Training up pigs to race each other on a randomly generated course. The player has to manage the pig’s diet, exercise and breeding in order to create the ultimate piggy. The races take place between AI opponents (local market) or against other players (County Fair).
This was a project I put together with several other MSU alumnus that we worked on in our free time. We managed to make a a demo build of the race system with several AI bots. Ultimately had to close the project as team members became too busy to contribute.
The online gaming world can be a hostile place, especially if you’re a girl. While many people believe online harassment in video games is something you just have to expect and deal with, many don’t realize how different it can be for girls who wish to game alongside the boys. We explore some of the highs and lows of the online game community in this meaningful endless runner.
Troll Runner is the Masters project of three grad students with some help from two undergrads and a fourth grad student. The game itself went through three main designs, each with their own merits, but we ultimately chose the one that had the closest balance of gameplay and serious content.
This was a tough project for myself and the other Masters students. Not only is it a hugely, multi-faceted issue, but we were also very restricted on the time we had to implement our ideas. We won’t pretend that the game is perfect, but we put together an experience worthy of the issue. One of the greatest challenges was only focusing on one specific part of this issue that has roots deep down in the gaming culture.
Butterfly Training – Simple game to teach the player how to interact with the game using a mouse or touch screen
iSpy – A memory game where objects appear and disappear
Stampede – Player has to find specific animals as they run across the screen
Whacky Animals – A Whack-a-mole style game
Findings to be published in a neurosciences medical journal
Brain Powered Games is a brain exercise game developed for the Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab at Michigan State University as part of a health initiative to help children in Africa who are recovering from Malaria. Development is ongoing and a pilot study of the current prototype is underway. I initially joined the project in the summer of 2012 as the primary programmer along with an artist and another designer. As we finished up the design phase with several basic prototypes, we moved more into an implementation phase by bringing on more programmers with the designer and artist becoming less involved. Eventually, my role shifted to more of the design and management, coordinating the efforts of the coding team.
The game is a pack of mini-games that exercise different areas of the brain such as hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness and short term memory.
This project was not only challenging on several fronts, but also very rewarding. The main design challenge we faced was catering the games for an audience young African audience. We tried to theme the game as much as possible to Africa with music and visuals but we also had to make sure our mechanics were intuitive enough to require very little text based instructions.
I personally got to take the game to Uganda with the two principal investigators, Dr. Michael Boivin of Michigan State and Dr. Bruno Giordani of University of Michigan along with the director of the GEL lab Prof. Brian Winn. We got to meet the teams currently working in the field and playtested our prototype with them. It was a great experience and we learned a lot about how the game will be used in the study. After making some adjustments, we gave the team several builds of the game to start up a pilot study.
This project was the second sprint for a client as part of the the Game Design Capstone course at MSU. The project itself was two-fold: to make a playable demo of a multiplayer, 1st person shooter for the tablet and to put together content for a Kickstarter page to support future development on the project. We built around an existing prototype made by a previous student team that was focused on a single player experience. As such, we worked with the client to expand the design to incorporate multiplayer features and provide an unique experience for players. The team also got together to film and edit the Kickstarter videos. Designer Notes
This project proved to be fairly challenging for the team based on the large scope of the game itself and the added Kickstarter content. My role on the team was to manage the student team, communicate with the client, provide design input, write the Kickstarter scripts and coordinate the filming for the videos. I did a fair bit of market research for both tablet games and Kickstarter campaigns. Despite the challenges we faced in the project, the team did a great job and really brought the game miles from where it started.
Unfortunately, the Kickstarter was unsuccessful, but it was definitely a great learning experience in what works and what doesn’t when trying to market a campaign.
Developed for my TC497 class, MECHA Bots is a fast paced multiplayer robot battle and customization game built for use on iOS devices.
Players control the Mechanized Expendable Customizable and Heavily Armed Bots in order to defeat opponents in 3D arenas. Whilst battling, players can obtain the parts of their opponents and later use them to customize their own bots.
This is another game where I found myself with a passionate team who really go the extra mile to make a fantastic game. As a semester long project, we decided to really challenge ourselves and push for as much as we could. Developing for both an iOS platform and the added complexity of networked multiplayer forced us to cut back in some areas, but we have put together a very fun and entertaining game.
You pilot a yellow submarine and defend yourself from the various enemies deep in the ocean such as squids and pirate subs. Collect enough treasure and earn the high score.
This game was made during a game jam over the course of 48 hours. The team was fairly small with only two of us with any experience using Unity 3D. We each took the opportunity to explore parts of Unity we hadn’t before. I chose to really work with the new particle system to make some special effects that would come in handy for future projects. We had a blast making it and it didn’t turn out too bad all things considered.
My final group project for TC 455. When the goddess of spring is killed, you must take her place. Endowed with the powers of spring, you must push back the forces of winter.
It was a really interesting and challenging to work around one main mechanic and to demonstrate to players how to use that mechanic it new ways. It was a really great team of some very talented people.
2012 – TC 455 Best Adaptation of Theme “Discovery”
Runner up – Best Aesthetics
This was another of my TC455 group projects. You find yourself washed up on the beach of an island that’s completely surrounded by mist. Attached to your arm is a gauntlet that reacts to certain crystals and becomes a weapon to ward off enemies as you try to discover the mystery surrounding the islands and the evils that lurk below.
This was by far my most enjoyable game project. I got to work with a stellar team and we all were passionate about making an awesome product. Simply put, I loved working on this project. When the class was given an extra 24 hours to polish up our projects, I added the final boss fight. It still has a few kinks in it, but it was a fantastic game to work on.