Rapid Prototype 1.1 – First Prototype

Hello all, and welcome to my first blog post.  My name is Zach Lorenzen and I am an Engineer in the EAE masters program here at the University of Utah.  I will be numbering my posts as “Rapid Prototype X.Y” where X is the prototype number and Y is the week of that prototype (1.1 means week one of my first prototype;  Next week will be 1.2).  This weeks prototype was to be based on a toy that we randomly selected from a bag.  My team pulled a bag of rubber “creepy” critters including spiders, rats, and bats.

Throughout the discussion we attempted to garner the true fun of the toy that we had selected.  The purpose that I could see was to scare others, or to use as decoration.  And from that, we discussed the idea of a “decoration game” where the objective was to scare  the characters in the game.  However, at least to me, that wasn’t really a game.  That could be perhaps an interesting tool, or extension of the toy, but it would remain just that: a toy.  Not a game.

After further discussion, we reversed the thought process a bit.  What if we weren’t playing with the toy in our game, but we were the toy.  We discussed the idea of a spider simulator, a rat simulator, and a bat simulator.  We eventually decided on the bat sim, as that had the most unique element to it: sonar.  And that is what became our USP (Unique Selling Point).  In short, our game is a 2D bat simulator, where you explore the world around you collecting food using your sonar.

So far not an extreme amount of progress has been made on the game itself, partially due to it being Labor Day weekend.  On the engineering side we’ve spent our time setting up a repository, and figuring out how to use the system (MonoGame).  Beyond that, we’ve accomplished drawing sprites to the screen along with basic movements.  I’ve also figured out how to rotate sprites, which will be useful for a clock we plan to have in the game to keep track of time (bats are nocturnal creatures).

For the upcoming week, we have a large laundry list of items to complete.  We need to figure out how collisions (and how we are going to treat them), a time system (which we will use for game states such as beginning and end), moving the screen around, and other ‘NPCs’.  This next week will need to be a busy one to catch up on all the work that we need to get done.


Zach Lorenzen