Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Week 3 Continued: Backstory

It is the year 3000 and you are an astronaut on a mission! NASA has just reported that satellites have spotted an abandoned space shuttle that once belonged to space pirates who plundered the world’s treasure and tried to sell it to “outsiders”. Further investigation showed that the pirates had to abort their mission and abandon the shuttle due to the lack of resources necessary. In addition, the abandoned shuttle contains a massive amount of treasure. However, the keys to unlock the shuttle were scattered throughout the different planets of the Milky Way Galaxy. In order to retrieve the treasure, you must first locate all four keys to open the hatch. You are competing against other astronauts who are trying to get to the treasure first. NASA will recognize and award the first astronaut who collects the keys and retrieves the treasure. They will entitle the winning astronaut, "The Best Astronaut in the Galaxy." The winner also gets to keep the treasure. You will start at the furthest planet away from the Sun, Neptune, and travel your way across the solar system in search of the four keys. The ultimate goal is to reach Mercury, where the fallen shuttle is located. Finding the keys won’t be a simple task as many obstacles can hinder your progress. Good luck on your missions, astronauts!

Week 3: Game board enhancement and mini game creation

As we are getting closer to the end of the semester, the game development process is beginning to heat up. Our group is getting a much clearer view of how our game is going to turn out.  A great deal of time was put into matching mini games with planets. Jason thought of matching Shuffleboard with Neptune. A key characteristic of Neptune is the rapid winds and ravaging storms. Our twist to shuffle board is instead of using a stick to push the disk into the scoring area, the player must use a straw to blow his disk into the scoring triangle. The straw, and ensuing air going through it symbolize the weather Neptune is known for. The Sharpshooter game will be paired with Saturn. Sharpshooter is a game that calls for the player to flick a marble across the playing surface into different compartments, which based on their size will represent different score values. The different compartments, in the shape of rings, represent the most well known characteristic of Saturn; its glorious rings. Mercury will be the playing field for tabletop basketball. The player must place their basketball into the launcher and fling it through the air into a miniature basketball hoop. Mercury is known for being bombarded with asteroids, which is evident by the planets' surface structure. An asteroid crashing into Mercury is simulated when the basketball hits against the backboard and hopefully falls through the hoop for a score. The final mini game, charades, is connected to Earth. Earth, being the only planet known to harbor life forms, is the logical choice for charades. Acting out different animals and actions represent the uniqueness of the planet.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Week 2: Planning and Developing

At the beginning of today's class, the group started to rethink the basis of our game. A debate arose about whether our final game should be made up of four or eight mini board games - one for each planet or not. We realized that in today's world, children as well as older players are attracted to "pick-up and play" games, which are usually fast-paced and can be played without much difficulty. One idea was introduced by our instructor Michael Goeller, who proposed a marketing idea of having add-on pieces that players must purchase separately in order to extend gameplay.
After making a list of possible board games, we decided to utilize Photoshop to incorporate the pictures of the planets with the mini games that will go correspond to them. Learning to use Photoshop along with many other computer and internet tools helped us realize that there are many different elements in developing a game. Furthermore, we acknowledged that after collecting the images of the planets and  designing the board, we still need to fully develop the games, gather props, add further elements of creativity and finally make the board aesthetically pleasing.  Creating these elements of our game will be the main focus for next week. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Week 1: Brainstorming

Journey Through The Stars, as it is called now, is a board game that is made up of eight mini board games put together. Krishna, Jason, Steve, and I decided that we will base our game on space, and more specifically the Milky-Way galaxy. Each mini game boards represents one of the eight  planets. Each of the planets will have its own themed game. For example, Neptune will be a mini game board that may be similar to a typical trivia game. Even though we are still in the beginning stages of creating our game, we feel that our foundation is very strong and our game will excel in the end.