Chapel Hill, NC
Mentor: Joel Hollingsworth
Project title: Engineering on the go: Building a "serious game" to make games on the Android platform
I’ve spent most of this semester adding “events” to the game maker. These events are what make it more than just a complex level editor, what allow interesting things to happen in the game, allow users to generate content that’s truly their own. I’ve been building off of an event system I created last semester, which has made the process considerably easier and more streamlined. (It’s gratifying when preparation you make actually make life easier for you in the future, isn’t it?) I’ve added the ability to create and remove actors and objects from a scene, apply physics to objects, change gravity, read the state of buttons and joysticks, write text output to the screen, and add conditional (“do this if…”) and loop (“do this x times”) structures.
I’ve also done a fair bit of housekeeping, rewriting the code for the main map editor to make it cleaner and to make the user interface more aesthetically pleasing. Some of that clean up doesn’t actually change the way the game maker functions, but makes it easier for me to continue to work with the code I’ve written. Because this is a two-year project, it’s very important to make each component of the game maker very easy for me to use and extend. Proper organization also makes making app-wide changes easier, allowing me to change one piece of code to change how all the menus work, instead of changing them each individually.
The artists I’m working with have also made good progress this semester. With a set of game backgrounds, an actor prototype and some tilesets in the works (the building-blocks of a map), the game maker is starting to look and feel more like real product. In fact I’m very close to being able to start creating real games with it. With a few more key events in place and a few more menus, I’ll be able to make a platformer like Super Mario Bros. And while the game maker does focus on platformers, it should soon be capable of making a variety of games, such as a Galaga-esque arcade shooter, or a Bejeweled-like puzzle game. I’m certainly looking forward to that point, to move on to creation and testing.
Game1.png: Part of the reworked map maker. The user interface is more streamlined and easier to use.
Game2.png: A custom menu for the reworked map maker. This one selects actors.
Game3.png: An example of an event being edited. The “Triggers” cause the event to happen and the “Actions” are what make up the event.
Game4.png: A screenshot of a game using a custom background and tileset made by one of the artists working on the project.
Dr. Ann J. Cahill
Professor of Philosophy
Spence Pavilion 111
2340 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5703
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