GameCareerGuide presents a postmortem essay on Toon Doom, an Unreal Tournament 3 mod developed by a group of DePaul University students that converts the mature shooter into a family-friendly cartoon romp.
The mod, which was originally conceived for a class in game modding, had lofty goals at the outset, says student Daniel Loane:
"It was to be a total conversion mod to Unreal Tournament 3. We originally planned to make Toon Doom a three-quarters isometric view where players would cooperate in order to complete puzzles."
The essay highlights the dangers students can get into with a lack of planning but a huge amount of ambition -- maybe a situation professional developers are also familiar with
"Our beginnings were a little rough, with our programming team inexperienced in UnrealScript; we had a lot of tasks on our plate and what seemed like a very short time to complete them. We first decided to tackle our custom weapons, which included originally a tri function Rock, Paper, Scissor gun... This again was quickly scrapped as we realized that the spider mines were not deployable via a gun. We realized that it would require far too much time to get a deployable object to fire out of a weapon."
However, the project was not entirely difficulties, writes Loane:
"The art style of Toon Doom was one of the most successful parts of our mod. We decided from the beginning that we wanted to have cel shading, to give the game a unique look. With our good friend Google's help, we were able to find some tutorials on how to get cel shading in our game. This was one of the first modifications that we got into our game."
"Overall, I'm very pleased with how Toon Doom turned out. I think we definitely made some mistakes along the road, but the only way to learn is by trying, and of course making mistakes. We've learned a lot about the Unreal engine, as well as game design in general. Our team plans on continuing development of Toon Doom, and perhaps entering it in the Make Something Unreal contest."
The full article is now available on Gamasutra's education-oriented sister site GameCareerGuide.