The following week included Team Reveal's trip to the Ubisoft Montreal Game Lab competition, and we had a great time. I'll leave the details for my update on Reveal below, but I'll just say that it was an honor to work with such an incredibly talented and dedicated team. Also, poutine! Woo!
Other than that, I finished my thesis companion document, and we've just been working like crazy on all our games. So here we go!
Last March of the Dodos
Derek has done a fantastic job of creating all the individual achievements, Kamron has streamlined all the menu screens and camera functionality, and even Felix has implemented design tools and bug fixes while in Florida!
Jesse has been in touch with a professional music producer, and she has done a ton of work creating sounds and music for our game. It constantly amazes me how much sound brings games to life. It's not surprising, but you simply don't usually anticipate just how much richer the experiences are when the appropriate sounds are in place.
Finally, our shark is working! The player can trigger/summon the shark onto the land by knocking enough Dodos into bodies of water. Suddenly, the shark jumps onto land from a random position and flops along the paths until it eats the King Dodo. At that point, it returns to the water via another random path. The whole time, if it happens to contact any other Dodos on its way to the King, it, of course, eats them, too. It really is a fantastic feature, and it's one of those great "moments of delight" that we've been shooting for.
A Videogame With/out Rules
At this point, we've finalized our design for the physical setup, and we're simply creating schematics and plans for getting it built. Christine is finalizing the overlays and sprites, Josh and Charlie are finalizing rules and documentation (just in case we have them at all), Wang is implementing new art and minor adjustments as we receive final assets, and I'm working with Al to get the thing constructed. We've got two weeks, so we're gonna make it happen!
However, the work that we did as a team during those 36 hours was incredible. The team pulled together unlike any I've previously worked with. We pushed through insane hours of the night as we refined each of our segments of the presentation. We made adjustments to the build of the game. Isaac created more concept art and illustrations for the PowerPoint slide backgrounds. And I hate to reveal that I actually stayed up until 5 A.M. (and then got up at 7 A.M.) on the morning of our presentation, putting it all together into a cohesive pitch. We were lucky to go on the second day so that we had a chance to make strong points out of what were weak points in our competitors' approaches.
Thankfully, and as a testament to the hard work of the team, it all paid off. We received several compliments on our presentation and on our game concept alike. A week later, we were one of five teams to win an award (there were 13 teams in the competition). The jury awarded us the trophy for "Best Creativity and Use of Theme." My hat is off to Jason Thummel, the lead designer and mastermind behind the original concept, and to Jason Kanagaratnam and Andrew Witts, the two members of our team selected for internships at Ubisoft Montreal this summer. Congratulations, Team Reveal!
I wanted to include this one on the list this week to assure you that this project still lives, although it might be wheezing for breath at the moment. With the semester nearing its end and many of the team members figuring out different plans for the summer, we're not sure whether this one will die gracefully, emerge from its current ashes as a vibrant phoenix, or simply hang on month after month with a slight chance of revival. I would love this to continue, but we're all simply so busy right now that we'll just have to wait and see.
Elders of the RuneStone: War for Darkhan City
Not much progress here these past few weeks, as deadlines have been approaching for other responsibilities, but it's still alive and well. As usual, check out the latest (or near-latest) build **here**!
This was a short-lived shot at making a medical game to enter into the Bench-to-Bedside competition, an event geared at combining entrepreneurial endeavors with medical research and new technologies. We took a day to build a blackjack-esque touch device card game that helps people with PKU understand various combinations of food that they can safely eat in a single day. We didn't win any awards for it (perhaps if we'd spent the allotted six months rather than one day...), but I got to
Two weeks until graduation week! Holy cow! I think I can... I think I can... I think I can...