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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Status Report #57 (Fish Feaster's Retirement, Finished Enemy Scripts, & Unicorn Quest Brainstorm)

     This week was hectic! School is going nuts with the workload as we approach midterms and PCT GameDevs is really on the school's radar now. In-between all the madness I've been trying to get as much Unicorn Training work done as I can. I also managed to fix the problems I've been having with Unity Web Player builds of my games so people can play my stuff online. Hopefully things can calm down next week so I can get more game development done. But right now there's stuff to do!

     My school's Comic-Con started at 8:30 this morning so I'm very late with posting duty today! Expect a write-up like last year's sometime in the coming week. In the meantime, you can enjoy a status report!

My girlfriend got this Sega Genesis last weekend and it got me thinking
about how downloadable games will be played decades from now.

  • All Enemy Scripts (Only Bosses Left)
  • Understanding of Game Audio Production By Matthew Pablo
  • Important Design Details For Unicorn Quest Recorded
  • Changed Web Links For Games Again (Phoenix Wright & Feed The Plant)
     Lessons Learned:
  • Fmod Is An Amazing Game Audio Tool Given To Us Mortals By The Gods
  • I Wonder If Other Developers Feel Like They Are Capable of Making Games Better Than Their Current Project After Working On It For So Long. (Current Experience Far Surpasses Experience At The Start of The Project)
       There's been a lot of fuss about getting my Unity Web Player games working so my teacher can show them to the guy running that Bloomsburg Masters I mentioned before. I kept hearing that it only ran fine on my machine and glitched everywhere else. To fix it once and for all I followed this tutorial and uploaded my games to Google Drive. Now they are tested and confirmed to work on other computers! If you ever wanted to play those two but never could, this is your chance! I also updated a bunch of links to them so things in the Games tab lead to the right place.


   I don't think of Fish Feaster's end as a death, but more like a retirement. There's a chance it could come back, but it really has run it's course. I'd really only want it out there so people could see how far I've come. Plus the art for that game took me forever. I want compliments.

   On SlideDB I've noticed an increase in my popularity. I'm used to a few of my posts passing 300 views while others stayed around 30. Now they are all getting past the hundreds while some pass 400! Those numbers seem to translate because I'm getting about 150 more people visiting my main site than usual. Putting stuff on other websites is getting more eyes on me which is always good for morale.

     Still, as far as feedback goes, I get most of it from reposting on MyIGN. I think it's because comments are more encouraged on a site like that. It really means the world to me to know what you all think of my stuff.

     The PCT GameDevs meeting was jam-packed with content this week compared to the ease-in meeting we had last week. I covered the process of taking a sprite from MS Paint to Unity, showed an Extra Creditz video, and went over some big news / responsibilities emerging for the club.

     According to the new committee rules handed down from above, I need 5 officers to run the club alongside me so I picked the 5 most enthusiastic members. I also need to keep track of attendance, record happenings of each meeting (on Facebook), and keep audience school bashing to a minimum because some of my teachers are showing up to the meetings.

     I was also given a few responsibilities earlier this week. PCT GameDevs is now the official host of my school's BYOC Game Design Expo. Last year a few students put their class projects on display and I opted out because I didn't feel like entering Feed The Plant, TriGrid, or DragCore in a contest and watching over them all day. That turned out to be a huge mistake because the teams of 3-4 people who won first prize each got $40 amazon gift cards while runners up got $20 each. I could have earned about $120 that day and saved a leg on books for the upcoming semester.

     We didn't even have to stand by the games at all. Student submissions were all the unfinished and unpolished 3D Unity games made within the past 8 weeks or so. Feed The Plant, TriGrid, and DragCore were all complete games and easy to pick up and play. I could've swept the competition and I regret that deeply to this day. That won't be happening again (I pray they still give away money). We can only submit games made within the last year so this time I'll be showcasing my Mobile Gaming class project (the turn-based RPG I'm so hyped about).

     Something to go on top of running the BYOC event is reaching out to local game industry employers (ones in Pennsylvania like Bethesda and mobile devs). My school's career services is lacking in the game industry contact department so they want the game developers club to reach out and try to gain some interest. Why the school can't do this themselves, I don't know. They basically want us to invite them to the Game Expo and show what the Gaming & Simulation students are capable of.

     This will hopefully lead to private interviews, employer partnerships with the school, and general increased credibility for the program. The problem with this is the confidence level of the students at this time. The seniors don't believe the projects they are capable of producing are enough to impress employers because they feel like they still aren't comfortable with creating a game from start to finish. The degree only wants us to utilize prototype assets in interesting ways, but students are lacking creative direction that leads to figuring out complex things to program.

      It's nice to see my club doing so much good for the school but I'm starting to feel bogged down by this stuff already. Luckily those 5 officers I have found will be there to split up the duties. Last year's games were not exactly impressive, but the degree is still young and none of us knew what we were doing last year. I have full confidence in our collective ability to impress this time around. That's what the club is for after all. Making us better developers through sharing techniques and building on experience.

     I can only hope the club grows in popularity and my trusted officers can handle any chaos from out of the blue. I'm busy as it is so if I have to share responsibility with 5 other people, I'm going to take advantage of that.

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