Submission & Other Happenings This Week

Everything is beginning to move fast. The close we get to the end of our time in the EAE program, the faster it seems to go. OK, now onto this week’s happenings.

On Thursday, we finally submitted our game for publishing. We decided to submit our game to Desura, which is a popular hub for indie and student games. This is a great outlet for us to publish our game as well as a great platform to show off it off to future employers and gamers. Hopefully the process for approval doesn’t take too long so that we can make our launch date of April 28th, which is also our final EAE Open House to show off our game.

Furthermore, this week I started creating a “flat” level for our game. I doing my best to create a flat level that takes us beyond the cylinder and adds to the game. I really desire that our game feature another level before we all go our separate ways post graduation. As a result, I am doing my best to see how well a flat level will work within our core mechanics. Stay tuned to this goal.

We are also contemplating including network in a our final, launch day build. We had a great discussion on Thursday as to how this would look design wise. I believe that a simple network of a host/client relationship between players would work great for our game as well as make the game more enjoyable overall. Hopefully we would be able to surpass the technical limitations and time constraints we are all under — we graduate on May 8th, CRAZY!

Well, here we are in the final weeks in the program. Like I noted in previous posts, it is amazing to think the journey is about to come to an end. I have learned so much about myself and the process for making a game. Noting my time here and how much I’ve grown as a designer and producer, there is a great reason why we are the best graduate game development program as noted by the Princeton Review (You can read about our #1 ranking here).

And here is a link of me and my team featured on the local Fox 13 News regarding our #1 ranked program here at the University of Utah. Enjoy!

Stockholm Syndrome?: The Week That Was

This week felt strange to me. On Tuesday, as we sat discussing GDC experience for those who were there, it was the first time I felt sad that this long journey was is coming to end. Maybe I’m experiencing a bit of Stockholm Syndrome, finally identifying with my captors, or just feeling solidarity with those who’ve survived this long journey, whatever the case may be I felt sorrow that the experiences I shared with some of the best people I have been lucky enough to enjoy will all soon be over. But no matter what the depressing feelings meant, it steamrolled my week.

Well this post will not be about saying goodbye just yet. Hell, we still have a game to finish. To get back to our game, one of the accomplishments this week is that we refined our camera. Finally, people spoke positively about what we were doing with it and felt it was making our game better. Mark this week was very adamant to fix our camera and we finally are reaching a happy medium that makes this experience feel much better.

This week we also began making plans for publishing. As producers, we have discussed the idea of publishing in the past and with the team, but now we commenced with finalizing these plans. At this time, we are going to shoot for the online hub Desura to publish our game. We are hoping to officially begin the publication process on the week we return from Spring Break. It is our goal to get through the process and ultimately publish our game at the end of this semester.

We also started scoping out what we want to present for our thesis defense. Since all the producers on our team are now full-time in the industry, I pushed for us beginning to imagine how we would like to approach it. I, along with Topher, outlined how we could present our game to the faculty and fellow students. We want to use this outline as an evolving template so that we can create the best thesis defense presentation we can.

Well the week that was is bringing forth the future that will be. Crazy to think of how far we have come and how much further we still need to go. It’s been an interesting journey to say the least, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Please continue following my posts as the journey reaches it’s finale.

 

While the Cat’s Away, this Mouse Worked!

While everyone was at GDC last week, I remained behind. Not because I wanted to stay home and take a break to play games waiting to still be open on my shelf. Instead, I was fighting the good fight for Disney Interactive. Sadly, I can’t reveal what I am working on, anything fun and exciting I get to do. No, I am under legal contract to bite my tongue. Nevertheless, I worked hard like a 24/7 Battlefield 4 server last week. Since last December, I’ve occupied a position vacated by a producer. This intern thus is a supersaver production assistant for the Disney Infinity franchise and hopefully this hard work has been noted along the way.

Well hopefully tomorrow everyone will regale me with stories of GDC and how much fun they had. Although I did miss going to that awesome conference, it is great to be working in the industry and seeing how the sausage is actually made. No matter what the future holds, I hope that what I learning as a student and as a professional will aid me for the rest of my career.

One Little Change Can Make a Whole Lot of Difference

It’s crazy how just changing one small aspect of your game can make a huge difference. Recently, when we inserted our new avatar into our thesis game, all the critiques we received regarding the shooting mechanic evaporated. What seemed to occur is that our previous avatar exacerbated the shooting mechanic to the point that some of our faculty argued that we should remove our shooting altogether. Nevertheless, my perspective was that the avatar created problems with the mechanic rather than the mechanic itself being the culprit, and if we were able to iterate on its design of the avatar, the mechanic itself would be fixed. Ultimately, the mechanic wasn’t the problem, but the avatar made it appear as if it was a problem.

What this taught me is how much in design we need to pay attention to what is going on within the game. A person can play the game and argue that one aspect of it is not working well. They may even argue that the mechanic needs to be eliminated altogether. In their assessment, from a surface level they would be correct in observing an issue with the game. However, as designers need to probe the design to see what is causing the problem and work on the underlying issue rather than merely addressing the visible problem. In our game, the shooting mechanic was broken. But it was the avatar that was causing this issue rather than the shooting mechanic itself. If we would have merely tackled the shooting mechanic, we would have overlooked the real cause of the problem. Therefore, being observant of the design helped us to fix the real problem with shooting that in the end allowed us to fix the observable problem caused by it.

Well everyone is heading to GDC and hopefully people will stop by the EAE booth and play our game. Hopefully people will enjoy the game and it exposes all the hard work we put into it.