Hard to believe it's been 6 months since my Frogwood project went the way of the dodo. Here's a little update on what's going on now.
I've been focusing a lot on finishing school, so that's been a hindrance on any personal projects. But I'll be graduating in April, so who knows what will happen at that point. My CS course includes a 2-class series called Software Engineering that's intended to be the senior project. We get put into groups and we get clients, usually non-profit organizations, that need software of some variety. The first semester is working with the client to define their requirements and design the software; the second semester is devoted to implementing what was designed. I'm in a group of 4, and our client is the university's student recruiting department. We're building a game to create interest for the school.
As the team discussed what technology we would use, we eventually decided on XNA. We thought, and the recruitment people agreed, that it would be cool if they could take an XBox loaded with our game to different events so high school students could play it right there. I'd never used XNA before, so that weekend I sat down and started to learn it. Two days later, I'd written a little game. It was not much more complicated than Tic Tac Toe had no menus or other UI to speak of and it was ugly, but it was a game. From there I led my team to create a very nice demo for the end of the semester.
Now it's Christmas Break and I wanted to shake things up a little. So I took my little game and added menus and stuff and now it's almost a completed product. I even managed to implement networked play over the last couple days, which I'd never done before. The game is still ugly, but you can check it out here
. A friend offered to give it a graphical overhaul, so hopefully it will turn into a good addition to my portfolio. The game has no instructions yet, but the goal is to create a line from left to right or top to bottom. If you want to play over a network, be aware that the game uses port 13000.
The last new thing I have to talk about is my Plan For the Future ©. I've been wrestling with the decision between breaking into the games industry or going indie. The official decision is indie. I plan to build a website about procedural content, gameplay, user-created content and game spaces, emergent behavior, and other such concepts. My goal is that this site will become a major informational resource for people and a large community hub. It will be the distribution platform for my games. The catch is, the website itself will be like a meta game. The games I make will explore the realm of procedural content generation, and that exploration will largely be guided by input from the community. Or at least, that's the plan.
Want to help jumpstart my goal? Comment about what kinds of procedural games or concepts you'd like to see. It could be anything from procedural terrain to buildings to plants or creatures to quests. It could be computer-generated dialog or storylines. The sky's the limit. Get creative!