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Educational Feature: 48-Hour Development Contest Part IV 2

The University of Michigan hosts an annual game development challenge, in which small teams of students have 48 hours to develop a game. GameCareerGuide.com is running an exclusive series written by contestants about making a game in just two days. In
The University of Michigan hosts an annual game development challenge, in which small teams of students have just 48 hours to develop a video game. GameCareerGuide.com is running an exclusive series written by the contestants about their experience making a game in just two days. In the final article, Part IV, we meet the team who doesn’t know who Stephen Colbert is -- unfortunately, he’s central to the contest’s theme! Michael Butler is one of the team members. When the theme ‘Honoring Stephen Colbert’ is announced, Butler suddenly realizes that neither he nor his teammates know who Stephen Colbert is: “The contest theme is revealed to be ‘Honoring Stephen Colbert.’ Our sentiments are best described in the words of my team member Emeric: ‘Who is Stephen Colbert?’ None of us has any real knowledge of Stephen Colbert other than that he has a television show, The Colbert Report, and was the voice of some characters on Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law. Although we’re displeased and confused that the theme is not more general, we begin brainstorming and researching. 8:30 p.m. After brainstorming we come up with a couple of ideas. One idea is to make a game in which a crazed Colbert fanatic tries to increase the ratings for The Colbert Report by setting all the televisions in electronics stores to the channel playing the show. The store employees will constantly try to turn the televisions back to their original stations and catch the hooligan who is making them do more work. Another idea we have is based on Stephen Colbert’s fear of bears, which we learned during a brief bit of web research. Colbert will be attacked by many different kinds of bears, and he must shoot and kill the bears chasing him. The animals used to be humans but were changed into bears due to some hand-waving biological weapon, and they want to turn Colbert into a bear as well. This game would be a top-down shooter with many levels and different kinds of guns. Of our two ideas, the bear shooting game sounds like more fun. We get to work. As Colbert escapes the bear attacks, he will inch closer and closer to the White House. If he wins the final stage, he will become President of the United States. Surely giving Colbert the presidency constitutes ‘honoring’ him. 10:30 p.m. Emeric leaves because he needs to catch a bus to get home for the night. Meanwhile, Adam and I have gotten a simple move-and-shoot game up and running. We might want to fix the shooting angle such that he shoots toward where we click on the screen, rather than some other angle based on where we click on the screen. I start by making a generic bear that will chase and maul our beloved hero. Once I get this up and running, I can work on randomizing where the bear appears on the edge, and then start on the different types of bears. I really like the idea of having a ninja bear, a pirate bear, and a Secret Service bear.” To read more about Butler’s development, and see a screenshot with a Ninja bear, read Part IV of the 48-Hour Development Contest series on GameCareerGuide.com.

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