Posted by Andrew Wegener on 15th November 2012
Time for finals! This project is all about the client. Professor Jose has been connecting us with professionals all quarter and it all comes down to this. The client I was set with is Michael Trzecieski from Reality Robotics. My classmate and good friend, Mariel Thompson, was able to be my partner for this assignment. We didn’t think our professor would allow it, but once we had Michael on our side, he couldn’t say no! We worked great together! She was the “art director” and I was the “lead programmer” essentially. We get along great and made a fantastic team so I hope I can do future projects together with her.
Check out Michael’s robot toy, BERO (short for “Be the Robot”), at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdfP_u3m7as
It is a really cool toy robot, and I’m not just saying that. Anyways, Michael asked us to make a game demo for him in a couple of weeks – so we did. We used Gamesalad, a new program to us, so that we could publish it when finished. Although it is not published yet, we plan to complete it enough so we can publish it to the Android/Apple app stores. We got started right away.
We spent about a week solidifying our concept. The most challenging part of this was narrowing our scope to something feasible to complete in a couple weeks, especially with our other final projects happening. We practically nailed it. We had just enough time to complete what we wanted. There are still more things to add, but most of it is eye candy and nonessential to completing a game. Once we finished conceptualizing, it was time for programming.
Learning a new program can be rough. This is at least the fourth program I have learned this quarter (I’ve learned many things, it depends on what you consider a “program”). I believe this will be one of the most important programs however because it allows me to publish games to app stores. So I started off small. YouTube videos of the basic interface and simple commands were helpful. Also, Gamesalad provides basic templates that you can use for free! We used the cross-platform controller template with a built-in touch-controlled joystick along with an A and B button. The template didn’t want to support flipping the image of Bero (with my limited knowledge of Gamesalad at least) when it would change direction. After that main issue, most of the issues were fairly small other than just time and running into a million little issues.
I’ll try not to get into too much detail, but it’s a game about the BERO robot trying to find his purpose. He hears a sound and subconsciously dances for the first time. He loves the feeling so he follows the sound so he can always dance and be a happy little robot. Check out this short game play video and leave comments to let me know what you think! It should be published this holiday season!