AWIC: Breaking Ground

Manage construction workers and build home construction projects!

Roles on Project: Lead Designer, Programmer & Mobile Developer

 About AWIC: Breaking Ground

AWIC: Breaking Ground is a turn-based game where the player is a construction manager tasked with planning and building home construction projects. To complete a project, players will have to manage a team of workers skilled in different professions such as carpenters, plumbers and electricians, to perform tasks on the construction site. Through this gameplay, our goal is to make our players fascinated with the construction process & determined to build the best homes they can.

Game Screenshots

As the game is not released yet, I am limited in what I can show. so I cannot currently show a trailer or gameplay video of the game. Shown below, however, are some screenshots of some menus in the game as well as some stills captured during gameplay of the main game.


Work I Did On This Project

 This project was originally developed as part of the IGB200 - Game Studio 2 unit at QUT. In this unit, we were tasked with developing a game within a team for an industry partner. Our industry partner was Awesome Women In Construction, who wanted us to make a game that would encourage young women to pursue a career in construction.

Our group consisted of one artist, one programmer and two designers, with one of them being me. In later stages of the project I would also serve as one of the programmers of the project. In the early stages of the project, my work mainly revolved around researching the problem space of the industry brief and coming up with a design for our game project. From my research, I found that one of the primary reasons so few women enter the construction industry, is due to the lack of representation of women in various construction roles. Through this, I established that our game should feature and showcase women in different construction roles, as a way to show young women what possible career paths they could have in the industry. I created this persona to represent the target audience we were aiming to reach through this game.

With this in mind, the team brainstormed ideas for what the game could be about. My initial idea for our game was to make a construction version of Overcooked, where players have a limited time to finish a project and must manage and delegate a team of construction workers to complete tasks on the construction site. The team liked this idea and we continued to develop its design over the next few weeks.

Once our group had fleshed out the game details, it was my job to develop a paper prototype of the game so we could understand what worked and what didn't in the initial concept. I drew up some mockups of the different screens and levels in the game, laminated them so they could be drawn on with whiteboard markers, and used these materials to simulate an analog version of the game. From this prototyping, we were able to understand more clearly how the different mechanics of the game worked, do some early balancing for the cost of workers and materials, as well as determine whether the game should be in real-time or be turn-based. We found that the completely real-time game was quite messy, and so what we landed on was a turn-based game where the player has a certain number of days to complete a home construction project, and each day they have a limited amount of energy they can use to make their workers do tasks on the construction site.

For the rest of the pre-production phase of the project, in tandem with our artist, I created storyboards and refined versions of the screen mockups so that our group could better visualise what the final game and its interfaces would look like. It should be noted that during the development of the game in IGB200, this game went by another name which was later changed to better reflect the identity of the game.

For prototype development, my focus was mainly on developing the UIs for the different menus in the game that the player uses to select projects, materials and workers. I also focused on setting up the backend for these systems, so that the selections the player makes on these screens actually have an effect on the main game state.

For the rest of development, our work is split into two week sprints. In the first sprint,  I worked on making the UI menus more functional, integrating them with the backend systems I had developed earlier so that changes made on these screens would be reflected in the main game screen.

In the second sprint, I focused on implementing all the construction tasks the player would need to complete a home, completed work on the house material loading system (which ended up being the most complex system in the game to implement), the worker budget mechanics, as well as some aesthetic changes for a better user experience.

In the final sprint, I worked on gameplay feedback UI pop ups. help buttons, scrolling dialogue, reworking how project completion ratings are calculated, implementing the manage n' mediate event,  reworking the team and profile panels and adding more material options, 

The project turned out very well, with the AWIC representatives being quite happy with the project we produced, which I presented in the final week of classes.

After the semester, we were asked if we were interested in creating a mobile version of the game so that it could be played on IOS and Android devices.  Myself and one other team member from Team A1, Mars Bleach, took on the project which was developed from January to April of 2023. The main focuses of the project was to rework the UI and controls of the game to better fit a mobile platform. While Mars focused on reworking the controls of the game, I focused on reworking the UI of the game as that had been my focus in the original project. I found the Unity Device Simulator very helpful in this process, as it allowed me to test my UI reworks on multiple device screen resolutions without the need of having to physically own them.

We finished work on this project in April of 2023, and the game was released in July of 2023


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