Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yggdrasil Mid-Semester Update

Yggdrasil is now "functionally complete" and v0.1.1 has been released. As it stands, the server architecture is all in place to support multiple people playing in a game together. While not optimized nor secured, the basic architecture is currently there.

If you would like access to Yggdrasil v0.1.1, contact Dan Magnusson or John Will, at and respectively and we will get you a copy right away.

For Yggdrasil v0.2.0 (the end of Semester Expo) we plan on adding the concept of "region servers" to allow for developers to have a concept of "regions" in their world to help balance the load of their game off of the world server itself.

v0.3.0 (winter break) is a general fixup / test / fill in the blanks of all features that were cut for v0.1.0 and v0.2.0. v0.4.0 and v0.5.0 (next semester) will focus on optimization and security.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

T-Cubed Mid-Semester Update

Here's a gameplay video demonstrating T-Cubed's progress so far this semester, and expanding on what we showed at the Mid-Semester Expo.

In the video, you can see the Tetris style gameplay working fully as well as our microgames and money system. In the coming weeks development will focus on adding powerups, more microgames, and balance.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Recursion Mid-Semester Update

So Recursion has made significant progress since our last update. At the mid-semester expo we demonstrated the recursion component, the Mr. Freeze powerup, future level and object designs, and art to be integrated later. We now have this gameplay video that demonstrates recursion and animation:

Between now and the end of the semester we hope to have a minimap on the top screen, more powerups added, and integrated levels. We'll be working hard to reach these goals!

Empyreal: Progress Check 11/06/09

The Empyreal team has made significant strides over the month since our last update, illustrated and explained below.

Among the features illustrated in this video:
  • The first thing you'll notice is a new player ship model. Though it still needs texturing work, it's much better than it was before.
  • The next thing you'll notice is the afterburner shader effect. The effect is coded in HLSL, and the size of the afterburner is dependent on the throttle control of the player. You'll also notice at the end of the video, the afterburner gets utterly massive; this is the result of the "Awesome Button", which basically is an escape mechanism for the player if he gets in a hairy situation.
  • You'll also notice that basic weapons functionality is in; the player fires white cube placeholder projectiles. Though there's no clear onscreen indicators yet, weapons can have finite or infinite ammo, optional ammo recharging, and differing projectiles depending on what weapon is active. Projectiles have collision detection with other nonplayer ships based on whether the owner of the weapon which fired the projectile is friendly or an enemy; i.e. as of now friendly fire has no effect.
  • Every now and then, you'll see a purple box in the lower left hand side of the screen. This is for the Empyreal Event System, which is a main driver of the gameplay in Empyreal. The inspiration of one of our programmers, Nick Wasilewski, the event system is responsible for presenting challenges and story elements to the player. Events can include the appearance of new enemy ships, text messages, audio cues (for example, voice acting sound bytes to drive a story), and more. The event system is backed by a strong in-house level editing and event planning tool which allows for the creation of many varied and challenging missions.
Much still needs to be done for Empyreal, however. Notably:
  • AI for Nonplayer characters is still a work-in-progress and has not yet been implemented. This should arrive shortly.
  • Unfortunately, Empyreal is still sorely lacking in content in nearly every area at this point; there is some stuff in the works, however, but the game may need a second semester to flesh out the idea completely.
Though there is still much work to be done, Empyreal is making strides and should still be ready and playable at the SGD Fall 2009 End Of Semester Expo.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fall 2009 End Of Semester Expo, Smash For Cash Announcements

The Student Game Developers' End Of Semester Expo has been scheduled for Sunday, December 6 at 2:00 PM. The Expo is currently scheduled to take place in Thornton E303. All SGD projects will be on public display at this Expo.

In addition, SGD and The University's chapter of the Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) are coscheduling the Fall 2009 "Smash For Cash". The event, which is scheduled for December 5 in the basement of Olsson Hall, is a fundraiser for the Child's Play charity, and is comprised of a tournament in the blockbuster Wii video game "Super Smash Bros. Brawl". The tournament requires a $10 entry, of which all proceeds go towards Child's Play. Prizes will be awarded to top finishers!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Laser Lockdown Update

The Laser Lockdown team has been hard at work over the last few weeks attemping to bend the Ox Engine to our will. I shot a short video of what we presented at the Mid Semester Expo this week; it should give you a good picture of where we're at now in development!

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