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I completely forgot about my game.

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caffeineaddict

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As most of you probably don't remember, last semester we got to do an independent study course that allowed us to make a game on school time. I completely forgot to post what we had done on here!

The only reason I bring this up now is our professor insisted that we submit what we had done to the Phi Kappa Phi student research seminar (or whatever it's called). We did our presentation and I think we were the only ones from our section that were understandable to someone not in the field. We were lumped together with all the sciences, so along side us was a presentation about a new way to synthesize some compound. I swear, the only word I recognized her saying was "crap" when she made a mistake.

Anyway, we seemed to get a good response from our work and we do plan to do more games together. With all of our other courses, lack of artistic ability, lack of participation from some members in the group, and a lack of planning, we were not able to make the game to the standards we wanted, but we did think it was really fun.

The original premise we had for the game was a sidescroller set in the school where aliens were trying to take over our department. When our artistic abilities didn't match our goals, we were content in using free to use graphics on the web, and our game turned into a very small RPG where you, a penguin, run around and fight off various enemies which include a pimp, a witch, and a mage wannabe. Yeah, it's pretty diverse.

Before getting into our mistakes, i'll list the tools and libraries we used as best as I can remember:

Dev-C++
FMOD
Allegro

Everything free for noncommercial use. Yay.


Our first mistake was not planning. If we had had a clearer goal of what we wanted to do, i'm sure things would have went more smoothly. We just sat down and coded what needed to be coded as needed. Not the best strategy at all. In future projects, we will have to plan if we want to get anywhere.

Secondly, there were three coders working on the game, and none of us had worked in group projects until now. This, as you can imagine, created a huge mess when we were all hacking away at code that happened to be in the same file. With three versions of the same file, we'd have to sit down and figure out how to put them together, certainly not fun. In the future, we definitely need to use CVS or something of that sort.

None of us had really had to care a whole lot about memory management in our previous projects, so while I was working on some other code (I believe battle code), my friend decided to implement sound and music. Well, this is great, but he had a lot of songs, and they were in WAV format. Yeah, that's right. To make matters worse, all of these WAVs were loaded into RAM before the game began. This caused excrutiating load times and huge memory consumption of course. After finishing up the battle code I had been working on, though, I implemented FMOD, converted the WAVs to OGGs and streamed them, resulting in a MUCH smaller memory footprint.

We did a lot of things wrong on this project, but we learned a lot too. We all want to do something else soon, but what we're not sure.

I don't have the game with me on my laptop, but i'll try to post some screens of our end result later this week.

Since we did the game through our school, it's my understanding that we can use the assets at our disposal as long as we don't try to sell it. I'll check on all of this, and if this turns out to be true, i'll upload the game for you to play (but believe me, there's not much to it). If not, i'll rip out all the music and put it up anyway.

Just thought i'd share my experience.
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