Meet Robert! He’s teamed up with instructor Erica as part of Game-U’s Accelerate program. Their latest class reminded Erica, Robert, and a few other instructors present why game design is so much fun!
If authors don’t sit down and write full-length novels in one draft, game designers don’t sit down and code a full-blown game in one attempt. Game development requires trial and error as well as patience and creativity. But who says those things aren’t fun? Robert and Erica certainly don’t! Inspired by the recent snowy weather, they decided to build a snowman game in Project Spark. Since snowmen need a snowy environment (unless the snowman happens to be Olaf from Frozen!), Robert used the Paint tool and a white texture to turn his world into a winter wonderland. Icy props dot the landscape with Arctic-style tents, and the Character Studio allowed Robert to dress his player in warm, furry winter gear. With these preliminaries finished, Robert and Erica moved on to the meat of the lesson.
To learn about “gluing” props together to create custom assemblies, Erica encouraged Robert to build his own snowman prop. By linking Primitive Spheres together and adding Ancient Rock, Baseball Bat, Ancient Tusk (tinted orange), and Lucky Hat props to the two top spheres – can you guess which prop is which on the finished product? – Robert made Frosty-worthy snowmen for his wintery world. Next came the challenge! Could he create a disassembled snowman so that the player could make a game of maneuvering the parts into place? With Erica’s help, Robert detached the spheres of one of his snowman and Koded them to “snap” back together once in close enough proximity. The player kicks the spheres to move them (not as easy as you might think!). The first sphere works perfectly! But the “head” sphere… That’s where trial and error come into the picture! The head orients itself ear-down on the body so that the snowman has a very lopsided view of the world. In the test game the snowman’s head even spun around and bounced! How can anyone watch a bug like that without laughing? Class time ran out before Erica and Robert had a chance to fix the bug, but they enjoyed the error and will enjoy figuring out what went wrong later. Trial, error, patience, creativity – these are the bread and butter of game design, and they’re as good for our funny bones as they are for our games!
Thanks for sharing your snow day, Robert. Keep building cool games and working out the bugs that appear. We want to see your creativity and hard work get the credit they deserve!