Dexter Le Capstone

For our capstone project, we have decided to create a video game that would help other people understand the process of creating ones themselves. Prior to the Capstone group, we had always been fascinated with games because of the fact that we played them growing up. While growing up, we got to see the advancements in video games as the newer games looked visually better. This drove us ambition towards creating our own games because we wanted to understand how the process worked. While creating this game, I have realized that teamwork is extremely important, and it is very hard to create a game individually. There are many reasons why creating a game individually is tough, and the first problem is the lack of feedback/criticism. Obviously, you could just get a friend or a mentor to help you while getting feedback from the game, however, having a teammate to offer feedback means just a little bit more. You see, when you have someone else contributing to the project, this creates a sense of unity in the whole group. When everyone agrees on a similar concept, work gets done so much faster. The “click” feeling is extremely important, and it is rarely something you will ever receive while creating your own game by yourself. However, that is enough of talking about my own personal experiences from creating a game in a group, let’s transition this towards our process for creating our game.

We had many tools that could be used in order to create our game, and our first step was thinking about what our game should be. We thought of a Tactical Role Playing Game, then we transitioned onto platformers. Platformers were extremely easy to create, however, perfecting the visuals would be challenging. One of the tools we thought of using originally was C++. If you are familiar with coding languages, you will know the true terror of C++. Regardless of it being in many applications today, C++ is a pain to use because of its complexity. If you wrote a singular wrong code, you can instantly crash your compiler or even your computer (This happened to me so many times). This portion of our research was just me and Anthony W. Coding in C++ gave us exposure to the coding world, and we have made some pretty cool things such as Text-based RPG, Scientific Calculators, and Data Storage. Although two of these are not related to our game, we were so intrigued with C++ that we wanted to see more of it in action. However, we decided that C++ was not the correct tool because of the fact that it was only me and him that was able to use it. Our other members in the group could not program in C++ so we’ve switched to better alternatives. We thought about using Python, Javascript, and even RPG Maker. This would take too much time in order to utilize completely (we only had a month left at this point) so we needed another solution. RPG maker costs money and it usually does not end out visually appealing. We decided to program our game in Construct 3D. This tool is extremely powerful and beginner-friendly. All of us can work on Construct 3D, and that was the selling point for our team. Not everything turned into sunshine and rainbows after that point, because we finally got a dose of what it was like to work in a team. We had disagreements in the group, we were off-task for our meets, and most of the time, only a few of us would work. In other words, we were starting to become lazy and we only had a few weeks left before this project would be due. Thankfully, our capstone mentor, Mr. Schaar, offered some pieces of advice to our group in order to stay on top of the project and actually be able to graduate. One of the most important advice Mr. Schaar gave us was to create something that “works”. It did not have to be a finished prototype, it could just be a demo. I’m still not sure how we managed to pull off our capstone, however, I guess it could be because Mr. Schaar gave us critical feedback for our team and something we could agree on: the game needed to be finished.

Construct 3D had many features and one of the most important ones is that there are no collaborative instances on one document. Only one person could work on the game, and the rest of us could not do anything. This plays back towards how our team was “lazy” at the beginning stages of the game. However, I have realized that there need to be more important things done: such as visuals (sprites), and audio components. We got Eric to do the sprites and some of the visuals for the game. Me and Lamier consistently worked on the level design of the game, however, I was more of a mixture of everything. I worked on most of the audio design along with the media lab SAT, Samuel, towards some of the programming and level design of the game. This helped me understand what needed to be done for the game because I had an equal footing on the concept. Honestly, I am not sure if I can imagine myself making the audio of the game had I not sat down and read over the concept materials along with making levels of the game. All of these characteristics that make up a game need to be linked back together. Should the visuals be depressing, and monotoned? Should the music also be sad and depressing? These are many of the questions that always surrounded my mind while I was creating this game because I had to understand the premise to it. However, for the most part, Anthony created most of the programming for the game, and it was done splendidly. Eric was able to create all of the sprites in the game that had themes similar to the concept of the game. While I and Lamier did a mixture of everything. Our finished game is embedded below, I suggest you give it a try! Although there are some noticeable bugs and inconsistencies, I am proud knowing that our game was created on time and actually runs. Beat that C++ invalid null pointer error.

#Capstone #Rosen-Long #2019