Issue #3: Art and ImpactJS
Feedback and Game Direction
We’ve had a few meetings this week to discuss our game ideas and the game mechanics. The first meeting was with our TA-2 partner to pick which theme our team would go with for the game’s development. The consensus amongst TA-2 was the theme based on the outback, as it lends itself to many possibilities and fun mechanics, while still feeling like the game takes place in the real world. For the scientific inquiry, there are quite a few ideas floating around about how to tackle it, such as having the children experiment with isolated variables as they progress so they can understand how each factors into balance.
We also had a meeting with Anthony Daniels on Wednesday to pitch our game mechanics and ideas. He seemed to really like the ideas we have currently and gave us a few suggestions on how to really play up the drama and the tension. He made the point that once the “beam” is balanced, that it will become unbalanced once they try to cross, and that we need to make this a very fun part of the game. It could be something like once it’s unbalanced, the users have to jump/slide off the beam to the other side, or they have to play “leap frog” in order to make it safely across. We’re not sure how many levels our game will be, so he made a comment that we want to keep it from getting too repetitive, which is something we’re keeping in mind.
Art Pipeline for ImpactJS
Since we’re using ImpactJS, a fairly new game development tool, we were a bit concerned about the art pipeline process. We talked to a team from the last semester who used ImpactJS and they said there was a lot of hurdles to jump through in order to get animation into their game. ImpactJS uses sprite sheets to play animations and previously, artists would have to use a 3rd party program in order to generate the sprite sheet. However, in Flash CS6, an artist can export animations directly into a sprite sheet format for ImpactJS. We did a quick test of this and were able to have a simple character done in Flash loop in ImpactJS. This is a very good step in our project, as we’ve tackled one of our biggest concerns. To the right, you’ll see images of the animation in ImpactJS!.