Master Degree Thesis: A Restart

It’s been almost 2 months since my last thesis defense, and now I’m being a master degree students without a topic to start the new thesis. Something is amiss since I don’t have a plan on how to continue my last topic. Well, I thought it was normal and it was okay. I just want to take it slow.

However,  tonight I had a delightful conversation with both of my research methodology professor, Mrs. PS and Mr. BY about how to continue my own topic. They said that if I just resume my last research, it could shape and point out how would I end up, both as practitioner or as a researcher. Oh well, looks like I’ll just resume with several tweaks. Hopefully it’ll be useful to fellow game developer :D.

Done, or a New Beginning?

Finally…. I mean, finally.

It’s been almost a year when I started to proposed the topic of game development life cycle to Mrs. YW, and it’s finally done. August 15th 2013, the signatures have been given and it’s finalized. It’s written in Bahasa Indonesia, so sorry for the inconvenience. Well, FYI, my research is about proposing a new process model in game development process, dubbed as Game Development Life Cycle (GDLC). Many of colleagues (even my professors) persuade me to give a name to this proposed GDLC. I’m so happy that I got a lot of support in this research. The end product of my thesis is a book, authored by myself. Here’s a sneak-peek of my book (it’s Bahasa again). I already have a plan to translate it to English, but I guess it must postponed.

Here are some pictures taken directly at my workstation. Everyday I work here, so I guess I’ll give it an honor to appreciate how meaningful this desk to me.

My Workstation

My Workstation

My Partner in Crime (HP Envy 14 Beats Audio)

My Partner in Crime (HP Envy 14 Beats Audio)

The End Product (Niew's Tale)

The Niew’s Tale

My Thesis Journal

My Thesis Journal

The Book I Wrote

The Book I Wrote (End Product)

Alright. It may be the end of my undergraduate thesis, but a new question arise: will I continue it in my magister program or will I choose a whole new different topic? Is it really the end of my GDLC, or it’s just a mere beginning of something greater? Only God knows. Let’s hope for the best.

A Guidelines of Game Development Life Cycle (v2.0)

This is the revised version of my research during my thesis (see post here). There are many game developers who have proposed their own way to conduct a game development process, and each of them prove their method is successful. Here, in this post, I want to proposed a new approach on how a game development is done.

Let’s call it: GDLC Guidelines

Why Game Development?

Because game has become one of the most prominent industry in this era. Assume there are computer, several programming experience, and willingness to create game, anybody can be game developer, given the circumstances. Anyone can try their own method on how to create games, but this one try to give an insight on how game development conducted, both as engineering process and as creation of art.

The Phases

For the starter, the proposed GDLC consist of six phases which is shown below.

Game Development Phases

Game Development Phases

Continue reading

Imagine Cup 2013, Feline Project: Niew’s Tale, and Wonderworks Studio – Part 1

It’s the continuation of my previous post about Feline Project. I still working in this project since Nov 2012, and yeah, I’m still the programmer in Wonderworks Studio.

Wonderworks Studio now consists of:

  1. M. R. Al-Ghazali — Project Manager
  2. Rido Ramadan — Programmer
  3. Faisal Ibrahim Hadiputra — Programmer
  4. Septiana Wahyudianingsih — 2D Artist
  5. Karina Utami Putri — 2D Artist
  6. Amalia Setyowulan — Motion Graphic Artist
  7. Hendrianto Soegianto — Sound Composer
  8. Taruma S. Megariansyah — Sound Composer

Niew’s Tale

Niew’s Tale is platformer game abut cat. You will control a male calico (tricolor) cat called Niew. Niew belongs to a kid who lives at a mansion owned by a cat collector. Unbeknownst to its owner, this mansion is always under threat. Who knows, that Niew and all other pets in the world have a duty to stop that incoming threats without anyone notices. Cat has secret, and that what makes Niew’s Tale is.

In Niew’s Tale, you will have an adventure inside a mansion. Explore the mansion. Protect the house from threats. Unleash the barrage of cat’s hunting techniques. Kill every pest in the house. And ultimately, become number one in the house. Niew’s destiny is in your grasp.

Niew’s Tale uses inovative gameplay method: combo creation. Unlike simple hack-and-slash, one must properly time & plan their strategy to achieve best combo at given time. Take a look at these video:

Our Journey

Phase 1 : The Deliverable

We’ve been working on this project since Nov 2012. Back in Sept 2012, it was just the four of us, wandering aimlessly to search for an idea to create a great game. Two months since Sept 2012, suddenly a cat walk in front of us while we ate, then the idea just came out. How about we make game about cat? Since then, it was never be the same. Our group expanded. Each member loves cats, ergo we make Niew’s Tale based on our passion.

For months we’ve spent a lot of time in library to create Niew’s Tale. The path we took was harsh and full of hardship. Game development was not easy, that’s why I make this project as my thesis.

The first deliverable was the game description + gameplay video, March 15. We’ve strived really hard to make both game and video as appealing as possible. By the end of the deadline, we celebrate our efforts by having dinner and birthday celebration for our project manager, Algo.

From left to right:Faisal, Amel, Algo (the birthday boy), Septi, Me, Karina

From left to right:
Faisal, Amel, Algo (the birthday boy), Septi, Me, Karina

Right, for the gameplay video about the game can be seen below:

It’s not over yet. By March, 18, we got a news that we succeed becoming Indonesia Imagine Cup 2013 Semi-finalist in Game Competition. Well, it’s quite a feat, and thankfully, our works was not in vain. We still have to strive for Russia.

— To be continued…

Game Development Lifecycle

Okay, here at last, I present you the continuation of my research: Game Development Lifecycle (GDLC).

What is GDLC? In brief explanation, it’s an approach how to handle a game development project. Why do you need GDLC? It’s not that you’ll really need it, but it’ll guide you through needed steps to develop a game and minimize the risk.

Refering to my old post, if you want to be a developer, you can start now. How to do that? Start reading now.

To the main question: What steps need to be taken? In this post, I’ll present you my hypothesis of what GDLC phases should be taken.

GDLC Phases

  1. Initiation
  2. Team building
  3. Pre-production
  4. Production
  5. Alpha version
  6. Beta version
  7. Release version

1. Initiation

It’s all where it begins. Initiation is the part where you decide what kind of game you’ll make, who’s the hero, how to play the game, etc. It’s the very basic of game design/game concepting.

To-do list:

  • Define the game
  • Look for publisher

Useful pointer: Answer these question first!

  • Brainstorming!
  • What kind of game you’ll make?
  • Who’s the hero/protagonist?
  • Will it be 2D or 3D game?
  • What’s the theme?
  • What features it’ll be?
  • Who’s your potential player/user? What gender, how old are they?

Continue reading

Final Project – part 2

Alright, here I come. Well, I am happy.

Yesterday, I decided to approach one of the software engineering teacher to ask about the topic of my final project. I know my friend, AR, and I would go separate ways if we come along to this way. He chose the NLP, and I chose to continue my long-term plan for my thesis in post-graduate program. I know, we already chose a different path, whereas he took the computer science path when I took the software engineering path for our magister program.

For a long time, I’ve got something on my mind: Game Development Lifecycle. Yeah, it’s a custom-made software development lifecycle (SDLC) which specifically run in game development industries. The focus is to perform a good game development process and successfully deliver a good product. However, as the name implies, it heavily run in “gaming” term, whereas a lot of people think that game is not somekind of research topic. That’s why for a long time I decided to bury this idea. However, I’ve made up my mind. I did choose to stand on my two feet by choosing this topic.

Thus, the story began.

I decided to met the most famous software engineering teacher by the alias of Mrs. YW. I asked her about the topic, and she responded positively. I did ask about whether I could just use this topic in both my final project and my thesis, she said yes, as long as I could find the specific things that I want to study. She said as long as I did my best, she would be gladly to support me. And yes, I guess I just got first step towards getting a mentor.

Well, thank you Mrs. YW. I guess I should use my IEEE Computer Society account to my fullest right now. Now, it’s paper time.

Final Project – part 1

Final Project. As the name implies, it is all about the research. Yesterday, my friend and I decided to met a teacher who has knowledge about server and cloud computing. He and I planned something: his topic will be the AI-based agent which will be placed in a server, while I do the cloud computing and multiplatform client management using mobile devices.

Let’s say that the teacher’s alias known as Mr. AIK. When my friend and I met Mr. AIK, we were shocked. Before we told our intention, we were given several topics. They are:

  1. Development of distributed file system based-on peer-to-peer connections.
  2. Module development and file system sync patching in Alfresco.
  3. Real-time OS using Xenomai for Aviation System
  4. NVIDIA CUDA parallel programming
  5. Scalable server architecture benchmarking

What the… none of us know everything the above, except the latter. Well, I guess we should rethink our plan. I thought that maybe asking Mr. AIK to be my mentor will be too much, or should I say, we are in a very different level. Maybe I should go with my first plan, about the game development lifecycle, or maybe search for another web-service based software? Or maybe I should take natural language processing and make a dialogue-driven application? Who knows? Heaven knows.