Friday, May 11, 2012

Project: Arboleum

•ARBOLEUM•

Arboleum is the title of the game developed in collaboration with the department of BioFuels of North Carolina in addition the the NCSU department of Forestry.  The department of BioFuels of North Carolina approached Dr. Watson with a proposition to have an educational video game developed to help instruct the benefits of BioFuels.  Our team consisting of Daniel Morgan, Matthew Gray, Christopher Kampe, and Khiry Arnold have developed this video game.




Arboleum has received a slew of updates from the most recent presentation.  Arriving a long way from earlier demonstrations of the app which featured sexy block graphics for representing plots, Arboleum today features fully cultured graphics to go along with each of the in game themes.  Fully functional, the player is able to select from any of their nine plots in this Tutorial mode to select and grow their BioFuels.  Over the course of 3 years (12 turns), a player will be alerted to a variety of different facts in relation to BioFuels.  These informative pieces of knowledge serve to ensure that players leave the game play while maintaining something from their time playing the game.  In addition, there has been the creation of a Picture-based tutorial guide to get users acquainted the game's mechanics, in addition to the Silo feature which was previously discussed during in-class presentations having one of its features being a glossary of all the terms used within the game.



Overall, the game Arboleum is something our team members are proud of, and look forward to enhancing in the future.  Having learned plenty on the importance and impact BioFuels have on our world, we encourage others to play this game and share similarly enlightening experiences.


Github link.




•UPDATES•


The most recent version (v5.7.0) of Arboleum features a variety of updates which were not displayed in class.  These new features will be unveiled in the following list.

  • Addition of Sound to game.  Sounds featured include
    • Harvesting sounds which play when something is Harvesting
    • Confirmation Sounds when selecting certain items
    • Watering sounds to indicate a plot is being watered
    • Plowing sounds which play when a BioFuel is completely removed from a plot
  • Game Objective given by the establishment of the BioFuels Committee
    • This committee serves as the institute that monitors the progress of BioFuel Farms and their Farmers.
    • After 12 seasons (3 years), the BioFuels Committee rates the player based on their accomplishments and achievements since the start.
    • BioFuels Committee rates player on highest number of money obtained, number of crops harvested, and the amount of money harvested from the crops.
    • The player grows in accordance with these factors and attempts to receive a Passing (Winning) grade from the BioFuels Committee. 
    • If the player does not meet the minimum requirements, they will receive a Failing (Losing) review.
  • Complete functionality for Tutorial version of game. This includes:
    • Fully functioning Money system
      • Crops can be purchased
      • Plots can be watered
      • BioFuels can be harvested
  • Complete Implementation of Seasons.
    • Seasonal Transitions are complete with a picture depicting the upcoming season being displayed on each transition.
    • The changes to the seasons include different plot variables being affected differently due to seasons, i.e. each plot becomes dryer and requires more watering in the Winter than in the Spring.
    • The background changes in accordance with the season also.
    • Seasonal icon presented in the Sidebar which cycles through the seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter accordingly.
  • Massive upgrade to aesthetics.  Includes virtual updates on all graphical artifacts
    • Background on Farm is redone
    • Sidebar includes new Icons for Money, Farm Health, Season, Silo, and Next Turn options
    • All plants now have the appropriate images for all of the variety of stages
    • Plot View screen shows updated graphics representing all of BioFuels, in addition to organized layout depicting the various factors affecting each Plot such as Moisture, Age, and Toxicity.  
    • Harvest and Water Buttons created.
    • NCSU Splash Screen revamped to more accurately portray NCSU with a "green" twist
  • Complete implementation of the Info Button on the Home Screen
  • Picture-based Tutorial completely implemented.  Features 5 images which assist in learning the mechanics of the game. 
  • Silo Completely innovated. It's purpose is changed from its original intent.  It serves to feature a menu where players can select from Statistics of Help functions.
    • Statistics function shares information with the player including:
      • How long the player has been farming
      • The amount of money earned by the player
      • How many seasons are left before being evaluated by the BioFuels committee.
      • The actual percentage of Health the farm is currently at.
    • Help function features a slew of information relating to almost every aspect of the game in case a player forgets.







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