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Thursday, May 19, 2005

GAME ON: THE BOARD

(Another featured game for SL-E3-- background here.)

Developer Tiger Crossing on his team's game:

Imagine an ancient artifact, a pair of hinged wooden shingles like a book with intricate designs carved on the inside. Imagine two children finding it and thinking it looks like an unfinished board game. Imagine their crayons, scavenged bits of other games, and the first roll of the dice...

The artifact from an evil past has awakened and taken over. And now it is up to you and your friends to save the children, the town, and everyone in it. But you are playing by The Board's rules, and friends may not stay friends for long. And yet... Rules are rules, and even The Board is bound by the theme imposed by the innocent children. Evil... Candyland?

Freely walk the pathways of The Board, complete quests and tasks to open new avenues, search out the hidden secrets and rules, play mini-games along the way, and free the captured townfolk and, ultimately, the children themselves.

Tiger Crossing on The Board's key features:

The look of The Board is a large part of the immersion factor. It needs to look like a boardgame exploded and incorporated an entire town. Even the people. There's a ton of building and art to get done. (The screenshots here are mere stand-in art, only a very small portion will still be in use by the end of development.)

Tiger Crossing on the biggest challenges in creating The Board:

The pathways need to track the players' movements. Not an easy task with hundreds of spaces ranged all around in 3D. Add in NPC elements that roam the board freely, which also need to be tracked, and there's a lot going on in there. The biggest challenge is to get all this working with as little impact on performance as possible. The solution: re-write, test, re-write, test, re-write... Make every element as efficient as possible. When it's this big, you HAVE to.

"The original story (no longer accurate) was created when the contest was announced and can be seen here," Tiger adds. "As the game progresses, this will be replaced with more up-to-date information."

Posted at 11:30 PM | Permalink

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