Assignment 4: Make Something Entertaining
World Title: Off Road Grand Prix
Project Length: Two Weeks
Producer/Sound: Eric Keylor
Modeler: Fang-Wei Lee
Painter: Demetrius Jordan
In the past, the assignment for round four has traditionally been "tell a story." However, since people were not only working in VR but also on the Jam-o-drum, with Sony Aibo dogs, and with our in-house robot Quasi, it was expanded to simply "make something entertaining." Back on the Jam-o-drum, I wanted to try to make something that would be fun for people sitting in a bar to do as part of the experience of hanging out in a group. The answer was Off Road Grand Prix, a close remake of the classic Iron Man Stewart's Offroad Challenge arcade game.
This was by far my favorite project of the course, mostly because of my team, which was amazing. We all worked together very well and came up with a great game. I also got to flex my programming muscles a little by creating a simple vehicle physics system that worked with Panda's decidedly lackluster collision detection. I had to work really long hours on this project, but the result was worth it when it was called "one of the most polished BVW projects ever" by the professor.
We knew we had a winner during testing when people just did not want to leave it alone, including Mike West from Disney Imagineering who came by to see it multiple times during his tour. There was also a group of fifth graders around who tried it and loved it. It was one of the more heartwarming moments in my life when one of them told me "I don't even care if I'm winning, this is just so fun that I want to play." It was a moment that affirmed why I want to go into video games in the first place. This project was displayed with the Jam-o-drum at IAAPA, and while I did not get to go on that trip, the reports came back that it was a big hit among people who stopped at our booth.