Students of the game mechanics class offered by the Department of Computer Science showed off their class projects to the public on April 8. The game mechanics class introduces students to graphics, sound, physics, input, networking and artificial intelligence which are all integral components of building a video game, and the class projects were video game demos.
The seven games being showcased were Bearmaggedon, The Legend of Darwin, Tower Defense, University Adventure, Coke Bros., Fuse and Dragon RPG.
Bearmaggedon is a cooperative platforming shooter/brawler with big colourful bears as enemies. The two playable characters, which look to be in the design style of Mega Man, must work together to progress through the game. One character has stronger melee attacks while the other has a ranged blaster cannon to take out enemies from afar.
In The Legend of Darwin, the player must guide the on-screen character through levels full of zombies and other obstacles. Level exits are blocked off by barriers that must be lifted by pressing levers. As the game progresses, new zombie enemies appear with different abilities that require the player to come up with new strategies to get through the levels.
The physics based game known as Tower Defense consists of a series of marbles rolling down the screen while players try to prevent the marbles from reaching the bottom. Life is lost for every marble that makes it to the bottom of the screen and when your life total reaches zero it is game over. To stop the marbles the player must position a series of towers that have different abilities, such as a shooter tower, an area of effect tower and an upgradeable hero tower.
University Adventure is a four-player co-operative action role playing game that has students setting out to retrieve their stolen assignment and guarding against accusations of academic dishonesty before time runs out. Along the way the students are slowed down by enemies such as professors and campus police officers. When an enemy encounter does occur the students must fight to move on. The battles consist of the players inputting button combos to be able to attack followed by button mashing to deal damage. Damage is increased when multiple players achieve the combos in tandem.
Coke Bros. is another two player cooperative platforming shooter starring Coke and Sprite cans that must fight through waves of enemy Pepsi cans. The game allows players to obtain different weapons such as pistols, machine guns and lightsabers to battle the hordes of enemy Pepsi cans. A surprisingly funny boss encounter has the player fighting a Toad throwing Bowser from the Mario universe.
Fuse is space based puzzle game that has players in control of one of three spacecrafts with different abilities. The game has a spaceship starting at the bottom of the screen and requires the player to propel their ship upwards towards the end goal. Along the way there are dangerous obstacles such as stars and black holes. There are also planets and wormholes that the player must utilize to reach the destination. The stars and planets each have a gravitational pull that attract the spaceship. Stars will destroy the ship while the planets allow the ship to orbit and be catapulted further along the level. Wormholes will teleport the ship further into the level while black holes pull the ship in and crush it.
A demo for a game called Dragon RPG, which is a role playing game with a dragon in it, had a top down perspective like that of early Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy games. The player controls a dragon that is able to search the surrounding areas. Through your adventures the dragon encounters random battles with enemies. The dragon’s battle options are attack, fly, run and special. If an enemy is defeated, the player is given the option of refilling the life bar or gaining experience points.
After checking out the demos available at the showcase it is obvious that there are some very talented budding game developers attending the University of Saskatchewan. I look forward to being able to play the games they work on in the future.