Loren Colcol — Product Development at Playstation

Krab Klashers (Multiplayer FPS • Unity)

FPS Arena Combat

Krab Klashers is a 3D FPS game featuring arena style combat on a local area network. Featuring five different arenas from a sand castle to a molten lava lake, players clash to the death with one another as mighty crabs. Combat mechanics feature dual-claw snaps or sweeping one-claw dash attacks. Krabs, Klaws, and unlimited combat, this is Krab Klashers.

ForCMPS 115: Intro to Software Engineering RoleProduct Owner • 3D Modeler/Animator • Artist
DateSpring 2015 EngineUnity 3D w/ Photon Networking
GraphicsBlender • Unity 3D NetworkPhoton
Team Size6

Krab Klashers features a unique, claw based style of combat in a variety of levels.

Krab Klashers was my first project completed with the SCRUM methodology. As part of a Intro to Software Engineering course at UCSC, students were given 1.5 months to complete a software project of their choice via any tools or platform. The only requirement was the project be developed under SCRUM. In forming teams, we were had to delegate roles amongst ourselves. I volunteered to be Product Owner to get a better sense of project management and agile software development.

Cover art I created for Krab Klashers. Done in Pixelmator.

My responsibilities as Product Owner were to:

  • produce a vision for the games
  • organize and overview documentation of sprint planning, user stories, scrum board
  • lead meetings and on product features and tools required for development
  • communicate bugs and QA issues to appropriate team members
  • market and present game to class

A unique game mechanic, dashing, is triggered by the mouse right-click, and thrusts players in the pointed direction.

In determining a game idea, we collaborated as team on two factors:

  • what type of game hadn't we made yet?
  • what would be fun for the whole class?

As game design students, we had prior experience with 2D games (platformers, top-down, etc.), thus we wanted to create something bold and exciting This led us to attempting a 3D game. When asked what would be fun for the whole class, we honed in on "whole class" and decided something with multiplayer. Again, none of us had ever attempted developing a multiplayer network so we were all in store for a challenge. My job was to ensure our key features were attainable, and placing priority on realistic goals and user stories vs. reach goals.

Various levels emphasize various combat styles. This level is close quarters and keeps players alert of imminent death from the surrounding lava and the center lava flow. Dash with caution.

The sand castle features open space and draws attention to the top of the center castle, allowing for a “King of the Hill” style of gameplay.

As part of development, we faced large challenges in the beginning. This came from mostly learning curve, research, and developing a pipeline. I took on a role as being a 3D artist for the team, modeling quick characters, rigging, and then animating them. With 1.5 months, our goal was to be feature complete and to test repeatedly for fun, engaging, and stable gameplay. This involved several hours planning user stories, sticking to our sprint plans, collaborating in SCRUM meetings, and participating in playtesting amongst ourselves. A personal goal of mine was to ensure I was versed in dialogue and communication between different team members. Speaking with network programmers I had to understand the scripts we were writing and the problems we were trying to solve. With designers I wanted to ensure that gameplay and design were being reflected in the level creation and getting feedback from playtesting to iterate changes. Being able to communicate with various teams made creating a solid game successful since we were able to stay on the same page, and keep the original vision we had in mind in check throughout development.

Boxed and slippery, this ice/steel level has both high ground and low ground elements that keep combat close quarter but also slippery on surfaces.

No where to run, this level forces combat toward the center. Dashing is dangerous with very little landing ground and imminent death by lava, so one-hit kills or evasive dodging are keys to staying alive.