Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wormhole Workout

I just finished showing off the game my team made for Round 2 of Building Virtual Worlds. The goal of the assignment was to make a game for a "naive guest", who would play the game without any introduction or instruction.

We decided to use a real bicycle as the player's control mechanism because almost everyone knows how to ride a bicycle. The player pedals the bike to control its speed and turns by using the handlebars. The player also wears a "head-mounted display", which allows him to look around in any direction by simply moving his head.

Our "naive guest" seemed to have a lot of fun, and the game was well-received by the whole class. People really liked both the bike integration and the visual aesthetics.

Future Walt reports that Wormhole Workout was chosen to be in the end-of-semester BVW Show. Hurrah!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Introducing: The Warner Brothers

First year students (like me) at the ETC are required to take a class called Visual Story, which is basically a film class for folks who aren't Film majors. Us students are assigned into teams by the instructors, and then we go off and make movies!

My team is I think really fantastic. Jan, Dan, Mike, and Charlie are really great to work with.

Here's a little introduction video we made. It's not gonna win any Oscars, but it was a blast to make!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hopper's Escape

Yesterday we had our final presentation for the first team assignment ("Round 1") of the Building Virtual Worlds class. It was terrific fun, and I'm super proud of my whole team, Katherine, Craig, Andy, and myself, for pulling off what I think was a really ambitious idea, especially after a disappointing half-presentation.

The goal of the assignment was to tell a story about "one creature afraid of another". So we decided to make Hopper's Escape, a game about building bridges out of shadows (tracked by Playmotion technology) to help a toy kangaroo escape from a baby. It is a very short game in which the player stands in front of a projection screen and then uses her shadow  to guide a toy kangaroo who is trying to escape from a creepy baby. When the kangaroo encounters an obstacle such as a flowing stream, the game switches modes and the player uses her shadow to build a magical bridge over the obstacle.

I'm proud to say that the game was extremely well-received by the class instructors. One of our instructors, Jesse Schell, who is usually very reserved in his praise, exclaimed "Oh man, I'm in love!" In particular he lauded the use of dual game modes (guiding hopper and building bridges) that were "both novel and interesting."

Future Walt is proud to inform you that Hopper's Escape was shown to great applause in the end-of-semester BVW Show. It was one of the only two worlds from Round 1 that made it into the show.

Here's a video of the game from the show:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Exploding Demon Bunnies vs The Eyeball Monster

Over the past week or so I made a short little game for the Building Virtual Worlds class at the ETC. It was made for "Project 0", which is the very first assignment in which students prove that they have the skills needed to complete the class.

As a programmer, I made a game using pre-existing art and sound assets. I present to you, Exploding Demon Bunnies vs The Eyeball Monster.

It's basically a very short "Zelda-esque" boss fight. I consider the game a success because it proved my programming skills and is fun for a play-through or two.

You can download it from this page.