Jed Merrill, Producer/Game Designer

Week 6 – Climate Game Jam

Tuesday, September 29, 2015.

2015-09-24-03-23Eric and I go over our latest build notes with Brian.  I think I’d like to see more show and less tell over the next few weeks.  I tell Brian about The Void presentation at Comic Con, my meeting with Cameron Dayton, and more.  Brian also went and bought some prints and art books.  A few of the prints I liked:

I look into the requirements to submit to Ludicious, a Swiss games festival that two or three other EAE teams are entering.  Entries are due Sunday, October 4, 2015.  We have to choose between the International and Student categories.  Maybe I should see what the other teams are doing and do the opposite? We are not allowed to enter the SGDA Swiss Game Award category because we don’t have a Swiss ID or passport, so I do a quick search to see what it takes to get one.  Get your Swiss names here!

Tuesday night I go to React! Games to play test Super Dungeon Brothers with my Paper Prototyping professor Matt, who works there when not teaching.  He says there is a chance they need a Production or Design Intern, and I may follow up on that in the next week.

Thursday, October 2, 2015.

I show Jose an extended script I wrote for Scenario 2 of B.E.S.T.  He suggests I put it into film script format for portfolio purposes.  Shahbaz is happy to see his meticulously crafted 3D washing machine prominently figured in the script.  We needed the longer script because our game experience would have been several minutes too short without it!

I also bring in the bracket to connect the Leap Motion to an Oculus Rift.  Ahmad got Oculus working between Tuesday and today.  It was easy, he says.  Nidal is also taking a turn at being lead engineer on the project, and will have our builds ready each week before 9:00 Tuesday mornings.

I start to emphasize the importance of production value, a film term, especially in an immersive experience like virtual reality, and built some into the script.  I should still have Lt. Breur go over it to make sure it sounds natural to a police officer, fits training objectives, etc.

Ahmad would like me to add screen captures and game play videos to our website, but I don’t think we are ready and Eric agrees.  Right now http://www.BESTPoliceTraining.com/ just tells people how to get a hold of us and what events they can meet us at.  I do make a list of different types of content we can add when we are ready.  We are treating this like a commercial project more than a thesis project, and believe it has to be commercial to make a real difference.  This necessitates a proper balance between show and secrecy, for now.  You also don’t want to release digital images of a game that are not yet portfolio worthy, and art and lighting are typically some of the last features of a game, at least at EAE where gameplay comes first.

Saturday, October 3, 2015.

IMG_1567I am now an award winning game designer! 🙂

People’s Choice Award, Climate Game Jam 2015!

This was considered first place for the event, though everyone was a winner.

My “Solar City” game design was picked by judges from Wildworks, a school teacher, and The Hogle Zoo to be the best of show, and the game they would most like to see made into a real game!

The Climate Game Jam took place Friday and Saturday, October 2 – 3, 2015 at the Rende-Zoo room at Hogle Zoo.  The staff gave us two tickets each to return to the zoo and showed us an owl and let us pet a very shy armadillo prior to the award ceremony.

I was also privileged to work with six members of Cohort 6 for the first time on a game called Silviculturalist.  “Silviculture is the practice of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values. The name comes from the Latin silvi- (forest) + culture (as in growing).” ~ Wikipedia  The team put together some great physics, animation, and sound, and I’d love to work with them again!

By the way, if you are foaming at the mouth about a multiple degree grad student quoting from Wikipedia, read or listen to The Long Tail, a fantastic book by a Wired magazine editor that makes a great case for Wikipedia being superior to all other encyclopedias.