Game Design – GNAR!

Hey guys!

This last week of JanPlan has been crazy – nightly CS group work in the lab, late night pizza delivery, not much sleep and really cranking out the final results of our project. On top of all that, I’ve had to clean up my room and pack my truck up since I’ll be going to New Zealand in a week and a half!

Anyways, for those of you who may not have read my past blog at the beginning of the class, CS369 – Video Game Design – is a JanPlan class that’s more of an independent project with professor supervision than an actual class. The point of it (I think) is to model the roles most of us CS majors may be fulfilling later on in life working on a team of programmers. So, each group of 4-6 people developed a position for each person – we generally had a Q/A guy (someone who deliberately tries to crash our software as part of the debugging process), an audio guy, a visual/graphics guy, a producer, and a lead programmer. These roles fell apart a little bit in our group: we still had people on graphics and audio, but me and two friends kind of each were part of a more ambiguous programming-producer sort of dual role. We used a program called Torque in conjuction with its language called TorqueScript to create our games – there were no requirements, except to make our vision during the concept design be realistic and achieveable.

The rest of my group and I, consisting of a bunch of skiiers, came up with the idea to create The Game of GNAR – a 2d game (they were all 2d games) based on the awesome ski movie G.N.A.R. Our finished product ending up being pretty similar to our initial vision (I can’t say the same thing for most groups!) mostly because I think we tried to keep it as simple as possible. That being said, we did have to throw out a lot of smaller ideas not too inherent to the bigger picture.

The Game:

We did pretty much ALL of what you actually see when you play the game in the last week or two – the actual “game” in the Torque builder is pretty insignificant next to the code we spent the first three weeks on. The directory containing the scripts we wrote, however, is shown below:

.. and a snippet of part of what one of these files (our most important script) looks like:

Our process with which we generated code was a little crazy: most groups used a repository called CVS to commit (add/update) files to one shared location to make things easier. We decided to bail on that, since there can be a lot of miscommunication and committing the wrong thing when you’re not supposed to: especially with up to six people working on the project at once. Instead, we each wrote and tested code and then got together to decide how to compile everything: this led to a much more efficient and consistent end result.

Okay onto some cool stuff!

The Level:

This is how we started this last week off creating the level. It went from this..

.. to this.

The Game:

Some intro GUIs:

Screenshots were really hard to get while playing the game. Here are a few tricks: 

This is generally what our workstation looked like..

One more blog post until I fly out! Holy crap.


Oh, and here is Bruce (our professor) trying out our game. Photo cred to @icAbe16!

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