Breakin' Battle posted 3/10 at 10:54:40 PM PST by Mason McCuskey
Essential Tools:VC++, DirectX, 3DSMAX
Development Time:2.5 months
The easiest way I can describe Breakin' Battle is a bit like Dance Dance Revolution, only with breakdancing. This doesn't sound like it should work, but it does. I played Breakin' Battle on the show floor of the GDC and was surprised at how engaging it is, mainly due to its unique control scheme. It's freestyle - the game doesn't tell you which directions to push to pull off certain moves - it's all up to you. However, you must constantly press the spacebar to the beat of the music. This leads to sequences of keystrokes like "space - up - space - down - space - left - space - right," which is actually pretty hard to do in sync with the music. Once you find the groove though, it's fun to watch your character tear it up! Breakin' Battle comes with three unique environments, each with their own music.
Crazy Cross posted 3/10 at 10:54:55 PM PST by Mason McCuskey
Essential Tools:VC++, OpenGL, 3DSMAX
Development Time:2 semesters
Crazy Cross is a full RPG (we're talking 600 MB of assets!) parodying practically every popular RPG currently out there. Prime targets include FF7, Chrono Trigger, Super Metroid, Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Solid, and Chrono Cross - the game is literally packed full of references and genuinely-funny inside jokes to fans of these games. The storyline is so bizarre I'm not even going to try and explain it here, but suffice it to say that before the game has ended you will have defeated Gill Bates, spent some quality time with the Afro Pope, journeyed into the depths of both space and the Vietnam jungle, and found an all-important magic Staple Remover. Don't believe me? Download the demo for yourself!
Doggone Catastrophe posted 3/10 at 10:55:17 PM PST by Mason McCuskey
Development Time:3 months
Another great game using animals as its characters, Doggone Catastrophe is an action game placing you, the player, as the leader of the Canine Alliance. Your job is to restore peace to the neighborhood by freeing the Chihuahuas trapped in cages by the evil SuperCat and his alliance of house cats. The game is written entirely in Java, and to me felt a little bit like retro Gauntlet, with its overhead interface and large maps.
Gates of Temlahah posted 3/10 at 10:55:54 PM PST by Mason McCuskey
Essential Tools:C++ / OpenGL
Development Time:8 months
Gates of Temlahah gets the award for best visual effect of the Student Showcase. Essentially, it's a 3D action game (using an engine developed from the ground up) based on Native American folklore. As Jaleck, you have the ability to leave your body and possess the flora and fauna of the world. The cool visual effect comes when you leave your body - the entire screen changes into a bizarre blur effect, similar to scenes in Lord of the Rings. Very cool.
Mall Monster posted 3/10 at 10:56:10 PM PST by Mason McCuskey
Essential Tools:C++ / DirectDraw / DirectSound / WinSock
Development Time:2 semesters
Mall Monster is a very good example of how a game can be full of suspense. In the game, you play a boy trapped in a mall after dark. Your goal is to make it out of the mall, however, somewhere in the mall is a monster, who is tracking you by the sounds you make. Step on a piece of bubble wrap, and the monster draws near - grab some fluffy slippers, and the monster can't hear your footsteps as well. What's fascinating about this game is that you never actually see the monster. When he draws near, your heart rate speeds up, and your only option is to close your eyes and hope he goes away.
The Adventures of Giuseppi and Mr. Fez: Enemy Mime posted 3/10 at 10:46:48 PM PST by Mason McCuskey
Essential Tools:VC++, OpenGL, JAVA, Maya
Development Time:3 months
Proving that great puzzle games can be made in three months, and also winning the award for the most creative use of a monkey at the 2003 Student Showcase, is The Adventures of Giuseppi and Mr. Fez: Enemy Mime. A fully 3D puzzle game revolving around a man and his monkey, Enemy Mime puts you in control of both Mr. Fez (the monkey) and Giuseppi. Mr. Fez is responsible for manipulating all objects in the game world, but must stay within earshot of Giuseppi's music. Play through numerous puzzles in the game, or use the Java-based level editor to make your own challenges.
Toy Trouble posted 3/10 at 10:56:30 PM PST by Mason McCuskey
Essential Tools:Visual Basic / DirectX
Development Time:2 years
The developers of Toy Trouble described their game to me as a combination of Tekken, Quake, and Micro Machines, and I think that description concisely captures what this game is all about. You play a little robot (15-22 cm tall!), battling it out with other little robots in kitchens, living rooms, and other household arenas. Your weapons consist of the usual FPS fare, as well as CD shooters and ping-pong ball guns. You can play 2 player split screen, as well as over the network, in seven different rooms, and with one of four different characters. All in all, it's a fun little action game.
Valence posted 3/10 at 10:56:49 PM PST by Mason McCuskey
Essential Tools:VC++ / DirectX
Development Time:1 year
Valence is a surprisingly-addictive puzzle game where your job is to join atoms into molecules consisting of a particular number and color of atoms. The game has a realistic physics engine, which adds a lot to the gameplay; instead of just pointing and clicking to join atoms, you must pull the atoms until they're close enough to be joined, and as you pull, realistic spring physics swing the atom around your mouse cursor and bounce it off other atoms. For an added twist, as you get further in the game, viruses appear and sever the connections you've worked so hard to make, and antiviruses show up to eat the viruses.
Vektor Space posted 3/10 at 10:57:03 PM PST by Mason McCuskey
Essential Tools:VC++ / DirectX / 3DSMAX
Development Time:6 months
Brought to you by the same core group of people that brought you T.H.U.G.S at least year's Student Showcase, Vektor Space, put simply, is a souped-up 3D version of Tron. You battle it out against AIs or human players (over the network) in an arena. Every player has a vehicle (called a Vektor), and the object is to drive your opponents' vehicles into a wall or into another vehicle's flux stream. This sounds easy, but the game's wicked-smart AI makes it anything but. I was humbled and humiliated repeatedly by the AI when I played, but it was still fun.
Zwischenzug posted 3/10 at 10:57:16 PM PST by Mason McCuskey
Essential Tools:Darkbasic / 3DSMAX
Development Time:3 years
Zwischenzug gets the award for the most surreal game of the Student Showcase. In this game, you play a spidery-looking character who must jump around a surreal arena, battle giant chess pieces, and hunt for the transporters that take you out of one level and into the next. The 3rd-person style 3D graphics are good, and Zwischenzug also sports a wide variety of weapons you can use to knock the chess pieces off the map, as well as a cool bullet-time feature that lets you slow down the action.