Updated: 3 days ago
Cats, moths, and state museums, oh my!
The Spring 2023 session of MonRiverGames has come to a close, and we have much to celebrate! During this session, we hosted our first annual regional showcase, took a trip to GDC, made brand new games, and continued our mission to make meaningful games with our community! The summer session is right around the corner, so make sure to register if you're interested in game design, development, art, sound, or anything else that goes into creating these awesome titles: https://www.monrivergames.com/events/monrivergames-summer-session-sign-up
West Virginia Quest
West Virginia Quest is an augmented reality initiative that re-imagines the way visitors interact with the West Virginia State Museum. It was made with Unity. The creation and development of this program was lead by recent computer science graduates and MonRiverGames developers, Zach Hubbard and Tessla Muir. Working externally with their capstone team on this project, while conferring with us along the way, helped improve a lot from the original version. The original version was created during the 2021-2022 school year with a different group of capstone students.
How does it work? It's simple! When visitors enter the West Virginia State Museum, they will be able to download WV Quest on their mobile devices. After creating an account and selecting whether they're exploring the museum as a group, or on their own, users can look for Quest signage throughout the exhibits for additional content. Whether it's expanded information, a relevant game, or links to more resources, the augmented reality system hopes to offer a range of accessible and approachable activities to help further engage visitors.
We all know that not everyone learns the same, or likes to consume content and information similar to others. Utilizing Quest will offer new, enriching ways to engage with important state history for all visitors.
Recent progress has included the implementation of a visitor database, so users can create a sustained account that tracks their score and posts to a leaderboard as they explore the museum. Quest utilizes a QR code system, and points are added to a user’s account when they scan signage throughout the museum to interact. More updates and polish to the UI help bring together all of the recent work. Check out the most recent prototype above!
Going forward, we'll be tightening up and polishing their progress from this academic year to be able to provide the fall 2023 capstone students the opportunity to improve upon it further. It's not to a point in which we can launch it through Google Play or the App Store yet, but we're going to try our best to get it there.
Everyone loves a good couch game, especially our two resident moths, Spark and Berry! Lightkeeper, MonRiverGames’ most recent title in development, is a two-player tussle where players try to maintain possession of a moth fan-favorite: the lantern! In this keep-away style arena, players take control of Spark or Berry, and utilize their unique move sets to be the Lightkeeper!
This is a brand new title out of the most recent Spring 2023 session, and we look forward to further development. This was also one of our first steps away from Unity, our typical development environment, as we prepare to explore Unreal in our future titles. Serving our community and student developers by investing in and training industry-standard technology like Unreal is just one of the ways MonRiverGames hopes to prepare its members for lifelong careers in games.
Another work made in Unity, if you’ve been reading anything about us in the past year, you should definitely be familiar with Spy Cats! Have you played the Remastered version yet? (If not, check it out here: https://gdimwvu.itch.io/spycatsremastered)
Over the past few months, our developers have been working hard to tighten up movement, remove bugs, and polish our primary level design based on the feedback we’ve received from the Spring Showcase and various other playtest opportunities. Thank you to everyone who has helped us by sharing their thoughts about Spy Cats!
Spy Cats has come a long way since its birth in the Fall 2022 Game Design and Interactive Media capstone. We’ve been focusing on refining the current game content to make sure we have a clear direction and feel to pursue for any of the game’s expanded work. We hope to continue to add additional levels, add features like different playable cats and mission objectives, and explore all of the possibilities for our feline spies.
We look forward to continuing our work on all three of these projects throughout our future sessions. Refining our previous work is an important part of the learning process, and helps new members connect with MonRiverGames. We can't wait to bring you future updates on the work that we're doing. If you'd like to be a part of it, don't forget to sign up for the Summer Session that starts in just a few weeks: https://www.monrivergames.com/events/monrivergames-summer-session-sign-up
We hope to see you there!