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Educational Feature: 48-Hour Development Contest Part III

Educational Feature: 48-Hour Development Contest Part III

March 20, 2008 | By Jill Duffy

The University of Michigan hosts an annual game development challenge, in which small teams of students have just 48 hours to develop a video game. is running an exclusive five-part series written by the contestants about making a game in just two days. In Part III, which has just been posted on the site, we meet 'the team that wasn't.'

Sean Sheehan entered the contest and was teamed up with two other students. However, sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, the first full day of the contest, his team mates disappeared, leaving Sheehan to complete the game by himself:

"1:00 a.m. We have a working prototype. It consists purely of a box sliding around a green landscape in 3D perspective. We add a text menu. Chris writes a text file containing quiz questions for use in the game. I write a class to parse the file into a format usable by the game. Chris and Will research methods of reading image and 3D model files while I continue to expand upon the prototype.

Chris and Will have a copy of the prototype to experiment with their ideas while I continue work on the original.

4:00 a.m. I need to sleep. Will works on the 3D parser. Chris attempts to get Subversion running on the network.

5:00 p.m. I return, after eating and sleeping, to find that the others have left to sleep themselves. I've completed the text file parser, but it has bugs that remain unsolved.
I start working on the 3D parser.

6:00 p.m. I'm still working alone. The 3ds Max file parser and text file parser are both functional. The prototype now renders car and house models to the 3D environment. The models' vertices are off-centered, so they don't move as they should when I rotate them. Either the model data files need to be changed to have a repositioned center, or we have to guess where the center is and adjust the center with code. The former is not currently possible, as I don't know how to use 3ds Max..."

To find out of Sheehan was able to pull through and finish his game, check out Part III of the 48-Hour Development Challenge on

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