XPBLOG: Sun, sand and scope – 7/8/21

Published on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Team BlondieHowdy! Team Blondie here, from MassDigi’s world-famous (probably) Experience Program. If you’re reading this, you probably know that the Experience Program (or XP) is an eleven-week internship program in which college students and recent graduates collaborate in teams to develop and publish their own mobile game. Team Blondie has been working on a brick-breaker game in which sea creatures fight back against rowdy beach-going spring breakers. 

Wanna meet us? Too bad, here we are anyway!

Left to right, beginning at the top

  • Mya Labrecque (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 2022), Artist – sporting aviators to confirm that she is the coolest person in the group
  • Robert Marzec (University of Michigan 2021), Producer/Programmer – winner of the 2021 “Least Tan” competition 
  • Stanley Zheng (Becker College 2021), Programmer – serving us baywatch lifeguard realness
  • Jay Lam (Bridgewater State University 2020), Artist – would really like to go home, please
  • Jeff Katz (Brown University & Rhode Island School of Design 2021), Artist – lost his hands in a tragic green screening accident
  • James Nunes (Becker College 2021), Programmer – currently plotting his next pun 
  • Gregory Bonini (Becker College 2021), Auditory Magician – not pictured because clearly he cannot stand us

Blondie GameSettling on our current game idea (in which crabs, whales, and sea urchins do their best to rid their home of messy vacationers) was a matter of analyzing several different game models to understand what made them tick, then building test versions of those models to see if we could capture exactly what made them fun. We whittled away at our options by debating which ideas were most interesting and within the scope of our time frame and current abilities. By the end of the summer, would we be able to complete this particular game, and more importantly, would it be good? So many times, we had to break through our delusions and realize that our incredibly cool, unique idea was just too big to complete in our limited amount of time.

But at this point in the process, we’re confident that the answer to both of these questions is yes. Choosing an achievable genre like a brick-breaker has given us ample time to work out the various kinks in our build, to balance and refine our work so that it is compelling, unique, but not daunting to complete. Team Blondie’s programmers have been hard at work refining the physics and difficulty of our brick-breaker, making sure that gameplay is challenging yet intuitive. The artists have been designing and drawing several iterations of the game’s assets, from blocks to backgrounds to pause screens to power-ups, making sure that the visuals are juicy while still being clear and precise.

We’ve learned so much about how to plan and execute the huge collaborative project that is a game, and we couldn’t be more excited to share our work with the world. It’s tubular, dude.

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