Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Graduate Research at the ETC

Research is very important here at the ETC, as my TAs advised me today, and especially on the Round 2 world (the naive user world). Fortunately, graduate research at the ETC means playing video games. Lots of them.

At the end of every hallway is an arcade setup with ROMS of (probably) every arcade game known to man. Our current virtual world is steadily becoming some manner of 4 player pacman (with amoebas, and on the Beyond Questions remote control) so my TAs recommended that I do research on top-down view chaser/collecting games to see what I could learn and apply to my own world.

I sauntered down the hall, loaded up Ms. Pacman, and quickly remembered that Ms. Pacman stresses me out TERRIBLY. All the while, I was remembering a game they had at a restaurant we went to when I was little. It was a Pacman-esque game, only you controlled a paintbrush. The goal was to paint every surface of the maze. There were thingies that chased you and occasionally kittens would walk through your wet paint and leave little kitten prints that you'd have to paint over (you could paint over the kitten, too, stalling it and gaining points). Ah, what a fun game from my youth, if only I could remember it's name! Ah, no matter, it's so obscure they probably don't even have it, right?

WRONG! I typed in "paint" in the ROM computer's search box, and of the billions of trillions of games on there, one called "Paint Roller" comes up. And yes! It's the game I was thinking of! Thank heavens for obvious titles! Nonetheless, since it is essentially a pacman game, it caused me great stress.

I think the slow pace of our amoeba game will keep it from being stressful....or maybe even make it MORESO! (there is a 1 second delay on the input of the remotes, since they were never really intended to be used as a game platform, but rather a means of voting and submitting feedback in large lecture halls).

People are starting to post screencap videos of their round 1 worlds, so I'll have to get mine up soon!

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