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Monthly Archives: March 2014

This was an interesting week to say the least. Unreal Engine 4 was made publicly availabe during GDC, and our team really wanted to use it. So over the week, we decided that we try out the engine for two weeks, and if it works, we’ll go ahaed with it. otherwise fallback to Unity (that’s what was used to make the prototype for the industry pitch). So with this, we talked to the faculty to get us Unreal Engine 4 licenses. The fact that they can get it for $19/month, and then install it on any number of computers really helped our case.

Another interesting thing happened over the week. Since the faculty want us to work like a studio rather than a team of students, they “hinted” that selecting leads would be really helpful for us over the year long development that we are going to do. So we got together, discussed what the duties of each lead would be, and then elected them. So we chose Brenton Walker as Lead Producer, Antonio Revard as Lead Designer, Rachel Leiker as Lead Artist, and surprisingly (at least to me) me as Lead Engineer. Some of the people who voted for me voiced their reasons for doing so, and I was surprised to hear them, as I thought anyone in my position in those situations would have done the same. Still, I’m definitely not complaining, and being the lead would be a completely new and I’m sure a great learning experience for me. Here’s hoping I will live up to the team’s expectations!

Last week was GDC(Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco. To say that it was an amazing experience is not enough. I met people from Ubisoft, Schell Games, Epic Games, Unity, Havok, Intel, Riot, Obsidian, High Voltage, WB Games, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft, Wargaming.net and more. It was a full week of talking to amazing game industry pros, then seeing them again in the parties at night. I am not the kind of guy who talks a lot, especially with people I don’t know, so I was initially skeptical about it all, but after shaking hands with John Romero (yes THE John Romero), I realized that the pros were there to let their hair down, and just meet and talk to people about video games. That bossted my confidence and I ended meeting a lot of people and making some valuable contacts.

So the industry panel pitch happened. It was both good and kind of bad for us. Good, because the panel liked both our games. Bad because the panel liked both our games. Let me expain. The process to decide the thesis game was that we would make two games, and then based on the the industry panel feedback, we would decide our final game. With them liking both our games, we were still stuck as to which game we should go for. I’m not saying the feedback wasn’t useful, as they did point out what they liked about our games, and what were possible problems we could run into, and even some suggestions as to solve those problems. But we still had to decide which one to go for. We decided that we would make the choice on Thursday, after everyone had a chance to go over the feedback. Come Thursday, it turned out to be a unanimous decision, though not the one everyone had expected. We decided to go with the Premonition game, the one that was made in two weeks, rather than the Button Game, which was sort of everyone’s favorite. So, for now at least, the Button Game is dead, though you may never know. If you are interested, you can play the final build of the Button game here. Let me know what you think about it!

A bonus: a picture of us during the industry panel, when they were giving us the feedback. This was after a good pitch. Seriously.

Another two weeks have passed, and once more a lot of stuff has happened. For the industry panel pitch on Monday, we decided that instead of showing a prototype-ish looking game, we will go for a vertical slice of what the game will look like. This meant that all the art, and narration needed to be in game, and it should be decently playable. To get this done, we decided to throw out some of the levels, namely the infinite falling, one of the jumpping puzzles (the leap of faith), and the gravity puzzle. This also meant that I’ve spent pretty much all of last week working on getting the narration and art in game. While the audio didn’t take a lot of time, getting the art in broke the game. Several times. Turns out that Unity’s asset server hates me. Everytime we changed anything in the prefabs, everything would brake. After spending hours on it, I finally got the game ready as we wanted it. So now the game is ready, the presentation is done, and we are ready for the industry pitch on Monday. Wish us luck!