PROJECT NAME: Limbones (Capstone/Thesis)
ROLE: Capstone Adviser
STUDENTS: Lorianne Halago, Cristjan Lazar, Sheryl Lim, Anna Navarro, Erin Yap
INSTITUTION: De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde
WINNER: Best Capstone 1 and People’s Choice Award in Incendium 1 (2014), Philippine Game Festival 2014 Best Gameplay
DOWNLOAD: Limbones

 

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A Team of Rising Stars

I first handled this group in my Game Production class and saw the chemistry in the team. They decided to test this out by joining the Global Game Jam in early 2014 and saw that they had something special. I actually am quite amused with the team’s composition: one very serious programmer guy, one semi-serious but constantly smiling programmer girl, and three very giggly girls. For a while I didn’t know what to make of them

But if there’s one thing this team was very good at, it’s coming up with innovative mechanics. They knew what they could do, and had been very ambitious about it. They actually wanted to do a lot for the game Limbones, like huge worlds with complex puzzles and different themes. The problem with ambitious student projects, however, is that when your thesis coincides with 15 other units of unrelated subjects. Big dreams can easily go crashing down.

The first hurdle came when we realized that we really couldn’t implement a lot of the features come mid term defense and the team actually had gotten a rather painful, cringe-worthy scolding from the defense panel members. With a group as talented and dedicated as this, though, you can always believe that they will come up with something original and worth remembering.

Come Incendium 1, the first thesis exhibit for the Game Design and Development department, Limbones not only got the highest score among the judges, cementing their place as the Best Capstone 1 recipients, they also bagged the People’s Choice Award. Of course the team did not stop there. Limbones was entered into the Game On competition of the Philippine Game Festival 2014 and won Best Gameplay.

Winning at Philippine Game Festival 2014

Winning at Philippine Game Festival 2014

 

Limbones

Applying Robert M. Gagné’s 9 Events of Instruction to game mechanics, the team created Skully, whose body parts can be used to solve various puzzles.

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Meet Skully

Gagné’s posits that:

An instructional plan can generate both appropriate environmental stimuli
and instructional interactions, and thereby bringing about change in the cognitive
structures and operations of the learner.

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Separating body parts in order to solve puzzles.

All 9 Events of Instruction had been used:

  1. Gaining attention (reception)
  2. Informing learners of the objective (expectancy)
  3. Stimulating recall of prior learning (retrieval)
  4. Presenting the stimulus (selective perception)
  5. Providing learning guidance (semantic encoding)
  6. Eliciting performance (responding)
  7. Providing feedback (reinforcement)
  8. Assessing performance (retrieval)
  9. Enhancing retention and transfer (generalization)

Limbones does have a story, but the team focused mostly on gameplay due to time constraints. We only had two months to come up with an innovative game with solid mechanics.

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The story was simple.

The best way to experience this game is to have a controller with you. The devs use an X-Box controller while I use a Logitech one. For those who do not have controllers, here are the keyboard controls:

Alternative Keyboard controls:
A/Left Arrow key – move left
D/Right Arrow key – move right
W/Up Arrow key – move up (for arm only)
S/Down Arrow key – move down (for arm only)

SPACE – Jump/Let go(for arm only)
E – activate lever
K – Connect Body part
J – detach arm
I – detach head
L – detach leg
P – Pause
Enter/Return – Confirm(for Main Menu and Pause Menu)/Exit Image
Esc – go back to main menu/pause menu (for gallery only)

This project was supposed to be in the one year game development program (Spark) of our department. The team, however, decided that they wanted to work on a new game come Capstone 2. Limbones’ success in and out of the school made the next project quite a daunting task. But that’s another tale that I will tell on another day.

Credits

Programmers: CJ Lazar and Anna Navarro
Artists: Yoyi Halago and Sheryl Lim
Sound Designer: Erin Yap

Other resources:
freesound.org
incompetech.com/music
freesfx.co.uk
soundjay.com