Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The IGF student competition has its submission deadlines at the end of this week, so Zuoming, Cindy, Tyler and Mark were here to let us play-test their game and get some valuable - pretty much last minute - feedback. All around there were spouts of frustration, glitches being found, sheep being pushed off cliffs (and garbage cans), and pizza being eaten. Hopefully the team can squash some of those bugs and most importantly, come up with a name for their game, before the deadline. Good luck!

Announcements: Read this excerpt from Cindy's wonderfully worded email about the workshop.

"So I know I wasn't very clear about what time the Rapid Prototyping Workshop was, but it will be Saturday, November 1stat around 4PMI say around because I will be coming back from Seattle! So please bear with me! I'll bring you presents, hahaha. But if you are interested, you do not have to know how to code to attend this workshop! This workshop is CODE-FREE. I will supply assets for you and we will be building a game together. :) 
To download Stencyl: http://www.stencyl.com/

And when the date gets closer, I will send you guys the assets that we will be using! We will be in ECE 105 for this workshop. Parking is free on weekends ( unless it's a game day... )."

Also, about the quickly approaching Game Jam!

"GAME JAM is coming around the corner! It's sneaking up on us like a wild animal on its prey... If you are interested in Game Jam, and now you know that you can go, please sign up! We need to know how much food to get for you guys, and how much space we need to accommodate.

Hope to see lots of people at these two events!

Hi again, sorry this recap is a bit late. This [last] week our Final Boss (Cindy Trieu) gave a talk and demonstration on creating tile art in Photoshop CS2, Blender and Gimp. This comes in handy when you're creating a 2-D game and need to populate it with graphics.

Throughout the discussion our group had some heated debates about whether lava was better than forests or whether the wall should be grassy, viney, or grassy-viney. In the end, the answer still alluded us so we all decided that drawing Mario was the correct response.

Here is the followup video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFvsRvo_78Y

*For announcements see next [this] weeks recap.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hey all,

This week we went more in depth on our future trip to GDC in San Francisco. There are a few things to note about this...

If you would like to go on the trip then please sign up here. We will try to get funding from ASUA and the computer science department, but to qualify for this funding you need to fill out a CA application. Being a CA (Conference Associate) enable you to get a free all-access pass, significantly lowering the cost of the trip. We will also be trying out some fundraising ideas.

For the other half of the meeting Patrick gave a talk on balancing competitive games - Halo. He focused on a multiplayer game because he found that the ideas translated more easily to single player games than they would the other way around...

Tuning Knobs: These are areas that are easily to change technically and can have relatively easy to identify affects on gameplay. Crank them high when starting the balancing process.

Game Mechanics: With your tuning knobs turned up see which of the mechanics you actually consider fun and focus on those. Also, identify which mechanics are not fun or are overly complex.

Feedback: Player feedback is nice near the end, but remember that you can't please everyone and everyone is looking out for what makes the game most fun to them.

See you all next week!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The GameDev Club is teaming up with the IEEE club to hold another game night! There will be food, and everyone is encouraged to bring their own games, consoles, snacks, computers, batteries, etc. This Friday is a special day because it is the first Game Night following the release of Super Smash Bros for the 3DS.
  • When: Friday, October 10th, starting at 5:30pm until midnight.
  • Where: Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) building, room 105 (map below)
As usual, the free food that we get is funded by your donations, so if you plan to donate, remember to bring some money.

Important Info

  1. You can park for free in the parking lot by the ECE building (lot #3039) after 5:00pm.
  2. The doors for the building (as well as the elevator) close at around 6pm, so call the IEEE room at 520-626-7324 if you're locked out. It's best to add that number to your contacts, just in case.
  3. In order to get to the bottom floor of the ECE building, please only use the South stairwell door, which will be left open.
  4. While we've never had any incidents before, the clubs are not responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen valuables. It's generally good practice to label your things to make sure they don't get mixed up.
  5. In accordance to university policy, no alcohol, firearms, or weapons will be allowed.

University Map

Below is a map of where the ECE building is. To view the map in another window, click here.

View Larger Map

This Monday evening our beloved ex-president (now vice) gave a talk on rapid prototyping. Pulling from his past experiences and especially his ongoing student IGF project, he went through the process and benefits of this development process.

Some of the things to take away from his presentation...

  1. Prototypes are a great way to get an idea of how your brainstormed ideas will work as games.
  2. They save a lot of time due to not requiring a lot of coding.
  3. Set a deadline on each prototype.
  4. Before starting, make sure to ask yourself, "what do I want to learn from this prototype?"

Next week Patrick will be giving a talk on gameplay balance. We'll also be talking about GDC, so if you plan on coming, or are interested in how the largest Game Developers Conference operates come join us!