Logo Copyright 2012 Lumberjack Commandos
FIREWALL is the game I worked on for my Senior Design Sequence at University of California, Santa Cruz. My primary role was a co-lead engine programmer, where we built the entire engine from scratch in C#/XNA 4.0. Later on in the quarter, aside from engine optimizations such as re-writing our raycasting engine and threading our asset loading, I spent a lot of time working on User Interface programming and improving the visual feedback. Below is a small bit of whiteboard work I did for the raycasting, to give you a tiny sample of some of the things I did.
The three-quarter long design sequence at UC Santa Cruz is an intensive capstone class for the Bachelor of Science: Game Design degree program. The first quarter is spent making numerous game pitches and prototypes (both digital and physical) in an effort to be greenlit at the end of the quarter. The school brings in a panel of industry and indie developers to judge the games, and based on the game concepts and presentations, decide who gets the green light. Once greenlit, teams begin the two month long development cycle.
My team consisted of eleven engineers and numerous artists. The team, codenamed The Lumberjack Commandos, quickly organized and conquered the difficult task of planning a full fledged game. We used an agile development process known as "SCRUM", and several of us were lucky enough to have had extensive experience beforehand.
The first sprint was one of the most challenging we encountered during the entire project. Our first task was to plan our entire codebase using UML and sequence diagramming. As tedious and seemingly boring as it was to do, it helped us out immensely in the coming weeks. It was remarkable how quickly and efficiently one can program when using a UML diagram as a guide.
To give people an understanding of what a typical day during our crunch week was like, I stuck my GoPro camera to the door (the best surface to mount it on) to make a time lapse video. This is only about 7 hours of our 15 hour work day.