Thursday, February 5, 2009

You're It

Well, this makes for an unexpectedly smooth transition from yesterday, which is particularly convenient because, in fact, I meant to write about it more than a week ago.

Fortunately, I came across an article today that reminded me that this year's Independent Games Festival finalists were recently chosen, and, once again, my school has a game in the Student Showcase.

The game is Tag: The Power of Paint. You can click that link to go to the game's official site, where you can download it for free, but I'll warn you that you need a pretty decent computer. It runs on mine, but it's a little slow. I've tried playing it several times on the computers at my school, but they can't quite handle it, and always succumb to weird bugs and crashes. If you can't get it to run, or just don't care enough to try, you can also click "Media" and watch a video that shows the game being played from start to finish.

Truthfully, I couldn't even get through the video. The game's pace is a little slow and uneven, playing it is somewhat disorienting and nauseating, and I simply can't figure out why it's supposed to be more fun to paint a green spot on the ground, step on it, and fly through the air than to just hit a button and jump.

For those of you who haven't clicked any of the links, here's how it works. You're an anonymous someone stuck in an anonymous gray city with a gun that shoots paint. Step on green paint, and you jump. Step on red paint, you run. Step on blue paint, you stick, allowing you to cling to the sides of buildings or hang upside-down from ceilings. Use all three in combination to navigate the rooftops and reach a certain point in each level.

It's not my thing, though it's pretty impressive for a student game. The reason it matters to me, though, is that it's just one more success that's come out of DigiPen. Another IGF winner, another article about the games coming out of my school. Most of my school's success stories can be attributed to the fact that there's no real competition. There simply aren't any other schools that offer real degrees in gamemaking. Whatever the reason, there are successes at DigiPen, and this game, regardless of my opinion, gives me a little more hope that my degree is going to be worth something.

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