The Prototype – Bigger, Badder, Buggier!

The first weeks of Advanced Game Studio have been fast-paced and focused on two iterations of our Prototypes: early “releases” of the game that will become the foundation for the work to come.

To make this all happen, our indie studio has separated into several teams, each focused on different disciplines: Art, Design, Sound, and Code. Each team has specific functions and goals that are essential in producing this project.

Here is what our teams have been up to since the start of the semester:


Our Design Team has been focusing on what locations to feature in our tracks, potential obstacles for these tracks, and types of powerups that players can use throughout the game.

We’ve decided on the following so far:

  • Our first level will be the same traditional buggy path that we used in last year’s project, but “remixed” with more twists and new features!
  • We will be including some notable CMU/Pittsburgh landmarks, using last year’s work as a foundation to build upon.
  • Time permitting, our goal is to expand the game with a second level based on other CMU campus locations.
  • By using powerup items, the player and the AI can either help themselves and or hinder others. Early concepts included speed boosts, distractions, and throwable obstacles.

We will discuss the design process and how we came to these decisions in a future spotlight blog post. But in the meantime, here’s an example of an early track design drafted by our designer Kathryn-Mae Eiland!


Our Art Team creates the stunning visuals that will give our game its cartoony design. Part of our Art Team has been working on concept art, while the rest are in the middle of transferring these 2D designs into 3D models.

The art style this year will embrace a low-poly look. Instead of being smooth and heavily detailed, like in many newer video games, our 3D models will look angular and more geometric. This style will allow for easier rendering and allow for more people to play our project, regardless of their computer’s specs.

Here’s a sneak peek of some concept art by Vivi Nguyen!


Our Sound Team has been focusing on music and sound effects to accompany gameplay. Here’s what we’ve got so far:

  • We want a more upbeat, almost rave-like sound to complement our game’s cartoony style. Here is a demo track composed by Jonathan Fischer, based on CMU’s Fight Song!
  • We are in the middle of drafting sound effects that will bring the buggies and the environments to life.


Our Code Team has been working on the mechanics that allow our game to function. They’ve gotten a lot done in the last several weeks, including:

  • Reworking how the buggies drive, using wheel-based physics to make them behave like a real-life vehicle.
  • Implementing other racers to compete against, this time with more variation in their movements.
  • Creating a framework for the game from start to finish: a start screen that will eventually host new features currently in development, the “rules of the race”, and more.

With the final prototype still in development, here’s an early preview of the driving mechanic, and going off a “ramp”!

Looking Ahead

In the coming weeks…

  • We will be able to race on an early version of track 1.
    • In-house playtesting will begin at this stage of development, with external playtests to follow.
  • Art is generating more low-poly 3D models and working on applying textures to the old models, in order to recreate the aesthetic from our concept art.
  • Sound is polishing the first round of sound effects and music.

See you next week!