So, that’s a wrap on the current session of GameTech. Our group – Alex, Andre, Daniel, Deborah, Donté, Joseph, Karim, Reshawn, Rucel – did great work: many of them created several stages of their very own games – RPGs for the most part – others helped lead the creative direction on a group project. In addition, they talked with several leaders in the gaming industry: Erik Wolpaw and Jay Pinkerton, two of the three writers from the Portal team at Valve, and Mike Jones, Lead Software Engineer on the FIFA games for EA.
Jay and Erik were cool enough to let us record our Q&A. Sam asks the first few questions, but then the participants dive right in.
But let’s get down to business: showcasing the GameTech group’s work.
Todd vs. GameWorld
We worked on a platformer as a group. The participants pitched out ideas about a regular teenager who gets trapped inside a video game world. They pitched levels, enemies, powers, items; meanwhile, Sam managed the coding so that they could concentrate on creative directing. In the end, we only got through 3 of the levels that we had planned. I (Sam) will continue to develop the game until all of the participants’s ideas have been implemented. (I’m especially excited to try to bring Karim’s evil factory level to life!)
Alex made a few levels in RPG maker including this fiery level. The fire and water ways are actually only navigable by a little boat (which you can see in the screenshots) – which, incidentally, took some more advanced event programming! And let me say this, he made a really hard game! I don’t think I got Game Over in very many of the projects. His snake enemies are super tricky!
Andre and Alex joined us partway through the program and missed the final few weeks. Nevertheless, Andre picked up the RPG Maker and some of its more challenging aspects really, really quickly. His level design sense was unreal, as you can see from the amazing villages he created. Really impressive.
Daniel has what you might call a fascination with chickens. Every enemy in every project: “Maybe a chicken?” No surprise that he developed CHICKENBOY, the story of a half-chicken, half-human boy raised on a farm and doing battle with evil chickens (if I’ve got that right). One thing that’s really cool about Daniel’s story and vision (which I didn’t really do justice to here) is that he included a lot of dialogue and cutscenes – which required some tricky coding (Sam was Googling things like mad to pitch in on the final day). Daniel says he’s still working on the project in the days since program’s ended, so hopefully we can update you all as CHICKENBOY gets further in development.
Sam and Joseph
Sam started this RPG as a demo, but Joseph really liked how it was turning out and took the lead on enemy and character development: all the enemies included were his decision, and the character Max – a wolf-boy – is his original character.