Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Q2 I2 Project Benchmark (2015-2016)

EDIT: If you are here to review my project, I recommend reading my Q3 Summary instead, as it is more focused on my current project, rather than my old project.

Before you read the extremely long bit below, here’s a summary so you can skip it:
I have successfully, though not as successfully as I had hoped, learned the basics of 3D modeling. I am not extremely advanced, but I have enough basic skills to create a simple game.
However, late in the process of making the project, I realized that another project I was working on separately was turning out better than this one, so I am putting all of my focus on that project from now on. That project was another game called Swipe and Shoot, an iPhone game where you swipe to launch your character, and tap to shoot your enemies. Check out this video of a demo version here: https://youtu.be/WLPhup71Pus, and send any thoughts and feedback to 19jsouthard@shcp.edu, the mastermind and creator of the game!


Now for the long version.
So things had been going pretty well on my original project over these past two months. However, my progress wasn’t tremendous, it was because a friend, named Jack Southard, pitched an idea for a new game to work on. I began work on the game, called Swipe and Shoot, as soon as he told me (in November), as it was really easy to work on.
Back on my original project, I had hoped that 3D modeling wouldn’t be extremely difficult to pick up, and with the help of the tutorials (which I linked to in my Q1 post), I quickly picked up the basics. I even planned to go a little further than my original goal for October (to learn the basics), and for Halloween, I planned to make a cool game, but I ran into several problems along the way. In case you wanted to know, the main issue was that your limited vision (see the video below) was crucial to the original gameplay, but it made the game annoying to play. So I scrapped the project. Here is a video of me playing the game. Don’t be afraid of the awful graphics and extreme lag: https://youtu.be/PWfZAFT_Lzo (also note, I wouldn’t consider this my progress).
In November, I didn’t work too much on my original project, since it was when Jack proposed the idea of Swipe and Shoot. Progress on Swipe and Shoot was doing exceptionally well, and was extremely fun to work on. However, as I was simply programing, with Jack doing the 3D modeling, I kept going with my original project plan, and when homework started to clear up again, I began working on my original project again (in addition to Swipe and Shoot). I did realize that my computer was too slow to use Fusion360 to its fullest extent, so I used Blender instead. I didn’t become AMAZING at 3D modeling, but I was able to learn enough to make a decent project, which was going to be linked below. However, after 4 and a half hours of essentially no progress (see the timelapse here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv1k4RmCmo4), I gave up on the project and decided to switch to Swipe and Shoot as my I2 project (also with the urging of some dedicated fans). Here are some clips of the evolution of Swipe and Shoot: https://youtu.be/WLPhup71Pus.


So, with a new project, here is my new plan for finishing Swipe and Shoot:
December:
Add vehicles, melee weapons, and make a level select system
January:
Make more levels for the campaign, add game mechanics
February:
Make even more levels
March:
Beta test with friends
April:
Fix bugs, figure out how to publish game
May:
Present the final product, make it available for all!


Got any suggestions? Send this guy: 19jsouthard@shcp.edu all your feedback! Seriously, this is your chance to help out with a video game!


And if you just so happen to be reading this, try reading Narayan's blog here: 19nbal1.blogspot.com. He's doing his project on robotics with his neighbor, and he sounds super excited about it. He plans to combine his current skills and refine them to make a newer, better robot. He's also on my robotics team (and so is Jack), so it's clear that his project will have a pretty awesome final product. As someone who has just started learning about robotics, I'm excited to see what someone with a little more experience can come up with. I would suggest that he start building his quadcopter a little sooner, but he seems to have a well laid-out plan so far.
Or, if you are looking for a project with less technology, try looking here: 18khiga.blogspot.com. Kyle is learning to use his left arm/hand to do everyday tasks, something that I have always wanted/tried to learn. It's a unique yet interesting and useful idea, and it requires a lot of commitment. Kyle has an organized plan so far, and it will be interesting to see his progression throughout the year. My only suggestion is to ensure that he keeps a record of his accomplishments, though he likely does have a way.
But if you want something somewhat like my project, try 17gchung.blogspot.com, where Gavin plans to make a video game of his own. On his post, he links to a video using a 3D program called Unity, the very same program that I have been using to make all of my games for the past year, and the same program I have been using to make games this year. He also has a plan very similar to the type of plan I used when first making video games. I would suggest using some of the other tutorials for that program (assuming he will be using Unity throughout the entire process, which he might not), as they are both extremely helpful for beginners, but also presentable, complete projects to show as progress

“Trust me, this game has potential” - Jack Southard

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