Education


22 Sep 2009
Monsteca Corral

Greetings

me

me

This Blog documents the development of Onteca’s current project, a game called “Monsteca Corral” for the Nintendo Wii.
A bit of housekeeping first though.

My Name is Phill Hetherington
I’m a 29 year old junior 3d artist on a 3 month work placement here at Onteca.
Being the office junior, I have something of a unique perspective on the new game, since I know almost nothing about programming, not a massive amount about 3d graphics in games. And until recently nothing about the new game, and the world of Monsteca.
The team are 24 months into the development, and so are nearing the end. It’s a shame that I wasn’t here to document the project from start to finish, but I’ll do my level best to get you up to speed. I have to confess, I’m not sure what I’m going to talk about, but I suspect it’ll be a mix of technical stuff, as I learn about it, as well as some of the marketing stuff, and most likely some completely unrelated stuff.
I hope (whoever you are)that you enjoy reading it, and perhaps find it a useful or interesting source of info.
You can get in touch with me via phill@onteca.com or reply here . I’ll be grateful for your feedback, suggestions, insults and what have you.

25 Feb 2009
Liberatis – an early alpha version of an MMO produced by a group of Young People

Onteca is proud to announce the unveiling of a playable Alpha of our Mediabox Project, ‘Liberatis’ (a name thought of by a young person working on the project). This is an MMO created by young people, for young people. It involves some violence, within a Tolkienesque ‘fantasy’ setting, because that is what the young people called for. It is still at an early test stage, but is playable.

Given the theme ‘Freedom’ this is what a group of 14-19 year olds came up with

A screenshot from liberatis

A screenshot from liberatis

Over 50 young people worked for four months to make this game. First the young people planned out an overall story, a premise, a series of characters and detailed paper-based maps and Level Design Documents for each section . Next they had to painstakingly learn the skills they would need: Maya to create the 3D assets; Photoshop to create the mood-boards and textures; the Torque level editor to create landscapes full of trees, mountains, valleys and towns in which the game could be played. Onteca provided support and training at every step.

Onteca then worked on integrating all these elements into a playable game, to the design of the young people and under the direction of their representatives.

Some of the most academically inclined young people on Merseyside worked alongside young people from a local Special School who had learning disabilities. Everyone addressed themselves to the same tasks and were expected to prodice the same results. Sometimes the young people would work alongside each other, sometimes they would split into school and project based groups. Standards were high across the range of schools, with genuine talent and IT ability coming from all groups involved.

Areas worked in were amonst the most economically disadvantaged in the country. That said, the young people who involved themselves in this project were eager, polite and creative. Hopefully, they will learn from being part of the making of Liberatis, and consider a career in the North West’s still healthy Games Industry.

Thanks to all the young people involved, and Onteca hopes you like the game you helped create.

An alpha version of the game is available to download here to install it, just download and run.

if you get an error message mentioning python when running the game on certain versions of vista you will need to run the game as an administrator

17 Feb 2009
Game Creation teaches Young People – New York and Wirral

Over on Boing Boing, my own favourite blog, I noticed that they are rather excited by a new school that engages young people by utilising the process of Games Design. Making games is almost as much fun (even more fun?) than playing them, and involves a range of different subjects from story-telling through text and image, to advanced mathematics, to design, to historical research. As well as the IT skills you would expect.

Boing Boing are excited by ‘Quest to learn’, a school in NYC.

‘Man, that sounds good enough to move to NYC for,’ says the chap at Boing Boing. Well he doesn’t need to, as long as he is living on the Wirral. ‘Over-the-water’, Onteca has been running a very similar course for dis-engaged young people for the last two years. It is going well.

Glad to see our American Cousins are catching up with the Innovative approaches we are developing in Merseyside.