Monthly Archives: September 2012

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).

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.
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. 

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

First Learning Session: Unity

Today we are having our first learning session! Ryan Holtkamp will be teaching a Unity for beginner’s tutorial in room 1610C of Studio Arts at 3pm. For those of you who want to follow along at home, here is the link: Unity for Beginners. Enjoy!

–Rani Kumar

Here is a link to our survey to fill out by Monday 9/3 to participate in the year project.


Stay tuned to the blog for more info about the upcoming project!

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