You know you're a Master's of video games student when...

Game Mode…

You know you’re an MSEAE student when…

Your default typing position is game mode.

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Cool Stuff!, Game Dev Adventures!

Rapid Prototyping 1: Game Prototype 1, Week 1 — Game Creation

Aw, rapid prototyping. The class that may just kill all the engineers.

Let me explain: we are to create a new game around a new theme given to us by new clients, with a new team, in a new language — which most, if not all, of the engineers won’t have used before — every four weeks. We have class for four hours every Tuesday and Thursday. Which sounds like we have more time than we really do to program the game. The first class is taken up by the clients and them giving us the game and then our team coming up with a game idea. The second class is spent trying to learn the language (and all the time in between). Then we have the second and third week which is mostly spent on the game, and then finally on week four we practice pitch and t

On Tuesday, the first day of class, we were given our first assignment. Project 1:

  • Game clients: Corinne & Amy
  • Game theme: cute, mobile, achievements (Corinne), pink & purple (Amy), not pick (Corinne), something they could pick up and play at anytime.
  • Group: artitst Jing; producers Toni & Brenton; engineers Hailin, Binoy, and myself
  • Language: Moai

My first thought, “What the heck is Moai?” Then, “I have to make a game in Moai?? How do you even pronounce it?”

Immediately after getting this information we were divided into ten teams. Each team got right down to business in coming up with a game idea, or at least our team did. During our brainstorming session their were some great ideas pitched. Toni pitched teddy bears and I immediately jumped to pet store which everyone else started building on top of. So that’s what we built up a game idea around managing a pet store, splicing for new creations, teaching the pets tricks, finding strays, etc. We had a billion ideas to go from.

My first group is going to be awesome, I can already tell. Everyone listened, compromised, and was willing to do whatever to make a great game.

On Thursday the engineers got to go down as a group to EA in Salt Lake while our teams did an initial pitch of out game ideas. It was hard not to be their to support the team, but EA was a cool experience too. Since none of us were getting to hear all the ideas we all talked about our games with each other and asked the all important question, “Has anyone used Moai or Lua before?” The answer was no. Not a single engineer was familiar with either. Though, to be fair, most of us had at least heard of Lua before. Where did this Moai come from?

EA-SLC-engineers

Brenton and Toni pitched the idea to Amy and Corinne and the idea of micromanaging the store got shot down. Our artitst, Jing, had also drawn up some awesome concept art of store and the animal, but received the same feedback: loved the animals, not so hot on the store idea. When they brought back the news to the team I was all like, “That’s easy. Let’s kill the store and keep the animals. We can build something else around the idea.” Everyone else seemed to be thinking the same thing. So no store, :(, but lots of cute animals still! 🙂

Jing's store cocept art. The store idea got scrapped. For now we're keeping the animals, but they don't have anywhere to live...
Jing’s store concept art. The store idea got scrapped. For now we’re keeping the animals, but they don’t have anywhere to live…

This is going to be an interesting project, and a fun group to work with. At the end of the week we have concept art for animals which have no place to live, a million mini game ideas, and we’re trying to figure out what Moai is. Stay tuned…

Game Dev Adventures!

Day One

First day. First class. First wave of nausea.

A scene from Mulan popped into my head: when the emperor’s adviser turns to the newly promoted Captain Li Shang who must train the new recruits and says, “Day one,” in such a way you know he expects failure. Shang takes a deep breath, straightens, and sets his mind, “This may seem impossible. This may be hard, but I am going to succeed! Day one indeed! Let’s get to it!”

First notebook. First pencil. First thing I wrote down, “DAY ONE!”