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The End...

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What a wild semester...

The Semester

I worked on a literature review on 'Violence in Video Game Entertainment' that took a good portion of my time. The entire goal of the paper was to give parents, which might not be avid game players, an understanding of violent material in video game technology. I pretty much did this through research that I found and my own personal opinions based on my experience in the Marine Corps and, well, being an avid game player. I ended up finding a great deal of information electronically, including, two research studies that came out at the beginning of last month. At the end of it all, I gave a presentation to the class and did pretty well in my opinion. I could have bored the hell out of them for all I know, but I was energetic about what I was doing and I didn't stand there with my face to the screen reading from my slides. In fact, I hardly looked at my slides. For once, I had too much to say, and to little time.

Game Design

In addition, I also worked on a project in a Game Design course that I took. You may have read a little about it in a prior journal entry. The game is called Scottish Insurrection and the team I was on did pretty well in my opinion. Given that we had about 15 weeks to do it, between the other obligations the team members had. I've followed game development for a while now and I sort of know that 15 weeks isn't a whole lot of time, even to build a great demo to show off. UNLESS, you're a machine... Which syncing 7 college students lives together is a monumental task in itself.

About the only thing that we could really do is work on the mechanics of the game. Our art talent just didn't have enough skill to really assist the people doing scripting/coding.

We ended up using the Torque Game Engine, which is a pain-in-the-ass... The random crashes about made the entire team pull their hair out of their head. Uh, yeah, but this isn't a cry baby thread so let's show off some pictures.

Also, note. My work involved User Interface Design/Implementation and Audio Design/Implementation.

// Coming into the game

So, here you come in the game with a screen that could resemble one of my prior projects. In Breakout, I used a scheme like this and people tended to say "Nice Job" on it. So, I just couldn't resist.

// Clicking New Game

Once the player comes into the game, they will be presented with a playbook. In the playbook, you are forwarded the opportunity to map out your troops path toward the enemy. You have no idea where the enemy is in advance. In the Demo, the enemy's path is hard coded.

// Flags

You map out your troops path by laying flags. These flags (don't currently), but are designed in such a way that you can send your groups of troops to a flag, make them wait, or tell them to continue, etc.

// Action

And we're off. The troops spawn and you assume the role as a "commander" in one of the groups. You lead this group where you want to. You are allowed to change to the commander of the other group and in that case, your prior group will find the closest Flag and begin to traverse it.

Soon I'll post a demo up for people to fiddle with. It's nothing spectacular, but if any of you are interested in just tinkering around with it, it's coming.

As for if the team is continuing the project... That's up in the air. I personally don't see it being continued due to having some other thing I'd like to work on. And for the sheer fact that it would be a pain in the ass getting people together.


I'm not sure what I want to do next. I have several ideas, but I am not sure what route I really want to take.

I do want to put together a digital portfolio (www.david-mcgraw.com), if I could settle on a design layout.

I would also like to get rolling again on a modification to Neverwinter Nights 2.

I would also like to begin a puzzle game. A sort of find the object hidden on the screen type of game. I watch my girlfriend play those type of games fanatically, and I realize that the casual market is huge... Could be fun. As long as I program the core logic and get things working with sketches, I don't think it would be hard to pick up a good artist.

Stock Market

Well, I did it. After debating for a few months on whether or not I really wanted to leave my full service broker. So far it's not treating me to badly for a newcomer. I'm sitting at roughly a 2% gain after two months; so, we'll see how it turns out.

Anyway, this thing is long enough. Signing off!
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