Condors Web Page

Project Condors is a semester long team at Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). We are working on pioneering and prototyping a new way to enjoy the game of basketball; capturing the essence of the game and re-imagining it in an easily accessible way.

This project is in conjunction with Visual Concepts, the studio responsible for NBA 2K, the world’s best basketball simulation game franchise. Through NBA 2K, Visual Concepts has already explored a variety of different game modes including head-to-head, story-based, card collecting, and more. Thus, we pitched our new ideas to them, and have been prototyping the selected designs to provide a more out-of-the-box type of game.


Omar Cheikh-Ali: Our team’s producer. He has design and production experience to contribute to the project.

Swapnil Mengade: Our team’s programmer, interested in learning more about the game development pipeline as an engineer.

Healthy Moeung: Our team’s artist, bringing experience in 3D modeling and character design.

Julian Ochoa: One of our team’s game designers, he’s interested in working closely with our programmers and learning more about prototyping through script.

Xinyu (Mimi) Wang: Our team’s UI/UX designer, also bringing experience in 3D art and visual effects.

Xuejun (Sally) Wang: One of our team’s game designers/programmers. She brings experience in both of these areas to our project.

OPSP: Ongoing Problems, Solution Possibilities

Ongoing Problem: Passing

Solution Possibilities: Ranged pass, draw electricity line between two, interpret "Interceptino"

Ongoing Problem: Some players want "Autoglide", but John wants to float on fan over and over

Solution Possibilities: Large vertical collider on fan,

Ongoing Problem: No layup

Solution Possibilities?: 3-point arc trace to ride up wall

Ongoing Problem: No visual feedback for speed

Solution Possibilities: dive bomb lines

Ongoing Problem: like rubber band

Solution Possibilities:

Ongoing Problem: We couldn’t figure out how to combine our controls and mechanics meaningfully. (edited)

Solution Possibilities: Always Rising, soft rumble resistance of controller to portray “energy” RT to dive when want to go “down” and heavier rumble


In collaboration w/ Sally Wang


Court Size

Resource Management

Camera (

March 25 1:10 PM (Gearbox)

What does ”X” do?

Directionally, does this tell me where my teammate is? No, the ball is

Almost had it, then thrown away

I have both a red and a blue trail, confusing arrow color

What's the magic to getting in the basket?
Tryng to get

Only watched Rocket League, still no way to jump, wants to jump (even if its a smaller one)

Feels like fighting against ramps

Continuing on a path, but the camera (preference would be moving forward in the direction you’re looking (like Warthog in Halo)

Frustrating: Camera/Movement, or Want to “jump” kept hitting “A” wanting to jump

Wants some sort of attack, or a boost, or a way to “pace” as a player then “drive”

Wants a rechargeable “boost”

Want more friendly interactions with teammates

March 25 1:40 PM (ETC Alum)

“How can I jump”

“This is the goal?”

“How do I go forward”

“How do I steal the ball”

Camera adjustment is wonky

Unsure of how to score

Camera turning around is a challenge

They are engaging with stealing the ball

They aren’t sure who is their partner

Now it’s getting competitive (They kinda know the controls)

I wish there was more than one way to acquire the ball

“I’m in the goal, just give me the ball”


  • Camera

  • Moving left was not going forward

  • Boost Towards the ball was disorienting

  • The difficulty of the game is not skill, we’re taking away skill with the mapping

  • Cannot move anyway with the joystick

  • X Boosting with the ball

  • Follow rocket league, point to the ball don’t boost

  • Stealing should be automatic (Knocking out is good, but you should acquire it instantly)

  • Split screen too busy (each character should be more indistinguishable)

  • Visuals should be stronger to point to where you shoot (self-shoot can happen)

  • They thought they could instantly score themselves

  • “I wish I could go through the basket”

  • Sound always helps

  • When someone scores, the screen should merge to show the winner

  • How do you win? (Time or score first?) What is the objective?

  • We want feedback

  • Movement (is the ball always bouncing) > How to reach columns? How to get up?

  • Can the playfield be more dynamic?

  • ShotClock (field tilts and you tilt too)

  • Quidditch (The field can take you out. More than one objective. Defense or more ways to get the score up)

  • Team part sucked lol. Passing

  • Throw the ball and show the area it’s coming to somehow. They need feedback to show where it’s going. Anticipate the area it’s going to reach to.

  • Ramps > Going down the ramp is frustrating

  • Constant bouncing reminds you of basketball (give player control to the bounce. Don’t give a super bounce)


  • Room to pass is fun

  • Fun to watch when they figure it out

  • Interaction social dynamic fun

  • Feedback of the scoring will be rewarding

  • Going up the ramps

  • Slam dunk FIFA tricks would be fun

  • Getting the arc would be good

  • Slow motion when the ball is close to the basket c to give tension

  • Simplify the world and build it with feedback

  • Nice light nice texture

  • Different states of the ball

  • The boost could be limited because it’s satisfying

  • Boost is called “overclock” so you’re faster

March 18 4:12 PM

Difficulties trying to glide

The beams are in the way

Children took a while to understand how to dive

The diving is being used in a way to dive into the goal. These playtesters seem to miss their goal by diving past it.

We need to find a way to make it fair (someone is in the lead, it’s hard to catch up)

Once they get the hang of it, they seem to be enjoying himself

Rolling and falling look like they’re just rolling sometimes.

Frustrating for children when they are behind, however they feel excited when they figured out the control.

The younger child forgets to glide when he dives and when he glides he forgets to dive

Once they get the hang of it, they do have fun.

“Scoring on my color is weird”

Don’t like

  • Thumb hurts (RT for glide instead)

  • Hard to get up in the air (Fans)

  • Hard to start from sitting. Thought he could just bounce.


  • Like coordination

  • Color scheme

  • Remembering the layout is good

March 4 4:00 PM

Version: Gliding, Diving,

Observations: Didn’t know who is who

Am I stuck here?

How do you move up?

Oh, I think I get it.

Why can't I score?

I can’t move up.

I want to move up.

OOOOOHHHHHHHH I think I understand.

I should be able to change my camera viewpoint.

Where is the Green pipe?

Do you go to the same target?


What is the most frustrating thing?
Don’t know how to float up, I don't know if I need to speed up first

Took too long to understand controls

Floating up too slowly

Constant upward speed instead of a big dive.

Can't see scoring tube at the beginning

Found tube after too long of the game’s progress

Only slow on the ground

Don’t know which tube can be a score vs. which cannot

Too slow all around. From gameplay to mechanics to interactions.

Favorite thing:
Core mechanic of flow is fun

Flying is fun

The float is fun to score

Feels like Zelda (Paraglider, Julian assumes)

Reminds me of Metroid Prime morph ball <-Apparently, momentum builds up speed really fast


Want to use Right Stick to adjust Camera Angle

Want to get a boost on meter instead of having to bounce to the ground all the time

All obstacles, but they feel more like blocks rather than “helping” me

No risk, no reward

Maybe speed boost after landing on pillars, but not that rewarding

Took me a while to understand that the ground changes color

The relationship between the ball and… the others is unclear

No defending own color?

Speed is too slow

Next Step:

No bounce!

For relying on Physics, momentum missing is a big problem

Gliding is not changing in verticality the way gliding actually should

Needs to have a speed change between gliding and not gliding, for now, both feel like same speed

Way to stop other players from scoring?

Moving too slow or progression too slow? What kind of slow? No interaction between players.

What are you doing? Verbs?

Control your ball, jumping through trying to beat others to get the higher score.

Control ball to go through rings

Feel like “Defending” should’ve been a verb.

Want interactions between players.

Very hard to hit other balls.

What controls do you have?

Rolling, Accelerate, dive, glide,

4:20 PM


Which one am I?

Are we supposed to go through the hoop?
Tina: How is everyone flying?

No idea how to fly up.

Brian immediately understood controls, Tina did not.

I don’t know how to score!

Tina thinks beams are for some greater purpose rather than just for guidance.

“I think they’re just obstacles.”

What is the most frustrating thing:
Getting into the hoop

Max: not seeing others beat him to the pipe

Tina: Didn’t know where the hoop was at first (maybe an arrow that could follow to goal)

Brian: Kept jumping and eventually found the hoop

Can’t find how to get high enough to the hoop

Can’t figure out how to go higher

The beginning of the game, couldn’t figure out that there was a Boost button, but once figured out how to control the ball, beams were preventing him from going higher and actually stunting his progress.

Favorite part:

Competition between players

Deeper you dive, the higher you can get

Like simplicity, but catch-22 because of no interactions

Tina: ball thing is really cool, Ball looks cool, diving is really cool

Wanted to do but couldn't:

Tina: Everything, wanted to see a direction or way to go,

Brian: Hit players, stop players effectively from scoring, for now, its just a race

Wanted to affect other players, maybe interrupt them in their scoring process

Magic Wand:

Max: Where will I land?

Brian: Gravity feels weird, gets that its a ball, but it doesn't react like a basketball. Not that bouncy,

Tina: Want NBA sounds in the background, audio feedback

: Color of pillars so as not to confuse players, these pillars are the same color as the player balls, so lead to believe that they function as something, when, in reality, they don’t

What are you doing:

Tina: Basketball who is competing with other balls to score points first based on whatever color the floor is

Verbs and what they do:

Fly, Rush, Dive,

How do they change your


Want to change the camera angle

When I go up, I hit a pillar above my head

A way to know if something is above my head



Showed up an hour late

Learned controls:

What’s the objective?
I guess you hold A.

Really need to be able to adjust the camera

Don't like how you can’t see up

Fell down too fast

What is frustrating:
Didnt understand rules of how to jump and glide

Didn’t feel intuitive

Bounce in the air isn’t accurate

Still, don’t know what rules are, only got height accidentally

Doesn’t understand the gravity of the world

Doesn’t understand the rules of the world

Blocks in between don’t mean anything

What do blocks even do?

Changing directions was sort of weird

No control, meaning, not able to decide where I want to go, understand glide, but unsure on what is happening, sometimes a button serves more than one purpose.

Become too overpowered when in air, too underpowered when on ground

No “redemption”

When falling, not enough control

Favorite Part:

Like flying, once up there, fun to keep tapping and going,

Like the ball, the spinning is neat

Like the controlling once gliding, but theres parts I dont like about it

But like the gliding and flying around

Wanted to do but couldn’t:

Move the camera

Wish you didn’t have to keep holding down A

Magic Wand:
Wish you couldn’t jump in the air

Wish there was more clarity on where you can jump and how it will effect you

Still can’t describe how to move a character

Describe what you are doing:

“Playing Basketball, I am ball trying to dribble myself into a sideways hoop, performing three-pointers based on how I hit the hoop”

“Trying to spin a ball into hoops”


Just figuring out where you are,

So little interaction between each other, that it doesn’t matter where they are going

So much finesse required from moving your ball, that it isn’t necessary to know where everyone else is

Feb.21st Afternoon

Version: Not reset energy after scoring.  

Observations: Players can shoot from anywhere, if you get past a defender, you are already at the hoop, the orbs are not necessary/not placed in the right position, there wasn’t a lot jumping, no stop and think

Next Step:

Shooting algorithm,

Feb. 20th Afternoon

Next Step:

Adjust the number that each action takes from energy.

Regenerate energy resources

Bombs that are thrown through a hole?

Not hoops, through windows, if giant buildings

Feb. 19th Evening

  • The camera moves with the ball

    • The camera looks weird when not starting in center

  • Particle Effects

Mid-air steal was exciting

Depth is still too much

Frustrating because the ball is always with someone else?

Next Step:

Make court shorter depth

Energy Resource (should dodging a player add some energy to bar? How do we reward players for doing cool things? )

Feb. 19th Morning

4 players, moving, sprinting, passing, shooting, without resources mechanism

  • Feels ok

    • Movement feels smooth

  • The ball trail added a lot to the game

    • Helps with recognizing ball position on the court

  • Player trail added a lot visually to game

    • Makes motion feel visually important

  • There is no reason to not sprint.

  • Sometimes players shoot immediately after they get the ball

Next Step:

Add resources system into the game. (Consuming resources and collecting resources).

Differentiate the sprinting with normal moving more.

Adjust the camera angle and movement.

Narrative Design: Narrative structure, writing, editing, or evaluation of any of the above

Concept Creation: Draft client or internal pitches for a variety of game genres and RPFs