Roland Semrau has been working as a Software Developer for the last 4 years, he is a certified Unity Developer, and as soon as the course-ware is released he will get the Expert Gameplay Programmer certificate.
Tom Breuer has studied Design in Aachen (Germany). He has given Blender-courses at the university for 4 years. He is our 3D-Artist / Technical Artist (Rigging / Animation + Shading and Effects).
Combined we have 10 years of experience using Unity to develop apps. We have been working together for the last 4 years. A big bulk of our work consists in architectural visualization, product presentation, and interactive walk-throughs. We use a lot of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to do that. We are no strangers to crunch-time and getting things done, we feel very confident in being able to deliver a vertical slice of our game concept. Our dream is to develop a fully-featured game using Unity, which is a tool we know and use every day.
Why we chose the ‘Back to the Future’ franchise
We had a very exciting idea for a Battlestar Galactica Game, but we saw that a game with the franchise name just recently came out: "Battlestar Galactica Deadlock" in 2017. So, we felt better to put our efforts in a franchise that hasn’t had so much action in the recent past.
We also had a cool idea for a game in the ‘Jaws’ franchise, but the scope was too big for us. Since in the FAQ of the challenge indicated that the Capability to deliver is stated to count 20% of the grade, we decided to go for the idea that we absolutely know we can deliver.
We are both big ‘Back to the Future’ fans. We are very excited about our game concept, we think it's solid, and also offers the possibility to expand the universe of the franchise, even in other mediums like a movie or tv-show.
Growing up (Jules and Verne)
Doc has become a master of time. He can acquire technology from the future, adapt it for his needs and use it. His family can travel to the past as tourists and explore historic moments. Since Clara is a teacher, we thought that education would be important in their household. We believe that Jules and Verne would be home-schooled most of the time, but why not travel to ancient Greece and have a philosophical discussion with Plato and Aristotle instead of reading about them in books? Why not let Pythagoras explain how he came up with his theorem? Certainly, Doc and Clara would have come up with certain rules that every time-traveller must follow to not mess with history too much.
We think they would have come up with some type of fail-safe system before their travels. For example, a letter that arrives through a pneumatic tube system. The letter tells them if it is safe to travel or if they must abort and cancel the trip they had in mind. If the letter says: “abort”, after they decide not to take the trip the hand-written content of the letter disappears. The logic behind it is, that after each trip they check if they have altered history too much, if not, they send themselves a message to the time before they made the trip saying everything is ok. If they changed history too much, they warn themselves not to go. That is why the handwritten message disappears, but the letter stays confirming they have averted a crisis, like in the movies with the photos.
Being around their twenties we think Jules and Verne would have visited Isaac Newton, when Newton was the same age, and would have fraternized with him, counting him as a friend. Since Verne is a rebel, we think he would have tried to help Newton not to die a virgin for example. Even when Jules and Verne were young, Jules always had to watch over Verne, and not let him mess things up too much.
Why the orange/red colors in the pitch-video?
We took the colors from the logo-title of the movies. These colors have influenced the colors of the clothes and gadgets. You will also recognize that we designed the clothes and gadgets inspired in the flux-capacitor design.
The DeLorean is iconic, and it will be forever linked to the "Back to the future" franchise. It is almost a character in it's own right. We want to achieve the same emotion with the gadgets Jules and Verne use. One of the gadgets is the Time-Rifle.
We like to think that Doc is always in a hurry to build the gadget he has in his mind. So we think that he would use all the spare parts he has laying around, also using parts of older inventions. In this case he would have cannibalized the rifle he used in Back to the Future III, and used most of it to make the time-rifle and he would add futuristic stuff to it, like the end of the gun, which is inspired by the flux-capacitor. To shoot the rifle you must use specially charged coins, that you insert in a coin-slot at the side of the gun. We like attention do detail and would re-use a lot of the stuff seen in the movies, like in this example. It is always fun for fans and it gives it a sense of continuity. The function of the rifle is described in the Game Concept Documentation.
Our Roadmap (WIP)
Find a unique storyline for the universe
Back to the Future -
Generate a world with rough edges
Explain the idea and find solutions -
Now we created the pitch video and the related animations
Build the idea with words, sketches and models
Now we filled the GameDesignDocument with content
New Deadline (30/04)
More drawings and models to better understand our idea