A Platypus Tale

This was a game developed in an Advanced Game Development Project course at Case Western Reserve University during the Fall 2011 semester using C#.NET + XNA. The Level Editor was written in parallel using C#.NET/WPF.

Before I talk about the project, feel free to check out a (5 minute) video of me playing level 1: the forest floor. Not much action there, but the game ramps up quickly afterwards.

A Platypus Tale

The class was a little different than most, since it is taught jointly by the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) and CWRU. Students have a good amount of freedom to choose a game style, form teams, structure themselves within the team, and get exactly one semester to write, develop, and finally present the game to a panel of judges from industry (EA or Microsoft).

It was my second time around taking the class, and I didn’t even need the credits to graduate.. Yes, that’s right – countless all-nighters programming, presentations, not to mention coordinating a relatively large team of programmers…for fun.

I served as Technical/Programming co-lead that semester. There were 10 other programmers and a 6-person Art team made mostly of CIA students. The “Story team” was essentially whoever wanted to contribute to the story, and the Music/SFX team was made of myself, the other programming co-lead, one person from the art team, and a dedicated music & sound guy. Patty Ni served as the art team leader, and was responsible for the game aesthetics and much of the environment.

Besides the leadership duties, I personally developed a good deal of the lower-level game engine code, the XML Level Editor (except the XML file writing & parsing), some of the collision system, and miscellaneous bug fixes along the way.

Check out some screenshots from the game – the first few are from Level 1 and can be seen in the gameplay video above, but the others are from levels 2, 3, and 4.

All in all I feel we ended up with a pretty good game. Four complete levels, a ludicrous but compelling story, and some original music to boot. The planned final level never made it in, but adding it is on my very long post-graduation to-do list!