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Student Postmortem: The University of Leeds Game Development Society's  NinjaSticks

Student Postmortem: The University of Leeds Game Development Society's NinjaSticks

March 30, 2006 | By Frank Cifaldi

In today's educational feature, part of the expanded Gamasutra Education section, University of Leeds Game Development Society president Toby Allen takes us through the development of NinjaSticks, the stick figure-based fighter that served as the society's group project.

In the following extract, Allen introduces us to the society's mechanics:

"The Community game NinjaSticks uses the Torque Game Engine. The best description of the game would be a cel-shaded stick figure beat-'em-up with a twist! It really is something to see! As our first project, the visual style was clear and yet gave us the freedom to expand in areas that the committee wanted to push. The way we structured the community game, was not specifically to produce a fully working game, but to get students and members involved in something that has the potential to do so but puts them in a game development environment in which they have to get used to the technical requirements, the dedication, the quality and research.

To promote this we also held "Devathons," a concept which was taken from the Quake3Fortress team (now SplashDamage). Everyone who can brings their own computer to the president's house and works over the course of a weekend or three days on the game. This not only facilitated the development of the game but got everyone working together and sharing their knowledge, although this sometimes slipped into some good LAN games.

To run the society, we have set it up as if we ran a virtual team; our website being the main focus point for the members. Using the Geeklog CMS system we provided our members with news, forums, a bug tracker, RSS feeds, picture gallery and file manager. Our members can also write in stories and contribute to nearly all aspects of the website. Yet to further benefit this setup, we ran SVN to update our Community Game and let everyone remain on the same page. This type of setup is a must for any virtual team/society involved in development as it allows members to access everything under one login and stay up to date with all the society’s actions."

You can read the full Gamasutra feature for the full scoop on the society's first project (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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