Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Promotional Stuff

Today we had to submit our material for the Protoplay program. This consisted of a 100 word summary of our game, a 10 word tagline, and an image to represent us.

Above you can see our final image, although we decided to go with a slightly less racy tagline:

Fuzzy, Huggable, Jet-propelled Fury

after all this will be read by (hopefully) hundreds of children, and we'd rather not be the source of all those awkward conversations with their parents.

Our 100 word prasie was just a re-work of our existing 150 word summary on the team-page on Dare.

Grrr! is an easy to pick up, 2-player, action strategy game.

Choose a squad from a cast of quirky fantasy characters to do battle
with your opponent. Start the fight on one of the vibrant and dynamic
maps, trying to destroy your opponent’s squad before losing you own.
Use the Wii-remote to send commands to each of your characters,
telling them to move, attack and take cover as you try to outmanouver
and outgun your enemy in a battle to the death.

Matches are played in a best-of-3 system, with each round taking
around 60 seconds. 

Progress has been good; the first environment is nearly done and all the characters are ready to get going in-game as soon as we integrate all our engine chunks together. The engine is progressing well with stuff moving around controlled by the Wii-remotes and realtime shadows rendering as they go. We're still on course for our week-4 deadline so hopefully this time next week we'll have our first gameplay video for you to watch.

It was Stefan's birthday on Sunday so we all went out to Dundee's premier steakhouse on Satuday night and tackled the 18oz T-bones. Fantastic meat, but it meant we couldn't even touch his birthday cake until Monday as we were all in bed with meat comas and hangovers after the subsequent house party.

Friday, June 18, 2010

2nd week in the bag

So we've now reached the end of the 2nd week, it's been tougher than week one, and the initial honeymoon period has ended leaving us all a bit knackered, but still enjoying ourselves. We're still loving Dundee, it's a great city with everything within walk of our accomodation. We've also discovered a few beaches nearby and a football pitch just up the road, so can hopefully get some sun during the weekends to try to counteract the vitamin-D deficiencies I'm sure we'll all be suffering from soon.

Progress has been good on all accounts, with the pathfinding and event management systems working, and 2 wii-remotes working simultaneously on the same machine, moving pointers around the screen. Art wise, 3 characters are now modelled and textured, with 2 of them rigged and the animations started on one, so we can start to see how the game is going to look, fairly exciting stuff.

Below (and at the top) are some renders of our characters in their current states. It remains to be seen how well they fit with our environments, so they could end up looking pretty different to this if they don't fit in (or fit in too well). The small images are around the size we expect to see them finally on screen (when viewed on our monitors) so getting the silhouettes right has been something we've really worked on. Each character has to be immediately recognisable as we can't have the player getting confused during a game, we only want 2 emotions during our game; excitement, and the pure unadulterated fear of losing to your mate.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

7 down, 63 to go

So our first week in Dundee is over, and we're all glad we have another 9 to go as it's been awesome.

We've made some great progress with the game, and the mentors have proven very valuable with their advice. So far we've redesigned several of our characters, and moved from a custom animation system to Havok, a change that should hopefully smooth our pipelines out and make life easier later on, as well as giving us some features we weren't sure if we'd have time to implement.

We've also had a chance to explore Dundee properly now, and are getting to know the center pretty well, especially some of the pubs. It's good to work hard, but we're finding that the Dare lot also like to play hard, something we're more than happy with. So far though the best thing about Dundee is the seagulls: they're bloody enormous. The other day I saw one swoop down and eat a 5 year old child in one mouthful, it didn't even have to chew.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dundee 2010

Well we're here! We actually all arrived in Dundee over the weekend, but haven't had internet access, something that could drive a team of computing students insane.

We're currently in the lab after a day of induction including a huge group photo, free buffet, safety briefings and several arguments about who sits where on our table. There are a few teething problems with the PC's, missing software and stuff crashing whenever we try to save ANYTHING, but Dare have been really good about sorting all the problems, so hopefully it'll all be good by tomorrow morning.

The flat is great, lots of friendly people and plenty of consoles knocking about so there's always a game to play. We've got Welsh and Irish teams on our floor, 2 kitchens, 5 bathrooms and about 100 plastic ball-pool balls to trip over (the welsh were bored with no internet and plastic balls from poundland were the obvious solution).

Hopefully productivity will pick up as we iron out all the problems with our computers, but today's been a good introduction and everyone's really excited to get this game made and hopefully win something.