Inspectre [WIP]

Project Bits:

  • Ongoing Hobby Project
  • Point & Click Adventure

Responsibilities:

  • Programmer
  • Assistant Game Designer
  • Content Manager

Team Members:

Summary:

Lora is an investigator who stumbles onto a ship that should be abandoned, only to discover ghosts wandering around its interior, trapped in a cycles of unresolved stories.  Taking upon herself to get to the bottom of this mystery, Lora proceeds to get involved in the stories and lives of those long past, and finds herself caring more and more about the story of this mysterious ship.

Inspectre was begun as a university semester project during 2013, within which a vertical slice was completed over a three-month period.  This prototype showed great potential, and inspired the team to continue working on it upon the completion of the degree as a “free-time” project.  The team has changed slightly since the completion of the initial prototype due to other commitments, as well as people, such as myself, being brought on in a more formal aspect.

Although my “official” involvement in the project began after the completion of the vertical slice, I had been working on design problems and providing consultation in all areas of development over the course of the project since its conception.  Since the project has entered the hobby-project phase, have taken over the responsibilities of programming, assisting with game design, and managing the production assets through the use of an online repository.

Conquest (2014)

Project Bits:

  • Executable
  • Bachelor Project
  • Vertical-Slice Prototype

Responsibilities:

  • Project Lead
  • Programmer
  • UX Designer

Team Members:

Summary:

Four different races are engaged in an epic war over control of the planet’s mana sources, taking to the battlefield in uneasy alliances, to secure regions and gain control of this power-granting resource.  Players are pitted against one-another in this strategic collectible card game involving logistical planning, resource management, and deck building, utilising the advantages of the digital medium to bring the collectible card game experience to a new level.

Conquest was completed as a vertical-slice prototype over a thirteen-week period, within which we created and play-tested 40 different cards over 3 iterations, beginning with a 48-hour paper-prototype game jam using cards from Magic: The Gathering as a base.  The result was the framework / pre-production / design bible for the “full” game, an 80-page thesis, and a fully functional networked-multiplayer game.

My personal experience in the project helped me understand how where I fit best into game development industry as well as allowing me to exercise both the soft and hard skills required to bring a prototype to completion.

Antisolation (2014)

Project Bits:

  • Web Build
  • Global Game Jam 2014
  • 48-Hour Development

Responsibilities:

  • Team Lead
  • Lead Game Designer
  • Assistant Programmer

Team Members:

Summary:

A girl takes it upon herself to save the masses from the pain of isolation, by removing them from their negative habits. The player controls the girl as she dons her super-heroine outfit, and runs through the streets, uppercutting headphones, punching through books, and kicking away designer shopping bags. The game requires quick reactions and concentration to free the world from this tragic development.

Antisolation was created during the Global Game Jam 2014 event, which took place at the Hochschule Darmstadt in January 2014, and involved creating a game from scratch in a 48-hour period.  The theme for the Game Jam was a quote: “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”  This inspired myself and six others (a rather large group by game jam standards,) to come together and create Antisolation, a fun little arcade-style game about the fear of isolation.

As the vision-holder / team-lead / lead game designer, the project gave me a chance to exercise my design skills under a tight-schedule, involved co-ordinating and communicating with a team of people I had met that day, required management scope against time and resource constraints, and re-ignited my passion for smaller projects.

Anxietyville: Consumer Hell [Alpha Prototype] (2013)

Project Bits

Responsibilities:

  • Team Manager
  • Client Co-ordination
  • Lead Game Designer
  • Assistant Programmer

Team Members

Summary:

During the summer break in 2013, myself and four other students had the opportunity to work as a small independent team on a project outsourced to our University. Over the course of a three month period, we completed an alpha prototype of a mobile game for Xenophile Media as part of their cross-media project Anxietyville. The project involved 40+ hour unsupervised work weeks, whereby my responsibility involved reporting to University representatives as well as the client on behalf of my team. The resulting prototype was presented to the client along with accompanying documentation, source, and assets produced by the team, and formed the basis for the current release of the project.

The experience I gained through the completion of this project were invaluable in learning about the mobile game market and working with clients, and the work my team completed provided our client with an innovative game concept, and the basis of a game of which we are proud to have been involved in.

The project was completed under an NDA that will expire in October, 2018.

Vermin (2013)

Project Bits:

Responsibilities:

  • Project Lead
  • Game Design Lead
  • Lone Programmer

Team Members:

  • Ruth Bosch
  • Nicole Granzitski
  • Jeanette Reiter
  • Martin Streit

Special Thanks:

Summary:

Vermin is an attempt to bring the 1980 Game & Watch classic of the same name to a new generation of players.  Conceived as an interactive exhibition piece, this re-make involves players using physical “hammers” to defend their vegetable garden from the hungry moles.  The player stands on a projection surface, underneath which buttons are hidden for the players to hit, and upon which a projection produced by two independent projectors, aligned such that the player doesn’t cast a shadow upon the playing field.

The development of this Vermin was completed during the summer semester of 2013, after being tasked with the development a modern remake of a Game & Watch classic.  Currently being involved in the organisation of a university student project exhibition, I saw this elective as an opportunity to contribute something of my own to the exhibition, and inspired four others to take on the project with me.

With the collaboration between our team and the Museum of Electronic Games and Art, we had the opportunity to exhibit this project not only at the student project exhibition, but also at the Ars Electronica 2013 festival in Linz, Austria.  This exposure helped us conduct user testing on a massive scale, and also develop skills in communicating game ideas with a large audience of differing backgrounds.

Free Project Management Sites

After doing some extensive research into free project management systems in the cloud, I though I’d share my findings here for those interested.

Background:

  • 5 month Game Development Project
  • 5 person team, all part of development

 

Trello

http://trello.com

++ Very visual
++ Checklists within cards to show smaller steps and completeness
++ Google Docs Synchronisation
++ Search and Filter function is lovely
++ Fast and responsive
+ Quite useable
+ Labels for Tasks (with colour!) 🙂
+ “Who’s Online” (the little box next to the face)
– No Calendar
– The comments / activity and general card layout is a little bit messy

Do

http://do.com

++ Google Docs Synchronisation
++ Extremely well laid out
++ Own “home screen” with assigned tasks
+ “Wall” style posting (under “Activity”)
+ “Notebook” area also seems useful
= Central “attachments” area : Everyone can see them in GDocs anyway
= Completed tasks are automatically hidden
– Only one person per task
– No Task Copying
– No sorting of tasks except for the Sections
— No ability to prioritise / tag
– No calendar
– Less due date visibility
— No Breakdown / Checklist within tasks
— Slower and seems buggier

Freedcamp

http://freedcamp.com

++ Due date, number of comments, priority, and state are highly visible
+ Group Wall as Project front page
+ Discussions Page
+ “Who’s Online”
= Personal calendar for due tasks
– Non-shareable
= Three states: Not started, in progress, finished
– No GoogleDocs integration, no hyperlinking
– Commenting, attachments, and activity are more hidden
– Only one person per task (or “everyone”)
– No task copying
– Weird to go into description and further details (Must click on “comments”)
— No editing To-Do Description after creation

Basecamp Classic

++ Nice project calendar intergration
+ Calendar on the home screen
— Everything else

 

Result:

We’ve all decided on Trello, and probably add to that a Google Calendar or GDocs Spreadsheet for the longer-term time management.
Thoughts?  Disagreements?

Short Outage

Sorry about that.  I went offline for a little bit, but thanks to the help of a friend, I’m back online again and ready to get back to work tomorrow.

See you all then!

Immunodeficiency [4/4] – Journalism 2

This series of four articles was written as an exercise in developing a world through the use of creative writing.  In a team of three, I was project/creative lead, and responsible for writing the lore of our fictive world.

 

Governments Abusing Super-Power

REPORT BY JOSEPH MCMANUS

HAVING seen the ‘success’ of the American government introducing programs for the identification and maintaining of Superhumans, the Australian Government appears set to follow suit and introduce a program of its own – but should the Australian public fear for their freedom?

Since the commencement of the superhuman support program two months ago, the United States Government report to have sucessfully helped and re-habilitated over one hundred and fifty gifted Americans – supporting them financially and emotionally through these isolating mutations.  However rumours have begun to circulate about the true intentions of the American Government in running this program.

Insisting that the choice to accept the support being offered to the American superhumans is entirely up to the individual, reports of the government resorting to financial incentives to accept the superhuman support have appeared, perhaps implying that there is more to the program than merely helping the individuals.  A program spokesperson could not be contacted on this matter, and even the American media are having trouble getting straight answers from the government and those involved in the program; generally having interview directions limited to the “Talking Points” issues that the government are supplying.

One family in Otawa have managed to get a response from the government when they reported to CNN on Monday, that the father of the house, Hugo Brathewaite, has been in the re-habilitation facility since the start of the program two months ago.  Insisting to the CNN reporter that Hugo was a family man who had kept in contact with them every day to let them know how he was, Lindsay Brathewaite told the reporter that not having heard from Hugo in six days was particularly troubling to her and their two daughters.  The government claims to have responded with an official investigation in the matter but insists that there have been communication problems with the facility in this week just gone.

Futhermore, while the research conducted and information stored by the United States government regarding this program is classified as to ‘protect the privacy of those involved’, rumours that those being supported as part of this program are being catalogued and tracked like animals, are causing out-rage in the superhuman community.

“I had serious issues when my boyfriend dumps me because he thinks I’m a freak” says Kathy, a 17 year old girl who can no longer tolerate loud noises due to an enhanced sense of hearing, “And because my sister tells me to go get help…the police think they can watch my every move?”

A tiny inexplicable marking that can be found on many of the superhumans that have opted for government support has only fed the rumours of this catalogueing and tracking project.

With the strength of these rumours on the rise, the Canadian Ari Taub, one of the first superhumans to be recognised – along with LaShawn Merritt and Alexandra Feeney at the Beijing Olympic Games – has founded the “Superhumans Against Government Supression” in an attempt to force answers from the program, the government and their spokes-people.

“We’re not a violent group” assures Taub, a greco-roman wrestler able to regenerate torn muscles almost instantly, “We just want the answers that the government aren’t giving us.  America has a right to know what is really going on and we’re the ones to demand it.  We’re not stupid, and we’re not going away.”

 

Until these issues can be sorted Australian superhumans should consider the move to introduce a superhuman support program on our shores, a threat to our privacy and individuality.

Immunodeficiency [3/4] – Government Press Release

This series of four articles was written as an exercise in developing a world through the use of creative writing.  In a team of three, I was project/creative lead, and responsible for writing the lore of our fictive world.

 

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For immediate release                              November 12th, 2008

 NEW GOVERNMENT FUNDED PROGRAM TO ADDRESS

SUPERHUMAN MUTATION CAUSED BY SCID TREATMENT

Following the information provided to the United States government by the World Medical Association two days ago concerning the cause of the superhuman mutation that has begun occurring globally as an unexpected side-affect of curative treatment for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, the United States government will be implementing a monitoring and screening program for those in the population still receiving treatment for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency.  This monitoring and screening process is part of a larger program designed to identify persons at a higher risk of experiencing altered bodily functions after being treated for the disorder, ensuring the reintegration of those that have experienced side effects from the SCID treatment back into society, and a continued monitoring and response program for those that may have difficulty readjusting to a normal life.

 

As of tomorrow, patients receiving the government subsidized treatment for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency will first be tested for the genetic signature that indicates an increased risk of developing superhuman attributes.  Those that test positive for the genetic code will be notified in confidentiality that they are at higher risk, and will be given the option of receiving alternative treatments for SCID, that while far less effective than injection provided by the WMA, will still be government subsidized.

Also, all patients that receive the SCID injection will require a compulsory check up at a registered clinic within 7 – 14 days to ensure their health and well-being in the unlikely circumstance that they have a reaction to the treatment.  Patients that are flagged with the genetic signature that puts them at high risk will be offered fully subsidized accommodation for that 14 day period within a constantly monitored environment, where trained staff will be on call 24 hours a day, to ensure their comfort and health over this period in which reactions may occur.

 

Within the month, a government operated hotline will become available to take calls from those experiencing side-effects from the treatment, to nominate themselves for the re-integration program that has been put together by expert psychologists and sociologists.  It is hoped that not only will people find the strength to nominate themselves, but their loved ones will also make nominations to ensure these gifted persons will benefit from all the support that the American government has to offer.  The program will be carried out in a newly developed, state of the art facility complete with first class accommodation, and staff of the highest standard.  As a post-therapy service, all patients will be offered free psychological counseling at any time, and the freedom to attend monthly meetings conducted to introduce those suffering from superhuman attributes to like-minded people.

 

Finally, with the devastating tragedy of the Virginia Tech massacre of August fresh in the minds of the American people, it has become obvious that a law enforcement taskforce capable of dealing with superhuman rogues will be required to combat future criminal activities.  As such, November 21st will see the establishment of a new division of the FBI, the Superhuman Response Unit, tasked with the sole purpose of investigating and responding to criminal activities involving people believed to have been mutated by the SCID treatment.  This specialized unit will be crafted from the most experienced law enforcement officers working alongside gifted recruits that will be crucial in the logistics of dealing with problematic superhumans.

 

Through these programs and projects, the American government hopes to meet the needs of all its citizens, human and superhuman alike, and ensure the well-being and quality of life for the foreseeable future.

Immunodeficiency [2/4] – Official Blog Post

This series of four articles was written as an exercise in developing a world through the use of creative writing.  In a team of three, I was project/creative lead, and responsible for writing the lore of our fictive world.

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Cure Closer Than Ever.  Release Predicted Within the Month.

The World Medical Association is enthusiastic about the most recent results of cure trials.  Severe Combined Immunodeficiency will soon be a thing of the past.  Cure to be released to supporting governments free of charge.

The World Medical Association (WMA) December 27, 2007 — After almost ten years, it appears that a cure to Severe Combined Immunodeficiency may be just around the corner.  If our SCID department continues to get results consistent with the results they’ve been getting this past week, then we can hope to be mass producing the cure before the end of January 2008.

Since discovering at the beginning of the year, that Severe Combined Immunodeficiency was a genetic disorder caused by the evolution of human kind in a clean environment, the World Medical Association has been working on a cure that targets the disorder at a genetic level, with varying results.  The biggest breakthrough we have experienced is with creating a liquid that can emulate the destructive and gene altering properties of gamma radiation.

While gamma radiation is already being widely used to treat cancerous tumours by creating breaks in DNA strands to great effect, it is still widely misunderstood by the general population and as such has a negative stigma attached to it.  Gamma radiation is completely safe when exposure is limited and controlled, and in the hands of professionals can be exceedingly useful in controlling and containing diseases such as cancer.  It is this application of gamma radio-activity that has become the key in discovering a cure to this disorder.

This fluid that may well turn out to be the future of the human race, works by breaking down the DNA in the human body that contains the defective information on immune-system functions, and assists the cells in rebuilding the strands correctly, essentially ‘resetting’ the genetic code, thus reprogramming the immune system to become effective once again.  After receiving an injection, the process of reconstructing the DNA strands occurs overnight, and as test results have indicated, a newly cured patient will be healthy enough to go to work the next morning.

Unfortunately we will be unable to provide this cure to those governments that have refused to support the World Medical Association in the search for a solution to this world-wide epidemic.  It has been an expensive and financially stressful venture, and the loss of their support has created significant delays in not only ridding the world of this global issue, but also in the quest for a better quality of living in all people.

Those governments that have continued to support the dream of providing better health to all people throughout the world will be allocated free shipments of our cure as quickly as we can manufacture it, in recognition of their generosity and continued support to our honourable cause.

 

The World Medical Association,

Working toward better health for all people on our beautiful planet

Contact:

Mary Olanida, director of public relations
The World Medical Association
pr@wma.org

###