Senior Capstone: The Beginning

Hey Everyone,

I am excited to say that I am now in my final year of college at Champlain College in the Game Programming major. Through this semester I will be blogging weekly about my experiences in my Capstone course.

Capstone

As a game major at Champlain College, we are required to create a game as our capstone. Yes, we have to create a full game for our capstone. As I moved from my Junior year into my Senior year we were tasked to make teams that we wanted to be on for our game team for capstone. Basically each team is comprised of 4 members where each role is one of the main 4 in game development: Game Programmer, Game Artist, Game Designer, and Producer. As you might be able to guess, I am the programmer in the group. As far as the structure of the course, it is broken into five “stages”. In the early stages we are asked to come up with game concepts and prototypes, and as we move to the final stage we will be left with a playable vertical slice of a game.

Progress

In the first week I spent some time programming prototypes for our 3 game concepts that we came up with in the hopes of challenging stage 1 as soon as possible. Challenging the first stage is not an easy task. We have to give a 20 minute presentation to our course instructors which details all 3 of our ideas showing a prototype and describing technical details about it.

The Ideas

All of the ideas we’ve come up with are multiplayer games. Two of the games are meant to be played over a network and the other is meant to be played with 2 people on the same screen.

Combo Arena

Combo Arena focuses on a team based environment in a small open playing space. It will be contained in a type of arena. The teams will be sized as 2 players and the total teams playing at once will be a maximum of 3 teams. 2v2v2. With that being a total of 6 players being networked playing against each other. The main feature of being in teams of two is the ability to combine weapons with your teammate. Once combined the final weapon will be better in total than the individual value of the original weapons. Imagine a barrel of a gun, and the butt of the gun used at weapons. Once combined, they become an actual gun!

Goo Vacuum

In Goo Vacuum you play as a blobby, globby character on a team of up to 3 against a maximum of 3 teams. Each team has a respective “Goo Repository”. You must vacuum up your enemies by first weakening them with gunfire and then using the vacuum to pick them up. Once picked up you are carrying their “life” in your backpack. You must bring them back to your Goo Repository and once done your team gains a life. The point is the have the most lives as possible in the end.

Dragon Platformer

Imagine a game where you play as a dragon, and your friend plays with you as another dragon with different abilities. At the same time imagine yourself in a world that is cross between Trine and Castle Crashers. The dragons will work together using their special abilities to solve puzzles and proceed through each level.

Conclusion

My Favorite game is the dragon platformer. The other two games are networked and while developing a networked game is not necessarily the most difficult thing in the world, I would much rather work on a game that is not networked. Working in an engine like Unity3D will prove difficult to optimize for a networked game. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t waste time on handling networking and a bunch of other systems, I’d much rather work on graphics effects.

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