Its been a while…

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 9.39.39 PMWell, EPX has gone through some changes in the last semester, new people, new vibes, new ideas. Times are a changin. Its a great time to be alive. How’s that for PR?

In other news: EPX ARENA IS A THING. So check it out. The University of Iowa Library is being very kind and hosting our event, which will include tournaments in League of Legends and SSB Brawl for certain. Other games will be added and I’ll keep everyone posted as to that. I’m just going to start hammering out updates like a freaking AMINAL

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EPX Arena!

Thanks to everyone that attended the tournmanent. It seems like everyone had a blast! Because of the big turnout and everyones help and support, we expect to have an even bigger tournament next time and will take everyones comments into consideration. Things will only get better from here.

A recap of Saturday’s winners:

Super Smash Bros. Brawl:
1. Blake Campbell
2. Sanjay Kumar
3. Wes Eck

Fifa ’13:
1. Josh Maddox
2. Dan Lanning

Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom:
1. Guilherme Prudente
2. Rene Castaneda
3. Nick Steffas

Halo Reach:
1. Team X
2. Team 2
3. Team 3

Leage of Legends:
1. West Side Drive
2. Yodisyabois
3. Video and Games

ImageImageImageImageImage

This is just a taste of what we captured from the tournament. Tons more photos to appear soon!

 

Thanks again for all your help and support

 

EPX Studio

Oct. 26 / Illustrator Tutorial

At last Friday’s meeting, the learning session was an introduction to Adobe Illustrator. Thanks to those who attended and followed along. It was a rather brief intro followed by a demonstration, which somehow produced this:

I hope that sparked some inspiration for the t-shirt contest! We will be going over the designs tomorrow and voting as a group. It’s going to be a tough decision between the fantastic designs that have been submitted so far. The winning design will be posted here.

After the meeting tomorrow, I hope everyone gets super pumped for the first ever EPX Arena video game tournament  on Saturday. We have been working really hard to make this tournament come true, so we hope to see everyone there! This poster pretty much explains all the kinds of awesome it is going to be:

(Poster by: Andrew Hummel)

http://epxstudiosdonations.webs.com/

Look forward to a recap and photos of the tournament in the coming week.

Casey Lynch (editor in chief at IGN.com) recently visited University of Iowa and on his last day here he was able to drop by and speak to EPX Studio about gaming in general and was able to squeeze in time for a presentation on the current stage of the game in development- “Time Trap”. The session started with Casey taking a myriad of questions from the members of EPX Studio ranging from his views on motion sensor technology to his take on digital distribution. Casey stated that he personally believed the newer innovations will be part of gaming’s future such as the Oculus Rift (a Virtual Reality headset in development), but he considers these all additional optional add-ons and nothing can really replace the stable input controllers we have today. He also believes that what we have today can be pushed to a higher degree of interaction such as the Kinect serving as an extension for the existing controls and being used to interact with the HUD in games such as Halo.

When asked about how he felt the distribution of games work now a days, Casey explained that near the end of a console’s lifespan, less ventures are made to sell boxed copies of games unless it’s predetermined to sell well due to it having an established name (such as Mario, CoD, ect.) but digital distribution is the more viable alternative that has been established to ensure games can be sold without worry of producing physical supply (outlets such as Steam exist to fill this void.) He also briefly talked about Ouya, the open source console and how he felt it was a good idea and the idea of using Kickstarter to raise initial capital was smart and effective. Among many questions he responded to though, the most notable one was to list his personal favorites which he was able to rail off quite the list- Diablo II, Chrono Trigger, Halo 2, FFIV, Planescape Torment,Fallout 3, Mass Effect 2, Dark Souls, Pokemon Blue, Earthbound, Megaman 3, and Ultima IV.

As for the presentation, EPX was able to showcase the preliminary skeleton of the game in terms of the story of sibling conflict resulting in the incident that sets up the premise for the game and the protagonists of the small and brainy brother, and muscular plus brawny sister. Each group was able to present tidbits of what their stage’s design or story has been developed to, with Level 1 having the map’s bare landscape fleshed out and walkable already. Level 6 presented the general flow of the stage and the idea of making it a split stage to encourage re playability. UI Design was also able to showcase an early idea of what they designed for the interface of the game.

 

-Patrick Chang

Casey Lynch Visit

First Meeting Recap

Here is a quick recap of the first meeting in case you missed out! A huge thanks to Jen Rothmeyer for taking such great notes and putting this together for us!

Goal & EPX Studio Info
 
Last year, EPX did a project each semester, but this year we are planning on a year long project with a goal of showcasing the game at our exhibition event in April. 
 
Dues are $8 a semester so that EPX Studio can obtain developers devices. It is extremely unlikely that The University will supply funding for these items, so we try be self-sustainable and the dues are how you can help us do that. If you do not pay the dues then you will not get assigned to a team and you will not have access to Digital Tutors (a website that helps teach you the programs and other information – better than the University’s Lynda access).
 
Plot

There are two siblings: the “Brainy Boy” and the “Brawny Girl”.  The brother invents a time machine, but the controller somehow breaks and goes through this portal. Each level of the game will involve trying to get one piece of the controller back to put the time machine back together. Each level of the game will also be about a different time in history. The primary focus of the game seems to be edutainment (educational entertainment), with a focus on the silly and/or quirky. As an example, one level might be about the Emancipation Proclamation, so you have Abraham Lincoln walking around, but you find out some obscure history fact about the two things (maybe Abraham Lincoln always wore one brown sock and one black sock) and then suddenly vampires crash the party.
 
The history section of the level should be accurate, but it should be a silly off-the-wall fact that you can’t find in normal textbooks to make it more interesting and quirky. And then put an even sillier twist on it. There could be awkward facts, silly facts, awesome facts – but boring facts aren’t allowed.
 
The final level of the game will be the kids coming back through the portal and closing it, but since the portal was open that whole time they were meandering around the world and history, all of the people in all the levels have already gone through the portal and are now waiting in the “real world.” So the last level will have people from all over history and all over the world coexisting in the same space.
 
“Bones” of the Game
 
The project will be completed with Unity this year and September 7 will be the learning session for Unity from 3 pm – 4 pm. The Unity software is free to download to your own personal computer. Bring the Unity 3D on your laptop and a three button mouse (if you have it) to the meeting tomorrow. As well, make sure you have the development environment installed.
 
It will be a combination of a 3D/2D process with modeling done in a 3D environment and then transposed into a 2D environment.
 
It will originally be released and coded for web, but we want it adaptable to mobile devices and if we finish up the game early, then we could work to have it put on mobile devices.
 
Type of Game

This is to be a side-scrolling platform style game like Castle Crashers. It will be a one player game and you can choose to either be the “Brainy Boy” or “Brawny Girl” character. You may be able to switch between characters at some point during game play. It will be a “smash ‘em up” or “beat ‘em up” style. It doesn’t have to be geared towards kids, but instead should have about a PG-13 rating with some explosions, violence, etc., but no gore. It will have a linear level format.
 
Teams
 
Each level will be completed by one team. The team will be all-inclusive and solely responsible for their own level. That team will include a programmer, an artist, a writer, (and maybe some other job titles, too). The number of levels of the game depends on how many teams can be created. Each team will determine what period of history their level will cover and what their facts are. The end goal is to have every region of the world covered by a level, though, to make it complete. 
 
Process

Google Docs will be used for file sharing and the primary communication source will be over Facebook. There will be a developer group on Facebook that people will have access to once they are assigned to a team. 
 
Each Friday will have a learning session from 3 pm – 4 pm and then a team meeting from 4 pm – 5 pm. There will also additionally be group meetings for the various positions (i.e., a writers meeting, programmers meeting, graphic artist meeting) at some point so that we can ensure cohesion across the levels and consistency. 
 
The entire EPX group will work together to come up with overarching mechanics, rules, etc. There will be deadlines for every team and group to try to ensure that the goals are being met. 
 
Other Ways To Get Involved
 
There are other ways to get involved. You can work on product design – there is a product design committee whose end goal is to be able to sell products. They need graphic designers for packaging. There is also a marketing committee, web site committee, business-type stuff, and event planning. You can have more than one role in EPX Studio, but keep in mind that each position is equal to about one semester hour of work.
 
If you can’t make meeting times, you can collaborate with your team via e-mail, but it is highly recommended to come to the meetings for the learning session and hands-on team meetings. It isn’t a requirement to attend meetings, though.
 
–Jen Rothmeyer
 
Keep a lookout for more updates on our meetings right here on our blog. It’s a great way to catch up if you have to miss a meeting or refresh your mind after a long weekend. Thanks again, Jen!
 
Rani Kumar
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