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Dare to be Digital: Blue Skies

The second of this year's 3 winning teams is profiled here, with details on the game - and the people that created it

In the second of our series profiling the winners of this year's Dare to be Digital competition, GamesIndustry.biz is delighted to present the Blue Skies team.

Last week's featured winner was DarkMatter Designs, and the third and final winner will follow next week.

Game Summary

  • Team Name: Blue Skies
  • Game Name: Origamee
Origamee is a 2D platform game.

 

Origamee is a heavily-stylised linear platform game not unlike the original Sonic or Mario games that it draws influence from. Although featuring a unique control system for a game of this genre, it still relies on key platform elements that players are so used to. The game follows the adventures of a young boy trapped within a 3D pop-up book world, designed to teach him about environmental issues through subtle visualisation.

 

You can fold the character into different shapes.

 

As highlighted by the game's title, Origamee allows the player to fold the main character - Giff - into varying origami shapes. These forms present themselves as power-ups which enable him to gain incredible new abilities that aid him in overcoming puzzles. Origami forms can be used to work in conjunction with each other in order to explore and complete the level.

 

The main character is manipulated using a secondary cursor-character.

 

One of the most distinctive aspects of Origamee that sets it apart from traditional platform games is the manipulation of the main character through a secondary character that functions as a cursor. This inimitable control method allows for a refreshing take on a very pre-defined genre and creates a truly incomparable experience.

 

 

Team Members

  • Name: Richard Barlow
  • University: Abertay Dundee
  • Favourite videogame: Donkey Kong Country
  • Would most like to work for: Bungie
  • Job you'd like to get in the industry: Producer
  • Best part of Dare: The justification for all your hard work when your game is enjoyed by members of the public.
  • Most challenging aspect of Dare: Keeping the project on track to meet its requirements within the set deadlines.

 

  • Name: Kevin James Dunlop
  • University: Abertay Dundee
  • Favourite videogame: Goldeneye N64
  • Would most like to work for: Valve
  • Job you'd like to get in the industry: 3D Environment Artist
  • Best part of Dare: Finding solutions to art-related problems and working with programmers to understand how my work fits into the game. Gaining a greater understanding of how to work to tight deadlines and how to work in synch with my team's goals.
  • Most challenging aspect of Dare: Meeting those deadlines.

 

  • Name: Alberto Fustinoni
  • University: Abertay Dundee
  • Favourite videogame: Final Fantasy IX
  • Would most like to work for: Square Enix
  • Job you'd like to get in the industry: Coder, then eventually move to a design related position.
  • Best part of Dare: Experiencing the closest thing to an actual game development cycle, while having the freedom to be working on our idea.
  • Most challenging aspect of Dare: Having to adapt our original vision to how the situation evolved during development, in order to have a finished game prototype by the deadline..

 

  • Name: Jonathon Holmes
  • University: Abertay Dundee
  • Favourite videogame: Theme Hospital
  • Would most like to work for: Microsoft
  • Job you'd like to get in the industry: Programmer / Audio design
  • Best part of Dare: Getting to know like-minded people and expanding my knowledge of the development process.
  • Most challenging aspect of Dare: Trying to resolve disputes within the team while working under pressure.

 

  • Name: Jade Law
  • University: Abertay Dundee
  • Favourite videogame: Mr Driller / Counterstrike
  • Would most like to work for: Bioware
  • Job you'd like to get in the industry: Concept Artist
  • Best part of Dare: Getting such fantastic feedback from both people from industry, and the general public regarding the quality of my artwork and design ideas. Was also fun working with and meeting like-minded people with passions for both playing and making videogames.
  • Most challenging aspect of Dare: Creating a unique and refreshing visual style that both complements and highlights the gameplay. Other design issues such as game mechanics were difficult to develop and communicate alongside the importance of the style we pitched.

 

GamesIndustry.biz Why did your team decide to enter the Dare competition?
Blue Skies

To create an innovative game with friends, gain experience and enhance our career prospects.

GamesIndustry.biz What did you hope to achieve before the competition began?
Blue Skies

Our goals as a team were very humble prior to the competition's start. Everyone had different ideas about what was actually achievable, but we all agreed that it needed to be a "fun" game. This meant prioritising simplicity to ensure a working demo. Winning was not a concern at the beginning and we simply hoped that our efforts would not go unnoticed.

GamesIndustry.biz What do you feel you learned from the process?
Blue Skies

We learned how to adapt our work to best fit the team's work flow, which resulted in many new skills and techniques being developed. This included conflicts within the team dynamic which had to be overcome to achieve a satisfactory product.

GamesIndustry.biz How did your team make decisions?
Blue Skies

The decisions were made after consulting with all group members in regular meetings.

GamesIndustry.biz Where did the idea from your game come from?
Blue Skies

The idea of using papercraft and Origami came from a general interest website the designer was looking at when researching plausible game ideas. Applying this concept to a 2D platform game seemed a good choice as it was an opportunity to build upon a genre long since diminished of creative development. The art style and game mechanics were influenced by many different sources, and the idea of tackling environmental issues was thought to tie in well with the concept.

GamesIndustry.biz What would you change about your game now in hindsight?
Blue Skies

Improve the level to make the environment more interactive and rich in content by working more coherently with each other. This would have allowed for many of the original design features to have been implemented that did not make it into the prototype.

GamesIndustry.biz What do you feel the experience will add to your CV?
Blue Skies

The experience gained during Dare has given us a glimpse into how the development process works, better preparing us for a future in the industry. We have also gained new abilities both inside and out of our prospective roles hopefully lending us to be more effective members of any development team.

More information on Blue Skies can be found on the official Dare to be Digital website.

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