by Giuseppe Liquori
Burlington, VT – This summer is going by fast! It seems like yesterday the spring semester ended, yet the EMC team has accomplished quite a bit in the past few weeks. Since our last update, we’ve had more QA sessions, visitors, and another cross-team critique.
At the end of June, our MFA students began their summer vacation, decreasing the amount of people and projects being worked on. Presenting at the Cross-Team Critique were the Maker Lab, Enter the Cave (ETC), and Make A Change (MAC) teams.
The Maker Lab team has three projects being worked on this summer: Icarus, Variance, and a top secret project. Project Icarus is a virtual reality flight experience that pairs an Oculus Rift with a custom built wing suit. One of the Maker Lab techs, Willy Cheng, described the project as “an oculus and wing suit integrated flying simulation that’s very ambitious.” As he struggled with untangling some of the wires, he added, “There’s lots of wires. Ambition equals wires.”
The Maker Lab team is also working on a simple cooperative game; known as Project Variance, the goal is get a ball into a square goal within the 3D environment. The game has three unconventional controllers each controlling a different axis of movement for the ball. The X-axis was controlled by a grip strengthener, the y-axis via a stationary bicycle, and the z-axis was humorously controlled by a players voice, which resulted in players showing off their best whale impressions during the critique (check out the video below).There was a third project shown off by the Maker Lab team, but it’s top secret.
The Enter the Cave team showed off the substantial progress they’ve made since the last cross-team critique. The game has had many updates, including a much more polished UI and extended gameplay. Important gameplay features have been revised and character art was updated according to both testing and client feedback.
The Make a Change team is close to launching their final product, and their
presentation at the critique reflected this. They are in the process of aligning the games with the story comic, adding in the menus and menu art, updating the tooltip tutorials, and a few other small tweaks here and there. After almost two years of work, the game is approaching completion. The Emergent Media Center is excited to launch the game!
Enter the Cave and Make a Change have had the benefit of multiple QA testing sessions to receive feedback and make necessary adjustments for their projects. The EMC has welcomed summer programs such as Imagine College, The Governor’s Institute of Vermont, Champlain’s Game Academy, and Burlington High School students participating in summer programs! The students were invaluable in the creative process; their feedback was important in pointing out to teams what features worked and what features needed to be worked on.
The Emergent Media Center is approaching the end of the summer cycle as the semester approaches. In the meantime, team members continue to make progress toward the end goals of their respective projects.