Monday, December 2, 2013.
I get my hands on Call of Duty: Ghosts for Xbox One and it is beautiful! Makes The Last of Us look last gen. I even prefer it to Battlefield 4, which starts a little slow for my taste. My cousin Kristian says it could be because EA put a lot more effort into multiplayer in BF4 than single, while Call of Duty: Ghosts suffers from minor game balancing issues in multi mode. I recommend both games, but COD:G is stronger if you play for story, BF4 with friends.
We sit down for two hours with Randy Guthrie of Microsoft and Tobiah Marks, a recently recruited Microsoft game evangelist famous for Blast Monkeys, a number one selling Android game. Afterward, we show Tobiah our fourth prototypes in process, and he gives constructive feedback and glows about our program. He also gives some great advice on game monetization. I study the first twenty-five levels of Blast Monkeys on iPhone 5S, and its a fun game!
In Amy’s class, we are saddened to learn we will not get our ten The Pie pizzas, as only eight of us showed up for the play test last week. Those of us who did show will earn karma, she promises.
Jose’s class is again focused on game design. We learn and play ten different board games as teams of four to five, then share patterns we picked up in the games with the class. My team selects Talisman, in part because it has a pretty box, but also because a team member, Shane Sumsion, played the game once 25 years ago and knows enough to give us a head start. Other teams play Niagara, Puerto Rico, Castle Panic, Dominion, Tikal, Canterbury, Puzzle Strike, Forbidden Desert, Burn in Hell (nobody chose this one for some reason), and Race for the Galaxy.
The discussion is useful, but not having played all of the games, some of the descriptions and comparisons don’t mean much to me. Jose says the games will be left in the Master Games Studios for us to play and become familiar with. He suggests keeping a play journal so we become more aware of the play experience from the perspective of a designer, and not just as players.
The first half of class we work hard on our games. We come up with a new name for our project that I will post after I’ve secured the domain name. Our original name idea turns out to be the name of an adult website, so we do the responsible thing and sink the name in hopes of saving kids from visiting the site.
Circa 11:30, we Producers cross campus to Master Games Studio North to meet with Roger, who tells us all about next Thursday’s open house that we will host. I ask if we should dress in James Bond tuxedos with red and white (school color) bow ties or our official EAE t-shirts. While Roger would like us to wear suits so he looks good, the consensus is we should wear what we might wear to an interview, which is a bit more casual since this is the game industry. A number of VIP’s will attend, and altogether as many as 200 to 300 may show up to meet us and play our games.
After class, we return to MGS South to conduct a few more play tests. I have a brief Bench to Bedside discussion with Nancy Newren, who suggests we find a second Engineer for my PTSD project.