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DaedHead8 avatar 12:39 PM on 08.03.2011  (server time)

Everyone's excited to celebrate mah birthday!

So I just got off the phone with Obama, who had just gotten off the phone with several other world leaders. It seems they all agree that we need a summer holiday that rivals the birth of Jesus and they decided my birthday was the perfect choice. I can't say I blame them. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!! WOOT!

All joking aside, it is my birthday today. I turned a quarter century old today and I'm feeling pretty good. I don't really have any vidya related plans for my birthday nor did I receive any awesome vidya related presents (yet) so for my birthday post today, I thought I'd share the game prototype I helped create in my Game Dev II class last semester.

The game is called Season of Thorns and I promised to get it to you guys months ago but I never followed through, for that I am sorry. The reason it took me this long is because I had planned on writing up a big blog post explaining everything about the game, from how to play it to how I went about creating it. Unfortunately I just do not have the time for that. I started another project for school which has been dominating my summer. My new project is an adventure game that aims to teach its players Mandarin Chinese. This is a very exciting project for me because not only do I love adventure games, but I also am very passionate about education reform using video games. I am also extremely fortunate to be working under the leadership of Lee Sheldon, a professor at RPI who is at least famous enough to have his own wikipedia page. However the coolest part of this project is that the game will take place in what is known as "The Cave": A 40x40 foot room with screens on all 4 walls. That's right, this game will immerse you in a virtual reality recreation of China in order to teach you the language. How cool is that?

Anyway you can download Season of Thorns here. Extract the .rar, open the folder and click on seasons.exe in order to play. Fair warning: The game is very glitchy, the animations that you see aren't final and they tend to glitch a lot. In addition to that the movement isnt as smooth as we would have liked it. Here are the controls: WASD moves your characters, 1234 switches between the 4 characters, the left mouse buttons fires off a spell and the right mouse button allows you to switch between spells.

Here's a few hints to get you started: The round torches you see on the ground throughout the environment automatically teleport the ladies to your current position when you get close to them. This can be very handy when entering a new area but also very annoying if you have placed your ladies in a spot they need to stay in to complete the current puzzle. So steer clear of the torches unless you actually want all 4 ladies in the same spot. The first puzzle involves placing the 4 ladies on 4 switches at once, causing a bridge to appear to a previously inaccessible area. The second puzzles involves putting one of your ladies on a special platform and somehow levitating her up to the second set of spells. This game is very challenging in the sense that we don't tell you at all what to do, but if you explore and experiment enough, you'll find your way. Since I didn't write an all inclusive blog post about the game, I promise to keep a close eye on the comments and answer any questions you all might have. Good luck everybody!

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