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Lactalis - Case Study

Introduction:

Game Title: Stonyfield Barnyard Bonanza

Client: Lactalis

Client’s Goal: 

Lactalis aims to create a virtual farm encompassing four distinct farms within one interconnected virtual space, leveraging their barns to promote their “Have a Cow” program. The game features educational minigames centered around exploring the farm and answering questions.

Their objective is to educate people using the mini-games and also promoting the vast and beautiful farms that they have. Within the farms mini-games are set up to have a Q&A so players can learn more about cows and their brand. The target audience range from kids to adult. While Roblox is a platform mostly dominated by kids, they are also hoping to target 18+ above. They also had a legal team to check on it so their objective can be achieved without any risks on their brand.

Conceptualization Phase

“As a six-person team, we divided the tasks of gathering detailed references of the farms and barns, creating models, and scripting into manageable timelines.

Collaboration with the client involved ensuring the shots were as detailed as possible, providing questions and answers for the Q&A game, and coordinating the ‘hide and seek’ game where we find the ‘Meadow Muffin’ provided by the NPCs of each farm.

Pre-production Phase

After receiving all the references and docs we needed, we started mapping the timeline needed for the game. As we are a six-person team on the project, we estimated that we needed about close to 3 months including bug checking. To get to that 3 months estimation, we sampled prototypes of a cow and also NPCs. We also mapped out coordinates and how smooth can the game be with 4 farms and a lot of assets in the game.

The conceptualization phase was the “estimation”, once we made the prototypes things got a bit troublesome because most of the area of the barns are not generally seen in the public so we need to visualize the whole thing based on the pictures we got. Some of the picture’s angle would make the silo a bit shorter when in reality it was much larger than it is originally so we needed to adjust most of the models. We needed to make room for error in-case things got messy when producing the actual model for the game so we needed to test some prototypes.

Aside from that, we were waiting for the Q&A texts as Lactalis was also waiting for their legal team to check the infos if there wasn’t any text that would affect the brand in a bad way.

The mini-games are easy and educational. We also learned some few things while we were adding the text. I didn’t even know that an average cow can drink 9-12 gallons per day. The game is simply talking to an NPC and the NPC will give you a question, after giving you a question, it would give you 4 choices and if you get the correct one, you get a money price that you can use to purchase a cow suit.

The farms have different questions but all they have in common are cows. The other questions are all about the farms like what other animals are being taken care off or when was it established.

The other mini-game was also in need of talking with an NPC, this time you’ll gonna have to find a “Meadow Muffin”. The funny thing about that is, initially, we really thought it was a muffin so we made a prototype of a muffin and they said it was actually a cow’s poop so we adjusted.

It was a hefty discussion but we came to a conclusion who will do which and how long we can make it. We were aiming of 45 days on the map with the model assets and 30 days would be for scripting the mini-games for each farm.

The uncertainty of this plan is that since we’re a team of six, we are not sure how the scripting will go as these phase would usually have a lot of bugs. So in response to that, we estimated it with the most substantial amount of leeway as possible.

Production Phase

With Roblox Studio for our map creator and main tool to create in Roblox, we started with the map creation, we develop the terrain first in Roblox Studio. Then we map out the coordinates including the length, width, and height of the barns that was given as a reference.


After we mapped out the coordinates, we started modeling all the assets like barns, silos, cows, fences, and many more in Blender 3D and textures are mostly adjusted in Photoshop and Paint3D. Most of the assets don’t have a problem, only the cow had the problem because we needed to animate it as it was moving, so we needed to fix the weight of the model to match the fluid movements of the cow when we do the scripting.

Lactalis - Case Study

We made a couple of adjustments to some models and also to some NPCs to match the actual “farmers” that they have on their farms. We also added texts on the cows as if they were speaking. The cows have their own names as they were the “mascot” of each of the farms.

Lactalis - Case Study

Roblox Lua is the code we used so it’s fairly easy (compared to other game engine programs) to script simple movement and texts. While we were very wary of how the programming will do in the production, it went off great. There was only one time that the code made the game “lag” but with a couple of troubleshoot and log checking, it was fixed.

Over the past few days, several calls were made to see if the models would satisfy the client. From a simple tree up to the barns, all assets were screenshot and provided to the client to get their approval.

When all the assets are approved and the game is looking as it was a game they’re imagining, the testing phase begun.

We had to adjust the cow’s animation a couple of times because the cow’s script is having a hiccup/glitch in the game. We had to adjust the Lua codes of the cow to match the timing of the sound as well, and also find the exact line of code it is stopping so we can get that fluid motion that we want. We also had to adjust a couple of misspelled words on the Q&A and some “Meadow Muffin” glitch. It was easy, but finding out the line of code to correct was a bit of a long process.

Lactalis - Case Study

Ultimately, no game-breaking bugs so we just needed the time to sort and find the minimal bugs from models down to even the SFX (sounds) of the game.

In summary of the testing phase, extensive testing uncovered minor issues such as animation glitches and text errors, all promptly addressed to ensure a polished final product.

External testers were also enlisted to provide fresh perspectives, leading to further refinement.

Following the client’s thorough testing and feedback, final adjustments were made for a seamless user experience.

Marketing and Promotion

Since their not aiming for monetization, the game doesn’t have a Robux income engagement, it was meant for educational purpose so marketing and promotion was not put in to mind. That said, we still set up a description for the game as a from of what the game would be. With the approval and checking of the client, it was put into action.

Launch and Release

Once all was said and done, we provided the credentials to the account we created for them so they have the ownership of the game and they can just add us as developers if they want an update in their game.

Outcomes:

While we are not sure if the game achieved educating people because there’s no data to track the quizzes, we know that the game has 79 Favorites and 6,687 visits within the month without any advertisements.

Lactalis - Case Study

Future Plans:

No updates are pending for the game. While we discuss that there might be new mini-games added in the future and the shop would be expanded to add not just the cow suit but others stuff, no real planning was made at the moment.

Probabilities:

Our main selling point of the game is that the models and farms looks like the real thing only gamified. It’s like having a game version of it. I won’t say every nook and cranny of it is, but if you see it first, you know it’s that.

With a larger team, increased budget, and extended timeline, we could enhance both the quality and speed of development. The timeframe required to complete the models and map was reasonable for a three-person team. However, with a team of six individuals, each with their designated tasks, we could significantly expedite the process. In fact, with the resources of an estimated eight-person team and a substantial budget, we could achieve even greater results.

Team Reflection

It was not a smooth sailing one but we did it. With the right planning and coordination we were able to ultimately finish the task. Was it hard? Yes, it was. It was also satisfying, the 2 months we spent on the game, we learned so much stuff.

  •  Client Collaboration: Effective collaboration with the client is crucial for understanding their goals and requirements. Regular communication and feedback loops ensure alignment throughout the development process.
  • Thorough Planning: Detailed planning, including estimation of timelines and resources required, is essential for smooth project execution. Anticipating potential challenges and room for iteration helps in managing uncertainties.
  • Adaptability: Flexibility is necessary when faced with unexpected obstacles, such as discrepancies in reference materials or changes in requirements. Being able to adjust models, scripts, and timelines accordingly demonstrates adaptability and problem-solving skills.
  • Quality Assurance: Rigorous testing and debugging are vital to identify and address issues, ensuring a polished final product. Involving external testers can provide valuable perspectives and feedback for further refinement.
  • User Experience: Prioritizing a seamless user experience is paramount for player satisfaction. Addressing minor issues like animation glitches and text errors contributes to a more enjoyable gameplay experience.
  • Ownership and Handover: Providing clients with ownership credentials and clear handover procedures ensures a smooth transition at the end of the project. Maintaining open lines of communication for potential future updates or support is beneficial for long-term client relationships.

Marketing Considerations: Even if not aiming for monetization, having a well-crafted game description and considering basic marketing strategies can help in promoting the game’s purpose and attracting players.

Visuals and Multimedias:

Lactalis - Case Study

Meet the team

Stephen, our adept 3D modeler and planner, brings a wealth of experience in crafting intricate digital landscapes and structures. With an eye for detail and a knack for strategic planning, Stephen ensures our projects are not only visually stunning but also meticulously organized from conception to execution.

Reynel, our talented script writer and programmer, is the creative force behind our interactive narratives. His expertise lies in weaving compelling storylines with intricate code, ensuring that our projects not only function seamlessly but also engage and captivate our audience on multiple levels.

Ryan, our skilled 3D modeler and map designer, possesses a remarkable ability to breathe life into virtual environments. Through his meticulous attention to detail and innovative approach to spatial design, Ryan crafts immersive worlds that transport users to extraordinary realms of imagination.

Darius, our dedicated GUI designer, is the architect of user experience within our projects. With a keen understanding of user interface principles and a passion for intuitive design, Darius creates visually stunning and user-friendly interfaces that enhance accessibility and elevate the overall user experience.

Jeremy, our visionary icon and visual designer, adds the finishing touches that elevate our projects to new heights of aesthetic excellence. With an innate sense of style and a flair for creativity, Jeremy infuses our work with captivating visuals and distinctive branding that leave a lasting impression on our audience.

Raul, our meticulous tester and bug checker, ensures the quality and functionality of our projects meet the highest standards. With a keen eye for detail and a systematic approach to problem-solving, Raul meticulously identifies and resolves any issues, ensuring that our final products are polished and flawless before they reach our audience.