PORTFOLIO testes YAELLE

Group Project

Made in between March 2011 and June 2011

The game was made in 3 months with 3 other people to participate in the Windows Imagine Cup. We got through to the semi-finals with 50 teams, out of 400 contestants from all over the world. But sadly we did not make it to the finals (5 contestants). Team members:

  1. Pol Kuijken
  2. Charlotte Vanroelen
  3. Hannes Devillé

Platforms

The game can be played on Windows/Xbox360 and windows Phone 7 (with exception of the shaders).

Synopsis

Yaelle is a game about a little girl who finds out that, in her world, girls and women don't have many rights, only boring obligations and restrictions. She wants to live a normal life, get some education but all of this is prohibited by the elite regime ruled by the emperor.

So she decides to disguise herself as a boy and try it anyway...

XNA

The game was made in C# with use of the game development API for Xbox, windows and windows phone 7 called XNA. Want to know more about XNA, look here. There is a big community who has posted lots of examples to get started real quickly.

Programmers with experience in C++ will find it very easy to learn and adapt to C#. It is a language without real pointers and garbage collection (object removal to avoid memory leaks) is done for you! In that sense it looks a bit like java (on which it was actually based, but lets not go there).

Imagine Cup

With this game we made it to the semi-finals of the Imagine Cup (link), an event organised by the friendly people of Microsoft to give students a chance to make something beautiful with their products and at the same time sensitize the world about poverty, child hunger, aids and environmental issues.

What I Did?

  1. Importing and playing animations.
  2. Implemented a waypoint system for the guards and npc's.
  3. Complete City-design, gameplay-flow.
  4. Shader-programming: dual-texture shader, river-panning, post-processing.
  5. Shadows with lightbaking in 3dsMax.
  6. Implemented actions: climbing ladders, jumping rocks.
  7. Animations of a few characters.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED

This was one of my biggest projects until now. So obviously a big source of experience. Next to managing a project for a longer timespan it was also the first time we had to build the engine from almost nothing. Previously I developed with existing engines such as CryEngine 3, UDK and Unity but to meet the requirements to participate in the Microsoft Imagine Cup we had to work with XNA. XNA allows development for Xbox360, Windows and Windows Phone7.

This was my first proper encounter with C# but knowing in depth C++ I must say the transfer went very smoothly.

What I learned in C#:

  1. Fields, properties, methods, attributes.
  2. Containers
  3. Serialisation, IO.

In XNA:

  1. Main game loop.
  2. Use of Farseer Physics Engine (build on Box2D).
  3. Playing animations with a skinning-shader.
  4. Writing HLSL .fx shaders (not supported on Windows Phone 7). Water-shader, dual-texture shader for floor.
  5. AI-system for guards (waypoint-system).

In general:

  1. Leveldesign, making the flow of the city interesting (done in 3dsMax).
  2. Maxscript: tools for easily exporting the level from 3dsMax to XNA (since we didn't make a level-editor).
  3. Animation: I improved my animation-skills in max (own made rig).
  4. Improved team-management capabilities.
  5. Video editing: The trailer edit (Premiere).