Well, Matt and I got the Santa vs. the Snow Monsters game done with only moments to spare before its unveiling at our training-slash-white-elephant-gift-meeting today over the lunch hour. Literally, in the last minutes before showtime, we were slapping in the last Santa sounds and snow monster belchy noises, which I didn't even test before throwing the game on a thumb drive and heading upstairs to the room.
But it seems like the game was a big hit. It didn't crash (yay!), and we had some stellar performances on the dance mat as people battled the snow monsters with their feet. The high score went to Gerritt, who dominated the other scores by a whole degree of magnitude, with a final score of 114. People seemed to like watching the game as well as playing, because there were lots of oohs, ahhs, clapping and cheering going on, so I think we had a real winner. I even had people asking for copies of the game for themselves or their kids.
More importantly, though, was the fact that Matt and I got to bust out some game-design-fu on a simple, short deadline. With the help of his graphics, we managed to work together to create something that really worked and looked great in short order - a complete 3D game that looks like we spent a lot more than a few days on it. And Matt and I seem to have a similar philosophy and sense for game design. As we bounced ideas off of each other, we quickly hit on a final idea that just seemed to click well, and Matt's sense of presentation added a whole level of style to the game. With him doing the graphics, I can concentrate on developing the gameplay. It's a clean, streamlined way to go about making the game.
This makes me much more optimistic about the Pirates project - with this test under our belts, we now know what it takes to produce good, fun Shockwave3D content, and the look is such a winner that I think we now know what our game is going to look like. Matt's charming graphics, applied to an entire game, is going to bring our educational games to a whole new level. I can't wait to get started!