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Monthly Archives: January 2014

This week, the feedback recorded on Thursday was revealed. It was given to us in the form of a bar graph for each game, but we were not told which graph was for which game. This was done so that we make an objective decision based on how the idea was recieved, rather play favorites and select which liked but was not well received. We went through the data and chose our three games from them, and not so surprisingly, the Button game was the most well received. The other games that we selected were the Robot game, and the DID game, although our teeam did try to get Body Pillow RPG selected as well 😛 Then, on Thursday, each team met with the faculty to cut one game and decide the final two games that would be developed. We finally decided to cut DID, and make Button and Robot game. After this, the task was to decide how we are going to develop these games as a team.

Putting the whole thesis game on a backburner for now, it was the Global Game Jam 2014! The theme for this year was: “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”. I worked on it with a team of people from my cohort, and it consisted of: Antonio Revard, Abhishek Verma, Saumya Mukul, Siddharth Bhavsar, me , and Topher Nadauld. We called our team Hidu Sandwhich Police (blame the random name generator we used), and the game we made was Meganight Rebellion. Its a two player local multiplayer game, consisting of driving and hacking. You can download and play it for free from the link. It was a great fun experience, and we got a pretty good game out of it. Well, back to the thesis game now!

So this was a crazy week. We had to have a hundred ideas ready by Tuesday. We divided it up, and all of us came up with about 8 ideas each. Instead of doing a complete presentation on each of those ideas (which would have been insane), we were told to grab a bunch of people from our cohort, and pitch the ideas to them, and then based on their feedback narrow down those ideas. It sounded great, until the part where we had to discard ninety five ideas using this process in an hour. So we quickly went about pitching the ideas, and while I was pitching mine to group, Tina came up to us and started listening to me pitch. After about 10 minutes, she said that my ideas sounded very familiar to her, and that her team also had the same ideas. Apparently she had forgotten that I was on her team. I know I am not letting her forget this, ever. So after we had all done this, we got together, presented the feedback we had recieved. In the, the five games we selected were:

1) The Button Game: A first person puzzle game where the player needs to press a button to solve it. This was a cohort favorite game from last semester.

2) Robot Game: A 2.5D puzzle platformer where you get weaker as the game progresses.

3) Brain Hacking: You control a drone which you can use to take control of NPCs.

4) Dissociative Identity Disorder(DID): A mystery game, where you are both the protagonist and the antagonist, but neither the character nor the player knows this till the end.

5) Body Pillow RPG: A visual novel, about relationships with inanimate ojects, specifically body pillows.

Yeah, my team is a weird one. Anyhow, we shortlisted these on Tuesday, and by Wednesday, we had to submit 5 one page documents about each game to the faculty, as well as prepare presentations for Thursday on each game. Needless to say, we had very slept very little on those two days. But our decision to go with very simple and basic presentations was praised by the faculty, and based on the feedback that was collected from the cohort, we will now have to narrow down the ideas to three, and then finally cut one out to come down to two. Let’s see how that’ll go!

We started of the new semester with a bang. First of, we discussed the proccess that we are going to follow over the semester to get working on our thesis games. The gist is: we have to decide our own teams (yay!), and come up with a hundred game ideas (boo!). The teams have to have atleast 10 members, and should have a decent mix of people from all tracks. My team consists of: Vinod Madigeri, Skip Fowler, Abhishek Verma, Joe Rozek, Rachel Leiker, Cory Haltinner, Matt Jensen, Antonio Revard, Tina Kalinger, Brenton Walker, James Hulse, and Jed Merill. Yeah, we are a pretty huge team. So the process that we are to follow over the semester is that we need to come up with a hundred ideas, pitch them to the class, narrow down to five, flesh them out and pitch again, and then finally come down to two. We would then develop both games simultaneously, and then there would be another pitch, this time in front of an industry panel, and then we are to use that feedback to select our final thesis game. Also, we were asked to review past IGF winners, and try to figure out what it was that made them successful. I guess the faculty has really thought this through, and they want us to be really know our ideas before we devote time to developing them.
So come Thursday, we discussed the IGF games we had studied, what was special about them, and as an extra step, our team tried to come up with what could have been their thesis statements. It turns out, most IGF winners were simple games, with many having a puzzle based gameplay. Let’s what game I’ll end up making!