The Blog of Ryan Foss

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Archive for January, 2012

Young Ryan and PCs

I love old photos, especially when they are with me and a computer.  Every picture like this captures me in a trance, locked in on the PC with an unmoving gaze that I see in my own children today.   The difference though, I was using DOS while they are making worlds in Minecraft.

I have no idea what I may have been doing in this picture, but I’m guessing I’m around 9 years old.  I was probably playing a game, but its also likely I was playing around in BASIC.

10 Goto 10

Bleep Menu Prototyping

Interactive Unity Menu System Prototype

This is a quick mockup to demonstrate and test out the level menu system for The Bleeps, a mobile game in development with Battery Powered Games. I added the other menu screens to give a complete experience of the UI flow.  I made it to explore the menu design concepts we’ve been discussing, as well as to communicate some of the ideas better than through explanation.

This level selection concept is different than what I would consider the standard model, where the levels are sequentially earned. The concept for The Bleeps connects levels in a more dynamic and selective way. But, this also comes with a potential problem, since a Next Level button doesn’t really make sense any more. How does it feel for a player to go back to the level select screen?

Hungry Monsters Prototype

While on my recent business trip, I spent my time at the airport and on the plane programming a game concept I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: Hungry Monsters (the first prototype). Fair warning, there is no game play yet, but merely a rapid prototype of the game play elements, specifically the resource management of employees, work stations, ammunition and the actual playing field.

Hungry Monsters is very similar to Plants vs. Zombies, but with my own engineering spin on it. What’s different, at least in my design, is that the player will have to decide how to spend their resources differently by running a bakery to provide the food (the ammunition), as well as place weapons to fend off (feed) the onslaught of hungry monsters. Players will have to decide if they place another muffin shooter, an oven, or another employee for instance.

The prototpye at this stage doesn’t allow the player to do anything yet, but was built to allow me to investigate the idea. Through the Unity Editor I’m able to try different combination of things. Considering this took me about 6 hours (built from scratch in airports and on the flight for a recent business trip) I’m pretty happy with the outcome and excited to move on. Please excuse the Microsoft Paint artwork and simple geometry, it is a first pass prototype!

In the next version I hope to have the basic interactive elements working to allow placement of work stations, workers and weapons. (I need a better word for weapons too!)

Booth Bunny Me

I was out of town this last week, employed as a booth bunny for a simulation demonstration we made to showcase a number of our systems. It’s fun and frustrating and exciting and boring, all in one!