Space Box

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spacebox

During my time as a programmer at Champlain College’s Emergent Media Center, the coolest project I worked on was Spacebox. The core behind Spacebox is the alternate controller – a cardboard box. Using an arduino and some accelerometers we managed to make input from the cardboard box control how the spaceship was flying in game.

I joined in on the project to fill in for the Unity programmer in the last couple of months before production ended. I worked on a variety of things such as:

A Reward/Achievement System

This involved setting up the UI for the events and tying the system into the games existing event manager. Since Spacebox didn’t have much of a goal, this encouraged players to explore and interact with the world.

Fixing some AI Performance Bugs

What’s a space game without cool space battles? Coming into the project, the current AI was causing some pretty devastating frame drops. It was my responsibility to learn the layout of the enemy ship AI and make optimizations to their path finding and tracking where I could – my work ended up getting rid of the issue completely.

Helping Debug the Arduino to Unity Interface

We were working a lot with experimental controls, so I assisted where I could to fix any issues between Unity and the arduino. I had to learn some arduino scripting on the fly to help debug and solve the issues we were having.

Helping Polish Up

GDC was coming up so I worked with the designer to fix and polish up any of the game’s rough edges.

The biggest challenge I probably faced during this project was quickly acclimating to an unfamiliar code base so I could start contributing fully to the team as soon as possible. It was a great experience and it was unreal to see people playing something I worked on at GDC. Read more about the project in this Gamasutra article! Spacebox Article.