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2010 November

First Working Proto of Aquatica

     We’ve been building Aquatica for the Smart Table for a few weeks now — been totally blown away by what this team can accomplish. The art is beautiful, the tech is sophisticated, the promo materials look great. I feel great about this prototype, and I’m legitimately impressed by what we’ve been able to accomplish. When our first demo on Wednesday rolls around, we’ll have the play implemented, although not finely tuned. It’ll be fun to demonstrate. The last big tech hurdle is actually getting the code packaged and inserted into the Smart Table API. Ryan Rogerson and Mike Taylor are incredibly capable though — have no doubt that they’ll be able to clear it. Because we’ll be unable to have a demo of the prototype available for download on the blog (being exclusively designed for the Smart Table) I’m going to produce a video trailer in addition to the typical wrap package (screens, assets, blog) so the team can show off the play for their resume’s.

Project Direction on Aquatica and Interface Scripting

     Coordinating Aquatica has been a pleasure so far. Greg, Eugenia, Ryan, and Mike are all willing to show up when needed so we can all work together and get it done. We’ve had a ton of back and forth on this team as far as idea generation is concerned, so one of the biggest challenges has been just nailing down the specifics of what we are building. A big part of my role in meetings has simply been setting the line of “it’s good enough, let’s move on.”

The design we decided on is very derivative of the game Flight Control, which I feel a bit wormy about. The other games I’d worked on have felt more original and innovative. Nonetheless, I have no doubt we’ll be able to iterate in creative and fun ways after we build it out to the current design specs. Diving into Microsoft Project for the tail end of this project — need to learn it.

I’ve also agreed to look into the interface scripting language for the GUI SDK we are using: Crazy Eddie’s GUI for Ogre 3D. Hoping to take a little bit of load off the programmers so we can get that much more for their time. Every hour they spend on implementing and bug testing the gameplay translates to a more polished experience. For a prototype, interface is less important, and while it’s crucial we have one, the hard coding hours should go toward the in-game experience.

Aquatica Pitch and Blog

     This week, as for all prototypes I’ve worked on in the program, I finished an attractive prototype showcase blog and finalized pitch presentation for Aquatica. Aquatica’s I’m particularly proud of — the blog looks fantastic, and the slide presentation on the pitch looks fantastic. Unfortunately, as Aquatica has gone through so many design revisions, the pitch has had to change as well. The change has made good fodder for blog entries though, and I plan on continuing to fill it out as the project progresses.