknowledging every thought and idea of the members, while providing appropriate feedback on them. The team was unanimous while selecting Dig Dug, which was coincidentally the game everyone liked. As programmers; me, Sudeep and Teja were right on the game, Sudeep having previous knowledge about making a game in HTML5. We divided our work and progressed rapidly without any conflicts of any kind. The artist and producers were helpful and cooperative, coming up and noting down ideas and feedback of the team.

  • Quick paced learning and progress reports

The programmers quickly picked up the game, where me and Teja were learning Phaser , Sudeep was working on native Javascript code. We were able to build the game world and sprites up in a couple of days, which could dig dirt and move in the game world. The producers were working on an original music for the game. Within the first week our final Doug, Spider and rock sprites were ready.

  • Major changes accepted readily

Over the course of first week, we realized that learning and working with Phaser in such a short time would not be advantageous. We weren’t able to solve some of the problems we were facing while programming hence we shifted to pure Javascript coding. Here me , Sudeep and Teja made the call while the rest of team was supportive about it.

What went wrong?

  • Team communication

Our usage of bombs in the game was a hit, and people liked them. The problem came where the number of bombs to be used to make the gameplay fun was debated a lot. Following advice of few people we changed our initial idea of having one bomb placed at a time to having more than one placed. This was little bit debated till the last day, where the team was not agreeing to use multiple bombs as it made the game easier. Finally the team settled on an idea, to use two bombs at once.

 Conclusion:

Dig Doug was a great experience, to mod a game I loved playing as a kid. The team worked hard, each and every member working till the last day changing and introducing features in the game. It was product of hard work and love towards the game, which drove us who were a relatively new team towards working as one in recreating the fun experience we had as a kid.

My Contribution to the project:

  • Bomberman Theme

While playing Dig Dug, I noticed one similarity in it and Bomberman. Killing monsters in a similar world. Hence instead of using a pipe, why can’t we use bombs? These bombs will work exactly like they do in Bomberman, exploding in the space created by Doug only, and killing him or the spiders if they are in his proximity range. I also thought of keeping the idea of being “rooted” at the spot when Did Dug used to inflate the monsters alive by having a remote controlled explosion but only when Doug is in the range of the bomb. This would keep the player alert and make the game engaging.

Although, later we switched to timed bombs without remote controlled explosion.

  • Programming rock physics, monster AI and movement and inclusion of audio

I initially started working with Teja, to help him in tiles and character movement. I used his code and inserted monster spiders in the game. The monster AI had three states – first, it moves vertically or horizontally in its space; second, it moves in the space created by Doug when he passes through his territory; third, it chases Doug through the dirt towards him to kill him. The first and third states were a bit tough, where I had to automatically move the spider in its own space first and understand how to make him follow Doug later.

The first and second monster AI state checks for collisions with the dirt wall and game world bounds, and moves randomly in the space created for it by Doug. But the third AI state gets tricky- after set interval of time, the monsters leave their confined spaces and move towards Doug for the kill. When travelling through dirt they stay in “ghost” mode and as they encounter tunnels, they change back to spiders.

I also worked with the physics for the rocks, and added gravity to them in the world. So when Doug digs the dirt beneath them, they fall down with a delay. When they hit Doug or Spiders, they kill them and get destroyed themselves. When they hit the ground, they get destroyed.

I incorporated the audio files for every aspect in the game. From looping background music, to death sounds and bomb explosions.

My Team:

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Rohan More , Sudeep Singh,  Krishna Teja Salimeda, Franziska Wischmann, Jonathan Do and Sydnie Ritchie.

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