So, I started my final year at university 3 weeks ago, and because of the lectures, the “getting used to the timetable” phase, and my most excellent 22nd birthday when the first episode of Red Dwarf X was played AND where I played in a casino for the first time and won £35 in one bet on the roulette table, ULSG V14′s progress has pretty much frozen.
It might stay that way for a while, sadly. However, there’s a small chance that I will be pretty much forced to work on it.
We’ve had to come up with an idea for an individual project for our final year. Straight away – problem! I I have almost no ability to come up with new ideas. That’s the work of a designer. I’m a programmer. I’m a creator, not an innovator. So, I wrote down whatever new ideas I could think of, and any ideas I already had. I came up with Dragon Storm, Mr. Physics Man and Ultimate Lame Ship Game V14. Nothing new.
I immediately kicked Dragon Storm out – that’s gonna be my bigass best project ever, so I’m gonna have to be more confident in my abilities first, and I don’t think I have enough time to do it as my individual project, anyway. I also kicked Mr. Physics Man out, because I think that idea actually has promise on the mobile market, and I’m not sure if I’m allowed to make it as a uni project, then sell it afterwards.
So, I was left with ULSG V14. I’ve been really wanting to start this – the to-do list I’ve written for it is so huge, and it just keeps getting bigger. In fact, have a look if you want. (Warning: huge spoilers. ) It’s an XPS file, so you’ll need an XPS viewer – Windows 7 users can probably open it no problem. I reckoned I could get it at least near-complete in the time I have, but it didn’t really meet the requirements. It needs to be innovative, solve some sort of problem and have some technical underpinning. So I’ve been sat for two weeks with only one idea that I knew wouldn’t be accepted.
Only this week, the last week we have to decide, did the possible solution hit me… I realised that I personally don’t know of any shmup that allows more than two player multiplayer over the Internet. In fact, I can only think of one shmup that allows more than two players, and that’s Platypus II, which still only allows three, and only on the same machine. So, I used that as my “problem this project should solve” argument. The game itself is pretty big and technical, but this realisation also gave me one technical aspect to focus on – the networking. It also solved the innovation problem – it’d be one of very few 4-player co-op shmups that can be played either locally or over the Internet. Three Failiens with one Nuke.
So, I sent a quick e-mail to Duke, one of my potential supervisors, about the idea, and he seemed to like it, dropping a few ideas along with the feedback. Now a little more reassured it wouldn’t be immediately rejected, I wrote and submitted a quite good proposal. Maybe, JUST maybe, it’ll be accepted. And if that’s the case, YES. I will HAVE to spend time on V14, and I can guarantee that an alpha/beta WILL be released in about 27 weeks. My fingers are crossed.
If it is accepted, I will get a new blog running straight away, and I’ll make sure to post regular updates about ULSG V14 to that. If it’s not accepted, well… damn. I’m probably gonna be assigned a project, and it’ll probably be something crappy like using a Kinect or whatever.
I’ll let y’all know what happens.