Sunday, November 27, 2011

Making Racing Games & Doin' Schoolwork...

Sorry for not posting sooner.  I'm not dead.  Anyway, Happy Belated Thanksgiving.  Not much else to say that I didn't say last year.  Although there was a fourth life-or-death situation I was in.  In Little League Baseball, I was the pitcher...well, I was the guy standing next to the coach who tossed pitches to the batter.  And I got hit in the chest with a line drive.  There was a kid recently who died from the same incident but I went to the hospital and came out that night uninjured.  So that is good.

But about this Thanksgiving.  I was miles away from my family, I went to a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by one of my students at FIEA.  Most everybody was playing video games (Halo, Marvel vs. Capcom) which is okay.  I got the chance to play NFS: Hot Pursuit which is good but I'll reserve my opinions for later.

Strangely, when I asked everyone what they were thankful for, they had little to say.  Which is a shame since this is a religious holiday...the Pilgrims offered thanks to God that they actually survived for as long as they did (and received help from the Indians).  But I don't know.  People use any occasion as a means to socialize and just let go for a while.  Gamers don't seem respectful of tradition anymore.

So what have I been doing for school?  Well, I've been working on it non-stop.  We're given one assignment for Programmers only and that is to make an OpenGL game mimicking some old-school arcade game such as Pac-Man and Asteroids.  We're paired into teams of two.  I fortunately got to make Super Sprint.  Click here to read more about Super Sprint.

Now this is a super-beta screenshot but I've added more levels (including the ability to drive over and under bridges!!!).  While I'm working a lot on this, it's been "fun" work.  So at least that's good.  I split the track into three layers (the road, the rest of the screen, and any bridges/overpasses/things that obscure the track).  So I use a getPixel system to see if the car leaves the original road layer and have it bounce in the other direction accordingly.  But collision detection is a bitch, I'll tell you that.

I know that I'm being graded on this assignment although it's mostly on how much effort you put into it.  Unlike most people, I'm working hard on this because I personally want the game to be good.  I'm feeling this game, man.  It can have at least three players (everyone gathers around the keyboard) and multiple levels.  Just shoot me 1024x768 .png's of levels and I can insert them into the game.

Seriously, I'm getting friggin sick and tired of working my ass off on projects that get shoved into the file cabinet or thrown away after they are done.  So I want this game to MEAN SOMETHING.  Is that too much to ask?

The thing that's so sad about this is that it's due Wednesday--three days from now.  And by then I really can't work on it anymore.  Well, we're going to port it to the original Xbox (not the Xbox 360, DAMN!!!) but that's not much to add.  I may be able to add more features after the due date, we'll see.

Funny...had my racing game pitch gone through, I would've had to devote more time to that instead of this game.  So even though one door shuts on me, another one opens.  Yeah, because tiny OpenGL games are really worth it!

Plus, I'm also working on another racing game right now for some Rapid Prototype class.  The same class that gave the world 30 Seconds or Less.  A fun tangent--many people worked on game using the Kinect in previous rounds, including I with my How to Train Your Dragon game.  And guess what--all of them had awkward, delayed controls.  Congrats people, if you don't already know the Kinect is a piece of crap, then now you do!  The only good Kinect games are my HoTYD game and a South Park game in which you Kick the Baby.  Not making this stuff up.

But anyway, this fifth and final game in the class is a sequel to my A.R.I. game but with Grand Theft Auto free-roam and Crazy Taxi delivery-system.  The goal is to polish the game rather than create an entirely new one.  But frankly, my teammates aren't really into this project and I'm getting sick and tired of working in Unity.  So right now, I place more stake in my Super Sprint clone.

With this semester nearing the end, I go home for Christmas then head back to FIEA for another semester.  And this is when things get worse.  Most of the semester is dedicated to entering "Programming Boot Camp" and working on things like our own graphic shaders and game engines.  Plus I'll also be working on capstone projects, none of which I'm too enthusiastic about.  So does this semester sound like fun?  No, it doesn't.  It's like Time kill a boss and then you go to Level 2.  So it ain't over yet.

"We're game designers!!  We're the VSSE!!"

"Damn, this game is hard.  I need more quarters."

And thus, once this semester ends, that's the last chance I really get to make racing games.  It's really sad.  All I wanted to do is make great racing games but not now.  Too busy working on other stuff that I'm not really feeling great about.  But that's the breaks.  Gotta do stuff you don't like to get what you do like.  Still, I hate working towards something that presumably adds up to nothing...or a job at Electronic Arts that makes me want to jump off the roof of the building.

Anyway, off to sleep.  Then I'll work on the Super Sprint game even more.  But I'll end on this.  In an Intro to Art class, we worked on texturing a player model in Maya.  I made Matt Damon in a business suit.  Needless to say, this model is so realistic, you couldn't tell the difference between my guy and the actual Matt Damon.

No comments:

Post a Comment