Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Looking Back from Home

The portion of the EMC team that traveled to Saint Lucia this past week has returned to Vermont. Our tests went well on our game being created with PMC and sponsored by the UNFPA. When I returned it was wonderful to be back in the crisp, snowy air of Vermont.
However our team shall not soon forget Saint Lucia. If you weren't able to follow our activities there pleas visit our sister blog: . Tonight as a final gift before the new year, I would like to post images that our EMC students, Ray McCarthy-Bergeron and volunteer photographer Jim Reda shot in Saint Lucia. Without further adieu here are the pics.
All our group shots are by Jim.

Jaden. Photo by Mollie Coons.

Football is life. Photo by Ann DeMarle.

Life: cars, goats, bars, and the internet. Photo by Jim Reda.

Light at Piton. Photo by Ray McCarthy-Bergeron.

Careful he bites: Alex. Photo by Ray McCarthy-Bergeron.

Photo by Joel Pelletier.

Jim with EC currency. Photo by Ray McCarthy-Bergeron.

Joel and Alex strategize pre-pizza at Dominos. Photo by Ann DeMarle.

Steve Beaulieu pulls an all-nighter finalize code before the tests.
Photo by Ray McCarthy-Bergeron

Enjoying the game tests. Photo by Steven Beaulieu.

Sunset. Photo by Alison Seffels.

Alex joins the impromptu football match at Vieux Fort. Photo by Amanda Jones.

Food Q ad A testing by Alison. Photo by Ray McCarthy-Bergeron.

The state of affairs. Photo by Ann DeMarle.

Volcanic boulders in the Caribbean. Photo by Ann DeMarle.

Ray plays king of the mountain. Photo by Ann DeMarle.

Hey Mikey, they like it! Photo by Ann DeMarle.

I say hello. Mollie and Dan. Photo by Ann DeMarle.

We are all in it together, we are sleepless at JFK. Photo by Ann DeMarle

Steve, Joel and Amanda at the Line on the Bay. Photo by Ann DeMarle.

Sunset and boat. Photo by Ray McCarthy-Bergeron.

Gateway. Photo by Ray McCarthy-Bergeron.

Me by Ray McCarthy-Bergeron

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mad with Activity

The Emergent Media Center at Champlain College has been mad with activity this last month- as I know many of you may have been as well. Students are working hard towards finals and those on the UN project to end violence against women have also been insanely working to complete the rough cut version of Episode I by the first of the year! Monday morning at 5:30AM, 12 of the 38+ team flew to St. Lucia to test the episode with 4 school groups in St. Lucia – down by Venezuela. I’ve personally been winterizing my home, packing for 80 degree weather, trying to get some holiday shopping done, and preparing proposals to continue funding the project. YIKES – it is a wonder we are all still sane!

Follow our progress in St. Lucia on our other blog at:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Crunch Time before Christmas

Excuse a bit of copy and paste from our other blog but part of it is so relevant here:
"In the game industry "crunch time" is the "critical period of time in which it is neccesary to work hard and fast" usually before a final milestone or shipping. Here's a link to a fun definition in Urban Dictionary, read the first one: "
That is where we are at at the EMC this week through the holidays - or holly daze in this case. Students and faculty are busy due to the end of semester usual - you know final classes, papers, projects, exams! All crunched in with travel plans and end of year events but here we have even more on top of all the normal.

So just a bit of the highlights: We are promised to deliver Episode I of our game designed to address violence against women suitable for testing by the end of this month. At the same time, it is finals and the holiday season here. Everything is in high gear. The art team has planned a mass render of the poses and animations to be completed by early next week (did I mention they are still producing the poses and animations), the narrative team is realigning the storyline to encompasses a revised and powerful dynamic based on a conversation with UNFPA this week, the programmers will be incorporating the rendered art into the episode and the UI and storyboard team are pushing to get those designs completed as well. The marketing team is meeting with pros from game companies (EA,A2M) and the awesome design firm JDK to complete their market plan. The testing team is getting us set to travel to St. Lucia THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS to test the complete (cross my fingers) Episode I. Twelve of us fly out on the 14th return the 20th (not on a sleigh with reindeers either...when will we complete our holiday shopping? ).

On other fronts,the Masie team from Learning 2009 is packaging up assets so that they can be distributed to and shared by the Masie Consortium, VT Archelogy Museum is wrapping up, and the Info Lit team is reconstructing assets into Unity for potential delivery via iPhone.

All the while Sarah, Ray, Lauren, Ken and myself are completing everything else that goes hand in glove with this - proposals, year-end financials, server issues, planning (more in another post), industry visits (Microsoft and 38Studios), hosting an event on campus about violence against women, and presenting to the Dwight Asset Management to thank them for their support of the UN project.

Oh and one cool thing to share, we are in this month's Southwest Air's inflight magazine Spirit. Here's a link to the article written by Jay Heinrichs:
I love this quote from it:
"’s as close to heaven as a geek or gamer can get: dozens of high-end workstations, a conference room with Play-Doh for 3-D doodling, a big flat screen with a couch for game playing, and a disco ball for impromptu dancing."
Now all we need is Jack Skellington, Sally and Jack's dog Zero to serenade us through crunch!