LEVELS Won an Award! …Kinda

What’s the best time to write a blog post? 5 AM after you spent all night trying to put a trailer together, obviously.

Hey, remember LEVELS? That game I mentioned in my last post that I threw together last minute for an academic conference? You remember. It was the one whose concept was so bad that I almost scrapped the whole thing? Yeah, that’s the one.

I won money for that. Go figure.

To be more precise, I got third prize in a poster presentation contest at the previously mentioned academic conference.

inked pacise poster.jpg
Since the theme of this week is “low resolution” (foreshadowing), Here’s a definitely-not-intentionally jpg’d picture of me looking uncomfortably enthusiastic about my poster. Yes, I did lose weight. Thank you for noticing.

So, since that’s hopefully too blurry to read, here are some updates on where I went with LEVELS’ design:

Last month I realized that my original design produced a “limited puzzle space,” in that it was a puzzle the same way diet soda is a healthy alternative to water. So, rather than work with two unrelated mazes, the player now moves mazes that collide and intersect with each other. While it feels less unique, this design choice widely expands the breadth of what I can do.

Additionally, and for the first time, I’ve implemented dynamic music in the game. It’s something that I have been wanting to try for a while after my history of scoring other people’s games, and luckily for me Unity has a very easy-to-use audio mixer that allowed me to achieve a basic version of the effect fairly well. It also helped that LEVELS has discrete transitions between, well, the levels, and that makes it almost painfully easy to add tracks as the player progresses.

That’s more or less where the game stands so far. I was hoping to get away with abandoning it, but unfortunately the praise I got from PACISE has resulted in it being our entry for TooManyGames this year so I’m afraid I’ll have to finish it. Darn.

Since we’re using it as our entry to get in to TMG, this week I’ve had to put together a 15-30s trailer for it. Naturally, I got distracted by actual schoolwork and completely forgot about it until about 8 hours ago (That’s around 9PM, for those keeping track at home). Now, not many people know this, but I used to be a Film major before I switched to Computer Science, so I fancy myself a pretty darn good director/editor in a pinch. Unfortunately, I’m also extremely stupid when I stay up late, so I recorded all my footage in an absurdly low resolution and I’m in so deep now that I’m afraid to try and reshoot it. In short, here’s the trailer, and tomorrow when I watch it I’ll probably cringe and insist on redoing the whole thing. Weep for me.

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