Introduction

Choate offers Directed Studies to students who have completed all of the courses offered in the regular curriculum for a given department. This project is part of a joint Honors Directed Study in Computer Science with my friend Alan Luo titled Interactive Media.

If you're looking for a detailed overview of my project, you'll find that here.

Official Course Description

As computers continue to experience a constant revolution over the years, graphical processors become more and more powerful, allowing for machine-level optimizations to be replaced by higher-level interactive loops such as animations. This has given computers the capability to create cohesive interactive experiences and boundless complexity in art. With computers only getting more powerful and algorithms only getting more sophisticated, interactive media finds itself in many forms, particularly in online interactive installations and the booming games industry. Companies as large as Google, Activision, and Sony, are major investors and producers in the industry, demonstrating the promise that interactive media holds for the future. In particular, projects like agar.io and Place demonstrate the power of the internet to bring together millions of people to create media installations.

Our stretch goal for the final project will to bring our final product to PAX East, a consumer expo with thousands of attendees for media and games. We will aim to have a booth to present our product.

This directed study aims to:

  1. Understand techniques in interactive media.

    Interactive media installations require many techniques in order to be run properly. For instance, any online project requires a good understanding of asynchronously running a server from multiple browsers and netcode. In addition, any project requires optimization for specific hardware.

  2. Learn how to manage projects and deadlines

    We will aim to bring our project to a large consumer expo. In the last few weeks, we will have to deal with marketing and polish.

  3. Demonstrate mastery of concepts through projects

    Programming is not something that can be properly taught through tests and quizzes. Instead, we will do mini-projects each week to practice and demonstrate mastery of each concept. For the midterm and final, we will endeavor to create a larger project that can be presented as an individual product.

My Project

For my final project, I've decided to make a video game - by the end of the term my goal is to have a presentable and polished game by "early access standards," meaning that the game doesn't have to be perfect, but should be playable and enjoyable without any major flaws.

I believe that video games represent an incredible conglomeration of creativity and media. In combining art, engineering and writing in an interactive environment, I believe that video games are easily the best example of interactive and digital media while being one of the newest and most groundbreaking art-forms.

The staple of good indie game is new and innovative ideas and mechanics, as proven by so many games - Minecraft, Papers Please and Undertale to name a few. My project, which is as of yet unnamed, will be a turn-based multiplayer shooter - I'll elaborate a lot more on this in the beginning of my first devblog.